A Debate on Instrumental Music, Part 3

angelharp1.jpgMessrs. AC and IM meet for lunch a third time to finish up their discussion.

AC: I took good notes last time. At least I thought I did. I made an appointment with my preacher to discuss these thoughts, and I got nowhere. I mean, as soon as I mentioned the Holy Spirit, things just went downhill. [AC looks despondent.]

IM: You know, the Spirit is a big part of Christianity. The New Testament says a lot on the subject. The Old Testament prophesies the coming of the Spirit when the Messiah comes. It’s big.

And if you get this doctrine completely wrong, lots of other doctrines aren’t going to make any sense. It all fits together. Continue reading

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A Debate on Instrumental Music, Part 2

angelharp1.jpgAs I try to cope with my recovery from surgery, I find I have to take naps. I didn’t mean to fall out during today’s sermon–which was a fine sermon–but my body just needed 20 winks. It only got 2 before I was jolted awake.

So I got 18 more after Sunday lunch, and found my dreams troubled once again by Messrs. AC and IM. It seems they’d met for lunch to continue their conversation.

IM: So. Have you given our last conversation and further thought?

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A Debate on Instrumental Music, Part 1

Angel with harpWell, following my back surgery, I’m finally off narcotics. I’m not sure whether I’m thinking more or less clearly. But I’m sure having some strange dreams!

I was still reflecting on that Christian Chronicle ad as this dream came to me. Two men were debating the issue, a supporter of instrumental music (Mr. IM) and a supporter of exclusively a cappella music (Mr. AC). The two men seem to have been friends, so this debate was more pleasant than most.

IM seemed intent on coming up with a book, chapter, and verse argument for instrumental music for some reason.

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A Time to Speak

Angel with harpThis month’s Christian Chronicle (October 2007) features a two-page ad from a group of Church of Christ preachers organized as NewTestamentChurchToday.org. The ad advocates a cappella music as the exclusive authorized means of worship.

The purpose of this post is to consider the arguments made and whether they in fact reflect Biblical truths. And to issue a challenge. Continue reading

Church Discipline: Conclusions

grace2.jpgLet’s take a moment and reflect on what the scriptures teach us about church discipline.

As you’ve seen, I like to make charts. I particularly find it helpful to break things down based on the faith, hope, love or Christ, Savior, and Lord threesomes.

Here’s a chart from an earlier lesson:

To become saved     Baptism To stay saved      
Hear, believe, confess the gospel Faith Accept Jesus as Son of God   Faith Accept Jesus as Son of God Faith Faith
Repent Penitence Accept Jesus as Lord   Penitence Accept Jesus as Lord Love Love
    Accept Jesus as Savior     Accept Jesus as Savior Only Hope

Notice, the church discipline fits into the same categories as our salvation. Continue reading

Church Discipline: Divisiveness

grace2.jpgWe’ve already considered Rom. 16:17.

(Rom 16:17) I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

This is written to many preachers in the 21st Century Churches of Christ. It’s not those who disagree on instrumental music or elder re-affirmation. It’s those who claim the power to damn over questions that have nothing to do with the gospel, like instrumental music and elder re-affirmation. Such men should be fled–not honored or catered to. They certainly shouldn’t be made ministers or elders. Continue reading

Church Discipline: Those Without Faith

grace2.jpgThis is one of the most abused verses in all of scripture (which says a lot!)

(2 John 1:7, 9-11) Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. … Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

The “doctrine of Christ” is plainly the doctrine of his incarnation.

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