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  • John T. Polk II 10:26 pm on 2016-05-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crowds, opinions, spiritual truth   

    5-17-2016 Who Knew? 

    Jesus asked His disciples, “saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ So they answered and said, ‘John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ of God’” (Luke 9:18-20 NKJV).  Probably the most confusing way to find spiritual truth is to search through the mistaken answers of “the crowds,” or beliefs handed down from different cultures.  Spiritual truth is not established by visiting different places and asking what people believe.  Spiritual truth can only come from the source of spiritual truth:  the Bible.   We should receive Jesus and His Apostles’ word, “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV).

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

  • John T. Polk II 10:23 pm on 2016-05-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cain, opinions, , worshiped   

    5-19-2016 Worship By Faith 

    Jesus asked His disciples, “saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ So they answered and said, ‘John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again’” (Luke 9:18-20 NKJV).  God never has allowed the varying opinions of men to determine how to worship God!  The first time anyone worshiped God, it was: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4 NKJV).  God had made it clear what He wanted, and Cain did not offer that.  It didn’t matter that Cain’s “talent” was with crops, or that Cain may have been sincere.  Opinions of worshipers does not establish spiritual truth!

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

  • John T. Polk II 8:40 am on 2015-06-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cowardly, , government oppressed, opinions   

    6-12-2015 The Time Is Now 

    When their government oppressed God’s people, the Prophet Elijah asked the timid Israelites, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21 NKJV). Good people cannot survive in a society (or world!) by shrinking away from the inevitable choice: good or evil. Joshua challenged his people: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV). Paul wrote there will be “the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16 NKJV). There will be “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!” (Joel 3:14 NKJV). The “cowardly” will burn in Hell with “all liars” and sinners (Revelation 21:8).

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

  • Eugene Adkins 7:05 am on 2014-07-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , opinions,   

    10 Random Questions with Spiritual Roots 

    Here are some random questions (some may even call them “nudges”) that actually have a spiritual starting point. Care to answer a few?

    1. If you preach, do you have a “favorite” sermon?

    2. If you don’t preach, is there a sermon that has stuck with you through the years?

    3. Would you consider an “invitation song” offered during worship services a tradition of men?

    4. What do you believe is the number one reason (main contributing factor) behind poor worship service attendance?

    5. If you have a young daughter, would you approve of her dating a young man who doesn’t work?

    6. How many hours of sleep do you average a night (or day, in case you’re a third-shifter)?

    7. How many hours, on the average, do you punch on the ole’ time clock?

    8. Was there one individual person in your life that contributed the most to you becoming a Christian? If so, who?

    9. What you do think is the number thing our prayers should revolve around for our nation (America), or for whatever nation you happen to be living in?

    10. Which is harder for you to do: tell a brother or sister in Christ that they have something in their teeth or telling them that they have sinned against you?

  • Eugene Adkins 6:34 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , denominational, , opinions   

    You Tell Me 

    There are some in the brotherhood who are staunchly opposed to talking about the birth of Christ at this time of the year in scripture, in song or even conversation because they claim it’s denominational, but at the same time they staunchly promote using the word Christmas when it comes to trees, cards and presents.

    You tell me, which is more denominational? Talking about the birth of Christ or saying Merry Christmas?

    • James Craven 6:55 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      Obviously , “talking about his birth” is not “denominational”. Saying the word “Christmas” is denominational , catholic (Christ Mass) , and pagan in origin. I do not say “Merry Christmas” and would prefer we not talk any more or less about His birthday at this time of year. What we do need to do is talk DAILY about His death and resurrection . That is what we are baptized into. J.Craven

      • Eugene Adkins 8:43 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, James. Do you not think that this is the right time of the year to talk about a topic in which there is a lot of biblical ignorance? I find that it’s a really great opportunity to point to the importance of Bible study in light of the “average manger scene”.

        • James Craven 10:57 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply


          There is never not (double negative intended) a “right time” to discuss every aspect of Jesus ; His foretold and fulfilled birth, His life , teachings , death for our sins and His victory over the grave , etc.

          My fear of you wanting to talk about a particular part of His life at a particular part of the year just because the rest of the world is erroneously doing is so is this:

          We brag in the church of Christ of being “people of the Book” . We like to say we speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent”. We like to say we made it out of the 1000 years+ stranglehold of Latin-only catholicism through a period of reformation and more important to us , restoration. However , then we go around a say words like “christmas” and “easter” that the catholics made up wholecloth and grafted on to pagan holidays so they would appeal to the gaulish , germanic , pagan barbarians.

          After you have studied with the person that darkened your congregation’s door around this time of the year and heard you delivering a “christmas” themed sermon because you felt it was a “unique open door opportunity”, after you baptize them and they ask you “now where is those christmas and easter stories” in the Bible? What do you tell them?

          You can’t say “my family never celebrated as a “religious” holiday and call it CHRISTmas .


          • Eugene Adkins 11:33 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            You strike while the iron is hot, not when it’s cooled down. I have never presented a “Christmas” sermon in the traditional sense of the word, but I have given several different lessons that revolve around the birth of Christ, which is different than Christmas. For example, this Sunday my planned lesson will be about gifts that come from God (with the main thrust coming from James 1:17), and it will include a reference to Isaiah 9:6.

            Christmas has become a part of the American culture in a way that does not always have to reflect Catholicism. And I believe the church can take advantage of the opportunity it presents much in the same we can talk about the liberty of Christ around Independence Day, about new beginnings in Christ around the New Year, about the rest of Christ around Labor Day and even the resurrection of Christ around Easter without the church recognizing any of these days as a holiday religiously. Just because the world celebrates Easter doesn’t mean I’m not going to remember Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that day, and when I do it doesn’t have to have anything to do with what the religious world is doing.

            If one were to be converted because of a lesson that revolved around the birth of the Word of God and the truth that it contains then glory to God. But I don’t see in any way how their conversion would have to necessarily have any thing to do with telling them where those “stories” are in the Bible. A person can talk about the birth of Jesus (just like Matthew, Luke, John and Paul did) without it having anything to do with Christmas and the same goes with the resurrection. These topics predate manmade holidays.

            As far as celebrating Christmas without a person observing it religiously, they can do it in the same way that the Corinthians were able to eat meat without acknowledging the pagan god that it was sacrificed to. And don’t forget about Romans 14:5-6 while thinking about topics like this.

            I can appreciate your consistency, which is something others seem to lack concerning the matter.

    • Bernard Barton 7:10 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t support christmas at all-I think of Christ every day of the year_ i don’t celebrate Christmas and I don’t say mery christmas to anyone 12 25 isn’t when Christ was born anyhow-we don’t find the word christmas in the Bible at all-let’s rember Christ’s death, burial & resurrection

      • Eugene Adkins 8:55 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, Bernard. Have you ever considered that this time of the year may have very unique “opened door opportunities” to use for truth of the gospel, much in the same way that Paul used the Jewish festivals?

    • Will 8:12 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      It depends entirely on the context and whom you are addressing. Is there not a correct and incorrect way to refer to just about ANYTHING… ? Your question, at least to me, seems insignificant.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:31 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        Here’s the signifance: consistency. To not want to (or to tell others not to) talk about the birth of Christ (his birth – not his birthday) during a time of the year when a lot of people (even non-religious people) are thinking about it but also insist that Merry Christmas should be used (along with using Christmas trees, gifts, etc.) in greetings and conversations seems like a big inconsistency to me.

        To avoid one so we don’t sound denominational (which in fact is scriptural) but to use the other (which actually has denominational roots) just doesn’t make sense and therein is the significance of my question.

    • Chris Barrett 8:32 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      My personal opinion is that there is nothing denominational about either one if we are talking about it from a Christian view. As a Christian my family and I remember the Savior’s death every day and thank God for his love for us. Sadly Christmas, Easter, and death of a loved one are the only time some think of our Lord. I love singing songs, sometimes reserved for this time of year, in the summer months just to rebuke this type of thinking. The Savior’s death is the most important, but the rest of his life from birth to death should and will be taught and remembered.

      As for the word’s “Merry Christmas” I make it a point to wish everyone who walks through my doors a Merry Christmas. To me and my family this is a time of year set aside for family. I will be the first to admit with the busy life style a lot of us have its getting increasingly harder as our children grow older to spend more time with them. My parents always made Christmas about family with a big emphasis on children, from my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. We did not celebrate it as religious or anything associated with bible. It was just a time of love and giving to remind us of what we have together.

      We have all seen the sign “Keep Christ in Christmas” . Let’s change that to “Keep Christ in Everything” I think we all agree the world would be a much better place. I thank God for everyone on this site and others like it. I know it’s an encouragement to me and many good thought provoking lessons are taught here. Merry Christmas to everyone.

    • James Craven 12:32 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      “Christmas has become a part of the American culture in a way that does not have to reflect catholicism.” Who invented the word? “And I believe the church can take advantage of the opportunity it presents…” No thank you , I don’t think that’s what the Restoration was about.

      What is the origin of the phrase “Independence Day” or “New Year’s Day” or “Labor Day” as they are used to describe U.S. holidays? What is the origin of the word “christmas”?

      Did the Corinthians call it “the meal in which we eat meat that was offered to idols but we don’t worship that idol so don’t judge us” meal? Just don’t take my Lord’s name in vain and call it “CHRISTmas”. Please.

      • Eugene Adkins 12:44 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        So I guess you don’t buy presents for anyone at this time of the year then?

        • James Craven 12:55 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          I do not give any more or less gifts to anyone “at this time of the year” than I would give to them at any other “time of the year”.

          Was that a response to one of my comments?

          • Eugene Adkins 1:13 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            So you actually buy gifts for your friends and family every single month? But you just so happen to open them around the 25th of December? Or do you not open presents at all in December?

            I had friends whose family belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and they wouldn’t get presents for their birthday or Christmas but about a month or so later they would get a “special” toy. They did the samething with fireworks. Never made sense to me.

            So you actually give the same amount of presents through out the year to your family as you do in December? That’s some consistency I’ve never seen before.

            What do you call the December presents, and do you have a tree? If so, what do you call it?

      • Eugene Adkins 12:51 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        And by the way, you’re completely ignoring the point about the meat that the Corinthians ate and the point of Romans 14.

        Using the biblical narrative of the birth of Christ to teach others in no way harms scripture – it uses it. And to sit by and waste an opportunity to help someone see the truth is a waste of an opportunity. I suppose you would’ve told Paul to ignore the Jewish feasts and the opportunities they provided since their observance isn’t required under the NT. Paul became what he needed to become to win others to Christ, as long as it didn’t sin against God, and using this time of the year as an opportunity to teach others doesn’t sin against God.

        • James Craven 1:10 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          Let’s look at you original question in your blog.

          If I was sitting in your congregation one Sunday near Christmas and you preached on the “birth of Christ” , I would not say to myself “you harmed scripture”. However , I would feel uncomfortable about it on behalf of any unbaptized/ denominational visitors that might be present. If you prefaced it by saying , “here’s what the world thinks about the word “christmas” and this time of year but what does the Bible say about the birth of Jesus?” , I would no longer feel uncomfortable on their behalf but If you asked me personally (and you did by posting this blog) , I would tell you that if you have to preface it , why do it. I know that leaves you in a no-win situation and that’s why I wouldn’t do it.

          • Eugene Adkins 1:29 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            My friend, if we stopped and explained every jot and tittle to visitors about what we’re doing in worship and how it’s different from the denominational world we’d have to do all explaining and no worshipping. I didn’t grow up in the churches of Christ, and the first time I visited and saw the Lord’s Supper being taken it was a shock to me cause it never occurred to me that anyone other than the Catholics observed it every Sunday. But it wasn’t the church’s responsibility to explain how their observance was different than how other people observed it. It was just their responsibility to observe the truth of the matter. And when it comes to the birth of Jesus I can talk about it without having to explain every nuance of how others are wrong to every single person. I can just preach the truth and use the opportunity to create other opportunities.

    • James Craven 1:31 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      I call “presents” , “presents.

      I do not put trees INSIDE my house “at this time of the year” or at any other time of the year. Do you? What do you “call it”? What does it represent to you? Do you know and understand the pagan origins of the “christmas tree”?

      • Eugene Adkins 1:35 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        So you mean to tell me that it’s just a coincidence that your family gets together in December and opens presents?

        • James Craven 1:39 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          I live in the SAME house with my wife and daughter , it’s not a coincidence! And as I have said before , we buy things for our daughter ALL year long , her birthday is in may if it makes any difference in the conversation we are having.

      • James Craven 1:35 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        I’m glad I attend a congregation that does explain every Sunday morning before we partake in the Lord’s Supper what we are about to observe and partake in.

        • Eugene Adkins 1:49 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          I’m not calling you a liar but I doubt very, very seriously that you explain how all the other observances are wrong when it comes to the Lord’s Supper. You’d be there over an hour just explaining that.

          So no other family or friends come over in December, and you only buy gifts for your wife and daughter, and you just so happen to buy and open gifts in December but it has nothing to do with America’s observance of Christmas???

          The only way you can be consistent with your word is to not buy gifts at all for the month of December. And again, please keep Romans 14:5-6 in mind when it comes to what you’re trying to bind in others. We’re taking about personal observances, not church requirements.

        • James Craven 1:52 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          You got me , I have a friend whose birthday is Dec.9 , and I have bought him a gift before. I will go forward this Sunday , and I promise I will never buy him a gift again.

          • Eugene Adkins 1:57 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            Sarcasm isn’t appreciated, and you’re starting to sound like someone who strains out the gnat but swallows the camel.

    • docmgphillips 12:53 pm on 2013-12-19 Permalink | Reply

      I am a little late, but I have two cents, also. My family has never celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday, but always as a secular holiday. (By the way, holiday comes from “holy day.”) Same with Easter. In fact, we celebrate several special days as secular holidays, even Valentine’s Day. We give thanks to the Lord every day, but we still celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I am afraid we “throw out the baby with the bath water” too often. It seems to me that few celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday any more, even thought they absolutely do give lip-service to the idea. Christmas and Easter have become no more religious than Labor Day or Independence Day in our society.
      Personally, yeah, it does kind of niggle at me when we have a nativity sermon at Christmas; however, if everyone in town is, in some way, tuned to think about Christ at that time, what is the real harm in using that to tell them the truth?

      • James Craven 4:41 pm on 2013-12-20 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, well, then if everyone else is doing it …

        • Eugene Adkins 5:43 pm on 2013-12-20 Permalink | Reply

          James, I’ve told you that I appreciate your consistency but you’re only consistent to a certain extent. You giving gifts in December under the guise of “well, I give gifts at other times of the year too” is just that – a guise. Most people give gifts at different times of the year but they also recognize the real reason they’re giving them during December – because of the holiday. And to the majority it’s a secular holiday full of traditions that have nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus!

          The thing that you’re failing to see is that your sarcastic remark applies to you too because guess what your family is going to be doing this month – opening presents! And you know why? Because everyone else is doing it.

    • James Craven 10:52 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

      When did I ever say I give gifts in December , because it’s December? You asked me if I “buy presents for anyone at this time of the year”. I responded “I do NOT give any more or less gifts to anyone at “this time of the year”. Remember it is you that finds some significance to the month of December , not I. You missed the whole point of my “sarcastic” remark of my childhood friend that I haven’t seen in 20 years. In fact , I will NOT be buying “gifts/presents” for anyone this month.

      I have answered every question you have asked me , even when it got far afield of your original blog question to which I was originally responding. Why did you not answer my question about whether YOU put a tree INSIDE your house at “this time of the year”? What do you call it? What does it represent to you? What is you definition of idolatry? I think the readers of this blog would like your answers to these questions.

      • Eugene Adkins 11:56 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

        Listen closely James, because I’m going to say this very slowly since you’re more interested in arguing and acting self-righteous than you are actually listening to what’s being said and what the Bible says about the principle. I’m not going to argue with you anymore; I’ll just remind about what the Bible says about matters like this:

        One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (Romans 14:5-7)

        Individuals have rights than can be used without forcing it upon the church as a whole. I understand that you’re weak in this area of understanding, so I will not force anything upon you to which you do not agree; but at the same time you must recognize that a person can participate in cultural customs without that custom violating any scriptural principles – and talking about what the scriptures say about the birth of Jesus and giving gifts to friends and family do not violate any tenor of scripture whatsoever!

        I would be very careful about using insinuations that paint me or anyone else who talks about the birth of Jesus and gives gifts to others at this time of the year as idolaters! You’ll be judged the way you judge, and right now you’re judging without righteous judgment because it has no basis from the scriptures at all.

        You don’t have to celebrate Christmas in any form or fashion if that’s what you choose to do, but you can also do that without being judgmental and a jerk to others. If you want to act like a Jehovah’s Witnesses, have at it. I’d say more but unfortunately it would probably bounce off like a rubber ball that hits a brick wall.

      • Eugene Adkins 12:05 pm on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

        I hate it when I do this, but one more thing. You do know that a JW would call you an idolater for giving others a birthday present right? But unlike the way you’re judging me and my personal rights, I in fact believe that you have that personal right and that you can use it without violating any scriptural tenor even though some do with their behavior. You see, James? Do you finally get it?

        And I also bet, metaphorically speaking, that God Bless America around the 4th of July must sound like nails on a chalk board to you, huh?

    • James Craven 11:09 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

      ” MOST people give gifts … but recognize the real reason(?) they’re giving them during December – because of the holiday.” What holiday? CHRISTmas ?!?

      I am so glad I am not “MOST” people. I am a member of a “called out of the world” people.

      “… to the MAJORITY it’s a secular(?) holiday full of traditions that have nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus.”(CHRISTmas!?!)

      Then you won’t mind me asking you to not take my Lord’s name in vain and call it CHRISTmas.

  • Richard Mansel 4:41 pm on 2012-04-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , opinions,   

    Societal Acceptance is not God’s Will 

    I am always dismayed when I hear of society falling back spiritually. Moral decline in the world today is no longer incremental. It is in pure free-fall.

    A school system in Alabama wants to change its policies so gender boundaries will be removed from what people wear. Like everything else in society, this is derived from a fear of being sued.

    A lawyer recently addressed a school board where he:

    “cited a case in Atlanta in which a male employee of the Georgia Assembly’s Office of Legislative Counsel was fired in 2007 after wearing women’s clothing to work.”


    When my children asked why ridiculous rules existed in schools or in society, my answer was always the same. Somewhere along the way, someone was afraid of getting sued. Our entire society is being ruled by paranoid political correctness.

    While the culture is traveling down the wormhole to hell and increasingly bizarre behavior is being rewarded, we must never think that God cares what they think. Before time and culture even existed, God had already decided what He believed and would accept (Psalm 119:89).

    God’s Word will never conform to culture. We can burrow deeper and deeper into the slime but God will never follow us. We must not even “think beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). If God didn’t approve it in Scripture, then it will never be approved (Colossians 3:17).

    Today, we live under the law of the New Testament (Hebrews 9), not American law. God has NEVER taken a public opinion poll and He will never consult us for what we want (Exodus 20:3). We cannot change God or sway him to our side. God doesn’t need our opinions because He knows everything (1 John 3:20; Acts 17:25).

    Truth be told, even in heaven there isn’t any discussion of the issues. God the Father is always the final voice (John 14:10; 16:13). If Jesus and the Holy Spirit can’t alter’s God’s mind, why do we think we will?

    We must follow God, not men. End of story.

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