Hugh’s News & Views (The Elijah Complex)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

THE ELIJAH COMPLEX

Elijah was a great oral (non-writing) prophet of God who lived around 860 B.C. His ministry was carried out during a time of great apostasy from the Lord and His law. I Kings 18 tells of the contest (debate) Elijah entered with the prophets of Baal who were leading the people of Israel into idolatry. Elijah challenged the Baal prophets to a showdown on Mount Carmel in which either Baal or the Lord would be shown to be the true God. Long story short, Baal was shown to be nothing, the Lord was shown to be everything, the people fell on their faces and repeatedly declared, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!,” and the 450 prophets of Baal were summarily executed by Elijah (I Kings 18:39-40) Continue reading

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Hugh’s News & Views (A Personal Update)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

A PERSONAL UPDATE

On July 1, I completed a five year part-time (but regular, every Sunday morning) ministry with the Mitchellville, Tennessee Church of Christ in Portland, Tennessee. This is my third time to “retire” from regular, every Lord’s Day preaching.

On July 30, 2000, I retired from forty-two and one-half years of full-time ministry. But on the first Sunday of January 2001, I began preaching every Sunday for the church in Adams, Tennessee. After one year at Adams, I began preaching every Sunday for the LaGuardo Church of Christ in Wilson County, Tennessee and continued there for ten years. My only reason for leaving Adams to go to LaGuardo was because of the distance in the commute from my home in Gallatin, Tennessee to Adams. I loved (and still love) the wonderful people at Adams and have conducted four gospel meetings with them during and after my one year ministry with them. Continue reading

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Hugh’s News & Views (Certain Men Crept In . . .)

“CERTAIN MEN CREPT IN UNNOTICED”

In his brief, one chapter, but extremely important letter, Jude exhorted his readers to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). “The faith” is the full, complete, and final revelation from God to man by Christ through the gospel as set forth in the New Testament. In it God has revealed all that He has done for mankind’s redemption from sin and all that man must do in order to establish and maintain a right relationship with God. It is the “one faith” (Ephesians 4:5).

In the next verse of his epistle Jude explained why it is so important for Christians to earnestly contend for the faith. He says, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4, New King James Version). Continue reading

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Hugh’s News & Views (Language Of Ashdod)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

THE LANGUAGE OF ASHDOD

One of the great hindrances to the restoration and advancement of original, apostolic Christianity and the church of which we read in the New Testament is the use of Ashdodic language (i.e., denominational terminology in an attempt to convey biblical concepts and/or biblical terms in a denominational sense).

In about 450 B.C., after the return of the people of Judah from the Babylonian Captivity (which God had brought on them as punishment for their rebellion against Him), we read these words: “In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. And half their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of the other people” (Nehemiah 13:23-24).

The Lord’s people today, just as the people of Nehemiah’s day, live among a “mixed people.” Our world is one of many religions, including many “brands” of professed Christianity. Great care has to be exercised not to be influenced by the unbiblical concepts and terminology of the denominational world around us. The late Guy N. Woods often spoke of the importance of God’s people maintaining “a pure faith and a faultless practice.” Such a faith and practice will be reflected by the proper use of biblical terminology and the refusal to use denominational terminology. Continue reading

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Millennials And The church of Christ (Hugh Fulford)

MILLENNIALS AND THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

Millennials are that generation born roughly between 1980 and 2000. At 80 million, they represent the largest segment of the U. S. population and the largest segment of the U. S. workforce.

I have been doing a bit of reading about the Millennials and their characteristics, and have been thinking about how the Lord’s church might have a special appeal to them if they could be led to have a clear understanding of it. Of course, all people need to know about Christ, His gospel, His church, and the way marked out in Scripture for how the Lord would have all people to live (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Continue reading

#evangelism, #hugh-fulford, #millenials

Comforting Fiction (Hugh’s News & Views)

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word fiction means “something invented by the imagination or feigned.” In other words, it is something that is not true or factual, something not rooted in reality.

While the Bible does not use the English word “fiction,” it does warn of fables and teachings that are not true. The apostle Paul spoke of those who would “turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Timothy 4:4). “Fables” is from a word that means “a tale, i.e., fiction” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament).

Elsewhere Paul warned against “giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14). He urged Timothy to avoid “profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (I Timothy 6:20, italics and underlining mine for emphasis.) He alerted the Colossian Christians to

“Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

In spite of these sober warnings about being deceived by that which is false in religion, there are those who seemingly prefer the “comfort” of the fictitious over that which is factual.

Consider, for example, the following:

“Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort” (The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, Article IX, p. 61, 2008 Edition).

But the fact is that one is not justified by faith only and it is fiction to teach and/or believe otherwise.

James wrote, “You see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Christ is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). One is made free from sin when he obeys “from the heart that form of doctrine to which he was delivered” (Romans 6:16-18). At His second coming Christ will take vengeance on those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:6-10).

Justified by faith? Absolutely! Justified by faith only? Absolutely not! We are justified by “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) — a faith that obeys! Don’t be deceived by the fiction!

The notion that if a person lives a good, decent, and morally upright life he will go to heaven when he dies is another piece of religious fiction.

We read in the New Testament of just such a man. His name was Cornelius. He was “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to all the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:1-2). In spite of these sterling moral qualities Cornelius nevertheless needed to be told “words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). The apostle Peter went to Caesarea, preached the gospel to Cornelius and his family, and “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). These were the words by which he could be saved! His moral uprightness was not sufficient to save him. Continue reading

#faith-only, #false-doctrine, #hugh-fulford, #hughfulford, #religious-fables

Of coincidences, solstice, etc.

solstice, seasons• We’ve often posted Hugh Fulford’s News and Views here on TFR, with his permission. Now Dale Jenkins has set up a blog for our good brother. Since his ezine will now be available online, you may follow it from there, if you like.

• In his fine program, 100 Days of Scripture, Jon Warnes has grouped the Bible verses by subject. Today, he starts a new, short group on sin:

“Sin” Verses
Day 24 Romans 3:23 (June 21)
Day 25 Ezekial 18:20 (June 22)
Day 26 Romans 6:23 (June 23)

This fits nicely with my “God With Us” Devotional today with the longish title, “What about the Indian in the middle of the jungle who never heard the gospel?” Unplanned. Was a coincidence.

• Like yesterday’s coincidence, when Ron T. posted about division in the family because of Christ, and my devotional was on division caused by ignorance.

• Light is finally appearing in the windows. Our daytime is short these days, shortest today, right? I never understand these things, solstice, equinox, seasons, daylight savings time. Not even after reading about it. I’m just glad to wake up in the morning, be it early or late, to be alive, hungry, thirsty, ambitious, zealous for the things of God.

#coincidences, #hugh-fulford, #people, #seasons, #solstice