Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not give him any greeting, because the person who gives him a greeting shares in his evil deeds. 2 John 1.9-11
If you have ever had friends that were faithful to the Lord, but have left the truth behind and followed other teachings, this passage calls for some serious reflection. Somehow we seem to get the idea that if we go on ahead and add things to make the gospel more “attractive” to people, God will be pleased. After all, the changes that we tweaked have brought more people into the fold.
John, the apostle who wrote this letter, could not disagree more. When we add things, we do not remain in the teaching of Christ. If you do not remain in the teaching of Christ, you do not have God.
The rest of the message is also hard for us. If someone comes to your house, even that long-time friend that has fallen away, and does not bring this teaching, I should not receive this person or even greet them. By greeting him, I share in his evil deeds. It sounds so hard, even cruel, to our ears. But John has more wisdom that we have. If we reject the friendship that was once precious to us, perhaps it will cause them to stop and think about what they are doing and repent before it is eternally too late.
#risingjoy #2-John #doctrine
“but every spirit that refuses to confess Jesus, that spirit is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”
1 John 4.3
One test of belonging to God was the teaching about Jesus, his deity and humanity. Whoever denied it (spirit=teaching) was not only wrong, but belong to the present evil forces arrayed against God.
God’s truth is clear. To teach different is to “refuse” to confess Jesus. The truth must be welcomed and obeyed. To what spirit do I belong?
#votd #1-John #doctrine
“They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them.”
1 John 4.5
The false teachers circulated among the Christians, but they had different origins. Speaking (teaching) from the world’s perspective was a sign their origin was the world.
False teachers can be found in the church today, but they teach a different doctrine that comes from the world. This is why they must be rejected.
#votd #1-John #doctrine
By Johnny O. Trail — After a lengthy discussion over divorce and remarriage, the couple we were studying with determined that they would examine “other teachings” on the topic. They were not pleased with the answer that was given to them. Matthew 19.9 says, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
Instead of accepting this answer, they determined to visit a Christian bookstore to see what else they could find on the topic. In our follow up emails, they were “surprised to find the large number of notable church of Christ ‘pastors’ who had varying views on marriage, divorce, and remarriage.” While this response is pregnant with denominational language, I understood what they were saying. It is not hard to find people who are writing materials that provide “alternative” views of God’s marriage laws. Continue reading
“Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son.”
2 John 9
False teachers denied the truth about Jesus’ deity. People who affirm such falsehoods are rejected by God. They should not be accepted by God’s people either.
To please God, we must not promote or help people who teach what is wrong. Only his truth can save. Let us be wise to know God’s word.
#votd #truth #doctrine
“SON OF MAN, I HAVE MADE YOU A WATCHMAN”
From time to time, I feel compelled to deal with matters of a controversial nature, especially erroneous views and false teaching being advanced in some churches of Christ and often “incubated” in various institutions of higher learning connected with the church. I use my Facebook page, my “Hugh’s News & Views,” and other venues to point out that which I believe is contrary to God’s word, but I am aware that some of my brethren would prefer that I not do this. They think it is “hanging out our dirty laundry” for all the world to see, and they would rather I not do that. I am sorry that they feel this way, but the erroneous views and false doctrines are publicly disseminated (via the pulpits of churches, lectureships, journals, and books), so why should the warnings not be publicly disseminated as well? Continue reading
One of the most rewarding studies in which one can engage is of what the Bible teaches about “Faith.” The biblical definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 where it is said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” “Substance” is that which “stands under” and supports the spiritual realities we hope for. Faith gives substance to those invisible realities. Continue reading
The Reformed Doctrine of “faith alone” is a cornerstone of protestant theology. This cornerstone, however, is put in place by inserting into Scripture a term that does not exist, building on it a man-made theology, such as the sinners prayer, God’s sovereign choice of salvation apart from one’s free-will and interpreting the word “works” to refer to either God’s commands or to anything that a person might do (otherwise).
One advocate of faith alone theology wrote, “I won’t defend the truth of justification by faith alone in detail, but it’s clearly taught, for example, in Romans 3:28: ‘A person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.’ Or, as Paul teaches in Romans 4:5, ‘God justifies the ungodly.’ Both Abraham and David were justified by faith and not by works (Rom. 4:1–8; Gal. 3:6–9).” 
It is my intent, in this article and the next, to address these passages, noticing the context and how it does not support to teaching “faith alone” and, finally, give some attention to James 2.
This is no small matter. Continue reading
The story is told of a civil war soldier who did not want to take sides but remain neutral and be accepted by both sides. He put on a pair of Confederate britches and donned a Union jacket. He was shot in the seat by a Yankee soldier and in the chest by a Rebel soldier and died of the injuries he incurred as a result of trying to be on both sides! Continue reading
Just a day or two ago I read an article in which the brother mentioned the use of Darwin’s idea of evolution to talk about doctrine. People say their understanding has evolved after prayer and study. I cannot now find this article. I’d very much like to reference it. Can anybody help me? (I thought sure it was Hugh Fulford’s News and Views, but have not found it there.)
A well-known “mega-church pastor” has supposedly ignited some controversy over his comments concerning the birth of Jesus. I haven’t listened to the sermon, but it seems as if the sum of the matter would be that the “pastor” doesn’t mind if an unbelieving person doubts the virgin-birth of Jesus as long as they believe in his death and resurrection.
I could say a lot about this gnat and camel situation, but I believe I will sum up my thoughts like this: 1) If an individual can believe that someone left this world by “walking” out of a tomb after being three-days-dead then how does his entrance into this world become the unbelievable stumbling block, and 2) If an individual refuses to acknowledge, through faith, God’s work in the birth of Jesus then how can that individual’s faith acknowledge God’s work when it comes to being born-again?
All in all, I can appreciate one’s interest in presenting Jesus to a lost world, but I can’t appreciate one’s interest in dismissing what those shepherds found so long ago.
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:15-18)
“I’D GIVE A PRETTY . . .”
One of the fond memories of my childhood is spending several days each summer with each set of my grandparents. All of my grandparents lived within thirty miles of our home and we spent much time together, not only in the summer, but throughout the year during holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, as well as at other times. Continue reading
THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE
Over the years since I started sending out these weekly essays, I have addressed a wide variety of matters, but some subjects get more attention than others. Brotherhood journals likewise address a wide range of subjects, but some subjects are addressed more frequently than others. In their annual Bible lectureships, Christian universities that have remained true to the purpose of their founders, Bible Institutes, and Schools of Preaching will be careful to address the entire gamut of Bible teaching, but some items will get more attention than others. Local churches in their teaching and preaching programs, in their gospel meetings, and in other special events will address some subjects more often than others. In all of these various venues, why do some subjects receive more attention than others?” Perhaps the following little ditty will explain why. Continue reading
Doctrine isn’t that big of a deal…so says the school of thought from which some of our “tribe-less” brothers and sisters have graduated.
The whole idea (or should I say bleached out doctrine?) isn’t new, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less wrong.
When someone says that doctrine is an antiquated and useless topic, they just don’t know what they’re talking about. They might know what they’re saying, but they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Jesus once told his disciples to, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6)
Now, what kind of bread producing substance was Jesus talking about? It was the spiritual kind: “Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:12) It’s along the same spiritual idea (only in a positive sense) that Paul had in mind when he told Timothy, “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.” (1 Timothy 4:6)
You see, the yeast truly makes a difference in the bread that we spiritually eat; so don’t get sandwiched in the thought that says doctrine is a dirty word.
If you don’t want to hear what the apostle Paul taught when it comes to the consequence of sins such as homosexuality and fornication, then I don’t want to hear you talking about what he said when it comes to God’s forgiveness of sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:3-7).
If you don’t want to hear what the apostle Paul taught when it comes to women and their role in public worship, then I don’t want to hear you talking about what he said when it comes to the role of pastors and deacons (1 Corinthians 14:34-37, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9).
If you don’t want to hear what the apostle Paul taught when it comes to baptism and salvation, then I don’t want to hear you talking about what he said when it comes to salvation and our confession (Romans 6:1-5, Romans 10:8-10). Continue reading