November 2015 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. Please be mindful that there are often circumstances and details to every question that could potentially change the answer. Rightly divide the truth (II Timothy 2:15).
1. “I was recently appalled when our preacher told a visiting person to go eat crap. This person was stirring the trouble pot, but that was shocking to hear. When I approached him he told me that I need to study and see that this is goodly talk. I then searched churches of Christ websites and found yours. I read some of your articles. But Do you agree with what this preacher said? If you do agree what scriptures say that?”
Š I fear answering this question because I have no idea what happened in this situation. I do not know, for sure, what you mean by “stirring the trouble pot”. Therefore, I must state that the answer to this question could vary based upon the situation. This is the case with most questions that are circumstantial. I cannot judge (Proverbs 18:13 and John 7:24) whether or not it was expedient for the preached to say this, though it is lawful (I will prove this in a moment). This is important because lawful and expedient must align for something to be right (I Corinthians 10:23).
Š There is biblical support for the preacher saying what he said (Malachi 2:1-3 and Philippians 3:8) if he was in control of his tongue. If he lost control of his tongue that is a whole other matter (Psalms 39:1, Proverbs 21:23, and James 3:1-18).
Š Can things be said or done in a manner intended or ending in being an insult? Yes, if the situation warrants such (Matthew 15:1-14, Matthew 16:21-23, Matthew 23:1-36, Mark 3:1-6, Acts 13:8-11, Galatians 3:1, and James 4:4).
Š While no one is under the Old Law now (Ephesians 2:11-17 and Hebrews 9:15-10:22), there are lessons to learn from it (Romans 15:4). The particular reference I am about to mention would have principles that apply. One that does not is the physical harm Elijah imposed, for our battle is not carnal today as it was then (II Corinthians 10:3-5). With that in mind, consider how Elijah insulted the false prophets (I Kings 18:21-40).
Š As for agreeing with the preacher’s conduct… I don’t know enough to conclude one way or the other. Furthermore, whether or not I agree is not important. What about the Lord’s agreement (Ephesians 5:10)?
Š I am a bit concerned about the preacher’s response to you and your taking his request for you to search the Scriptures by looking for church of Christ websites. This may be something you should look into further (II Corinthians 13:5). The preacher should have been able to answer your question with Scriptures (I Peter 4:11). You should ask why he asked you to look for yourself. Maybe there are things there that need addressed????
2. “Who was Revelations written to?”
Š First, it is not “Revelations”, but “The Revelation” (Revelation 1:1).
Š It was written to “the seven churches” which were in Asia (Revelation 1:4).
Š As with all inspired writings (II Timothy 3:15-17), such were and are to be shared with all saints (Colossians 4:16 and I Thessalonians 5:27).
Š Caution has to be used in handling those things aright (II Timothy 2:14-18). Obviously, if something was written to someone else it will have applications to all, but some of those applications may not be direct applications. I.E., Only certain parts or Mark 16:15-20 apply today seeing as how miracles have ceased (I Corinthians 13:8-13), etc.
3. “website content (non confrontational, just looking for a second opinion as it uses a lot of scripture). I came across this website and through love of scripture wanted to know what you thought as someone well versed in it. Should preachers pander?”
Š Your question is hard to understand. I do not know what you mean with the opening statement of your question.
Š When I looked up the definition of the word “pander” I found this: “gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire, need, or habit or a person with such a desire, etc.)” (New Oxford American Dictionary). “A person who furnishes clients for a prostitute or supplies persons for illicit sexual intercourse; procurer; pimp. 2. a person who caters to or profits from the weaknesses or vices of others. 3. a go-between in amorous [sexual] intrigues” (dictionary.com).
Š With those definitions, I will attempt to answer some parts of that term from the Scriptures.
o Whether a preacher or not, a Christian must not gratify or indulge in immoral desires (Psalms 119:1-3, Matthew 26:41, Romans 8:12-13, Romans 13:13-14, Galatians 5:16-24, I Peter 2:11, and I John 2:15-17).
o Whether a preacher or not, a Christian must not furnish, supply, or be part of any act of fornication [unlawful sexual intercourse] (I Corinthians 6:15-20 and Ephesians 5:3).
o A faithful Christian must not cater to or profit from the weakness or vices of others (II Peter 2:1-3, II Peter 2:17-19, and Jude 1:16).
4. “Who started the Church Of Christ? Where did the first Church Of Christ begin? What creed does the Church Of Christ follow?”
Š Jesus is the founder of the church of Christ (Matthew 16:13-18).
Š He purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28 and Ephesians 5:25).
Š One might state that the church of Christ started in the first century in Jerusalem (Acts 2:36-47 and Acts 6:7). However, the church of Christ is not measurable in earthly boundaries (Hebrews 12:22-23).
Š The church of Christ follows the doctrine of Christ (II John 1:9), taught by and through most often the Apostles (Acts 2:42; cf. John 14:26, John 16:13-15, I Corinthians 2:9-13, Galatians 1:6-12, and I Thessalonians 4:1-2).
Š Jesus is the one and only head of the church of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:18).
5. “Are parents responsible for the sins of their children?”
Š This is not a “yes” or “no” question. I know the rush is to go to Ezekiel 18:4 and Ezekiel 18:20. However, there is more to consider in the wording of your question.
Š The word “responsible” can have several meanings. I am going to address this word as though you are asking if a parent is to blame for the sins of their children.
Š First, each person who sins is responsible for their sins regardless of anyone else’s role or lack therein for his or her sins (James 1:13-16).
Š However, that does not mean a parent is ALWAYS blameless if his, her, their child sins (I Samuel 2:22-36 and I Samuel 3:11-13).
o Consider this: Ephesians 6:4
o Then consider this: Proverbs 22:6
o Consider the parents example: I Corinthians 15:33
o Then apply this, to come back to the point that we are all individually accountable for our actions: II Corinthians 5:10
Š A parent can do all things right and the child still sin. Each one of us has freewill (Deuteronomy 5:29, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Joshua 24:14-16, Matthew 10:22, Luke 8:4-15, John 8:31, Acts 2:40-41, and Hebrews 3:6-14). If this is the case, the parent is then blameless.
o Solomon had been taught right (I Kings 2:1-4) and had God’s direct aid (I Kings 4:29-34).
o Yet, he failed because of the influences he erringly had in his life (I Kings 11:1-12).
Š We have to carefully understand though that a parent does have a role that God measures in the spiritual upbringing of a child. That is why such is included in the qualifications of an elder (I Timothy 3:1-7).
6. “Can a congregation be too conservative? I mean can you be so far from liberal that you try so hard that you become too strict?”
Š I get so many questions like this that just are not clear enough to give a solid answer to. I wish you would respond and give me “for instance…”.
Š Labels (i.e. liberal and conservative) are a bit confusing. Conservative and liberal are amongst those confusing labels. I understand the need for certain terms to understand doctrinal differences. However, sometimes those terms just cloud the issues. There is, according to the Scriptures, good or evil (John 5:28-29).
Š Just to simplify this answer, consider these two points that Scripturally wrap this up the best I can with the limited information in the question:
o We are expected to do what the Lord authorizes and that’s it (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 6:46, Ephesians 5:10, and Colossians 3:17).
o Any move to add or remove from His will is wrong (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 5:32, Deuteronomy 12:32, Joshua 1:6-8, Proverbs 30:5-6, Matthew 23:23-24, James 2:10, I John 5:2-3, and Revelation 22:18-19).
© 2015 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