Voices Of The Past That Keep Us From Going Forward

Outline By: Brian A. Yeager (http://www.wordsoftruth.net)

 

I. Introduction:

A. Bad leadership can ruin God’s people for generations to come (I Kings 12:25-33, I Kings 15:32-34, I Kings 22:51-52, II Kings 3:1-3, II Kings 10:29-32, II Kings 13:1-6, II Kings 13:10-11, II Kings 14:23-24, II Kings 15:8-9, II Kings 15:17-18, II Kings 15:23-24, II Kings 15:27-28, and II Kings 17:20-23).

1. Those whom we may trust to lead us might destroy us (II Chronicles 33:9, Jeremiah 23:13, Amos 2:4, and Micah 3:5).

2. When we err because of following others, there is no excuse (Isaiah 3:12, Isaiah 9:16, and Matthew 15:14).

B. Don’t think that someone’s influence ends when they die either (Hebrews 11:4). – Not that Abel is a negative voice*

1. Those of the past still have an effect on today (Matthew 23:29-33).

2. We’ll see some examples of dead men still speaking, through their written words (tracts, periodicals, websites, etc.)…

 

II. Body: There are lessons to learn by looking at errors of the past and considering where those errors have led some (I Corinthians 10:1-12).  Thus, notice this SMALL sampling of false doctrines taught in the 20th century:

A. Calvinism (quotes by Hoyt Houchen 1987; 1989):

Quote showing Calvinism among “churches of Christ”: “It was the cross of suffering upon which the redeemer of the world was dying. He was dying for the sins of the world, and while he had never committed a sin, he suffered the penalty for sin in all of its aspects - he paid the full price! ‘God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin’ (‘or, as an offering for sin,’ footnote in ASV; Rom. 8:4). Sin separates (Isa. 59:1,2) and Jesus even paid this penalty when with a dry throat and parched lips he broke the silence of the darkest hour and cried out: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’(Matt. 27:46) ‘He was our lamb and perfect sacrifice. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him striken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed’ (Isa. 53:4,5). Thus we behold the vicarious suffering and death of our Lord” (Hoyt H. Houchen; Guardian of Truth XXXI: 20, pp. 618-619; October 15, 1987; http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume31/GOT031278.html). 

 

“Why did God forsake his Son? Jesus himself had no sin but he died in our behalf, taking upon himself our sins. We have this beautiful prophetic utterance about Christ in Isaiah 53:6: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ He died as if he were a criminal; he took the place of the sinner; therefore, God withdrew his presence from him. Paul wrote: ‘For he hath made him to be sin, who knew no sin’ (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus paid the full penalty of sin and this is why God forsook him. Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1,2)” (Hoyt H. Houchen; Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 5, p. 133; March 2, 1989; http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume33/GOT033063.html).

 

1. Jesus was not separated from the Father (John 8:28-29 and John 16:32; cf. Psalms 37:25, Psalms 94:14, and I Peter 3:12), you thus have to consider Jesus quoted the Psalmist as a lesson rather than a cry of His own.

2. Isaiah 53:4 is not talking about Jesus’ death (Matthew 8:16-17).

3. Jesus did not vicariously die in our stead [place], He was sacrificed (Ephesians 5:2; cf. Hebrews 10:1-18).

a. When someone does something in your place that means you don’t have to.  The penalty for Adam’s transgression was death (Romans 5:12).

b. We still die (Hebrews 9:27), therefore Jesus did not do so in our place.

c. Additionally, He did not take on sin for us as we still face consequences for sin (Romans 6:23 and James 1:13-16).

4. II Corinthians 5:21, rightly divided (cf. II Timothy 2:15), is teaching Jesus is a “sin sacrifice” (Isaiah 53:10).

5. Jesus did not take on our sins in any way, shape, or form – He WAS/IS sinless (Hebrews 7:26-27, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 9:28, I Peter 1:18-19, I Peter 2:21-22, and I John 3:5).

B. Institutionalism # 1 (see quote by Guy N. Woods 1977):

Quote showing Institutionalism among “churches of Christ”: “The scriptures teach that pure and undefiled religion may be done by the church in caring for widows and orphans in an organization such as Mount Dora or like facilities when they are properly supervised by Christians” (Guy N.Woods; May 16th, 1977; Britnell – Woods Debate).

 

1. Where does James 1:26-27 say anything about the church?

2. Caring for widows is very restrictive (I Timothy 5:3-16).

3. If the church OR even individuals were to form such institutions; we’d see that instruction in God’s word (II Timothy 3:16-17)! 

C. Institutionalism # 2 (see quote by James Cope 1949):

Quote showing Institutionalism among “churches of Christ”: “Dear Bro. Tant, As you know I am to assume my responsibilities in connection with Florida Christian College, Florida, July 1. ...Occasionally you will be asked your opinion concerning the school; hence, this letter is for your own information and brethren who may be asking. ... (6) Preacher training. While we expect to have academic work accepted as readily by other educational institutions as that of any of our sister institutions, we make no apology to anybody for placing emphasis on the teaching of young men desiring to teach the gospel and others desirous of doing religious work. We believe that the safety, security and soundness of the church depend upon the kind and amount of preaching and teaching done. Those who take the lead in this matter are elders and preachers, and unless they are thoroughly grounded in the faith innovations, errors, and inertia will abound; hence, we expect to have a Bible department second to none. Our students will be taught the issues and how to meet them....” (James Cope; April 20, 1949; Letter to Yater Tant; Shared publically March 4, 1997 by the then FC president Colly Caldwell; http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVarticles/Schools%20Among%20Brethren.html). 

 

1. Where is the authority for a school (Jeremiah 7:31 and Matthew 28:18-20) to train preachers when it is clearly the work of individual preachers to do so (Matthew 10:5, Acts 15:40-41, I Corinthians 4:17, I Timothy 6:20-21, II Timothy 2:2, etc.)?

2. When did a college become part of God’s defense plan against error (Acts 20:28-31, I Timothy 1:3-7, and Titus 1:5-14)?

3. Notice the language “sister institutions” and realize the sickness that has spread from such a mindset (more colleges, papers, foundations, foundations with lectureships, etc. – Isaiah 30:1).

D. Unity in Diversity (see quote by W. Carl Ketcherside 1967):

Quote showing Unity In Diversity among “churches of Christ”: “The unity of the Spirit is based upon community, not conformity. The only unity attainable by thinking men is that of diversity. The unity of conformity must first reduce men to robots. It belongs to the wax museum and not to the temple of God. Jesus did not die for puppets nor allow himself to be murdered for manikins.

 

In Romans 14 we learn that there were varied opinions in the early church. These were not allowed to become the basis of rejection. ‘As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions’ (verse 1). ‘One man believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables.’ Paul effectively spiked the creeping creedal conformity which has so often blossomed forth in all of its inglorious tendencies in modern Church of Christism. The entire chapter is a stirring apologetic for unity in diversity” (W. Carl Ketcherside; Mission Messenger: Vol. 29, No. 12; Dec. 1967; http://www.unity-in-diversity.org/). 

 

1. Is unity really diversity?  Is conformity [with godliness] really wrong (Acts 4:32, Romans 15:5-6, I Corinthians 1:10, II Corinthians 10:5, II Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 1:27, Philippians 2:2, Philippians 3:16, etc.)?

2. Romans 14:1-15:7 teaches us to TEMPORARILY give up authorized liberties for the conscience of the weaker brother, not compromising the truth (Romans 16:17-18 and II John 9-11).

E. Restoration Movement (see quote by N.B. Hardeman in Tabernacle Sermon; Vol. 5; 1942; quoted as published in Truth Magazine):

Quote showing the Restoration Error among “churches of Christ”: “My friends, we need to study the Bible again. That weak, negative, apologetic type of preaching is responsible today for a state that exists among us. Whenever the people of God get the spirit of the apostles; whenever they imbibe the Spirit of the Master; whenever they recognize the spirit that characterized the Restoration; whenever they decide to endorse only a positive gospel sermon and stand by those who will expose error; then and not till then will the cause prosper as in the days of the Apostles and Restorers” (N.B. Hardeman; http://truthmagazine.com/archives/volume29/GOT029033.html). 

 

1. Men like N.B. Hardeman have put “Restoration” leaders on the same level as Jesus and the Apostles.  To whom does God say our foundation is (Ephesians 2:19-22; cf. I Corinthians 3:9-11)?

2. The idea of Restoring the church is false to the core as the church has/will never fall away (Romans 11:1-5, II Timothy 2:19, and Hebrews 12:28).

3. Following “Restoration leaders” is pure carnality (I Corinthians 3:1-6) and such carnal thinking keeps men outside of Christ (Romans 8:6-8).

4. People of the “Restoration Movement” really are “Campbellites”.  Folks, it is the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18 and Ephesians 5:25).

 

III. Conclusion: The influence of false teachers is powerful (II Peter2:1-3), therefore we must be sure we’re not learning  from them (Proverbs 19:27) even if they are “known” by others to be sound (cf. Jeremiah 12:6).

 

 

Quotes Referenced In This Sermon

 

Calvinism Among churches of Christ:

“It was the cross of suffering upon which the redeemer of the world was dying. He was dying for the sins of the world, and while he had never committed a sin, he suffered the penalty for sin in all of its aspects - he paid the full price! ‘God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin’ (‘or, as an offering for sin,’ footnote in ASV; Rom. 8:4). Sin separates (Isa. 59:1,2) and Jesus even paid this penalty when with a dry throat and parched lips he broke the silence of the darkest hour and cried out: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’(Matt. 27:46) ‘He was our lamb and perfect sacrifice. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him striken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed’ (Isa. 53:4,5). Thus we behold the vicarious suffering and death of our Lord” (Hoyt H. Houchen; Guardian of Truth XXXI: 20, pp. 618-619; October 15, 1987; http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume31/GOT031278.html). 

 

“Why did God forsake his Son? Jesus himself had no sin but he died in our behalf, taking upon himself our sins. We have this beautiful prophetic utterance about Christ in Isaiah 53:6: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ He died as if he were a criminal; he took the place of the sinner; therefore, God withdrew his presence from him. Paul wrote: ‘For he hath made him to be sin, who knew no sin’ (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus paid the full penalty of sin and this is why God forsook him. Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1,2)” (Hoyt H. Houchen; Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 5, p. 133; March 2, 1989; http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume33/GOT033063.html).

 

Institutionalism Among churches of Christ:

 

“The scriptures teach that pure and undefiled religion may be done by the church in caring for widows and orphans in an organization such as Mount Dora or like facilities when they are properly supervised by Christians” (Guy N.Woods; May 16th, 1977; Britnell – Woods Debate).

 

 

“Dear Bro. Tant, As you know I am to assume my responsibilities in connection with Florida Christian College, Florida, July 1. ...Occasionally you will be asked your opinion concerning the school; hence, this letter is for your own information and brethren who may be asking. ... (6) Preacher training. While we expect to have academic work accepted as readily by other educational institutions as that of any of our sister institutions, we make no apology to anybody for placing emphasis on the teaching of young men desiring to teach the gospel and others desirous of doing religious work. We believe that the safety, security and soundness of the church depend upon the kind and amount of preaching and teaching done. Those who take the lead in this matter are elders and preachers, and unless they are thoroughly grounded in the faith innovations, errors, and inertia will abound; hence, we expect to have a Bible department second to none. Our students will be taught the issues and how to meet them....” (James Cope; April 20, 1949; Letter to Yater Tant; Shared publically March 4, 1997 by the then FC president Colly Caldwell; http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVarticles/Schools%20Among%20Brethren.html). 

 

Unity In Diversity Among churches of Christ:

 

“The unity of the Spirit is based upon community, not conformity. The only unity attainable by thinking men is that of diversity. The unity of conformity must first reduce men to robots. It belongs to the wax museum and not to the temple of God. Jesus did not die for puppets nor allow himself to be murdered for manikins.

 

In Romans 14 we learn that there were varied opinions in the early church. These were not allowed to become the basis of rejection. ‘As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions’ (verse 1). ‘One man believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables.’ Paul effectively spiked the creeping creedal conformity which has so often blossomed forth in all of its inglorious tendencies in modern Church of Christism. The entire chapter is a stirring apologetic for unity in diversity” (W. Carl Ketcherside; Mission Messenger: Vol. 29, No. 12; Dec. 1967; http://www.unity-in-diversity.org/). 

 

Restoration Movement Among churches of Christ:

 

“My friends, we need to study the Bible again. That weak, negative, apologetic type of preaching is responsible today for a state that exists among us. Whenever the people of God get the spirit of the apostles; whenever they imbibe the Spirit of the Master; whenever they recognize the spirit that characterized the Restoration; whenever they decide to endorse only a positive gospel sermon and stand by those who will expose error; then and not till then will the cause prosper as in the days of the Apostles and Restorers” (N.B. Hardeman; http://truthmagazine.com/archives/volume29/GOT029033.html). 

 

 

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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