And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume 15, Number 03

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

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Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
All sing last Wednesday

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Bible Answers

Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

"The Ten Commandments of the Social Gospel"
Author Unknown

1. Thou shalt preach only on pleasant subjects, never on anything that would offend.

2. Thou shalt make parties and entertainment a routine work of the church, for many are converted by this means.

3. Thou shalt never correct a brother when he sins, but always ignore the fact; correction brings hard feelings.

4. Thou shalt not withdraw from an impenitent brother, for this would cause confusion in the congregation.

5. Thou shalt always be on buddy-buddy and back-slapping terms with everyone so non-Christians will assume that membership in the body of Christ involves nothing but fun and games.

6. Thou shalt do everything possible to make the church popular in the world.

7. Thou shalt have your preacher spend his time gabbing and sipping coffee with the townsfolk rather than studying the word of God.

8. Thou shalt remember thy responsibility to royally entertain the young people, in order to keep them in the church.

9. Thou shalt always follow the pattern of the denominations, for its success proves it to be tried and true.

10. Thou shalt never preach the truth on church problems during a gospel meeting; non-Christians might get the notion there is some disunity.

-From  The Way of Truth and Life,  Feb. 12, 2012


"Please Don't Feed the Ants!"
Joe R. Price

The following announcement appeared in a recent bulletin of the Salt Lake Valley Church of Christ:

"PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ANTS: Anyone who brings food into the building is asked to be mindful of the fact that we have a severe ant problem. Please be sure to clean up the area in which food is served and make sure any to be left is sealed in air-tight containers." (The Salt Lake Messenger, Salt Lake Valley Church of Christ, May 30, 1993)

I am sorry to hear about the ant problem. Ants are pesky things. And diligent. "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest" (Prov. 6:6-8). It seems the ants have been harvesting their "bread" at the Salt Lake Valley Church of Christ with a good deal of success.

The suggested remedy for this ant problem is to clean up the food-serving areas and make sure the food left behind is tightly sealed. We all know this helps reduce the chances of ants getting to their next meal, but someone is sure to forget, and as soon as they do those tireless creatures will once again make their presence known. Therefore, I would like to propose to these brethren a remedy which, if observed, will greatly reduce their ant problem. In fact, if this precautions is taken, in all likelihood the ants will soon go looking for their "bread" somewhere else. The solution is found in 1 Corinthians 11:22, 34. "What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you…. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment."

You see, there is a greater problem here than not feeding the ants. It is that of feeding the people! It is a foregone conclusion in the denominations around us that a part of the work of a church is to provide social gatherings for its members and the community. Indeed, to suggest that it is not the work of the local church to plan, promote and provide social and recreational activities is viewed as narrow-minded by some and blasphemous by others. However, we are content to let the Bible answer the issue for us. And, we plead with brethren in Salt Lake and elsewhere to respect what the Bible teaches on this important subject.

The local church has God-given work it is to do. Briefly stated, its work is evangelism to the lost (1 Ths. 1:8; Phil. 1:5), edification of its members (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11-16) and benevolence to needy saints (Acts 4:34-35; 6:1-6; 11:27-30; 1 Tim. 5:16). This is the sum of the work authorized in the New Testament by Jesus for the local church. Since we are to function under His authority, we are content to do only the work He has charged us with in our congregational capacity (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:24; Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 4:17).

But, for a variety of reasons, brethren have had trouble being content with the simplicity of the gospel as it relates to the work of the church. Whether it is to "be like the nations around them" or to draw people together in the hope of teaching them the gospel and/or fostering improved relationships (1 Sam. 8: 5, 20; Jno. 6:26-27, 44-45), the result is the same. Additions to the work of the church are being made and accepted. Disobedience of 1 Corinthians 11:22, 34 occurs. Good motives for church-sponsored and promoted dinners, get-togethers and "fellowship meals" do not change these facts. The end does not justify the means (Rom. 3:8). We must do God's work in the God-revealed way, not our own (Eph. 2:10).

One common response to the foregoing position of no church-sponsored social functions is thus stated: "You are misapplying 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. The Corinthians' problem was that they were abusing the Lord's Supper by introducing their common meals into the assembly. The church can promote 'fellowship meals' and such as long as these activities are kept separate from the assembly." It is true that the Corinthians were abusing the Lord's Supper (v. 20-21). Nobody denies that. But please look carefully at the remedy the apostle prescribes. He did NOT say "separate your church-sponsored meals from the assembly." He DID say you have houses to eat and drink in (v. 22). He DID say let the hungry man eat at home (not at the "fellowship meal" in the "fellowship hall" after services). The remedy was to remove all common meals from their "coming together" (v. 33-34). The work of the local church is to feed the soul, not the flesh. Let the home supervise common meals. Let the church "come together" to worthily partake of the Lord's supper (v. 20, 33-34).

Another oft stated defense intended to legitimize church-endorsed social gatherings is this: "Only individuals are providing the food. The local church is not involved since none of its money is being used to provide the event." Honestly now, were not individuals the ones who were providing the food in 1 Corinthians 11? "...for in your eating each one taketh before other his own supper..." (v. 21). Furthermore, the church is using its money when its building and facilities are used for the separate activity of pot-luck dinners, etc. Since the building is an expedient, its use must first be an authorized (lawful) activity for the local church to conduct (1 Cor. 6:12). The building expedites (aids) the church in evangelism, edification and benevolence (the authorized works of the local church). Authority for church-promoted social activities is lacks scriptural support (Col. 3:17). Therefore, to use the building for such activities is to use it to aid an unauthorized work.

Other defenses are offered, but when all are heard the simple truth of 1 Corinthians 11:22, 34 remains. It is clear, decisive and compelling. Let the local church be about the spiritual business of honoring the Lord's death and promoting gospel preaching and teaching (1 Cor. 14:26). Let the home be about the business of feeding the stomach and arranging social gatherings. God's way works. We need not tamper with it. We ask our brethren in Salt Lake and elsewhere to come back to the Bible way and stop adding to God's word and work (Jer. 6:16). When we follow God's way we will not have to worry about feeding the ants. The church's full attention will be given to feeding the word of God to the souls of men and women. (Acts 20:28; Heb. 5:12-14; 1 Pet. 2:2) 

-Reprint: The Spirit's Sword (IV:41), 12/17/00


Is Evolution Scientific?
Wayne Jackson

Evolution is the idea that all living creatures have arisen from the same original form of life by natural development. This is said to have taken millions of years. Many people think that if you believe in evolution, you are very "scientific." But if you believe the Bible's teaching that God created plants and animals, they say you are not being scientific.

The truth is, the way living creatures came into existence in the beginning is not a question that science can answer. For something to be true "science," you must be able to see it, and do experiments to either prove it, or show it to be false. This just can't be done with creation or evolution, because no human was there to see what happened, and there is no way to test such results.

A very famous scientist, Dr. Robert Jastrow, wrote a book called Until The Sun Dies.  He talked about the theory of evolution, which he believes. He does not believe the Bible account.  In spite of his belief, he asks: "What concrete evidence supports that remarkable theory [evolution] of the origin of life? There is none." (Robert Jastrow, Until the Sun Dies, NY:W.W. Norton, 1977, p. 60). At least this scientist was honest enough to admit that his belief in evolution cannot be proved.

The question is: which idea, evolution or creation, is better supported by the scientific facts? A careful study of this subject will show that creation is much better supported than evolution.

-Discovery, May 1993


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  03/01/2012

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