Volume 6 Number 11
Examination of the Perfect
It is so interesting that when we come to eat the Lord's supper, we are to examine self--I Cor. 11:28. When we give our money on the Lord's day, we are to examine self--II Cor. 9:7. We can show the Lord how great and good we are by babbling all our criticisms. When the song leaders stand up to lead the congregation, all of the pent-up complaints, condemnations, bitterness, murmuring and backbiting is let loose by some dumb brethren. I sometimes think it would be help if Almighty God had somehow devised for an extra bucket of brains to be placed in some of our church buildings--but of course He did not. It is beneath the absurd to think that every member of a congregation is defiled, wicked, evil, unsound and corrupt, just because one of the elders, the preacher or some of the members are unfaithful. We cite the reader to the words or our Lord who spoke to the church in Sardis. Study very carefully the plight of that ancient church. Try to be honest as you study. Sardis was ready to die. It had a name, but it was of no value. The church was in horrible shape and needed to repent. Jesus declared, ["Thou has a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments. And they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy"]--Rev. 3:1-4. Were these few people condemned or considered unworthy because the majority was? I wonder if faithful were worthy enough to lead a scriptural song at Sardis. These few were of such nature ["as to walk with the Lord."] Were the " fit'n" to walk and sing with the Master? Do not sneer at these observations but face them with honesty. Frankly, I would be completely ashamed to tag along with a sower of discord. who was so completely [shallow as to condemn] every member of a congregation -- which did not meet his foolish standards. If my reasoning is correct, accept it. If it is faulty, reject it. Shame on brethren who refuse to think properly.
My last point of reference is taken from Paul's letters to the church in Corinth. I assume my brethren will agree that the apostle wrote two letters to Corinth by inspiration. It may be an unfounded assumption to think that some brethren will accept the letters without quibbling or doubting. I say this because no group on Earth is more adept at spot-receiving and rejecting, than some of my brethren.
In the first Corinthian letter, we learn that it was addressed to the church, purchased by the blood--I Cor. 1:1-2, and called to be saints. However righteous or ridiculous the people were, Paul said ["I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ"]--I Cor. 1:4ff. I wonder if even one member was fit'n to lead a song in order to pass the screening of some Holy man or a Holy Spirit filled "discerner of spirits," or a foolish sower of discord. There would be no way a member of the church in Corinth could be fit to do anything in the name of Christ. Perfect people have no use for mere humans.
The church at Corinth was not exactly perfect, and not nearly as perfect and pure as some of the present hypocritical leaders who manage to scrape together some blind followers. That old church was troubled with various divisions--1:11. There were those who were carnally minded--3:1. Somebody caused trouble over eating the meats--chapter 8, which resulted in envy, strife and more division. Some of the people rejected the inspired apostle--4:3. They were full of pride and puffed up--4:6,8. The church was troubled with fornicators--5:1. Then there was the matter of going to law with brethren--6:16. Then, as now, the terrible problem of marriages and divorces prevailed--7:11ff. A terrible problem arose over the Lord\rquote s supper and some of the people got drunk--11:21. As if that wasn't enough, the brethren were clamoring over spiritual gifts--12:1ff. The matter of speaking in tongues was a sore spot--14:20. There were some of the people who had gone so far as to deny the resurrection of the dead--I Cor. 15:2.
With all those terrible problems in that church, there probably was not one soul in that unsound church who could consistently lead a song. There were many who were weak and sickly--11:30. There were some who were asleep. Do you think the apostles would shake hands with one of the brethren in Corinth? Was the entire church unsound? If the whole congregation was so unsound, sorry, sordid and shameful as to cause brethren to be completely aloof therefrom, pray tell why did Paul send Timothy to Corinth? Was Timothy sent to lead the singing? Would he refuse to shake hands with all of the church members?
I am not advocating wholesale acceptance of worldliness among church members but I am pleading for the use of common sense and sound reasoning among brethren. A misuse of zeal if the foundation of cultism and, sadly, there seems to be a steady stream of followers where cults flourish.
When we study each of the problems which existed in the church at Corinth. I wonder if present lily-white babblers and their dumb supporters would even dare to read the letters which Paul wrote to that sinful group of people in Corinth.
There is not one thing more sickening, disgusting, preposterous and silly than to have some ignorant Pharisee standing over in the corner trying to play like he is perfect while condemning all others--Luke 18:11. The wickedness is compounded when such creeps are able to influence others, which always seems to be the case.
How completely stupid, narrow, arrogant and absurd for on to condemn a brother who worships at Sardis or Corinth.
I walked inside the Villages church building on a Sunday morning. There were three men standing in the vestibule. I shook hands with two of the brethren and extended my had to the other dim-wit. He said, " I'm not gonna shake your hand. You are a false teacher." The two brothers saw this as an act of stupidity, but they are elected to tag along after the sower of discord--Prov. 6:19. As far as I could understand, I was a false teacher because I refused to turn my back on the elders and preacher of a nearby congregation. I declare it is sad that stupidity isn't painful.
Tell me how do you know a brother is unsound when you do not even know the brother? Tell me how do you know a certain brother is wicked, defiled and a sinner when you haven't heard him teach false doctrine. Tell me how do you know a certain brother is a false brother when he worships at Corinth or Sardis? How do you know a certain congregation or a brother is unsound, unfaithful, heretical and evil just because some ignorant nut so declares? To the above questions, I would have to say, I do not know. I could not know when I do not even know the brother who has been accused by some moronic sower of discord.
No religious group on Earth has more two-faced, semi-illiterate, inconsistent, Pharisee, dim-wits per capita than can be found in congregations where a sign reads -- CHURCH OF CHRIST. One dough-headed fellow can direct any number of thoughtless creeps when the religion of the devil and Diotrephes is followed--III John 9. We cannot afford to be so careless and indifferent and eventually end up in hell with such long-tongued detractors.
A preacher recently said to me, "I hate to think of how it hurts to spend years working, toiling and laboring to build up a good work -- only to have some reprobate come in and destroy it". We seem to have a never-ending line of people who want to cause trouble and tear down what others have built up. Such religious fools can usually find helpers.
I have grieved, shed tears and have tried to move onward while reflecting upon the destruction of what once was a growing vibrant, peaceful congregation. Why brethren will give place to the devil and his imps is very hard to swallow--Eph.4:27. Yes, I can relate in part to the broken heart of my great godly and illustrious teacher who also was treated worse than a dog.
Insofar as I know, I have never had anyone to refer to me before as a false teacher. If I am a false teacher, I have no idea of anything false that I may have taught. Surely, with all that I have been able to preach and write for more than one half century if my work was false some of the faithful brethren would be aware of it, point it out to me and try to help me. I think anyone with good sense would point out my mistakes. It matters not how careful one might be in studying, preaching the truth and trying so very hard to live right, it is the case that some brethren had rather follow a nut, a rabble-rouser, a sower of discord. Do not waste time attempting to humor hogs--Luke 15:15.
--Wayne Coats, Editor
People, Places, Things
While looking for something else, I found a church bulletin which announced that two people had a great number of new guppies which had been born. Such crazy, fool notions is about as profound as some church bulletins can get. Of course such mirrors the quality of elders who tolerate such retardants.
Many thanks beyond expression for the cookbook information sent by one of our dear readers. The cookbook information is titled ["A Variety of Pack Favorite Recipes-Maricamp Road Church of Christ."] The very first recipe was telling how to make Tennessee Eggnog using some two spoons of whiskey for each cup. For several cups that would necessitate a lot of whiskey. If possible, I would like for the sender of the recipe to find out of the Church of Christ elders make the Church of Christ whiskey in the Church of Christ basement. When I start bootlegging moonshine, the Maricamp Road Church of Christ might be a convenient source. How does one underestimate the ignorance of some folks?
Two good men from the Madison congregation have called this week expressing their genuine thanks to me for writing about the problems, discord and division which has occurred in the congregation. What I have written has been that which I have received from various members and former members of the Madison church. My purpose in presenting matters in the "Plumbline" is to warn brethren who care enough about matters to be concerned.
Two more young men from Madison sent their venom to me, actually threatening me. I did not think the followers of Christ acted in such depraved manners. I did not cause the wicked division at Madison or anywhere else. I certainly have sense enough to refrain from sowing seeds of discord. I have seen the results of some dim-wit, mis-fit, jealous bigot causing division. This is always easy when brethren allow their head to be filled with sawdust.
I am not as strong physically as I used to be and cannot stand for long and present the teaching of the Grand Old Book, but I can sling ink until the ink-wells run dry. If some young Madison novitiate wants to take pen in hand an attempt to justify division and discord, I will be ready to meet the same and present such pointers in the "Plumbline." I have no fears that anyone will accept my offer. The one thing worse than a liberal is a cowardly liberal.
Elders used to oversee the flock and keep ravening wolves out, but now, in any number of places, the high and mighty invite wolves in packs who will not spare the flock. What crimes are committed in the name of religion by disguised wolves?
May God bless that small number at Madison who refuse to give place to the devil--Eph. 4:27. I stand ready to help in the interest of truth. Some of the rabble-rousers had rather welcome Satan or Bin Laden into the pulpits as to see sound preachers stand before the congregation and oppose the devil.
A very kind and gracious person sent me an announcement where Dr. Albert Lemmons, of Rubel Shelley's church in Nashville, would be presenting "Six Lessons on the Prayer Life of Albert Muller," who lived in England back in the 19th century. The Twickenham Church in Huntsville, Alabama was desperate for a speaker and a subject. Dr. Lemmons could have doctored the folks in Huntsville on how to sell tankless water heaters to a gullible public. Such foolhardy matters would be as appropriate in helping people escape the torments of hell as babbling about George Muller and his sectarian efforts.
It is the case that some people feel impelled to say something regardless of how useless such might be. Dr. Lemmons has a new product to sell people who will buy his spiel.
When the elders in the church trade their brains for sawdust, we can expect all kinds of goof-off sessions. Liberals never make any sense.
Dr. Lemmons might rig up a few lectures on Robin Hood and his merry men. Seems as Robin hailed from England. Sad! Sad!
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