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  • J. Randal Matheny 5:14 am on 2017-03-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church,   

    A taste of home 

    If, on the report I made yesterday, you read between the lines, you might have figured out that the first place we went after arrival from Brazil in the US last month was … a Brazilian restaurant. Our son Joel drove from Henderson to Nashville to pick us up at the airport and that restaurant is a taste of home for him. So we were happy to indulge his desire.

    The name of the restaurant is “Café Mineiro.” (See photo of The Missus and me in the restaurant here.) “Mineiro” is one who is from the state of Minas Gerais. Joel was born in that state’s capital, Belo Horizonte, where we lived our first 10 years in Brazil. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 4:30 am on 2017-02-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Malapropisms . . .) 

    MALAPROPISMS AND THINKING ABOUT THE CHURCH

    Likely, I should be among the last to write under the above heading. I did not grow up in a family that always used correct grammar or that always used a word in the right sense. All who speak and write are susceptible of inadvertently using the wrong word, to being “off” in their thinking, and to not expressing themselves either orally or in writing as clearly as they might like. Yet, those of us who speak and write to advance the cause of Christ should strive for accuracy—in our thinking, in our speaking, and in our writing.

    A malapropism is “misusing words, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.” Many years ago in Clarksville, Tennessee I was preaching on the Lord’s Supper and made mention of a congregation that had two large silver “gobblers” from which the fruit of the vine was served—one for each side of the two sections of pews in the auditorium! I, of course, meant two large silver goblets. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 8:47 am on 2017-01-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, ,   

    Roy Davison: To God be the glory in the church! 

    How does the church glorify God?

    To God be the glory in the church!
    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/gloryinthechurch.html

    God zij de heerlijkheid in de gemeente!
    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/heerlijkheidindegemeente.html

    I pray that these lessons will bring glory to God and help people understand how the church glorifies God.

    May the Lord bless you.
    Roy Davison

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:09 am on 2017-01-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , church, , ,   

    This Day, the First 

    On this day, the first, when Jesus rose
    Alive, and set aside his burial clothes,
    His faithful followers come together and meet,
    To sing his praise, around his table they eat,
    And in his Name they pray for peace
    And courage to speak, that he increase,
    His grace be given, his saving truth be spread,
    Because they know he lives who once was dead.
    Their God is Father, they in Christ immersed,
    This day they glory in him whom God raised first.

    JRMatheny

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:28 am on 2016-11-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, ,   

    The forever church relocated 

    Steve Preston wrote today on his BibleTalk email list: “The kingdom, the church, will last for ever. However, it will not always exist on the earth.”

    What a wonderful distinction! The people of God will participate in God’s eternity. But their passage on earth will be brief. They will be relocated to that place that Christ has prepared, Jn 14.1-4.

    The great blessing is that we know where he went, and we know how to get there. He calls us to follow him there.

    If you have not yet begun that journey, start now. If you have, call others to join with us.

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:19 am on 2016-10-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church,   

    Is there a ‘church of the future’? 

    futuristic

    Over on my Plink area, I mention a phrase in a prayer read today, asking God to “help us to bring into being your Church of the future.”

    I like the phrase, and then I don’t either. Here’s why I like it. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 2:28 pm on 2016-10-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Why Do People Leave . . .) 

    WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE CHURCH FOR A DENOMINATION?

    Prior to the mid-20th century seldom did one hear of a member of the church of Christ leaving the church to join a denomination. There were, of course, exceptions because throughout the history of the church there have been defections from the one faith (Ephesians 4:5). Still, it was a rare thing for one to leave the church for a denomination. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 8:08 am on 2016-10-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, , ,   

    ‘Does the church have electricity?’ 

    church-lightA brother in Florida mentioned Saturday that the electricity in his home was supposed to be restored in a few hours, after Hurricane Matthew swiped the Atlantic coast headed north. A person asked, “Does the church have electricity?”

    The person was referring, of course, to the building where the church met. That’s unfortunately language, but you figure out how to get people to change their vocabulary.

    Her question, however, invites reflection on the state of our congregations. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 8:10 am on 2016-07-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, meetings,   

    We show who we are in our meetings 

    Praying

    We meet together today as God’s holy people, purified by his word of truth and cleansed by the blood of Christ in baptism.

    “He did it to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her with water and the word” Eph 5.26 NIRV.

    Our meetings reflect our character, which in turn determines our thoughts given to the mercies of Christ, our gratitude thrown upward to God, our praises louder for new life in the Spirit, our prayers fervent that others might come to this knowledge.
    (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 5:12 am on 2016-07-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church,   

    Be there. For them. For Him. 

    Church is not only an event, but a people. Church is definitely not a place, though time and place are essential. In church activities happen, but it’s more, a realm of Being.

    Having said that, we go to church (that’s a very biblical phrase, BTW) to give, more than to receive. (More blessed, remember?) We go for our brothers and sisters in Christ, for their edification. We go for God, to meet him in a sacred moment, to glorify, and glory in, him; we go for Christ, to obey and find him.

    Church is not a ritual to satisfy a legal demand, but one of many acts of obedience. There, life is found and lived and rejoiced in.

    Be there today.

    #church #Sunday

     
    • John Henson 7:39 pm on 2016-07-18 Permalink | Reply

      Hate to be picky, but Hebrews 10:25 was/is a command (to us by implication) to assemble, isn’t it? Love is also a command (1 John 4:7). Church is not just a ritual to satisfy a legal demand, but it does.

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:52 pm on 2016-07-18 Permalink | Reply

        It is, and I acknowledge that as “one of many acts of obedience.” This as distinct from people thinking they’ve punched their time-card by showing up on Sunday. Am I addressing your point, or am I missing something?

  • John T. Polk II 10:48 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adam & Eve, church, hid,   

    2-19-2016 Why People Don’t Come To Church 

    Why do people not “go to church?” Probably for the same reason that, when Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, and thought God was near, they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 NKJV). When people sin today, they think by staying away from “church,” they are hiding from God. But like Adam & Eve found out, “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NKJV). It is when “an unbeliever or an uninformed person” attends church, that “the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25 NKJV). The churches of Christ invite you to come.
    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • TFRStaff 4:43 pm on 2016-02-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Two Sermons) 

    TWO SERMONS OUT OF THE PAST

    Sixty years ago Bill Humble delivered a lecture at Freed-Hardeman College titled “The Church of Christ is Different.” The outline of the lecture was published in the 1956 book of lectureship outlines. Brother Humble preached for several congregations of the Lord, taught at Florida College in Tampa, and later at Abilene Christian College (University) in Abilene, Texas where for a period of time he also served as a high ranking administrator. He is now retired and living in Amarillo, Texas.

    Brother Humble’s masterful lecture at Freed-Hardeman consisted of three major sections, each supported by several points. They were as follows:

    1. The church of Christ is different (a truth). Brother Humble pointed out that Christ’s church is different from paganism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant Denominationalism, and the irreligious.
    2. Why the church of Christ is different (a reason). Humble said it is different because we believe the Bible is a blueprint or pattern for the church in every age; that we must know what the blueprint calls for (teaches); and that we have a duty to follow it.
    3. Let’s keep the church of Christ different (a plea).

    Brother Humble pointed out that our preaching must be distinctive; our practices must be scriptural, not denominational; our faith must be unmarred by modernism (earlier he had mentioned the modernists among us who have already departed from the faith); and our plea must be for a restoration of New Testament Christianity. In his conclusion, he reminded his hearers that God has a pattern, and we must follow it. He said that if modernism ever robs us of this conviction, the battle is lost and our faith in the deity of Christ and other fundamentals cannot long survive. He emphasized that if God has a pattern (and He does), we must speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent. He said that if the New Testament is not a pattern, then we must admit that it matters little what we speak or whether we speak at all. It truly was a masterpiece of a lecture!

    In that same time frame (about 1958 or 1959) I heard Harold Hazelip in a gospel meeting at the Haldeman Avenue church in Louisville, Kentucky, the church where the great M. C. Kurfees preached for 45 years (1886-1931). One evening Harold preached a sermon on “Why Not Denominationalism?” Harold also preached for a number of local churches and went on to teach at Harding Graduate School of Religion (now Harding School of Theology) in Memphis. He later served as that School’s Dean, and still later served for about a dozen years as President of Lipscomb University in Nashville where the School of Theology is named in his honor.

    Harold’s Louisville sermon title was not a rhetorical question, suggesting that we should accept denominational status. Rather, it was a well-reasoned and clearly-articulated presentation on why we should be undenominational Christians. First, responding to the various efforts made to defend denominationalism by philosophical, emotional, and scripture “defenses” (Harold showed that the various scriptures used to defend denominationalism were actually taken out of context and abused), he then gave six reasons for rejecting denominationalism and refusing to become denominational:

    1. It exists without the authority of Christ,
    2. It causes infidelity,
    3. It confuses men,
    4. It cultivates carnality,
    5. It retards evangelism,
    6. It divides.

    I took copious notes on this sermon. The outline itself was simple, but the message preached was profound.

    My question now is, are the things that Bill Humble and Harold Hazelip preached 60 years ago still true? If not, why not? How many of us still believe what they said? How many of us who preach still preach the biblical principles contained in those messages? Why do we now have members of the church (including preachers) saying the churches (they would write it Churches) of Christ are a denomination and that we cannot avoid being a denomination? Are some among us now ashamed of our undenominational stance? Have some among us allowed their denominational and scholarly peers to intimidate them into thinking and speaking of the church as if it were a denomination? Have some among us now abandoned the biblical concept of the church? Did some, in fact, ever really have a biblical concept of the church to begin with? Have some never really been able to view the church in any way except through the “eyes” of denominationalism and their denominational friends (e.g., “I’m Baptist,” “I’m Methodist,” “I’m Lutheran,” “I’m Church of Christ”)?

    Are there those among us who want to bring the churches of Christ into a kind of amorphous, generic “Christianity”? Does the church of Christ have anything distinctive and definitive to offer that cannot be found in the religious evangelical world? If so, what is it? A proper view of grace? A true understanding of the place of baptism in God’s scheme of redemption? A correct biblical hermeneutic? A respect for the biblical organization of the church? The proper role of women in the work and worship of the church? True worship? The need for strict adherence to the word of God as the only authority in religion? Would the world lose anything if the churches of Christ ceased to exist? Can one find elsewhere what the churches of Christ have to offer? Given what I understand to be the thinking of some, if one left the church for a denomination or for Catholicism or for one of the so-called world religions, would that person still be alright in the sight of God? If so, why?

    Yes, two great sermons out of the past of which the truths set forth in each have not changed and to which we would do well to still pay attention.

    Hugh Fulford
    Speaking Schedule:
    February 10: Nashville Road Church of Christ, Gallatin, TN.

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:29 am on 2015-12-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, holy nation, inclusiveness, ,   

    The truly inclusive church 

    Limiting oneself to 140 characters, as Twitter requires, is a challenge. One must reduce to the bare essentials, which often makes for positive results. (Stay with me, this will be worth it, I think.)

    I started Quick Bible Truths on Twitter. With the undesirable tendencies and directions it has taken, I moved the primary content generator from there to a Hubzilla installation. (Unfortunately, not my own, but hosted by another, but he’s a good type.) (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 10:50 am on 2015-11-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, ,   

    I Want a Church that Meets My Needs 

    By William Woodson — The statement made in the title is not only the desire of many in the religious world, but it is becoming the philosophy of many Christians, because many of us are seeking a religion that “meets my needs.” The phrase itself has virtually become a new religious term. Many persons praise or blame a particular congregation because it is or is not “meeting my needs.”

    Let me hasten to say that if the phrase means that we need to satisfy spiritual hunger, then it is a good expression, for surely everyone ought to be in a Christian community where his/her deepest spiritual longings are being addressed. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 7:24 am on 2015-10-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, , ,   

    First day of the week is special for Christians 

    Today, the first day of the week, is a special day for Christians. On this day Jesus Christ arose. On this day the Lord appeared to his followers. On this day he ascended into heaven.

    One wonders if on this day he will return to claim his people. (More …)

     
    • Tim 9:11 am on 2015-10-18 Permalink | Reply

      Amen. I always enjoy eating with others of like faith in Christ.

      While any day that Christians gather is important it is more important to properly read and understand scripture. The phrase “mia Sabbaton” means first of Sabbaths. Each time you find this phrase in the New Testament it is in the Spring of the year and is a specific Sabbath. Check it out. By the way, try to ignore how some major groups observe the Sabbath today. Their observance and what is found in scripture are two entirely different things. May your study be blessed.

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