July 2012 Questions / Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points.
1. “A couple of preacher friends of mine spend quite a bit of time reading evil literature. By this I mean books written by atheists, books about various false religions, etc. There excuse is they want to be able to answer those they might run into and have an opportunity to teach. They often quote I Peter 3:15. I say it's a stretch to apply this verse to what they're doing. I confess I used to feel the same way. Now, I try to tell these brothers they should stay away from these things. I believe Proverbs 6:27 teaches differently. Also, does not the first approx dozen verses of Deuteronomy 13 teach the principal that we are to not listen to false teachers, at all?”
Š First, to be really clear before we have some discussion points, it is not wrong for us to know about or even read some manner of false doctrine. If such were the case, we couldn’t read the Bible (i.e. Mark 12:18-27, John 8:52-59, Acts 15:1-5, and Revelation 2:14-16).
Š There is a lot to consider in the question you have asked. First, we should start with Proverbs 6:27. You have to be careful there. That particular Scripture is contextually talking about strange women (Proverbs 6:20-35). Certainly, the principle would apply to anything that could steer us away from the Lord (Proverbs 4:14-16).
Š If you are considering whether or not one should study false doctrine. Along with Deuteronomy 13:1-5, there are other Scriptures to consider too. These teach us that we shouldn’t have such an open mind as to hear everything taught everywhere (Proverbs 19:27, Ephesians 4:14, I Timothy 1:3-7, I Timothy 4:7, and I Timothy 6:3-5).
Š There is a balance though… Scripturally speaking, some knowledge of false doctrine is NECESSARY. This is true for multiple reasons. For one, we have to expose error (Ephesians 5:11). That requires knowing if it is taught (Matthew 16:6; 11-12). We have to note and avoid falsehoods, which require us to make others aware (Romans 16:17-18). We are not to be ignorant of devices of the devil (II Corinthians 2:11).
Š You cannot test someone if you don’t know what to look for (cf. I John 4:1).
Š As far as spending quite a bit of time on this, that would be a problem. Like it or not, the Scriptures do prove that exposure to any form of sin has an impact on even the strongest of God's people (Matthew 26:41 and I Corinthians 15:33). So, being aware of what a false teacher teaches (Titus 1:12), must be balanced with making sure you're not allowing too much in.
Š I for one cannot spend much time reading or hearing false doctrine in that it makes me literally ill (cf. Psalms 101:3).
2. “If an infant church of Christ has just been established and it committed a sin(its members have no idea that they have commited a sin nor does the preacher) such as support for the widows under 60 yrs. old or not really bereft widows will that church go to hell if that sin go unrepented?”
Š For one, a preacher should not be preaching if he does not understand the Scriptures (James 3:1). At the very least, he should only teach and stand for that which he is SURE is scripturally correct (I Thessalonians 5:21).
Š Secondly, sin is the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4). The wages of sin is damnation (Romans 6:23). Regardless of whether or not one is ignorant, they are still held accountable for everything said and done (Acts 3:14-19, Acts 17:30-31, and I Peter 1:13-14).
Š Thirdly, I am not sure what you mean by "infant church of Christ". If you are meaning a new congregation, said congregation should not be doing anything that they do not know is right (Romans 14:23).
Š Whoever first taught those people should have taught them how to establish biblical authority (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, the accountability for these transgressions is on all involved.
Š Ignorance is no excuse (cf. Hosea 4:1-6).
3. “Should I call my preacher Reverend?”
Š No, you should not give him any titles at all (Job 32:21-22 and Matthew 23:1-12).
Š The term “reverend” is only used once in the KJV and is in reference to God (Psalms 111:9).
Š Let me add, you should not be part of a religious body that allows any such titles to be used either (II John 9-11). Please contact me for a study about this and other things you may be seeing that are wrong so that I might be privileged to help you find those who are of the truth to work and worship with.
4. “How much money is reasonable to spend on church advertising?”
Š The question must be, “how much money is SCRIPTURAL to spend on church advertising”?
Š The answer is, NONE! There is no authority for “advertising”. If such were a work of the church the Scriptures would reveal it (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Š Without authority, it is WRONG (Isaiah 8:20, Jeremiah 7:30-31, and Colossians 3:17).
Š Lest someone respond and cite the work of evangelism, let’s cover that too. When Sears advertises (maybe even Bibles for sale), are they doing the work of evangelism? NO! Neither are churches.
Š The work of evangelism is about GOING and TEACHING the Gospel, not bringing people into a physical location by any means (Matthew 28:19, Romans 10:14-18, and I Thessalonians 1:7-8).
Š It is shameful that supposed Christians would even think of “advertising”. This just shows that some think of the spiritual work of the body of Christ in terms of business and marketing. Such is truly the sign of a false teacher (II Peter 2:1-3).
5. “I believe that instrumental music in worship is unscriptual. From what I can see on your site, you believe that the Bible teaches this as well. This evening, I had a discussion with someone that also agrees with this, but believes that it is okay to listen to others sing ‘gospel songs’ with the use of instrumental music if it is not being done in a church service. From my studies, I believe this to be incorrect. Bible verses such as Ephesians 5:19 do not refer only to ‘official church or worship services’. Could you share your insight with me and help me to have a better understanding of this? Thank you.”
Š In the conversation you are having with another, you should first challenge them to show the scriptural authority for mechanical instrumental music to be used with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs "outside of worship services". You really do not have to prove someone wrong. For someone to be right, they have to scripturally prove that God is pleased with what they are doing (Ephesians 5:10).
Š Doing anything, regardless of the setting, without scriptural authority is wrong (Mark 7:1-9, I Peter 4:11, and Revelation 22:18-19).
Š People have long erred in thinking that worship to God only occurs between an "opening prayer" and "closing prayer" inside of a building where Christians are assembling (a.k.a. "a church service"). While we have some things in worship that require us to be assembled to do (i.e. Acts 20:7), other things can be done in many settings, even alone. This is very clear in prayer (I Timothy 2:8), singing (Acts 16:25), and preaching (Mark 16:15-16). Worship is not just about location (John 4:19-24).
Š There is no authority to sing with the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music when Christians assemble together to sing or when a single Christian may sing even when he or she is alone (i.e. James 5:13).
6. “Can one church send money to purchase Bibles to another church?”
Š In three questions, we’ve already discussed the need for authority for everything (questions # 2,4, & 5).
Š I am not aware of any Scripture that authorizes this activity. Until someone proves otherwise, my answer is just that… I am not aware of the authority for this activity.
Š Any human reasoning or argumentation here (or anywhere) is wrong (Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 16:25, Isaiah 5:21, Romans 12:16, and I Corinthians 4:6).
7. “I was taught that we must always increase our knowledge. If that is true why do you write that knowledge puffs up?”
Š For one, I am not the author of the truth that knowledge can puff one up (I Corinthians 8:1).
Š We are supposed to grow in knowledge (Colossians 1:10, Colossians 3:10, II Timothy 2:14-18, and II Peter 3:18).
Š Being puffed up, because of knowledge, happens when a person becomes prideful because he or she has knowledge. See: Isaiah 47:10.
8. “Is pleading the blood of Jesus scriptural? cause i dont see it no where in the word of God. I appreciate your honesty and sincerity in adhereing to the true word of God.”
Š There is nothing in the Scriptures about this. Therefore, it is unscriptural (Proverbs 30:5-6).
Š I have no idea what this means. Here are a few things I could find online, NOT IN THE BIBLE!!!!
o “Imagine the world as a big courtroom. God is the Judge sitting on the throne (Hebrews 12:23). Jesus is your advocate, standing beside you to argue your case (1John 2:1) He reminds the Judge that He died and shed His blood for you. The devil, satan, is your accuser bringing charges and even attacks against you (Revelation 12:10, Zechariah 3:1). When an accusation is brought against a person in a law court the defendant, if innocent, can greatly increase His or her chances of being acquitted by producing a reliable witness. Here lies the power of pleading the blood… You can use whatever words the Holy Spirit lays on your heart to do this. A good example is below. ‘Your forces of darkness attacking my home and life, I command you to stop in Jesus name. I hold the blood of Jesus against you. The blood of Jesus has defeated you. The blood of Jesus has set me free. The blood of Jesus avails for me. I plead the blood of Jesus over my home, my life and my family. I protect them from your attacks. I walk in the freedom Jesus' death has brought me. Amen.’ (http://www.wordlibrary.co.uk/article.php?id=30)"
o “In my own personal opinion – I believe that learning how to Plead the Blood of Jesus will give you one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful form of offensive prayer that you can use for any kind of deliverance and/or protection that you may need from the Lord. This form of offensive prayer can not only be used to get God’s protection on you before any type of adversity ever strikes you, but it can also be used for physical, emotional, and mental healings, for battling demons, and for battling any kind of storm cloud that may have just come your way” (http://www.bible-knowledge.com/blood-of-jesus-how-to-plead-for-protection-and-deliverance/).
o One idiot says this: “A two-year old girl learnt this song and was always singing it: “There is power, there is power, there is power in the Blood of Jesus.” Her mother noticed that she never took ill. One day, the mother washed the girl’s clothes and hung them outside. There was a high wind, which blew her small panty to the compound next to theirs and it landed in the sitting room of a neighbour, who was a herbalist. Immediately the pant landed, there was pandemonium in the room; everything turned upside down. Everything he knew how to do failed; nothing could avail for him. He did his consultation and he found out that there was a strange thing in the room. He tried to pick it, but he fell. He started to rain incantations, offered sacrifice, poured libation but he could not make a headway. He could not touch the pant, and everywhere was hot. Throughout that day, no customer came for consultation; he battled throughout the night. The following day, the wind blew again and this time, the girl saw her toy flying towards the man’s sitting room. She followed it and then saw her pant. She went straight towards it and picked it, singing her song. “There is power in the Blood of Jesus.” The herbalist tried to stop her, thinking the ‘strange’ thing would harm her but she picked her pant casually, from the centre of oil and blood poured around it. The girl picked it and left, still singing. That incidence, converted the herbalist. He surrendered his life to Christ, having seen that His Power is the absolute Power. He left his beggarly powers and came to the Lord” (http://www.prayersfire.com/?p=473).
Š There is not now nor ever has been any truth in this. Miracles, regardless of who you plead to, have ceased (I Corinthians 13:8-10). For more on the cessation of miracles, see this biblical article: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol10/wotbulletin05022010.html
Š On top of that, even the most perfect of men (Jesus who was both God and man) did not have a life without physical problems (Mark 8:31, Luke 9:58, and Hebrews 12:2). Jesus promises us that life in this world will have suffering and illnesses when we are faithful to Him (Matthew 5:10-12, II Corinthians 12:7-10, II Timothy 2:12, II Timothy 3:12, I Peter 3:17-18, and I Peter 5:8-10).
Š This false doctrine seems to be the Pentecostal church’s (a false religion) teaching another form of the “prosperity doctrine”.
9. "What are the essentials of the Christian faith?"
Š All things, understanding that miracles have ceased, instructed of the Lord in the New Testament (Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 6:46, Luke 11:28, I Timothy 5:21, and James 2:10-12).
© 2012 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