It Is That Simple!
Volume IX ~ Issue XXXII ~ May 3rd, 2009
By: Brian A. Yeager
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There is simplicity in Christ (II Corinthians 11:3). Yet, many try to make things out to be difficult. Folks have Bible questions and they act like the answers are too far from them when the answer is plain in the Scriptures. Our “brethren” are guilty of this too. Biblical discussions arise and all of a sudden those who proclaim to speak where the Bible speaks (I Peter 4:11) talk more about what the Bible doesn’t say. We hear comments such as, “there are no Scriptures that say this is wrong” or “it falls under generic authority”. What they’re really saying is, “we don’t care one bit what God wants, we’re going to do it our way”.

Those who reject the authority of the Scriptures are the same one’s who often teach it. For example, these transgressors often quote II Timothy 3:16-17 which says:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”. Yet, when asked for the authority behind their teaching and practices all of a sudden Bible authority is not necessary. When pressed that if it were a good work God would have told us about it, as II Timothy 3:16-17 says, they’ll say that it is authorized as an expedient. Well, they have no command, authorized example, or necessary conclusion for something, so they think it must be expedient. WRONG! For something to be an expedient there has to be a lawful instruction first. For example, we are commanded and shown by example that we are to break bread on the first day of the week (Matthew 26:26-29, Acts 20:7-12, and I Corinthians 11:23-33). Using a tray to distribute the bread would be an expedient because the instruction is to partake and distribution is required (Luke 22:19).

Those who muddy the clarity of the Scriptures are erring. Brethren, obeying the Lord is simple. He has given us all the instructions that we need (II Peter 1:3). If God wants us to say or do something, He would have told us. The Lord knows how to express His will through His word. That is simplicity.


Solving The Many Debated Subjects By Keeping It Simple


There are many matters our brethren have debated over the years. Formal, public debates have been held on more subjects than I could list. Sometimes these debates lasted three, four, and even five days. Within the local congregations throughout our land and other countries there have been many issues over which brethren have divided. Most of these debates and divisions could and should have been ended by keeping it simple. But, no, preachers and members all of a sudden become scholars who use three and four part logical arguments to come to a Scriptural conclusion. While, at the same time, these brethren pretend to believe that the Scriptures are all sufficient. Brethren, God knows we will really get goofy if He makes things too difficult. That is why our Lord has been plain and clear in what He wants. If we held to that principle, then many things would be different today. In the book of Job we find this from our Lord:
“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8). What we have to do is not twist what the Lord has declared. Now, let’s apply how simple things really are.

The debates over divorce and remarriage could be ended quickly if we just read what the Lord has really said. God hates divorce [putting away] in all cases (Malachi 2:14-16). The Lord does not want us to end our marriages (Matthew 19:3-6). The exception in Matthew 19:9 of fornication is just that, an exception. Now, if we took all other Scriptures into consideration we would see how rare we should see that exception being used. First, if your mate sinned against you there’s a duty to try and get them to repent and then a command to forgive them if they do (Matthew 18:15-17 and Luke 17:3-4). Secondly, Christians ought not run to court against one another (I Corinthians 6:1-8). Finally, though more could be said, how can a husband claim to love his wife as Christ does the church (Ephesians 5:25) or the wife reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:33) when they run to end the marriage? It is that simple!

Brethren have debated over fellowship for many years. Questions about whether or not denominations are in “our fellowship” have been debated. Romans 14 has been used as a license to have fellowship with false teachers and apostate congregations. These “brethren” have failed to see that “boundaries of fellowship” are not determined by our standards. God is the one who determines the boundaries of fellowship (I John 1:3-7) and we transgress when we are in fellowship with those who do not have the Lord (II John 9-11; cf. Ephesians 5:11). Therefore, we must ask whether or not someone or a congregation is in fellowship with the Lord, using the Scriptures, before we can be in fellowship with them. It is that simple!

The debates over mechanical instruments of music used in worship, the make-up offering of the Lord’s Supper, Institutionalism, Christian Colleges, human organizations teaching the Scriptures, the Social Gospel, women deacons, women elders, etc. can all be solved by applying the principle most often covered among brethren. That principle is, “what saith the Lord?” In regard to the items listed in this paragraph, the Lord has said NOTHING! If we then live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4, Matthew 28:18-20, and Luke 4:4), we know these things would be wrong to do since the Lord hasn’t asked us to do it. When God wants something, He knows how to tell us to do it (II Samuel 7:1-7 and Numbers 9:6-14). If someone cannot put their finger on the passage that authorizes them to say or do something, then it cannot be said or done (Colossians 3:17). It is that simple!

Conclusion


Brethren, nothing that has been said in this article is new. In one way or another, most preachers and teachers have taught these same truths. They have just decided not to apply them. The old “speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is silent” phrase is quoted among the liberal churches of Christ out there. Sad, isn’t it? We have to keep these matters simple. The only way to do so is to continue doing what we know is acceptable and keeping clear of that which is questionable (Romans 14:23)! It is that simple.