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Scripture Reading:  Psalms 119:153-160


The "No Pattern" Theory (2)



1.  God’s pattern is all His revelation on any given subject (Psa. 119:160; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2.  Reuel Lemmons once advocated this (One Body, Summer, 1988, 4).

3.  Part 1:  Reality of Bible patterns, how they are revealed in Scripture & discerning those patterns.

4.  Part 2:  What are the patterns for us today? – 2 Tim. 1:13

  a.  If one tries to say the Bible teaches there are no patterns, doesn’t that make the Bible a pattern for “no patternism”?

  b.  Once the “no pattern” theory is accepted there is no stopping point.


-The pattern of sound words concerning…



  A.  “No Patternism” Would Demand that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Only Savior of Sinners – Jno. 14:6 (Acts 4:12).

      - Buddha Sakia of India, Krishna of Hinduism, Mohammed of Islam…

  B.  “No Patternism” says there is No Plan of Salvation.

  C.  Pattern for Gospel Obedience Rom. 6:17-18; 1 Tim. 1:16.

      1.  If not, cannot bind baptism; cannot forbid infant baptism.
      2.  If no order, no disorder.  (H-B-R-C-B)



  A.  “No Patternism” says no Pattern for Local Church Organization.

  B.  NT Pattern:  Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1 (Tit. 1:5; 1 Pet. 5:2).

      1.  If not:  One-man pastor plan; Priestly caste of Catholics; etc.
      2.  If no order, no disorder.



  A.  “No Patternism” is used to Justify Instrumental Music in Worship.

      1.  “Worship is a right thing to do, and there is no wrong way to do it…There is no such think as ‘acts of worship.’”  (Given O. Blakely, Blakely-Highers Debate)

      2.  That thinking allows anything!  (Snake-handling, hamburgers & cokes on the Lord’s table, burning incense, tongue speaking, etc.)

      3.  If no order, no disorder.

  B.  God’s Pattern:  All He Reveals About the Church’s WorshipJno. 4:24 (Col. 3:16-17).

      1.  Worship of the local church:

         -Singing (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19); Prayer (1 Cor. 14:15-16); Lord’s supper (Acts20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20-34); Give (1 Cor. 16:2); Preach (Acts 20:7; 2:42).

      2.  If not:  Lord’s supper on Saturday; Piano, beads, candles; etc.
      3.  If no order, no disorder.



  A.  “No Patternism” Says Whatever You Can Conceive is Acceptable.

      1.  Gaston Cogdell:  Love is law for the church (quotation).

      2.  Then, love is a binding pattern!!  (No binding pattern except love!)

  B.  God’s Pattern for the Work of the Local Church:

      1.  Caring for needy saints 1 Tim. 5:16.

      2.  Evangelism 1 Ths. 1:8.

      3.  Edification Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 14:26.

         -Teach gospel, discipline, serve & grow (Eph. 4:11-12).



  A.  “No Patternism” Says There is No Binding Pattern of Congregational Cooperation in the NT.

      1.  “So it becomes necessary to raise the question:  is there an exclusive pattern of church cooperation taught in the Bible?  My answer.  No.”  (Guy N. Woods, Cogdill-Woods Debate, 196)

      2.  So, we have... missionary societies… Herald of Truth…sponsoring church arrangements… orphan homes…

        a.  Support human organization to do church’s work (Missionary society, orphan homes)?

             b.  One church support the work of another church (sponsoring church arrangement such as H.O.T.)?

             c.  Oversight of one church’s work of evangelism &/or benevolence by a sponsoring church?

        d.  One church asking other churches to support (fund) its local work?

  B.  God’s Pattern for Congregational Cooperation:

      1.  Benevolence (caring for needy saints):

        a.  Locally (Acts 6:1-6).

        b.  A church to churches (Acts 11:29-30).

        c.  Churches to a church (1 Cor. 16:1-2).

      2.  Evangelism:  “The Bible does not provide an exclusive pattern for evangelism.”  (Jackie M. Stearsman, “Church Cooperation and Evangelism,” The Harvester, Feb97;


        a.  Send preachers (Acts 13:3).

        b.  Church supports a preacher (Phil. 4:15; 1:5).

        c.  Churches sent to preacher (2 Cor. 11:8).

      3.  EdificationAccomplished locally – 1 Pet. 5:2.



  A.  “No Patternism” is used to Justify “Moral Relativism.”

      1.  No absolutes, each person must decide; self becomes standard.

      2.  Morality becomes situational (stealing, lying, adultery, etc.).

      3.  Used to justify homosexual acceptance; adulterous remarriages; social drinking, etc.

  B.  God’s Pattern:  Rom. 12:1-2; Tit. 2:12 (2 Cor. 6:17-18; 1 Jno. 2:15).



1.  Divine pattern for our lives is all God has said on any given subject (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2.  Heb. 12:25“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.”





The “No Pattern” Theory (2)





·   Reuel Lemmons, One Body, Summer 1988, page 4:


“We must go to pattern theology for our very concept of the church… Everything we read in the Scriptures enforces the pattern concept… Redemption follows a pattern or it doesn’t.  Worship follows a pattern or it doesn’t.  Church government follows a pattern or it doesn’t.  The Christian life follows a pattern or it doesn’t.  If there is no pattern then one way to be saved in as good as another, one may worship anyway he pleases, govern the church anyway he chooses and live any kind of life he wishes to live.


“If we assume such a thing as pattern theology, or even admit to the existence of patterns, we are forced to accept limitations, for patterns limit.  They restrict to both right and left.  This forces us to accept God’s authority in areas of silence as well as in areas of revelation.”




·   Gaston D. Cogdell, The Cogdell-Turner Discussion:


“Whatever love for God and man dictates, is the law of God for the church.”  (page 90)


“The church has a primary mission to perform and work to do – saving souls and keeping them saved.  But any activity that will contribute to that end which is not of itself sinful, is permissible for the church to engage in, as long as it is done with that end in view.  Furthermore, the church can use any means and methods that it sees fit to accomplish this end so long as those means and methods are not in and of themselves sinful.”  (pages 91-92)



“There is no instructions in the scriptures as to how the church is to carry on its work of evangelization and benevolence.”  (page 95)