1. “we are poor church. why do no usa church care about us poor churches?”
- A certain level of poor (Proverbs 30:8-9) is not a bad thing (Luke 6:20 and James 2:5).
- Wealth corrupts and makes it very difficult to teach people (Revelation 3:14-22).
- The fact is, the richer the person the less likely they will ever be saved (Matthew 19:16-24). Mark’s account ties this in to the trusting of one’s material wealth (Mark 10:24-25; cf. I Timothy 6:17).
- Be cautious. The desire to gain wealth can be a very slippery slope for various reasons (I Timothy 6:3-10).
- Regarding why churches in the country I live in does or doesn’t do things… I am not a spokesman for any congregation in the United States of America. I cannot say whether anyone does or does not care about churches in Africa. I communicate with very few “brethren” outside of the local congregation I labor with here in El Paso, TX.
- I can tell you that I care very much about you and all people seeking and/or doing the Lord’s will throughout all the world. It is why I communicate with you and study with you. It is why I provide teaching material for you. However, I really do not know you at all. I just know what you tell me in words. The same is true for you of me. You shouldn’t even want help from a congregation you do not know. Such help, is fellowship (II Corinthians 8:4).
- I can tell you that even if I had funds to send to brethren outside of this local area, I would need to KNOW them (not just through email). For all that I know, you are not an evangelist or even a Christian. Be reasonable. You could be a terrorist seeking to fund terror (I know that’s an extreme, but consider how it could be so). The pictures you send could be fake. Be reasonable here. Then, there would have to be a reliable accounting process (such as faithful witnesses in the first century) of any such transactions (II Corinthians 8:1-9:13). I wouldn’t just blindly send money even if I had it to send. This is the biblical pattern for many reasons. Please study through the following Scriptures and you should be able to see how you must test fruit. You will also see the importance of either sending a faithful messenger you KNOW to see how things are or see for yourself in person: Matthew 7:15-20, Acts 15:36, Ephesians 5:11, Philippians 2:19-30; 4:11-17, I Thessalonians 2:17-3:8, and II John 1:9-11.
2. “I read your material about camel tasting from November. I think it is interesting that you wrote that. Of all the websites within the brotherhood your website has the most nit picking (your words back at you) that I have ever seen. Do you take yourself seriously? You focus on authority for this and this and that with that, but you never focus on love. You leave that undone. You never focus on grace. You leave that undone. You never focus on mercy. You leave that undone. Do you see yourself as a hypocrite or is it just you and your little Church down there think you are so great that you will never fail? Then you have a sermon on Diotrephes. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
- I am glad you are reading from my website. You should take time to listen to that sermon (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/howdoescameltaste_2018.mp3). The basis of that lesson is not to leave anything undone (Matthew 23:23-24). You missed or didn’t look for the point. Since I know the erring church of Christ you assemble with, I understand why you only want to talk about love, mercy, and grace. Sir, have you considered that even the subject matter of grace teaches more than just “grace” the way you folks see it (Titus 2:11-14)? Have you considered that grace is the backdrop of most things and that you have to continue to grow in grace (II Peter 3:18)?
- An outline is just an outline. It is just ideas to speak from. An outline should NOT be read as though it is the entire lesson. I am a little perplexed though. With such views you have, what motives would you have for reading someone’s material you have such disdain for? You live less than two hours from El Paso, why not study with me? I almost chucked your question (II Timothy 2:23), but then I thought the brethren here locally might benefit from considering your charges.
- My website should not be considered as part of a “brotherhood”. As I indicate on my website, it is my work alone (II Timothy 4:1-5).
- I do not always take myself seriously. I joke, use sarcasm, etc. often. For example, a few years ago, I said something funny to my wife. See, not always serious to be take myself seriously. You’d have to be more specific for me to dive into greater detail.
- Regarding my selection of what I teach on, it is mostly motivated by what is needed in the local assembly here in El Paso, TX for the benefit of the brethren. You can study that subject more here: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/PDFBulletinNovember252007.pdf
- Regarding lessons on love…. My website currently has 1528 files on the subject matter. Charity comes up with 101 files. Grace shows up in 553 files. Mercy appears in 518 files. You can use the search tool on my website and see for yourself. If you were to assemble here locally, you would see even more of such in our class discussions.
- I have been a hypocrite, more than once, in the past. I have repented of that. I now practice what I preach as the Lord expects (Romans 2:1-29, I Corinthians 9:27, and I Timothy 4:12-16). If you think otherwise, call or come see me and we can discuss it. I’ll drive to you if you want to really learn. Don’t let me be lost (since your charges would mean that), point out a specific so I could deal with it if it is a true charge. How loving, merciful, and gracious are you in your laughter at what you think is error?
- The church here has failed in the past. We are ashamed of that and have repented each time. So, no, we do not profess to have never failed or not able to fail. The fact is, I preach most often on things to keep us from failing. If we thought we could not fail, that in itself would be a sin (I Corinthians 10:1-12). The fact is, there are several members here right now that scare me where they are spiritually. I labor day and night on their behalf. That is what love does (Revelation 3:19).
- I suggest you listen to the sermons on Diotrephes (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/whywasdiotrepheswrongpart1_2018.mp3) (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/whywasdiotrepheswrongpart2_2018.mp3) and then the follow-up one on Gaius and Demetrius (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/whyweregauisdemetriusright_2018.mp3). Interestingly, you find that you’ll hear about love and many other subjects in those sermons.
- Here is a question for you, will you repent of all of your false charges above (Romans 3:8) and have a reasonable discussion to the end of the saving your soul (James 5:19-20)?
- Another question for you, do you think it is funny that if you were right and I was not teaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:20; 26-27), that the congregation here as a whole would be in error (II John 1:9-11)? If we don’t know about love, mercy, etc.; is that funny to you? If you believe that, what are willing to do to help - to expose me? Will you just cowardly send an email?
- The only Scriptural conclusion a true student of the Scriptures would draw from your laughter is that you think I and the little congregation here is so far gone and rebellious that there is not hope (Provers 1:10-33). If that is the case, you err in viewing my website (Mark 4:24, Ephesians 5:6, I Timothy 1:3-7, etc.).
3. “This question of mine is about preachers and how much time they should get off from their work. Everyone needs some time to rejuvenate and enjoy time off. What should the church have planned for the preacher to get his time off?”
- Leisure is important (Mark 6:30-31).
- Faithful evangelists have to manage their time appropriately. I am a husband, father, brother in Christ, person with civil duties, etc. I have to balance all of that with being a teacher (Colossians 4:17).
- I will tell you this, as long as there are souls that are lost or in jeopardy of being lost, there is no real “time off” for faithful preachers of the Gospel. Consider this, if you were in sin and I was the evangelist working with you at a time you needed to talk to me, would you want me to be taking my day off knowing that there is no promise of tomorrow (James 4:13-16)? I certainly would not want to be on my “day off” if you needed to study, talk, etc. That is why I do not take days off. I just balance my days the best I can. I answer the phone 24 hours a day 7 days per week (unless in the shower, ill, or some other brief matter). The only time I can recall not being available was during surgery and once I was out of town in the mountains with my family. I could not get a signal all of the time there on my cell phone. I do not get tired of “it” if “it” is for the good of others either (II Corinthians 4:15 and Galatians 6:9).
- See: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/clafifyingsomemisunderstoodthingsaboutevangelists_bay_2016.html
- You want to know what the church should plan…. It is not the place of the congregation to plan such things. There is no authority for it. An evangelist has to be self-disciplined enough to Scripturally oversee himself (I Timothy 4:13-16). Each are different in some ways. At most, brethren might see an evangelist stretched too thin and approach him as concerned brethren and offer to help in some way (Galatians 6:2). In my experience, when faithful brethren have thought I was overly stressed, they really didn’t understand much about what I was going through nor how to help. Had the congregation, in those times, forced me away from teaching to any degree, it would have ALWAYS hurt me (spiritually and physically) more than helped me. In turn, it would have hurt them too. Hope that insight helps.
4. “Is it Rebellion to ask elders to show what they are doing with the treasury funds and why?”
- You are commanded to “prove all things” (I Thessalonians 5:21). Qualified elders would be glad you are being diligent to do all things right (II Peter 1:10).
- You have to be cautious if you are going to lay a charge at the feet of a qualified elder (I Timothy 5:17-20).
- The church has clear authority to spend the Lord’s money on supporting faithful evangelists (I Corinthians 9:6-14, II Corinthians 11:8, and Philippians 4:10-18), aiding truly needy saints (II Corinthians 8:1-9:14), supporting widows indeed (I Timothy 5:3-16), and supporting qualified (I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9) elders (I Timothy 5:17-18).
- Most churches of Christ err in using the Lord’s money. Test it. You want to help yourself and your brethren by making sure the congregation is without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).
5. “How important is it that someone learns specific prayers?”
- I am not sure, exactly, what you’re asking. I am going to answer this as if you are asking about learning “the Lord’s prayer” and other such popular things.
- Prior to the Lord teaching how to pray, He said: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7). There’s your answer if you are talking about repeating words.
- The problem with praying a prayer recorded in the Scriptures is that it is not your own and it likely would not apply to you. Example, in the “Lord’s prayer” people often quote, He prayed “Thy kingdom come”. It has come (Colossians 1:12-13 and Hebrews 12:28) and thus is an invalid prayer for anyone today.
- Learning how to pray is an entirely different subject matter and is not simple. Many things written in the New Testament, regarding prayer, were written when men had the Holy Spirit working through them directly (I Corinthians 12:3-11). That was temporary (I Corinthians 12:28-13:13). Therefore, you must understand that many things prayed for then (i.e. Acts 9:36-42; 12:1-23) were miraculous (i.e. James 1:5; cf. I Corinthians 12:8), and thus do not apply today. Don’t study and get it wrong (II Peter 3:15-17). All of this cannot be taught in a brief study.
- The simplest I can say is this… You must learn to pray (Luke 11:1). You must understand what you are praying for (I Corinthians 14:15). Since God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3), you will mostly be praying prayers of thanksgiving, in the name of Christ, if you are praying correctly (Ephesians 5:20).
6. “Are all Jewish people saved? I'm struggled about that. I'm confusing..”
- Today, under the New Testament law of Christ (Hebrews 8:1-10:22), all Jewish people are held to the same standard as all other people (Mark 16:15-16, Luke 3:1-9, John 12:48, James 2:10-12, etc.).
- For those in Christ (meaning those whom have been properly converted), there is no distinction between Jew or Gentile (Acts 10:1-11:18 and Galatians 3:26-29).
- The Jews that died under the Law of Moses will be sanctified by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17).
- For those alive today, they must initially obey and continue to fully submit to the doctrine of Christ and continue therein all their lives just like all other groups of people (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 3:19, Acts 8:4-38, Acts 18:8, Colossians 1:23, etc.). There is no “cookie cutter” formula of salvation that applies equally, exactly the same, to all people.
- Sadly, whether we are talking about Jews or Gentiles, few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-24). What about you?