A Discussion With A Supposed “Elder” From Oklahoma

 

 

* If you are studying these issues, will you go as far as John Loftis does to twist the word of God so that you can continue in your errors?  Step back and read this material.  Look up the Scriptures cited below. 

 

Consider this when reading this discussion: does one have to reach so far to defend their views if they have the truth as John will do below?  When a person asks a question we should be able to answer it with Scriptures.  For example, someone asks: “do I have to be baptized to be saved?”  You can answer that question with Scriptures alone (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, etc.).  Someone asks this question: “where does the Bible say we can help needy Christians as a work of the local church?”  I can answer that very easily just with the Scriptures (I Corinthians 16:1-4, II Corinthians 8:1-9:13, etc.). 

 

Why can’t those who think the local church should give food, clothing, and money to sinners do the same?  Answer: there are no Scriptures. 

 

Please consider this discussion as part of your studies on these matters.

 

John Loftis (the man who’s writing you are about to read) is called an “elder” at the “Cushing church of Christ” in Cushing, OK.  He is also a board member of an unauthorized human institution called “Pure Heart Vision” (http://www.pureheartvision.org/Identity.aspx).  By such allegiances, he has put himself into the camp of ignorance that includes Harding University and Abilene Christian University (both are human institutions doing “religious works” without God’s authority).

 

The initial email that began the discussion and the correspondence to follow is here…

 

Your Name: JOHN LOFTIS

 

Your Email: LOFTIS@cowboy.net

 

Subject: BENEVOLENCE

 

Message: " What we do not find is an example, command, or inference showing the non-saints were aided in benevolent needs by the local church." YOUR QUOTE

 

THE LOCAL CHURCH IS CHRIST'S BODY.MAT. CHAPTER 14 JESUS FEED 5000. LUKE18:22 JESUS SAID GIVE AND FOLLOW HIM. EXAMPLE AFTER EXAMPLE OF JESUS HELPING PEOPLE AND TEACHING PEOPLE. THE EXAMPLE WE HAVE OF THE CHURCH HELPING THE NON CHURCH IS THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS HELPING THE NON CHURCH.

 

PLEASE STUDY THE BIBLE. THANKS JOHN

 

 

From: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Date: February 28, 2011 11:40:57 AM MST

To: JOHN LOFTIS <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

Dear John:

 

Are you serious?  Please read the account of the five thousand being fed in John 6.  The point of the feeding of the 4,000 and the 5,000 was to confirm the word as such was the purpose of miracles (Mark 16:20).  Whenever the local church is capable of performing a miraculous feeding of five thousand, I'd like to see that.  Additionally, Jesus is not the local church.  When Jesus was on earth the church did not exist (Matthew 16:18, Acts 20:28, and Ephesians 5:25).

 

For your studies, please consider Scriptures such as I Timothy 5:3-16 and II Thessalonians 3:10 which prove, to honest Bible students, that there are strict limitations upon that which one may spend the Lord's money on. 

 

If you'd like to seriously study these matters I'd love to help you.  I spent many years in the fog on this subject matter.  I understand the emotions that mislead one into reaching so far to find authority for that which is not authorized (cf. Proverbs 16:25 and Romans 10:1-3).

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian A. Yeager

3917 Tierra Roman Dr.

El Paso, TX 79938

915-525-5794

brian@wordsoftruth.net

http://www.wordsoftruth.net

 

From: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Date: February 28, 2011 4:51:43 PM MST

To: Brian A. Yeager <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

1cor. 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. mat.15:32 christ has compassion for them and sets an example for us to follow it. THIS is called love and he expects his church to follow his example.

i would like to study this farther. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY CHRISTIAN HAVE TO FOLLOW CHRIST EXAMPLE AND THE CHURCH IS EXEMPT FROM IT. THANKS JOHN

 

 

From: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Date: February 28, 2011 4:56:38 PM MST

To: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

Dear John:

 

Again, please read I Timothy 5:3-16 and you will see the difference between the work of the church and the work of an individual Christian.  Also, if you consider Matthew 18:15-17, you will see another clear example that shows the difference between one Christian working, two or three Christians, and then the local church being involved.  That should clarify for you that there are separate works for the local church, the individual Christian, and even multiple Christians working concurrently.

 

On the other note, there are many things Jesus did that the church cannot.  I.E. the Passover (Luke 22:7-8), the Lord's Supper on Thursday (I Corinthians 11:23-26), forgiving sins as deity (Luke 5:20), accepting worship (Matthew 28:9), etc.

 

Brian A. Yeager

3917 Tierra Roman Dr.

El Paso, TX 79938

915-525-5794

brian@wordsoftruth.net

http://www.wordsoftruth.net

 

From: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Date: February 28, 2011 8:44:32 PM MST

To: Brian A. Yeager <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

BRIAN I DON'T BELIEVE THE CHURCH HAS ANY BUSINESS RUNNING A CAFETRIAI for folks but with that said i believe that when some one is hungry or in need of clothes we need to help them and teach them at the same time. Brian we can't teach someone that is hungry without feeding and teaching. he is hungry. i'm talking about someone truly in need. john 3:16  that is not only teaching but love.  Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. surly if jesus would give his life he would feed and expect us to love like this and teach. what am i missing?  thanks john     1 tim 5:3-16 he is talking about how to work with those that are in christ not the world.

 

From: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Date: February 28, 2011 10:10:13 PM MST

To: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

Dear John:

 

When you first wrote you affirmed that what Jesus did is the authority for what the church is to do.  It seems you've moved away from that line of thinking.  Now, you've moved to another line of thought.  Can I suggest (from knowing what I did when I erred on this point) that you are reaching for Scriptures because you have formed a conclusion prior to thoroughly studying out your questions?  For me, there was a time when I would not have seen the truth because that was my approach.  When we form a conclusion and then approach the Scriptures with that conclusion it is very hard to see we're wrong (Proverbs 21:2). 

 

What leads me to think that you're doing this is that you've jumped from one argument to another and still have yet to provide one Scripture that shows the local church aided a non-Christian for food, clothing, etc.  In addition, you've now employed John 3:16 and have a blind reference to John 15:13.  Neither of those Scriptures have anything to do with providing physical things for anyone.  Trying to suggest that the death of our Lord, for the salvation of the lost, is connected in any way to providing "benevolence" to anyone is very flawed (John 6:26-27).  In fact, you are twisting those two Scriptures (II Peter 3:16-18). 

 

Additionally, implying that Jesus laying down His life for His friends teaches us to aid non-Christians with His money is implying that sinners are the friends of Jesus.  That is not true (II John 9).  In fact, God the Father doesn't even hear the prayers of those in sin (Isaiah 59:1-2, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12).  Your position would have the local church giving money to people that God the Father will not even hear the prayers of.  John, that is a bit backwards.  You'd be using the Lord's money to help people that God the Father will not even listen to.  That being said, there is a way in which Christians are supposed to help truly needy people (even non-saints) which I will show later in this email.

 

Let me help with some things as you asked: "what am i missing?"

 

1. We need the Lord's authority for everything we (even as individual people) do (Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 5:10, Colossians 3:17, and I Thessalonians 5:21). 

 

2. A good idea, even a truly sincere idea, is not right unless God says so (II Samuel 7:1-7).

 

3. It is an eternal mistake to trust in things that "seem" right (Proverbs 16:25).

 

4. The Scriptures tell us of every good work and they equip us to perform those good works (II Timothy 3:16-17).  *Thus, if it were a good work for the local church to aid non-saints the Scriptures would say so.

 

5. The point I was hoping you'd see from I Timothy 5:3-16 is that there is a difference in what an individual Christian can do and what the local church can do to aid someone who is truly in need.  In fact, that text proves that the treasury of the local church ought to be the last resource to be used even in aiding faithful, needy saints.  Surely, you should be able to understand that the Lord does not limit the helping of His faithful children, but then open the door removing limits upon those who are sinners.

 

6. What you are missing is that Christians (as individuals), not the local church (the collective group of Christians in a local area), are instructed to help people who are truly in need (i.e. James 1:26-27).  Those instructions (we'll address another in the next point) still do not authorize even individual Christians to help anyone they want to (II Thessalonians 3:10).

 

7. Another thing that you are missing is that teaching and "benevolence" are NOT tied together.  The "Parable of the Good Samaritan" shows that when someone is truly destitute and needs help, you (an individual) are to help them even if that does not mean having a Bible study with them (Luke 10:25-37).  Evangelism and helping those in need are two separate works that every able Christian ought to engage in, as they are able.  The most important thing any Christian can do is to teach someone (Luke 4:4).  That does not include feeding them a sandwich or buying them some clothes.

 

That is about the easiest way I can think of to summarize the truth on the matter of "benevolence".  Please, take the time to meditate upon the Scriptures above.  This issue is really much more simple than you are making it.

 

Brian A. Yeager

3917 Tierra Roman Dr.

El Paso, TX 79938

915-525-5794

brian@wordsoftruth.net

http://www.wordsoftruth.net

 

 

From: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Date: March 1, 2011 7:06:55 AM MST

To: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

BRIAN   THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY.   LETS TAKE ONE THING AT A TIME. (1TIM.5:3-16)   NO QUESTION HE IS TALKING ABOUT CHURCH MEMBERS.(1 TIM.5:3-4)   IS INSTRUCTING FAMILIES TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN. TO TAKE CARE OF WIDOWS REALLY IN NEED.(VERSE 5)   TALKS ABOUT A WIDOW REALLY IN NEED.(VERSE 6)   PAUL TALKS ABOUT A WIDOW WHO HAS FALLEN AWAY AND IS LIVING IN SIN.(VERSE 7)  HE TELLS TIM. TO GIVE THE PEOPLE THESE INSTRUCTIONS.(VERSE 8-9-10) AGAIN PAUL INSTRUCTS THE BELIEVER TO TAKE CARE OF HIS OWN.(VERSE 9)   TELLS TIM. WHAT WIDOWS CAN BE PUT ON THE LIST.(VERSE11-15)   INSTRUCTS TIM. NOT TO PUT YOUNGER WOMEN ON THE LIST AND WHY. MAYBE BECAUSE IF THEY WERE BEING TAKEN CARE OF THEY WOULDN'T GO OUT AND WORK. NO REASON TO.  (VERSE 16)   AGAIN PAUL INSTRUCTS BELIEVERS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES SO THE CHURCH CAN CONCENTRATE ON THOSE WHO ARE REALLY IN NEED. THE CHURCH WAS HAVING TROUBLE DISCERNING WHICH WIDOWS TO TAKE CARE OF. PAUL CLEARED IT UP. THATS ALL. THIS DOESN'T ADDRESS HOW TO DO BENOVELENCE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. INSTRUCTION ON CARE OF CHURCH WIDOWS  THAT IS ALL.  THE PROHIBITION FOR HELPING OTHERS DOES NOT APPEAR IN THIS PASSAGE AT ALL.     YOU ARE GIVING IT A MEANING THAT IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE USED FOR. HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THAT YOU MIGHT BE MISTAKEN. WE SHOULD ONLY SPEAK WHERE THE BIBLE SPEAKS BE SILENT WHERE IT IS SILENT. ( LETS CONSIDER)   IS IT A MATTER OF (FAITH OR A MATTER OF OPINION).   DO WE HAVE TO HAVE AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL THE MONEY WE SPEND.  IF SO WHERE IS THE EXAMPLE FOR SPENDING MONEY ON BUILDINGS,SONG BOOKS,REAL ESTATE,TELEPHONES INTERNET SERVICE,BUSES,BAPTISTRIES,PAPER THE LIST COULD GO ON. ADVERTISING LIKE CHURCH SIGNS NO EXAMPLE BUT WE USE ALL THESE THINGS TO REACH THE LOST.  IN CHRIST JOHN

 

 

From: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Date: March 1, 2011 8:20:45 AM MST

To: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

Dear John:

 

Please take the time to reread what I wrote.  What you have walked away with and have attempted to answer is not what I wrote.  As far as the things you listed that "we" (don’t include me in your unauthorized works) spend money on.  Some of that is error too.  I'd like to study those things with you and show you that for those items you listed, some of them are authorized and some are not. 

 

First, you need to go back and read all of our emails and see the truth on benevolence and authority.  It is amazing how you can say things like "we should only speak where the Bible speaks...", yet you are affirming practices the Bible speaks nothing of. 

 

I am not adding to the word of God by saying that there is no authority for the Lord's money to be used to aid non-Christians in "benevolence".  By requesting the authority for something I am only doing what God demands I do (I Thessalonians 5:21; cf. Romans 14:23).  You're the one adding to the Scriptures by saying the church should use the treasury in doing so.  Again, please read through what we've discussed up to this point.  If that does resolve the matter in your mind, I don't know what more to say.  The silence of the Scriptures should speak loudly enough for you to hear it (Proverbs 30:5-6 and Galatians 1:6-12).

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian A. Yeager

3917 Tierra Roman Dr.

El Paso, TX 79938

915-525-5794

brian@wordsoftruth.net

http://www.wordsoftruth.net

 

 

From: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Date: March 1, 2011 8:45:31 AM MST

To: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

Mark 12:30-31 (New International Version, ©2010)

 

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

 

 Matthew 5:43-48 (New International Version, ©2010)

 

 Love for Enemies

 

  43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

 JAMES CHAPTER 2:14-25    JAMES CHAPTER 2:8   PROVERBS 25:21 ISAIAH 58:7   ACTS 20:35  LUKE 12:32-34     MAT.5:42   

 

 PLEASE CONSIDER THE ABOVE .  THE CHURCH HAS THE SAME DUTY TO LOVE AS THE CHRISTIAN DOES. LOVE ALSO ENCLUDES TAKING CARE OF PHYSICAL NEEDS.

 

WE CAN’T SEPARATE THE CHURCH FROM CHRIST OR THE CHRISTIAN. WE ARE HIS BODY TO DO HIS WILL ON THIS EARTH.  IN HIM JOHN

 

 

 

Galatians 2:20 (New International Version, ©2010)

 

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 

BRIAN WE CAN'T USE THE LAW OF EXCLUSION OR NECESSARY INFERENCE IN 1TIM.5 BECAUSE IT IS NOT EVEN TALKING ABOUT OUTSIDE THE CHURCH JUST WIDOWS.  PLS CONSIDER MY THOUGHTS ABOVE AND GIVE ANSWERS FOR EACH. IF I AM WRONG I WILL CHANGE.

 

 

From: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Date: March 1, 2011 9:11:55 AM MST

To: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

John:

 

No, you won't change.  You haven't yet.  You just want to argue and defend your conclusions.  I have already proven that Christ and the church are not the same in works.  The very idea that a Christian and the church can do the same thing is about one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard.  Your conclusion would mean the church can have sex because individual Christians can (I Corinthians 7:1-5). 

 

Again, you have reached for whatever argument you think will support your view.  Yet, you still have not furnished one Scripture for the local church aiding non-saints as “benevolence”.  Additionally, you've either not read or have not understood the email I sent yesterday with the seven numbered points, etc.  If you cannot understand what I've written already, there is no hope for this discussion to end with you being saved.

 

In addition, you really should stop using the NIV.  It is a perversion of God's word (the preface admits it is a more than word for word translation - read it).  The fact that you are using it is another evidence that you do not know the truth.  Consider this study of the NIV that shows hundreds of false doctrines contained therein: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/NIV2002.htm

 

I am not going to continue this argument that you want to have (II Timothy 2:23).  Thus, if you write back, understand ahead of time that I will not be responding to more of your false arguments.  What I have written would answer the questions of any honest seeker on this matter.  If that is not enough, I do not have more to add. 

 

Brian A. Yeager

3917 Tierra Roman Dr.

El Paso, TX 79938

915-525-5794

brian@wordsoftruth.net

http://www.wordsoftruth.net

 

 

From: Pauline Loftis <LOFTIS@cowboy.net>

Date: March 1, 2011 9:42:59 AM MST

To: "Brian A. Yeager" <brian@wordsoftruth.net>

Subject: Re: BENEVOLENCE

 

I THINK YOU ARE BLIND AND WOULD MAKE A GOOD PHARISEE OR SADDUCEE OR MAYBE GODS LAYWER YOU ARE STRAINING AT A KNAT AND SWALLOWING A CAMEL. I DON'T THINK YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO DISCERN WHICH BIBLE IS RIGHT. I USE 3. YOU NEED TO LOOK WHAT I TOLD YOU ABOUT LOVE AND QUIT TRYING TO BE GOD'S LAWER HE DOESN'T NEED ANY HELP.GOD WILL BE THE JUDGE. REMEMBER THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS. WE ARE CHRIST'S BODY HERE ON THIS EARTH AND HE IS THE HEAD FOLLOW HIM.

 

  

 

 

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© 2011 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain.  Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful!   Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies.  – Brian A. Yeager