Archive for August, 2014

Making Exceptions Where God Doesn’t

August 29, 2014

In I Samuel 15:3 God told King Saul to “go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and” etc. Evidently Saul thought he could make exception to God’s directive. He spared Agag (verse 9), and the best of the animals for sacrifice to God (verse 15). Of course we know the end of the story: Saul’s sin is called “rebellion” (verse 23), and the kingdom of Israel was “rent” from Saul that day (verse 28).

Sometimes God states a rule and then gives an exception. Luke 16:18 paired with Matthew 19:9 is a recognizable case of His doing that. But we don’t have the right to make an exception to one of God’s laws where He has not – like King Saul did.

For example Jerry Falwell correctly understood that passages like Exod 21:22-24 show abortion is wrong, but he said abortion was okay in the cases of rape and incest. Wasn’t Mr. Falwell making two exceptions where God hasn’t?

Consider how many Christians believe it is okay to swear if in a court of law, but Matt 5:34 says to “swear not at all” and James 5:12 says “swear not … by any oath.” Aren’t they also making an exception where God didn’t?

Some brethren who do believe in withdrawal won’t do it with family members – I guess because it is too difficult. But II Thess 3:6 teaches we are to withdraw from “every brother” that leaves the Lord. There is no exception given for family members or close friends.

Titus 2:5 instructs wives to be “keepers at home.” Many gospel preachers say this teaching should be followed as long as the family can afford it. But who has the right to take a command of God and change it into just a recommendation? The last I checked, Titus 2:5 does not state any exception to God’s “keepers at home” law.

God and His New Testament are our ultimate authority. We must submit to it as is – without watering it down by making our own exceptions to it (Heb 5:9).

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Ben Vick’s Argument Against Women Preachers Also Proves God’s Covering Requirement Still Applies Today

August 23, 2014

In his church bulletin on January 20, 2003, gospel preacher Ben Vick made the following sound argument against “women preachers”: Brethren, how can those who claim to be Bible believers and followers of Christ put a woman in a position of authority, teaching over men? No godly woman would put herself in a position such as that! Paul clearly said, “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” … A woman, any woman, is not to teach over a man, nor is she to dominate him. The passage is as relevant in the 21st century as it was in the 1st century, notwithstanding the changes in culture, country and time. Paul showed that a woman is not to teach over a man based on the order of creation …. If the inspired Paul could transcend culture, country and time in giving reasons why a woman is not to teach or usurp authority over man, then, culture, country and time cannot delete the divine dictate that a woman cannot teach, nor have dominion over a man!

Now notice how the exact same “order of creation” argument is made for God’s covering requirement in I Corinthians 11:8-9: For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

If “order of creation” proves God’s prohibition against women preachers is permanent and not cultural in nature, then why wouldn’t the same argument (both used in the same way by Paul) do the same for God’s covering requirement?

Does Acts 2:38 Mean We Are Baptized “Because Of” The Remission Of Sins?

August 16, 2014

Acts 2:38 reads “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This verse clearly makes water baptism essential to the forgiveness of sins.

But some try to get around this plain meaning by saying the word “for” means “because of” such that the verse is saying we are baptized because our sins are already remitted, not in order to obtain said remission. But is that argument sound? It is true our English word “for” can mean “because of,” but the Greek word translated “for” in this text (“eis”) never means that. As a matter of fact, not one standard translation can be produced that translates “eis” as “because of” in Acts 2:38. The prepositional phrase “for the remission of sins” also modifies the verb “repent.” Does Acts 2:38 also mean → repent “because of” the remission of sins already received? That would mean a person would be saved without repenting of their sins.

Consider these illustrations of how the same word is used in other verses:

· Matthew 26:28 reads “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for (eis) the remission of sins.” Did Jesus die “because” sins were already remitted previously by other means?

· Acts 3:19 says “Repent … and be converted, for (eis) your sins may be blotted out.” Does that mean our sins are blotted out before we repent and are converted?

· Romans 10:10 states “with the heart man believeth for (eis) righteousness.” Does God declare us righteous before we believe?

· II Corinthians 7:10 declares “godly sorrow worketh repentance for (eis) salvation. Does that mean we repent because we have already received salvation?

Why one meaning for "eis” in Acts2:38, and another meaning in all these other verses?

We see then that water baptism is unto (in order to obtain) the remission of sins.

Bobby Graham’s Argument Against Women Preachers Also Proves The Covering Is Still Applicable Today

August 8, 2014

My friend and gospel preacher Bobby Graham wrote the following against “women preachers” in the November 2002 issue of Biblical Insights:

Some have … referred to Biblical restrictions on the role of women as merely cultural, reflecting the biases of the society of that ancient day. The truth stands out as quite different. Every passage dealing with such restrictions has within it the reasons for the restrictions, and they never were cultural. In I Corinthians 11 and 14, the apostle Paul very carefully showed that the reasons behind the limitations were related to the creation and to divine law. Likewise in I Tim 2, some of the same reasons were given for the restrictions imposed ….

Now notice how the exact same “creation” argument is made for God’s covering requirement in I Corinthians 11:8-9: For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

If “creation” proves God’s prohibition against women preachers is permanent and not cultural in nature, then why wouldn’t the same argument (both used by Paul) do the same for God’s covering requirement?

Is The Church Of Christ Too Strict?

August 1, 2014

I was talking to a young a lady about the gospel two or three weeks ago and she told me she wouldn’t go to the church of Christ because "it is too strict." Are churches of Christ too strict?

It is very true faithful members of God’s church emphasize the "truth" more than denominational churches. But isn’t that justified considering that verses like John 8:32 teach the truth is the only thing that will make us free from sin?

We don’t deny true Christians consider it very important that we worship God according to His word. Most churches teach we should worship God, but the concept of worshipping the way God has specified doesn’t usually cross their mind. Instead they plan their worship around what would be fun or exciting to them, or what might draw the biggest crowd. The story of Nadab and Abihu in Lev 10:1-2 should cause us to pause along this line. They were worshipping God, but God consumed them with fire because they didn’t worship Him according to His instructions.

When it comes to doctrine, there is no doubt faithful Christians are very strict. We recognize the consequences of playing loose with God’s word because Matt 15:9 says if we teach the commandments of men our worship will be in vain, and because II John verse 9 teaches if we don’t abide in the doctrine of Christ we don’t have God. We recognize that we can’t be saved under those conditions (Heb 5:9).

Really, in light of God’s word on the matter, shouldn’t it be a compliment that someone is "strict" religiously? Indeed God is strict, and we should conform to his strictness (Matt 7:21).