Why Is This Study Necessary?


Hosea 4:6---"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."

When trying to determine causes for division, we are really left with two options. Rebellion or Ignorance (1 Tim. 6:3-5). Most of our brotherhood is ignorant by choice (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Some are ignorant because our preachers have failed in presenting the "whole council of God" (Acts 20:27)

Many of our brethrens papers are filled with pyscological babble that the attention needs of the listeners should mandate the type of preaching that should be taking place. Our preachers are being told from the pews that they should respect other peoples time and space. They are told that they should be considerate of peoples physical needs, and the comfort levels of listeners should be based upon the comfort of the furniture and the temperature in the room; not by the severity of the preaching. More and more, our preachers are given time limits to present their lessons. The reason being that there is constant pressure from the membership to keep it short and sweet. Our preachers have been told that they should present their lessons in a quick and easy format that does not require a lot of study upon the listeners. [comment: There is not enough time to indoctrinate anyone in fifteen minutes]. Most of our preachers are told to tone down the level of their intensity.

Most of our preachers are not paid very well. This is the only source of their survival and the livlihood of their families. When a preacher has to decide between keeping his job and his family fed, or preaching the truth in it's boldness, he usually takes the safe course. This is a shame when the brethren do not love the truth as they should. This is a shame when brethren do not hold up and support the work of their preachers and their families. In most cases, the occupants of the pews have determined who will be preaching or what will be preached. 2 Tim 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; {4} and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."

This is why we have so many different factions. Because people accumulate their own allegiance, and anyone not in tune with their needs are to be considered outsiders or aliens. This includes brethren who do not see things the same way concerning various elements of the doctrine of Christ. Rather than be embarassed for their lack of knowledge, they will rally behind a person who becomes their spokesperson. Not willing to get into the spiritual warfare themselves, they will support the teachers who will do it for them (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

What we are dealing with is faith. You believe this and I believe that. I have such a faith in my belief that I will share it with others and try to convert them to my system of faith. My system of faith is what I believe the Bible teaches on given subjects. We must also understand that those who do believe the lies have their faith in those doctrines. These people will defend their faith to the utmost. They will stand up for what they believe to be right. Because of this principle, it is not likely that debate will change the opponents. The only hope is that those who are interested in finding out the truth, will be persuaded by our presentation. Both parties in the debate believe that they have the truth on their side. Whether this is a formal debate or a discourse amongst men by mail, e-mail, papers, or books; privately or publicly, each party would like to convert the other to at least tolerance or some varied form of acceptance of their view. Just like those who teach that we should agree to disagree and still maintain fellowship.

That is not what the Bible teaches in 2 John 9-11 "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. {10} If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; {11} for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. (NASB)

Another problem with ignorance is that when the truth is finally preached, the members are too ignorant to recognize it. Also, we have the problem that ignorance allows the introduction of false teaching without controversy. Some of the proponents of the new hermeunetics have printed a guideline for changing churches of Christ. Their guidelines suggest that they start with ignorant congregations that basically just exist. In other words, there is very little zeal or fire keeping their members going. This is the sign of a dead, lifeless, lukewarm, and ignorant church. Their guidlines suggest that they start by going beyond the boundaries of past acceptable practice, and then when the members finally have had enough and start to speak up, that they should tone it down for a while. After the fireworks tone down, then they can continue to introduce new concepts, going a little farther each time. All of this with the intention of destroying the church of Christ as we have traditionally known it.

Dave Miller has written a book titled "Piloting the Straight". I would offer this as some good suggested reading for those interested in the problems facing the Church of Christ today, and see how the opponents of the Church are fighting it from within its borders. However you look at it, the scriptures reveal that it is the individual responsibility of each member (male and female) to study God's word (2 Tim. 2:15). They should do so with diligence, so that they can handle the word of God correctly. They should do this in such a way that they are prepared to answer any questions regarding the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15). They should know their scriptures well enough to recognize false teaching. We should be able to test the spirits to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1). How can we test anything unless we are familiar with the true standard of measurement? In this case, God's Holy Bible is our standard of measurement. When it comes to spiritual guidance, or debate, or discussion, we should always go to a "thus saith the Lord" a.k.a. "Book,Chapter,Verse".

Many christians have shirked their responsibility of studying God's word, and have turned those duties over to the preacher. In many cases people are comfortable with a sound gospel preacher that "really knows his Bible". As long as the preacher presents the word of God from the pulpit, then there is not much need for a study of God's word. I would say that most all of our problems in the church exist because our members have become lax and ignorant. It is because of their ignorance that these false doctrines have been tolerated and introduced.

Most of these doctrines had an origin and many of these can be given some sort of recent birth-date (the time it was publicly introduced by someone). Most of the reasoning from the issue currently under review is less that fifty years old. These people have the same problem with the ancient traditions brought down from our ancestors that the proponents of the new hermeneutics have. Their argument is that we should re-think our past thinking on biblical subjects. Rather than willingly submit to God's authority the way it is written, they will try to cast a shadow over those who hold to the pattern of sound doctrine (2 Tim 1:13).


This is the other major contributing factor. We as humans have the emotional need to be a part or to feel accepted. When we are faithful to God, then we are not acceptable to society. The problem is that too many Christians seek acceptance from society, but are not willing to reject God outright. James said that friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God (James 4:4). John also warns about letting the world become your friend (1 John 4: 1-6; 5:19).

I have preached that the most miserable people on the face of this earth are those who know that they must serve God, but are not willing to give up the world, and try to live both ways. There are many warnings about trying to straddle the fence. When you play near fire, there is a good chance that you will get burned. When you abide near the pig-pen, you will eventually smell like a pig or the smell will not bother you. We have been bombarded by humanism and worldliness from every facet of society. The entertainment, recreation, and social fields all are taking a direct aim at the souls of Christians everywhere. Even our schools are being encouraged to direct children from Christian standards and accept society standards. What is really sad, is when parents encourage and push their children to become acclamated to society and to become an accepted part of it. Some people want to get as close as they can to worldliness without actually stepping in it. The Bible teaches us to flee every form of evil (1 Thess 5:22). The Bible teaches us that the world in general is evil. We should be setting our affections and goals in heaven above where God is (Col 3:1-2).

Once again, we as Christians on the whole have submitted to several of society standards. There are many things which we do now that our parents or previous generations would not tolerate (much less, talk about). Even those of us who have been in the church twenty or more years, have seen the changes in all of our lives. For the most part, it does not even bother us. Brethren, this trend has got to stop. And it must stop with us and not be allowed to be a burden upon the next generation of christians.

Failure To Preach On This Subject

We may have thought that all the arguments were answered many years ago, and they do not need to be addressed again. Since that time, several generations have come along that do not really understand the truth on this subject. Our preachers have neglected to preach on this subject because of its controversial nature. I have heard reports of preachers who know the truth, but witheld that same truth because they were afraid that they would make enemies or cause bitterness on the part of some or all brethren.

Any doctrine that has the consequence of leading a person to Hell, is important enough to be discussed on a regular basis. I know that this is a very emotional subject. There is not a person in the church today who has not been affected by divorce and remarriage by someone close to them. Either a family member, a very close friend, or even themselves have been through this traumatic ordeal.

In our compassion, we try to find ways that these people can pick up the pieces and once again be acceptable to society. In a society that is so loose on commitment standards, there are millions and millions who suffer the consequences of their actions.

On the other hand, salvation is dependent upon our meeting standards that have been established by God. When we change those standards to accomodate the many, we have defiled God's word. His word has given us everything we need pertaining to life and salvation (2 Pet. 1:3). The scriptures give us warnings to refrain from adding to them (Rev 22:18). There are warnings against removing them (Rev 22:19). There are warnings of failure to keep them. There are warnings against changing what God has ordained. God has given us a time and a season and a place for everything (Eccl 3:1). We must keep things where God put them. If God put something in the Mosaic Covenant, then that is where it is to stay. If God through Christ established some laws or principles, then they should remain within the dispensation of Christ. When you try to mix what happened in the Old Testament to doctrines of the New Testament, you have violated that principle. We have been arguing the same argument concerning instruments of music for years, when opponents use Old Testament scripture for justification.

Some Final Thoughts

I know that overall, there is very little interest in this subject. I realize that very few people are spiritually minded enough to read these things. I understand that many are just sick and tired of all this bickering and wish that it would just go away. These things might go away, if people were to respect God's word. If they handled the word of God correctly, then there would be no controversies.

When false doctrine is preached and people accept it because they do not love the truth, then there will be divisions and debates. When people accept false doctrine, then God will allow them to believe these lies (2 Thess 2:11-12). To believe in something means that you must have faith. When we challenge false doctrine, we are challenging the faith of those who promote, teach, and accept it. The same thing would happen if you challenged a denominatinal person concerning their doctrine that they accept, teach, promote, and believe.

There has always been a spiritual warfare between good and evil. There has always been a spiritual warfare within each persons body. Now that the warfare is within the boundaries of the brotherhood, most do not feel that debate is a good thing. As some have said, "when we are fighting amongst ourselves, we are not fighting against Satan and his worldliness". I agree that this is true, but if our doctrine is not pure, what good would it do to fight against Satan? Woe, unto all of us if we do not defend our faith. All Christians must pray and study about all these things. (Phil 4:8). God will bless His faithful children, may you be one of them.

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