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  • J. Randal Matheny 5:16 pm on 2015-04-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    Change the way we preach? 

    Preaching needs to change in order to adapt to the postmodern mind, says one author. Read this review of the book:


    It’s a review of a book, but you have any thoughts pro or con on it?

    • docmgphillips 5:41 pm on 2015-04-11 Permalink | Reply

      Unless I greatly miss the point, I would throw this book in the garbage. Even if demons can quote Scripture and appear as angels of light (II Corinthians 11:14+), they do not lead one to salvation. If the congregation needs to be entertained instead of being taught the truth, are they saved anyway? If I have missed the point, I apologize, but I still hold for “strong meat” teaching over entertainment.

    • John Henson 9:55 pm on 2015-04-11 Permalink | Reply

      My initial opinion of this review has just three points (right now). 1) The author writes, “According to Sweet, the sure fire way to dampen the spirits of congregations today is to preach clear cut expositions of exegetical treatments that are wrapped up in definitive truth claims, particularly when this is done in a passionless delivery.” The author gives no objective proof of his claim, therefore it is a supposition and not worthy of serious consideration. 2) Textual expository preaching is about focusing on and relating truth that people need to please God. The author seems to think pleasing the audience is the prime concern. The apostle Paul disagreed (2 Timothy 4). 3) Because the author has little use for objective truth (the case could be made that he doesn’t consider there to be any such thing) he would disagree with Romans 1:16 that the gospel is the “power of God unto salvation,” and he disagrees with the apostle Paul again in 1 Corinthians 1:18 when Paul wrote, ” For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB). There is more there, but these are my principle observations.

    • LaraIngalls 1:05 pm on 2015-04-13 Permalink | Reply

      I think the book review reflects a confusion I have long and often found frustrating. The churches of Christ confuse what are fairly clearly defined roles in the church, as per Bible application. A preacher, a teacher, and an elder are not the same, nor do they have the same roles. The hardest to distinguish will be the teacher and the preacher; academically, one could call the difference between a lecturer (preacher) and an instructor (teacher). There is most certainly a different skill set required, while having some overlap and thus frequently performed by the same person: the hired preacher. An elder should provide church leadership.

      The main problem the book states appears to be (as quoted by the reviewer): ‘The majority of people in the majority of churches are not engaged in any significant ministry or mission. Christians have become passive spectators in worship rather than active participants. (24)’. For me personally, this is a symptom of a lack of leadership, not of preaching/ teaching. People may know what to do, but to put it into practice is an entirely different matter – and this requires leadership. Church of Christ leadership comes from Elders, not the pulpit or teaching podium.

      As for modernisation of preaching for the new generation, there again is a distinction to be made. Modernising the content is NOT required, since the Bible’s central message, Jesus, is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Modernising teaching/ preaching method and style might require some attention, for sure. As technology moves on in leaps and bounds, it is up to any good educator/ public speaker to see how they can be harnessed to enhance their message. But please do not introduce gimmickry, nor should one reject content rich messages merely to pander to the masses. If one wants to introduce story telling, Jesus’ parables are still as realistic and relevant today as they always were. All simple and educated understand the process of farming (and thus will catch the meaning in the parables of the Sower (Matthew 13)) or have first hand experience of cleaning to find an item (parable of the Lost Coin, Luke 15). That is the masterful way the Holy Bible was written, to truly make it relevant yesterday, today and forever.

      The church of Christ attracts and retains people because of their love of GOD, and their practicing of true religion: to love the LORD and to love one another (Matthew 22:37-39); to actively help of those who cannot help themselves, such as widows and orphans and strive to be ‘unspotted from the world’ (James 1:27). Anyone who is not “on board” with this message in heart, mind, spirit – and actions – is not really “on board” with the church.

  • Ed Boggess 8:39 am on 2015-03-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching,   

    I am nearing three score and ten, just a couple more years. I’ve been preaching for nearly half a century. It is a time of life that many set aside their work and retire to other activities. But my chosen path does not allow for such a choice. In all the years I’ve lived, the need for the word of God has never been greater. I like to think of myself as a gospel preacher. Gospel means “good tidings” and that is what I prefer to focus upon. But times have changed and while the good news is still relevant, evil days are ever more so prevalent. I’d rather declare the love of God for all, but as Jesus Himself said, “when lawlessness abounds, the love of many grows cold.” Lawlessness abounds, sinfulness flourishes, iniquity overflows, wickedness thrives, perversity infests and the faithful faint, the righteous relapse, the godly decline, and Christians everywhere weaken. This is not time to quit; it is time to remain steadfast. This is Just-A-Minute.

    • J. Randal Matheny 8:42 am on 2015-03-19 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve seen some who, with increasing age, go soft doctrinally. I give thanks for those like yourself who keep a balance and do not turn blind eye to evil in the world and in religion.

    • Bernard Barton 8:58 am on 2015-03-19 Permalink | Reply

      Ed, I am pass the age of retirement(72+)but there is still a need to get God’s Word out to the world so I guess I will not retire until I can no longer preach(teach) the truth and a church wants me who so desires to hear the truth

  • TFRStaff 6:41 am on 2014-10-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , preaching   

    Hugh's News & Views (Growing A Church . . .) 


    “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God” (Colossians 2:18-19, NASB, emphasis mine, hf).

    Having been a preacher of the gospel for some sixty years, and having served as a local minister for over forty years (but still busy preaching every week), I believe I have some qualifications to address the subject of church growth. Since I am a preacher, I will write primarily from the preacher’s viewpoint. Thus, what I say could be viewed as my philosophy of preaching and church growth. (More …)

  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on 2014-10-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , preaching,   


    A sermon, in many churches, is just a word of encouragement relative to the daily struggles in life. It is the opinion of some that since people struggle with various things throughout the week, the last thing one wants to hear is an exhortation to shaping one’s life in accordance with godly standards. This sounds too hard, and enough negativity has already occurred for the saints, that another negative is not desired, much less will it be heard. This, I suggest, was why Israel departed from the Lord’s way many years ago. Consider Deuteronomy 28. There are 68 verses in the chapter, and only 14 can be considered positive, or encouraging. Why did the Lord put this kind of “out of balance” on His exhortations? It was a warning, but it was also a prophecy (31:29). Godly sermons are to focus on godly exhortations that have both a positive and negative quality to them. When the Lord said something about marriage and divorce, the saints are to hear what the Lord said and be warned. When the Lord said something about the promise of heaven, the saints are to hear and be encouraged. Let us preach and insist on only biblical sermons.

    • Jack 7:48 am on 2014-10-14 Permalink | Reply

      Deuteronomy 28 is only the end of a sermon by Moses, that begins at Deuteronomy 26:16: In which Moses reaffirms the terms and obligations of GOD’s Covenant with Israel as they are about to enter the promised land.

      But for us, ” the law was given by Moses: grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:9-17)

      ” Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without GOD in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, ” (Ephesians 2:11-14)

      ” Therefore be imitators of GOD, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to GOD as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
      For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and GOD. ” (Ephesians 5:1-5)

  • TFRStaff 6:30 am on 2014-09-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blind beggar, , , Personal Work, Pharoah's heart, preaching, the church and the kingdom   

    September 2014 Issue of Christian Worker 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • Is the Church the Kingdom? (Tim Ayers)
    • The Hardening of Pharoah’s Heart (Sam Willcut)
    • The Placid Pulpit (Rick Popejoy)
    • The Blind Beggar (David B. Jones)
    • “I Want to be a Soul Winner for Jesus” (Sam Willcut)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:09 am on 2014-08-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , preaching,   

    Some links to articles and other sites you might be interested in 

    Read a great article yesterday, with a good attention grabbing title, written particularly for preachers. If you preach I think it’s worthy of your consideration…it reminds us of a few basic guidelines just in case we’ve forgotten about them.

    There is a very good post on Apologetics Press about the role of men and, particularly, women in the church. It’s a lengthy read due to the nature of the topic but it’s an article that can be gleaned for notes; especially the section on the  “office of a deaconess” in case you’re not familiar with the typical arguments presented with that topic.

    For those of you who are interested in adding some older circulated books of the spiritual nature that are sourced and written by various authors about various topics to your personal library, you can check out this website that I found a couple of weeks ago. The site has a long list of titles (literally hundreds of them) and the vast majority of them are under 5$. According to the site’s host, Michael Wilk, these books are coming out of his personal library that he’s looking to clear out. P.S. – I’m not getting any kick-backs here; I just know there are several book chomping readers that browse the pages of TFR and I thought some might be interested since the site has books and other materials that I’m sure are out of print by now, thus making the materials difficult to find but not necessarily “old” or useless in scope.

    Speaking of TFR, some of you regular readers here may not be familiar with TFR’s good ole’ buddy from the American west coast, and former “Twice Blessed” article writer for Forthright Magazine, Don Ruhl and his blog-site called “Email Devotionals“. I know it’s easy to get bogged down with daily articles in your email in-box, but with Email Devotionals, Don keeps achieving the same goal that he accomplished with Forthright – two, quick and to the point Bible based articles every day.

    If you ever know of a good website associated with the brotherhood with resources worth passing along, make mention of it in the comments. Someone might be blessed with it!

  • John T. Polk II 6:00 am on 2014-07-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , preaching, , , ,   

    (#196) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:18-Be Happy 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”

    “Revelation” (“vision” in the King James Version) refers to God’s inspired Word. As God miraculously led His people, he spoke to them through a “prophet:” “So the LORD said to Moses: ‘See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land’” (Exodus 7:1-2). Moses then became “the prophet” (Numbers 12:6-8) through whom God’s Law was given (Deuteronomy 34:9-12), and by following that written Law, the nation of Israel would remain separate from other peoples (Joshua 23:6-8). After Moses, unless God inspired a prophet to call the people back to that written Law, they forgot God: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). “Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation” (1 Samuel 3:1).

    King Zedekiah is an example of what this proverb is saying: “He did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 36:12). Even though Christ’s Law has been given, people sin when they made to think there is no Law of God that applies to them: “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).

    The New Testament is the written Law of Christ and God has not had a prophet since it was written: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Whatever people say to demean, diminish, or destroy their confidence in God’s Word does not change God’s Word: “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit” (Jude 17-19). Christians are admonished: “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13-14), because God’s written Word is our Judge, for Jesus said: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

    Where sin abounds is a fertile field for preaching and teaching the Word of God, for Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17).

    “The revelation” from God is in our Bible – Be “happy!”

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • Eugene Adkins 8:09 pm on 2014-07-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , preaching, ,   

    Video Sermon: The Power of God’s Truth 

    Here’s the lesson by a brother named Eddie Sanders that I mentioned a few weeks back. (Err, scratch that. I’m going to leave the link but that lesson outline was from Monday night; the video is from Tuesday night) It was recorded by some brothers doing some local studio work for GBN.

    I’ll let brother Sanders’ lesson speak for itself.

  • Ed Boggess 8:11 am on 2014-06-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    The Reader’s Digest once ran this potent one-liner: “It is a fool who believes his light shines brighter by blowing out another’s candle.” Paul told Timothy that the work of a preacher is to “preach the word, reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering & doctrine”. The challenge of every preacher is to reprove and rebuke without blowing out somebody’s candle. How do you correct error and denounce false doctrine without appearing to be judgmental and harsh? Now do you rebuke sin & reprove non-Biblical views without appearing holier-than-thou? If I shut my mouth, woe unto me for I am called to speak. If I open my mouth, woe unto me for I am misunderstood. If I pick my words and choose my phrases so as to offend none and please everyone, woe unto me for I have sold out to Satan. I am no wiser or better than the next man but to close my eyes to sin and error is refusing to throw a lifeline to a drowning neighbor. This is Just-a-Minute

  • Ed Boggess 7:57 am on 2014-06-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , preaching,   

    A Nashville woman once told me, “Brother So-and-so is my favorite preacher; he is such a good story teller.” It was Spurgeon who said illustrations in a sermon are like windows, but a sermon should not be all windows. A good story helps at times, but I’ve heard sermons that were built several stories too high. With Jesus, every parable had a point and the point was made to pierce complacent consciences and prick sin-hardened hearts. Today, every story has another. Preachers rise and stand before half-empty pews and parrot pious phrases and repeat revised refrains until the time is up, the money collected, and the sleepers awake. What is needed today is not another storyteller, but a man with a soul-piercing, Christ-centered, heaven-sent message from God. This is Just-a-Minute

    • Bernad Barton 9:21 am on 2014-06-19 Permalink | Reply

      AMEN!!! Brother
      If you want stories just listen to False Teachers

  • Michael Summers 12:01 am on 2014-06-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arkansas Angels, Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, , , , preaching   

    How Neil Diamond Motivated My Preaching 

    When I was a student majoring in Bible at Freed-Hardeman College (it now goes by University), occasionally I received invitations to preach at small churches. When I drove to those appointments, which often were as far as a hundred miles away, I would pop an eight-track tape cassette into my player to help me stay alert. I played a variety of songs, but I had one song that I played every time I drove to preach: Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.” Its description of people coming from throughout the countryside to hear the dynamic Brother Love preach invigorated me and help me focus on what I would say as well as the needs of the people to whom I would say it. It reminded me that a variety of people with all sorts of agendas would assemble for worship that day. The reference to crying babies reminded me that not all would be there because they chose to be. The song told me (and Neil Diamond may not have had this in mind at all) that all these people needed to hear God’s message of love through Jesus and that I might help them hear it or block their reception of it by what I said and how I said it. The lyrics challenged me to preach compassionately but fervently.

    Among the biblical passages that shaped my approach to preaching was 2 Timothy 4:1-8. Those verses resonated with me early in life as I heard my mother and my great-grandmother Taylor discuss how my great-grandfather loved those verses. Joe A. Taylor came to be identified with the phrase “Preach the Word” in many of the congregations to which he preached in Arkansas, Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida. Verse 7 was engraved on my father’s tombstone: “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” These verses emphasize that preachers must proclaim the message of the Lord with faithfulness; they also warn that that the task demands spiritual stamina and love for God. When one considers their message in the greater context of 2 Timothy, he discerns the importance of the heritage of the faithful: Timothy learned the Scriptures from his mother and grandmother; he learned from the apostle Paul to teach faithful men who could teach others.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:15 am on 2014-05-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching   

    The, tongue in cheek, woe of a 2014 preacher 

    I woke up this morning ready to go but my notes already beat me to it.

    I could find them if it wasn’t for space, the vast black hole that’s the center of my desk.

    Computers abound, PC and apple, with a tablet and smart phone in the mix.

    But the computing power all starts to drown when my paper notes are amiss.

    I would pay my kid to find where they’re at, but they would get distracted as well.

    For scattered abroad in this organized mess are kid’s pictures and their drawing papers too.

    What will I preach if I can’t find my notes, what will become of my woe?

    Wait a second, right there, right there, it’s the place I knew I wouldn’t forget.

    What a relief, oh what a relief, now time can go back to pulling out my hair!


    P.S. – I know every line doesn’t rhyme – that’s why I’m a preacher and not a poet. And it’s hard to think straight when you’re looking for your notes 🙂

  • Ron Thomas 3:12 pm on 2014-05-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , preaching, , work hours   

    Time Sheet 

    Every now and again I will be asked what it is that I do during the course of the day. It was but a month ago that I decided to prepare my own “time sheet.” This was the result of one who asked me when I thought he should have known. Thus, this past Thursday (5/22) this is what I did. Perhaps this will be of interest for some, perhaps not for most. Every preacher is different and so would be their schedule of activities throughout the course of the day. There is some consistency to my days, but enough variety that flexibility is the norm.

    THURSDAY: Arrived at 3:30am. Bible reading: 2 Kings 17-19, with textual study of 8:25-29 (4:41am). Bible reading: Isaiah 52-53, with textual study of 53:12, and working on article for Gospel Gleaner (6:04am). Nap (6:10-20am). Bible reading: Luke 11-12 (6:45am). Civic Center, return, shower (8:00am). Bible reading: Luke 13-14 (8:35am). Bible reading: Ephesians 1-4 (9:00am), 5-6 (9:38am). Read Gospel Advocate article on Mark 16:9-20 (9:10am). Nap (9:30am). Read a portion of the book “Like a Thief in the Night” (9:48am). Read research material on “616” of Revelation 13:18 for BVBID (10:03am). Bible reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-2, with textual study of 2:1-8 (11:06am). Bulletin for Sunday (12:15pm). Took church lawnmower to Lambdin, did some errands (1:15pm). Heading toward Bible Study in Hammond (1:30), Chuck Norris met me in Hammond to attend; we finished at 2:50pm.

    • Eugene Adkins 4:52 pm on 2014-05-25 Permalink | Reply

      You’re tough enough to study the Bible along side Chuck Norris??? And a lawn mower? With Chuck around I’m surprised that the grass isn’t too scared to grow!

      Bet that fella never hears the end of it, huh? 😉

      On a more serious note…oh, wait, it’s time for my 4:55 nap 😉

      Hang in there brother, and keep up the good work.

      • Ron Thomas 5:54 pm on 2014-05-25 Permalink | Reply

        That’s funny. On May 25, 2014 4:52 PM, “The Fellowship Room” wrote:


  • TFRStaff 6:37 am on 2014-04-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , preaching   

    April 2014 Issue of Christian Worker 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • What Church Membership Means (Don Prather)
    • Why I’m Rearing My children WITH Religion (Sam Willcut)
    • Some Do’s and Don’ts for Preachers (Carl B. Garner)
    • Young People and the Guarding of Their Influence (Roger Jackson)
    • Raising the Banner of Error (Kevin Cauley)
    • “What is RIGHT with It?” (Pat McIntosh)
    • “I Do Not Preach on That” (Rob L. Whitacre)
    • An Unnecessary Exercise (Dan Winkler)
    • All of Our Divisions (Don Prather)
    • The Parable of the Hammer

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • John T. Polk II 11:51 am on 2014-04-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , preaching,   

    Calendar Apostasy (finis) 

    Joseph, let me finish this conversation on “fellowshiproom.org” with some comments, and if you have further questions, we can privately discuss them.

    Original article:

    If they did so [continued celebrating Passover], it was without any authority from God. From Colossians 2:13-17 we learn that the cross of Christ: (1) “wiped out” Moses’ Law with none remaining (just like a sinner’s sins, Acts 3:19); (2) took Moses’ Law “out of the way” (removed it from further use, like sins, John 1:29); (3) “nailed” Moses’ Law at the same time (if there is no “judgment,” there is no law to enforce, Romans 4:15)

     You said: I think that’s a pretty radical reading of Colossians 2:13–17. [Joseph, it’s not “radical reading” to stress the exact words of the text, and then accept it’s teaching. You seem to resort to “radical reading” by looking into the words “bond,” “curse,” “elemental spirits” in passages you use. It is hardly objective to call my procedure “radical reading” and resort to the same thing yourself!] Let’s look at what the Scripture actually says (I’ll even be nice and use a good Protestant translation, the ESV):[What you term “a good Protestant translation” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely accurate. I find the NKJV a more consistently accurate translation.]

    You said: The “bond” is the record of those trespasses, which under the Law, we were legally bound to expiate. What Jesus canceled was not the Law, but this bond, and the legal requirements of the Law upon a Christian. [If what Christ “wiped out” was a written record of our personal sins, how would this prevent being judged “in food or in drink,” “a festival or a new moon or sabbaths?” And if that was the “shadow of things to come,” what was to come? Your interpretation is not consistent with this context. But if what Christ “wiped out” was Moses’ Law, then Christ’s death frees from personal sin and  the food and drink, festival, new moon, and sabbaths requirements of Moses’ Law. AND Christians should no longer follow the “shadow,” but the “substance” of Christ’s Law!] As he says in Galatians, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law” (Galatians 3:13) — He did not “wipe away” the Law itself. [Moses’ Law contained “the curse,”(Deuteronomy 21:23). Jesus became “the curse of the law” when He was crucified (Galatians 3:13-14). If the “curse” is removed, then the law with that “curse” is removed. If not, why not?] If that were the case, why would the Law itself (the Torah) still be an essential part of Christian Bibles? [“to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:19-29)]

     What is called a “Christian calendar” is the Catholic calendar of their designated times for spiritual emphasis. However, the New Testament church of Christ never re-enacted events in Jesus’ life, but preached His life, death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven,  that people could believe in Him (Luke 1:1-4; John 20:30-31; 21:25; Mark 16:15-16). Jesus was born, lived, and died under Moses’ Law (Galatians 4:4-5), but in His death, He removed that Law (Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 10:9-10). According to Hebrews 10:9, what “first” did Jesus “take away” and what did Jesus “establish” as the “second” which saves us today?

     It is easy to slip into unscriptural practices by imitating those who practice false religious ways, as Paul warned (2 Timothy 4:1-5), instead of imitating those who are pleasing to God (1 Corinthians 4:15-16; 2 Corinthians 10:18).

    —–John T. Polk II

    • docmgphillips 1:20 pm on 2014-04-19 Permalink | Reply

      I have followed this discussion with interest. Perhaps we are arguing semantics; perhaps not. I have never celebrated Christmas nor Easter as religious holidays. They definitely are NOT! However, I have always celebrated Santa Claus Day and Easter Bunny Day as secular holidays, and have allowed my children to do the same. They understood from early on that there was nothing sacred nor religious about those days. After all, we celebrate 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and St. Valentine’s Day (wasn’t he a Catholic?). Personally, I see no harm in holidays as long as we understand that they have no religious connotation. We cannot control the world, but we can control what we, ourselves, believe.
      With that understanding, what is the problem? Can we not be “in” the world but not “of” the world?

      • RichardS 5:56 pm on 2014-04-19 Permalink | Reply

        When I was growing up my family celebrated Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s day, St.Valentine’s day, and halloween. However, as an adult Christian, I don’t see how I can observe or celebrate those days (which are steeped in pagan rituals) and be “unspotted from the world” (Jas 1:27) or not “conformed to the world” (Rom 12:2). The other national holidays that you mentioned, as far as I know, don’t involve any pagan rituals.

    • Joseph Richardson 1:29 pm on 2014-04-19 Permalink | Reply

      So you said that you “stress the exact words of the text.” And I “look into” the meaning of the words. Is this not the same thing? Should we not take the words for what they mean, and understand the context?

      If what Christ “wiped out” was a written record of our personal sins, how would this prevent being judged “in food or in drink,” “a festival or a new moon or sabbaths?

      Who do you think is doing the judging here? This is not talking about divine judgment. Paul says, “let no one pass judgment on you.” He is speaking, as I’ve said several times, to the exact situation that was occurring with the Romans and Galatians. Judaizers — those who taught that observance of the Torah was necessary for salvation in Christ — were passing judgment on Gentile Christian believers, who did not keep such observance. Paul says that because Christ canceled the bond of debts, He set us free from the legal demands of the Law. We are no longer bound in Christ to keep the Torah.

      And if that was the “shadow of things to come,” what was to come?

      Salvation in Christ by faith. Is this not basic Christian theology?

      But if what Christ “wiped out” was Moses’ Law, then Christ’s death frees from personal sin and the food and drink, festival, new moon, and sabbaths requirements of Moses’ Law.

      Yes, exactly — Christ’s redemption frees us from the legal requirements of the Law, to keep festivals, etc. But it does not forbid them, which is what you care claiming.

      And Christians should no longer follow the “shadow,” but the “substance” of Christ’s Law!

      That isn’t what Paul says here at all. You are interpolating a meaning that is not there. As I have shown, Paul, a Jew, as well as other Jewish Christians, “kept the Law zealously,” and did not see any contradiction between this and their salvation in Christ. How do you explain this discrepancy?

      I find the NKJV a more consistently accurate translation.

      Fine. Let’s use that one. It says basically the same thing.

      If the “curse” is removed, then the law with that “curse” is removed. If not, why not?

      Why would it be? Jesus Himself said, “Assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18) Are you contradicting the words of our Lord?

      I will not argue with you about “unscriptural practices” and “false religious ways,” since that is an entirely different argument. You are asserting meanings from Scripture that simply are not there.

      If you’d like to email me, my address is joseph.t.richardson@gmail.com. But I welcome any other input from the community and am perfectly content to keep the discussion here.

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