Recipe for building a better church

Number 631 • April 18, 2021


“Join the church of your choice.” The determinative word there is not join or choice. It is your. Not something someone else chooses for you or imposes upon you (such as communism, which is not really ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people” as in democracy). As Adolf Hitler mandated a Volkswagen (literally “people’s car”) so certain countries have mandated a “state religion” (such as Islamic, Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, etc) or a “national church” (such as Church of England, Church of Sweden, etc). There’s a world-wide phenomenon in nominal Christianity: the creation and proliferation of churches to meet the requirements and desires of the people who will be members in the so-called “purpose-driven” churches where members determine what the church will be and do – these could be called “churches of the people, for the people, and by the people.” What are the premises, purposes, and promises of such a “people’s church?” Continue reading

#church, #geraldcowan

How the church relates to the Godhead

The church is called by God Almighty to represent and fulfill multiple heavenly functions upon the Earth.

The following is a quick breakdown how the church relates to each member of the Godhead.

Continue reading

#church, #godhead, #spiritual-illustrations

Revival, renewal, restoration and resurgence of the church (2)

Number 600 • January 3, 2021


The pattern for the church was implemented and flourished shortly after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to heaven (Acts 1–5). But division and departure from the pattern occurred early (1 Cor. 1:10-13, 3:1-3). The division was exacerbated and has accelerated during all the time since shortly after its beginning. So a return to God’s original intention has been necessary, but it is not yet complete in all aspects, even now in what we continue to call the Restoration Movement. Continue reading

#church, #geraldcowan

Revival, renewal, restoration and resurgence of the church (I)

Number 599 • January 1, 2021


Does the church today need a revival? That is a difficult question because of the necessary implications of the word, and because of general resistance to the use of the word revival among churches of Christ. There are at least two major reasons for resistance to the word revival. The word has been abused and rendered nearly meaningless by some denominational groups. It is about equivalent to the expression gospel meeting common among us. Gospel meeting ought to mean “a meeting of people in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is presented; an assembly of people confronted with the gospel of Christ and the demands it makes upon one’s life.” The major emphasis of such a meeting used to be the conversion and salvation of the unsaved (Rom. 10:12-14). A secondary purpose was to strengthen Christians and help them grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3:18). When used properly the word implies that something is wrong and needs to be corrected, something is dead and needs to be brought back to life again. Continue reading

#church, #geraldcowan

Stewards or squatters?

Number 596 • December 22, 2020


#church, #geraldcowan

No borders or barriers. Free access for all. You will be assimilated.

Number 576 • October 26, 2020


I remember late last year something a primary candidate for the office of president of the United States of America said in debate, something that no others in the congested swarm of would-be’s, wanna-be’s, please-let me be’s, and I’ll-give-whatever-you-want-if-I-get-to-be’s vying for the nomination were willing to say, then or now – probably because none of the others agree with what this one brave person said. I won’t name the person because it isn’t important to know who said it; the important thing is what was said.

Speaking of the controversy about a wall, barrier, or other device to mark and secure our national border this candidate said something so cogent and clear, so self-evident and irrefutable it is amazing and astounding that resounding affirmative “Amens” have not been heard from other candidates in her political party or from the Party itself. She said, “Without secure borders we do not have and cannot have a separate and sovereign nation.”

The principle applies at every level: state, county, city and township, and all private and public properties that are clearly marked or identified – crossing set boundaries, whether or not marked, walled, or fenced is called trespassing, a violation of property rights. Continue reading

#change, #church, #geraldcowan

Denominationals get it; the brethren, not so much

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes denominational figures understand something that many brethren have missed. Here’s one case.

In a period of two days, however, I got news of four congregations that understand this principle. So there is a bit of good news. But what about the rest?

#church #assembly

The answer should be obvious

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore “Come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord. 2 Corinthians 6.16-18

Many Christians are being reminded recently of a very simple truth. But it is a truth that I fear many of us had forgotten. The temple of God is not a building of brick and mortar. The temple of God is comprised of the people which make up the church which is the body of Christ.

Paul is asking a question for which the answer should be obvious. However, when we look at our lives and behaviors, we find that the answer is clouded and unclear for many people. Is there a moment when light and darkness mix? Not in the created world. Light always shines forth more brightly when it is present and dispels the dark. We cannot tolerate idols of any kind in our lives.

God has said that he will live in us and walk among us. But he calls us to be separate from the world and to strive for purity. We can not straddle a line with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. We are only deceiving ourselves into thinking it will be all right. We have to make a choice.

If we choose wisely, God will welcome us and be a father to us. The All-Powerful Lord will be our father!

#risingjoy #2-Corinthians #church

What constitutes a church meeting?

While congregations across the world have cancelled their meetings because of the coronavirus, some still insist on gathering the saints together. Yesterday, we in Urbanova gathered a small number together, while experimenting for the first time with a live broadcast. Continue reading

#church, #coronavirus, #obedience

Hugh’s News & Views (The Name Of . . .)


(Note: Periodically I write about the “name” of the church. It seems that such is necessary because there are those who want to give to the New Testament people of God a proper, patented, and official name to then be used in a denominational sense. Because of this, many view the church as a denomination, and many are only too glad to have it so. Please read and reflect once more on what the Bible says about the name of the church).

In our contemporary religious culture more and more churches are seeking to separate themselves from their denominational affiliation and to be non-denominational and independent. In attempting to do this they have come up with all kinds of ingenious names for their congregations. In the small city where I live there are many of these kinds of churches bearing such names as Godwhy Church, Agape Community, Celebration of Life Church, Freedom Church, Free Indeed Fellowship, Higher Ground Church, New Vision Ministries, First Apostolic Church, Truth Tabernacle Church, as well as various others. Continue reading

#church, #hughfulford

Usage percentage

What percentage of New Testament usage refers to the phrase, “church(es) of Christ”? How often does the phrase appear in comparison to other similar ones? For the next week, why not try reflecting that percentage in your speech? The exercise might encourage some positive reflection.

#speech #church

Church as people of God

Perhaps it’s such a generic phrase that it gets frequently overlooked. But as I was doing some study in Portuguese yesterday, I noted that in a goodly part of our literature, we don’t include the phrase, “people of God,” in our lists of descriptions of the Lord’s church. Continue reading

#church, #church-descriptions, #people-of-god

Why are you persecuting me? Acts 9.4

“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'”

Acts 9.4

In a special vision, Saul, persecutor of the church, saw the Lord Jesus, who asked him why he persecuted the Lord. What is done to the church is done to the Lord.

The church is Christ’s body. In judgment he wills say, “… just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me” Mt 25.40.

#votd #Acts #church

Brazil church information updated

Wikipedia is getting a big-time competitor in I checked their entry on the church, and the information for Brazil was pulled from the former, with a Christian Church missionary giving information for their people as if it were us. I’ve contacted the Everipedia folk and gotten a nice reply. At the moment, they’re not allowing editing, but it will be available soon.

I took the opportunity to update the information on the church in our city, region, and in the country as well. I’ve also moved it from my email account’s space to our ministry site. Much remains to be done still, but you can check the progress here:

#Brazil #Wikipedia #Everipedia #church

The biggest mistake churches of Christ have made in the last 50 years

By Jeremiah Tatum — I bet by the title of this article you are at least reading the first sentence to see where this is going. Let me tell you first where this is not going. This is not going in the direction that is going to malign the church of our Lord. This is not going to be a rejection of the old paths. This is not going to be a 21st Century, “I am smarter and more enlightened than the people who lived 100 years ago,” type of article that I see being written by so many of our younger preachers today.

What this is going to be is honest. And honestly, the churches of Christ as a whole have really been making a huge mistake for a while now. Continue reading

#church, #denominationalism