Hugh’s News & Views (Progressivism In The Church . . .)

PROGRESSIVISM IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:

INSIGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS

In a May 8, 2019 announcement from a once large and influential congregation in Texas advertising a conference among churches of Christ in that area, the following statement was made: “We look forward to partnering with our brothers and sisters in the __(city)__ area to work toward unity within our tribe in the Church.” Referring to the churches of Christ as “our tribe” reflects a glaring denominational view of the church.

This kind of thinking and terminology increasingly plagues a growing number of Christians, and is illustrative of how far some have drifted from the New Testament concept of the church. It demonstrates how desperately in need we are of going back to the New Testament and studying once again the fundamental truths concerning the church that Christ established. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #progressives

Jun. 10. Solomon Asks for Wisdom

I Kin. 3:1-4:31; II Chron. 1:1-17

In order to form alliances with other kingdoms, marriage between kings and daughters of other kings was a common event. One of Solomon’s first acts as king was to form the first of his many such alliances by marrying the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

“High places” were elevated open-air sanctuaries patterned after Canaanite worship places that were forbidden by Hebrew law. However, those places were sometimes used by the Israelites prior to the construction of the temple.

While at one of those high places at Gibeon, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked the new king what He could give him. In a deep sense of humility, Solomon asked for, “An understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” Since he did not ask for long life, riches or the life of his enemies, that request pleased the Lord. He gave not only wisdom, but also promised him riches and honor. If he would walk in God’s ways and keep His commandments as David had walked, He would lengthen his days.

Solomon was called to use his newfound wisdom to settle a dispute between two mothers who claimed the same newly born baby. He determined the true mother when she objected to dividing the child into two pieces to share with the two women. Rather than see her little one killed, she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” That judgment established great respect for Solomon among all of Israel.

When David had become king forty years earlier, the Israelite kingdom was divided. Judah accepted him as their king, but the remaining tribes anointed Saul’s son, Ishbosheth to succeed their father as their king. After seven years, he was overthrown and David became king of all the reunited Israel. Through David’s strong leadership, the kingdom remained united and Solomon was able to become king of all Israel.

After appointing his many leadership positions, Solomon presided over God’s people during a peaceful era.

It is difficult to imagine the great wisdom and wealth that he possessed. He had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots. There were twelve thousand horsemen. He appointed twelve governors to provide for his household and guests. Each governor was responsible for one month’s service during the year.

Solomon’s God-given wisdom excelled the wisdom of all men. He was the author of many great literary works. “And men of all nations…came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.”

#chronological-bible-study

Nehemiah’s last request

Nehemiah’s last request was an OMG moment, but not like the frivolous, contemptuous and hollow way people use it today.

His last request reveals his first desire – the result of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and a yearning to receive the grace of its king. Such is the reason why his request should be ours (Matthew 6:33).

“… Remember me, O my God, for good!” (Nehemiah 13:31 – NKJV)

We could be remembered by God for a lot of things, to put it lightly. What, though, wouldn’t be so light would be the negative things our Creator could so easily bring to mind. Thank God for his listening ear and intentional “memory loss” through the blood of Christ (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 10:11-12, 16-17).

To be remembered by God for the good we have done is a holy desire and a mindset of the finite seeking the infinite. We should have it! But we must remember a simple principle that goes along with Nehemiah’s godly cry – we must be about our Father’s business of doing good and serving in such a way that we give him plates of food, cups of water, rooms of charity, clothes of comfort, visits of edification, and medicines of healing to think about (Matthew 10:40-42; 25:34-36; 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Acts 10:34-35, Luke 6:33-35, Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 3:11, Hebrews 13:13-16; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10 – NKJV)

Praise the Lord! Psalm 146.1

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!”

Psalm 146.1

This psalm, beginning the last group, psalms of praise, declares that man’s help is limited; God’s is not. The Creator maintains his creation, vv. 5-6. The King of Kings helps his people, vv. 7-10.

Our plans last only as long as our life, vv. 3-4. So we must not place trust in man, no matter how powerful. When God is our help and hope, v. 5, how happy we will be!

#votd #Psalms #praise

Gracious to others

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV)

и заботьтесь о благосостоянии города, в который Я переселил вас, и молитесь за него Господу; ибо при благосостоянии его и вам будет мир. (Иеремия 29:7 Russian)

O LORD my God ~ be gracious to me most holy Father in heaven. Help me to be gracious to others who live near and far away. Bless this nation with peace and prosperity for all people who strive to do good. Give us leaders who will humble themselves before your mighty hand and reward those who do good and punish those who do evil. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Jun. 9. Solomon’s Reign Begins

I Kin. 2:13-46

With the advent of a new king, shedding of blood frequently occurred. If the king forcibly gained the throne, a bloodbath of his enemies and rivals could be expected. In a peaceable ascension to the throne, there were also certain individuals who posed a real or imagined threat to the new king. Solomon had been informed by his father of delayed punishment of two such men.

Obviously Adonijah, Solomon’s older half-brother was a perceived threat to the new king. Taking part of a deceased king’s harem was equivalent to claiming his kingdom. When Adonijah asked for Abishag to be given to him as a wife, Solomon did perceive that request as equal to asking for the kingdom. Benaiah became the king’s executioner as he killed Adonijah.

Many years earlier, God had stated to Eli that the priesthood would be taken from his descendants. Abiathar, the last of Eli’s lineage had followed Adonijah as he had attempted to become king instead of Solomon. Solomon spared his life because of his loyalty to David, but did remove him from the priesthood and sent him into exile. Zadok succeeded him as priest.

Joab had also followed Adonijah’s rebellion. Upon hearing of the purging of Solomon’s rivals, he fled to the tabernacle and held the horns of the altar for refuge. That was a holy place that even criminals could go to escape death. However, a presumptuous murderer should be dragged away and put to death. Upon Solomon’s orders Benaiah executed Joab for his murders. He was then named commander of the army of Israel.

Shimei was placed under house arrest for his crime of cursing David during Absalom’s rebellion. He swore an oath that he would not leave. Three years later, he went to Gath to retrieve two runaway slaves. When word of that came to Solomon, he commanded Benaiah to put him to death.

With Adonijah, Joab, Shimei and Abiathar removed from his presence, Solomon had purged the political, religious and military threats from his reign.

#chronological-bible-study

A prophet like me: Acts 7.37

“This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’”

Acts 7.37

Stephen pointed the Jews to the very words of Moses, who spoke of Jesus. If they claimed to listen to the lawgiver, they should have welcomed the grace-bringer.

Prophecy ought to create and strengthen faith in God’s work. The Old Testament deserves much reading and study. Jesus is also present there. How is my Bible reading going?

#votd #Acts #prophecy

Jun. 8. Messianic Psalm

Ps. 2:1-12

Heathen kingdoms have continuously rebelled against God and His laws. Even kings of His own people, the Israelites have turned their backs against Him. The psalmist prophesied that there was to be a King in the future who would break and dash rebellious nations to pieces like pieces of pottery. That King, the Son of God would rule from His holy hill of Zion.

The psalmist presented the problem: Rebellious kings; the solution: The King of Zion, the Son of God; the necessary response: Serve the Lord in humble submission. “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

#chronological-bible-study

Everything they offer is unclean: Haggai 2.14

“Then Haggai responded, ‘The people of this nation are unclean in my sight,’ decrees the Lord. ‘And so is all their effort; everything they offer is also unclean.'”

Haggai 2.14

An unclean people cannot offer to God sacrifices or offerings that are acceptable. Everything becomes contaminated. Man’s opinion does not matter. It is what God sees that counts.

Sinners cannot dig themselves out of their sin. We all sin, Rm 3.23. Our every effort is therefore repulsive to God. We have no merit; we need saving grace.

#votd #Haggai #impurity

Jun. 7. David’s Farewell and Death; Solomon Anointed King

II Sam. 23:1-7; I Kin. 1:1-2:12; I Chron. 29:10-30

David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel” was an inspired writer. He is said to have written seventy-three of the psalms recorded in the Scriptures. As his life was nearing its end at about seventy years, he concluded his writing by attributing his words to the God of Israel. He stated that the rulers of God’s people must rule in the fear of the Lord. God had made an everlasting covenant with him. It would be fulfilled many years later with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even after living a life of turmoil, David found the end also surrounded in controversy. His oldest surviving son, Adonijah proclaimed himself to be the king succeeding his father. Other prominent men, including Abiathar the priest and Joab, David’s army commander followed him in his proclamation.

Nathan the prophet conferred with Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba and after meeting with David, it was confirmed that Solomon was indeed to be his successor as king. Solomon at about nineteen years of age was placed upon David’s mule, symbolizing royalty as Zadok, the priest and Nathan, the prophet took him to be anointed. At the blowing of the horn the people said, “Long live King Solomon!”

With Solomon sitting on David’s throne, Adonijah and his followers realized that their lives were in great peril. They all went their own way and Adonijah sought refuge by holding the horns of the altar. After hearing of his plea, Solomon stated that if he proved himself worthy, he would live, but otherwise, he would die. Adonijah fell at the feet of Solomon and was told to, “Go to your house.”

David had lived a long life in service to God and to the nation of Israel. At the end of his forty year reign as king, seven over Judah and thirty-three over all of Israel and Judah, he issued a final charge to Solomon, the new king. His instructions are worthy for us today. “…Keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies,…that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn…”

However, the king who had shed much blood during his lifetime had some unfinished business for Solomon to attend. His cousin, Joab had been his friend and army commander, but he had killed Abner and Amasa, two of David’s other army commanders. Shimei had cursed him during Absalom’s rebellion. David suggested that these two men should be punished severely for their actions. Barzillai had been very helpful to him during Absalom’s rebellion and David wanted him to continue to receive special care from the new king.

“So David rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David. Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.”

#chronological-bible-study

Dazzling brightness of love

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,whose trust is the Lord.He is like a tree planted by water,that sends out its roots by the stream,and does not fear when heat comes,for its leaves remain green,and is not anxious in the year of drought,for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)

Благословен человек, который надеется на Господа, и которого упование–Господь. Ибо он будет как дерево, посаженное при водах и пускающее корни свои у потока; не знает оно, когда приходит зной; лист его зелен, и во время засухи оно не боится и не перестает приносить плод. (Иеремия 17:7-8 Russian)

O LORD our God, thank you for the dazzling brightness of your love that showers down upon your children on this new day you have given us. Give us the wisdom to act with clear heads and do good without a shred of evil intent in our hearts. Our highest hope is to be with you in the paradise that our Lord Jesus Christ is preparing for those who love him. Extinguish the influence of false light that is really darkness in our contemporary world inhabited by many who choose to follow the deceitful ways of Satan. Help us, Lord, for we are often weak. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Wealth, but no sleep: Ecclesiastes 5.12

“The sleep of the laborer is pleasant – whether he eats little or much – but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.”

Ecclesiastes 5.12

The Teacher (author of the book) knows that in some ways wealth brings advantages, but in other ways it causes many worries. Rather than providing security, wealth begets a bevy of struggles.

Jesus said wealth makes it hard to enter his Kingdom, because people make it their god. The true God does not brook rivals. Has desire for and pursuit of wealth damaged my soul?

#votd #Ecclesiastes #wealth

Jun. 6. Remaining Officials and Duties

I Chron. 26:20-29:9

As David continued organizing the government for Israel’s new king, he appointed men to be in charge of the various treasuries of the temple. Those treasures consisted of the tithes, spoils of war and other dedicated valuables.

Judges were appointed to oversee the tribes on each side of the Jordan River. The west side of the river was under the oversight of seventeen hundred men led by Hashabiah. Jerijah led twenty-seven hundred men who were over the tribes of Ruben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Those tribes had chosen many years earlier to remain on the eastern side of the Jordan instead of settling in Canaan.

Israel had an army of two hundred eighty-eight thousand soldiers. They were divided into twelve divisions of twenty-four thousand. Those divisions were commanded by captains and each group served for a period of one month during the year.

Each tribe of Israel was overseen by an officer. Those officers led the tribes in much the same way as a state governor directs affairs of state today with the king being comparable to the president of a country.

David was a man of great personal wealth. There were men designated to oversee the daily care of those various properties.

David was old and bedridden. He called for the religious, domestic and military leaders of Israel to formerly declare to them God’s selection of Solomon to succeed him as their king and to build the temple.

It had been his desire to build God’s house many years earlier, but he was forbidden because he had been a man of war and had shed blood. However, that had not prevented him from amassing many of the materials necessary for its construction and furnishing. He presented those materials and plans to his son, Solomon. Those plans were given to David by the Lord and were to be followed in every detail.

In his exhortation, David told that God had chosen him from the house of Judah to be their ruler. Many centuries later, Christ another Ruler would come from the house of Judah to establish His spiritual kingdom, the church.

David further instructed Solomon regarding the necessity of his following God as he led Israel. “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.” That continues to be much needed advice for the leaders of today’s nations.

He added, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.”

In order to further involve the people in the temple construction, a freewill offering of precious metals and stones was taken. That was in addition to an offering that David had presented from his own personal treasures.

#chronological-bible-study

What does the Bible say about Hope

by Douglas M. Williams Sr.

“For we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25).

Colossians 1:27 “…Christ is in you, the hope of glory.”

The Bible speaks of the “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2; 3:7).

We can look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Our hope is “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). And 2 Peter 1:3-4 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

“And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Hope is the moving force behind our activities. Sophocles stated, “It is hope which maintains most of mankind.” Our world is one of hope!

Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

The Bible says, “he that ploweth should plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope: (1 Corinthians 9:10). 

The hope of a crop encourages the farmer to drive the plow; the hope of victory urges the soldier to fight; the hope of winning makes the athlete run; and hope of the incorruptible crown inspires the child of God to run in the race of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Our hope is in God, and it is powerful! Our hope is obtained from the scriptures (Romans 15:4), and as long as there is life, there is hope. Our greatest hope is for eternal life in heaven. No matter how many times we lose in this life, we can look forward to eternal life where we win and never lose.

#bible-study

Changing One’s Life

This past week our son Art spoke to the students in a ministry outreach program designed to help them overcome their troubled past. During the course of his visit, one of the program directors told him an unforgettable story about one of the current students in the program:

He must have been approaching 40 years of age but had led a troubled life. He found himself in a program to help people to give them another chance at life.

The story goes that he was standing outside the facility with another person in the program. It was lunchtime. The other fellow said, “Come on. Let’s go break into some cars.” At that moment the young man took a stand. He said, “No. I’m going to change my life,” and he turned and walked back inside through the door.

Changing one’s life takes making a change or transforming for the better. Repenting is what the Bible calls it. Changing the direction you are going from one bad way to a better way.

Changing one’s life takes making a commitment. It can be made quickly or over a period of time but it takes hanging in there until the goal is reached. It is possible to change by being committed to the plan and by taking a stand.

Changing one’s life takes determination. Determination drives the world. People who are determined to make adjustments and work through the changes that need to be made to better their lives.

The young man who left at the lunch hour to “go break into some cars” lost his place in the program and was not allowed to come back. He missed that opportunity to change his life for the better. On the other hand, the young man who stayed pressed on toward his goal of changing his life.

Each day we have to make a commitment whether to do right or wrong in the things we face. It may be whether or not to join in gossip we hear, tell a “little white lie,” go somewhere we shouldn’t go, partake in some sinful habit, associating with the wrong people, say something we shouldn’t say, or countless other things. We must take a stand with Joshua of old who said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Every day we can start anew as Christians, children of God. We can change our life for the better like the young man above. We must do it if we hope to live in heaven one day.

#christian-living