Weekly Bulletin Articles
In the beginning of time, everything God created was perfect. After each division of His creation, God “...saw that it was good” (cf. Gen. 1). Adam and Eve formed the first home, the oldest of God’s divine institutions (Gen. 2:21-25). It wasn’t long before there was trouble in paradise; sin entered into this world (Gen. 3:1-6). Mankind has suffered the consequences of sin ever since that tragic day in Eden. Solomon wrote, “There is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not” (Eccl. 7:20).
In the New Testament, Christ created another divine institution, His church (Acts 2:1-47). The book of Acts is a history of the establishment and growth (about 30 years) of the church of Christ. The church, as Christ planned it, is like “heaven on earth.” She truly was a spiritual paradise until sin raised its ugly head, and the church became corrupted; consequently, again, there was trouble in paradise.
Many years ago, I was privileged to be a student in one of the late brother G. K. Wallace’s Bible classes. In one class session, a student asked brother Wallace, “What does the church of Christ teach...,” and before he could complete his question, brother Wallace replied, “Just about anything!” We all laughed! But, now, it’s no laughing matter. The church, God’s spiritual paradise is in deep trouble.
In the late 40s and throughout the 50s, the church faced the problem of brethren denying the right of the church to financially support, from her treasury, a home for orphans operated by brethren; along with congregations cooperating with each other in the field of evangelism. Our great brotherhood was torn asunder. Indeed, there was trouble in paradise.
In the 60s and 70s the church faced the problem of Pentecostalism. During the early 80s until now, there has been a steady drift into liberalism. The ultra-conservative brethren sought to bind upon the brotherhood what God had not bound. Now, our liberal brethren are seeking to loose what God has bound. To do this, they have come up with a cry for a new hermeneutic in Biblical interpretation and a denial of any New Testament pattern for the church to follow. Who among us would have ever dreamed the beautiful bride of Christ would experience so many departures from the faith? The apostle Paul wrote of those who would give “...heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”
(I Tim. 4:1). These “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” are running rampant in the church, and it’s later than most seem to think. What, then, has destroyed this paradise?
We have allowed at least two generations to “come up in the church” who have little, if any, concept of what is meant when we speak of scriptural authority. We have far too many preachers who either: 1) do not believe in the necessity of having scriptural authority for our beliefs and practices, or 2) they are afraid to preach sermons that teach the necessity of having scriptural authority for all we do (cf. Col. 3:17). Our pulpits, in many cases, have become weak and inefficient in preaching the Gospel of Christ. When the sermons we hear Sunday after Sunday could be preached in most any denominational church, without any disapproval, it’s no wonder the church is in such serious trouble.
The old pioneer preachers often referred to the church as the “ship of Zion.” Brethren, we can turn this “ship” around. How? By getting back to the basics by teaching God’s word in its completeness. Let’s return to demanding a “thus saith the Lord” for what we preach and practice. Let’s let the denominational world know there is a vast difference between them and us. The true church of Christ is militant and distinctive in doctrine and practice. If we will “speak as the oracles of God” (I Peter 4:11), the true church will be restored in all its pristine glory. Then, like Joshua of old, we will have good success (Josh. 1:8). Think about it.