HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS
“In the Bible, as in ordinary life, words mean what they are used to mean neither more nor less.” (James I. Packer, as cited by gospel preacher, John Gaines, in a Facebook posting on April 22, 2014). To which I responded with tongue buried deeply in my cheek, “Nah! No way! Surely not! There just must be many passages in which the words do not mean what they are used to mean, given the ‘explanations’ of those who do not agree with what the passages plainly say.” (Note: I could cite the use of the conjunction “and” in Mark 16:16 connecting belief and baptism to salvation and in Acts 2:38 connecting repentance and baptism to remission of sins as examples of a plain, simple word being “explained away.” It is utterly amazing that people will entrust their souls to the religious instruction of those [some
professing to be scholars] who do not know even the meaning of the simple word “and”!)
“Not long ago, I heard a Dean at one of our Christian Universities say, ‘The old morality of the world is better than the new morality of the church.’ As shocking as that statement may be, I think I might reluctantly have to agree with him.
“Think about it and see if you don’t agree with him as well. Think back just 50 or 60 years. Think how the world was then. Try and remember some of the values of the world at that time. Now compare those values to the values of the church today. Have we slipped? Are the old morals of the world better than the new morals of the church today?” (Steve Higginbotham, May 2014 issue of the Karns Kourier, Knoxville, TN).
“I read about a man who entered a monastery and agreed to a vow of silence. But after ten days he uttered two words, ‘Bed hard.’ Ten days later he spoke two words, ‘Food bad.’ Then after another ten days had passed he said, ‘I quit.’ The head of the monastery replied, ‘Good, you’ve done nothing but complain ever since you’ve been here.’ ” (Allen Eldridge, May 18, 2014 bulletin of the Regency Church of Christ, Mobile, AL).
“In the early days of the great movement from denominationalism back to New Testament Christianity, the foundation principles of Christianity were largely dwelt upon, such as the action and design of baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion, the power and sufficiency of the word of truth and that the word of truth must be the entire and only guide to Christians in the work and worship of the church, the proper division of the word—these and such were often loudly, and regularly proclaimed from every pulpit of the disciples of Christ [used in
the New Testament sense, not in the denominational sense, hf] and from the press of every paper controlled by them, and largely talked and argued by the private members. But when churches have become large and popular, these fundamental principles have been largely left out and are seldom made prominent.” (E. G. Sewell, “Fundamental Principles Must Not Be Overlooked,” Gospel Advocate, August 28, 1913, as cited by Earl I. West in The Search for the Ancient Order, Vol. III, page 56, underlining and italics mine for emphasis, hf).
“A crusty old Vermonter and his wife were out for a ride one afternoon and she, beginning to feel romantic, said, ‘Would it not be nice if we rode close together as we used to when we were young?’ He replied, ‘I ain’t moved.’ God has not moved. He has not gone astray. He has not forsaken us; we have forsaken him. ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isa. 53:6) . . . .
“The old father [of the prodigal son, hf] never moved. He never left home. With aching heart, down that empty road he looked until one day in the distance a form staggered along. He rubbed his eyes; it could not be. There were the rags, the filth, and the stench; but something about the shape and the walk was familiar. It was his son! . . . .
“If you will turn from your sins and come home, you will find God right where you left him. He is waiting for you to walk with him. He is righteous; he will not take up your sinful ways. He will not walk with you in them. You have to walk with him.” (Jack P. Lewis, in a sermon titled, “Can Two Walk Together?,” in And So We Speak: Sermons from Five Decades, Vol. I, page 44.)
May 28: Green Hill Church of Christ, Mount Juliet, TN
June 4: Sycamore Chapel Church of Christ, Ashland City, TN
May 27, 2014