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12-7-2016 How Does God Help

When the time came to build the tabernacle at Mount Sinai, “Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the LORD has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the LORD has commanded” (Exodus 36:1 NKJV).  When needs arise, it seems there are always plenty of people who have the talent, and know God’s Will, and are ready to step up and do what needs to be done. Ask “how will God help,” then look at those who do.  “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NKJV).  Since Jesus said our giving should not only be: “before men, to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1 NKJV), it’s easy to overlook the generous response among churches of Christ who help in time of need.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#churches-of-christ, #generous-response, #talents

Wikipedia alternative seeks editors

Wikipedia’s content has the type of license that allows it to be reproduced freely, so somebody took it and set up a new website called InfoGalactic, to be free of editorial slant and wars between contributors.

I edited the South America section for churches of Christ, which has incorrect information about the church. The person who wrote it in Wikipedia inserted information about the Christian Church.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Churches_of_Christ

The site is looking for more editors to contribute.

Brave browser has now included Infogalactic as a possible search engine. You can type “:i” in the URL space and any search will be done there automatically.

#churches-of-christ, #encyclopedia, #wikipedia

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4-11-2016 What Is The Church of Christ #1

Because of all of the confusion in religion throughout the world and history, atheists argue there is no “god” to speak clearly.  They have completely ignored the unity of the people when God has been obeyed as He spoke. The resurrected Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV).  Churches of Christ were established without confusion:  in Rome, “so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5 NKJV); in Galatia, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ…you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28 NKJV).  “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #churches-of-christ, #religious-confusion

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3-23-2015 Man-Made Tradition: Jesus’ Death

In Mark 7:1-3 NKJV: “Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.” Some religious practices “reject the commandment of God” to keep their tradition, as Jesus said in Mark 7:9. Christians remember Jesus’ death every first day of the week in the Lord’s Supper, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 20:7 NKJV). The churches of Christ do not wait for a man-made yearly tradition!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#churches-of-christ, #lords-supper, #man-made-traditions, #tradition

If you don't hear the speaking, you won't hear the silence

The principle of silence is an important aspect of rightly dividing the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 7:14). Unfortunately it’s a concept that’s hard for many in the religious world to grasp despite the fact that it has a biblical basis. What makes it even more difficult to understand is when an individual fails to first hear what’s spoken, because if you don’t hear the speaking then there’s no way you’ll hear the silence.

A person once told me to show them where the New Testament says that baptism saves us – I showed them 1 Peter 3:21 but it didn’t change anything.

A person once told me that there were no funerals in the New Testament after the day of Pentecost – I told them about Acts 9:36-37 but it didn’t change anything.

A person once told me that Jesus never told anyone to serve him and that he never said he was the Son of God – I showed them John 5:22-23 and John 12:26 but it didn’t change anything.

You see, if a person fails to learn from what the Spirit of God has said concerning the will of God, then the will of God won’t be revealed to that individual when it comes to the Spirit’s silence.

This is why the churches of Christ still strive to speak where the Bible speaks, and to be silent where the Bible is silent; because we believe that the silence of the scriptures can say as much as the speaking.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:9)

#churches-of-christ, #hearing, #silence-of-scriptures

Hugh’s News & Views (Denominational Status)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

THE MOVE TO BRING THE CHURCH OF CHRIST TO DENOMINATIONAL STATUS (Part 2)

Some 40 years ago, a prominent preacher in the church of Christ proclaimed that “the Church of Christ is a big, sick, denomination,” and went on to say, “and I meant all three of those words—big and sick and denomination.”

This preacher is a long-time friend of mine, going all the way back to our student days at Freed-Hardeman College in the 1950s. I hold no animosity toward him as a person, and love him as a brother in Christ, but I do strongly disagree with his assessment of the church on all three scores.

First, compared to the churches that have originated with men, the church of our Lord is not “big” (see Matthew 7:13-14), though I question the ability of anyone to accurately quantify all who have obeyed the gospel and been added to the spiritual body (church) of Christ.

Second, while some members and some congregations no doubt “are weak and sick . . . and many sleep” (I Corinthians 11:30), I deny that the church as a whole is “sick.”

Third, unless what Jesus built (Matthew 16:18) was a denomination or unless one today cannot be a member of what Jesus built without being a member of a denomination, I deny that the church is a “denomination.” (Note: The Judaizers of the first century alleged that a Gentile could not become a Christian without first becoming a Jew, and some among us today seem to think that one cannot become a Christian, a member of the church (body) of Christ, without first becoming a member of a denomination!)

In a book published in 2011 under the title, What Must the Church of Christ Do to be Saved?, the author (who sees himself as a modern-day reformer), in response to the question that serves as the book’s title, included a chapter titled “Come To Terms With Our Status As A Denomination.” In this chapter he forthrightly asserts that this is what churches of Christ should do—admit that they are a denomination! (In another chapter he declares that we should “Have Our Own Vatican II.”) Continue reading

#churches-of-christ, #denominationalist, #hughfulford

New Directory For Churches of Christ In America…

New Directory For Churches of Christ In America: The Christian Chronicle began a news item saying, “A new directory for Churches of Christ in the US shows a loss of members and congregations. At the same time, interest in non-denominational Christianity soars.” So I ask, “What is going on here? I thought we are non-denominational!” The trouble is I know the answer! Claiming to be non-denominational is not the same as being non-denominational. If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck; it must be a duck! Well, are we non-denominational or not? We are. However, we must live up to this claim. But people don’t see us as non-denominational. Why do so many see us as denominational? What defines a denomination is its adherence to a body of doctrine with little or no wriggle room. If someone does not generally subscribe to what the denomination believes, he is not going to be welcomed as a part of the denomination. These beliefs are defined by a creed book, church manual or some such printed material. However, a creed or manual does not have to be written down. If a denomination’s beliefs are generally known and so rigidly adhered to so that anyone who wanders off the beaten path is quickly marked and excluded, though they have no printed creed or manual, they are still a denomination. Why are those churches that are classed as “non-denominational” growing when all others are shrinking? Non-denominational churches are not bound by a creed, written or unwritten, and are thus far more accepting of others who differ. Since in this setting there are various views on the scriptures, it promotes more Bible study and biblical discussion. Furthermore, since a person is not excluded when he offers a different view, he has time to study and think the matter through. The various beliefs (interpretations) of members are tolerated as examples of the process of growing in knowledge. I wonder why churches like this are growing while denominations and our brethren are declining? Can it be that people like the idea of thinking for themselves?

#church-decline, #churches-of-christ, #just-a-minute

History and sociology trump theology for 21CC

The 21st Century Christian company has decided to include in their listing churches of Christ that have adopted instruments of music in worship.

From reports we’ve seen, they’re letting the historical or sociological concerns trump doctrine.

But just because someone was once a part of us doesn’t mean they belong to us. Seems John said something along those lines.

My prayer today is that ministries, schools, publishing houses, and other associations die with their founders. They seem to have a predilection for going astray.

#churches-of-christ, #instrumental-music

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Relief from the churches of Christ

Brethren,
Paul said: “But as you abound in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us–see that you abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:7-9 NKJV).
The churches of Christ are noted for standing for “the faith,” speaking the truth in love, and loving Jesus Christ. But while the “Neo-Sectarians” among us are carving the brotherhood apart and stabbing brethren in the back at a distance, the “boo-birds” have decried how the churches of Christ “aren’t doing anything” and don’t know how to love one another. “Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged” (Romans 3:4 NKJV). The reports of the death of the churches of Christ are greatly exaggerated, and simply not true!
The Park Avenue church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee has been sent $600,000 to be used in Sennai, Japan to aid the victims of the tsunami;
Christians (used in the Scriptural sense!) have sent many thousands of dollars, and hundreds of volunteers, to come to the assistance of tornado victims in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia;
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief, Nashville, Tennessee has sent a steady stream of 18-wheeler truckloads of immediately-needed food and cleaning supplies all over the States, including Joplin, Missouri, Big Rock, Tennessee, and many other places where there has been flooding or tornado damage, to be distributed by the local churches of Christ.
Indeed, God has given the churches of Christ ample opportunities to come to the side of hurting souls — AND WE HAVE COME!
I do not know of a time in past decades when I was more impressed with the loving response of my brethren in Jesus Christ. With prices, jobs, and other hindrances like they are, we are showing that not only have we been debating and arguing the truth of the Gospel of Christ, we have also been keenly aware that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ upon us will be seen by those who are looking for the hand of God upon them.
We can’t do miracles, but as the body of Christ, we are showing our good works as a light and pointing all glory to our wonderful God!
Now, as never before, preach the Word that those who obey the Gospel will be added to the churches of Christ.
John T. Polk II

#benevolence, #churches-of-christ, #relief

Deaver-Hoffman Debate on Baptism

The video of this debate can now be found on the website of the Schaumburg church of Christ, which sponsored the event in 2006 in the greater Chicago area. David Hoffman is a Baptist preacher who denies immersion is necessary in salvation. I was moderator at Dad’s table. Feel free to advertise the link, if you like.

http://s-coc.org/podcasts/sermons/2006_Debate/2006_Debate.html

Ron, is this when we first met, or was it at the near-debate of 2008?

#baptist, #christianity, #churches-of-christ, #david-hoffman, #denominations, #religion-and-spirituality, #schaumburg, #united-states

Kingdom Come by John Mark Hicks and Bobb…

Kingdom Come by John Mark Hicks and Bobby Valentine is a book worth reading. The authors put forward a theory that the churches of Christ developed two somewhat opposing methods of understanding scripture in the mid 20th century: a Texas “tradition” and a Tennessee “tradition. The former is represented by such luminaries as Tant, Whiteside, Nichol and Foy Wallace and the latter by Lipscomb, Harding, Boll, and Brewer. I do not read books that simply restate what I already believe or know. I read books to learn and for my own thinking to be challenged so as to learn. While I may not agree with everything the authors of this book say, I firmly believe there is much that is challenging and worth considering.

#churches-of-christ, #scripture, #tradition