Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 10 October 2015
Page 3


Sing a Little Louder

Rodney NulphDuring the horrific events of the Nazi Holocaust, a German Christian remembers a train that passed by his church, and as it did, the churchgoers could hear the people and their cries for help—cries that to this day still haunt the man. The church soon realized that if they just sang a little louder they could drown out the cries of distress. Sadly, this cover up is still going on today. Many Christians are simply singing a little louder in an attempt to drown out the cries of God’s people who are leaving the simple pattern for the church and her work. In fact, far too many congregations are digressing from the model God gave in His Book. Consider some of the areas of digression.

Firstly, the pattern is left when it comes to glorifying. In many places, man has stolen the glory that so rightfully belongs to Almighty God. Paul penned, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). In this one passage alone we see the person – “Unto him…” which obviously refers to the Godhead (cf. Ephesians 3:1-20). No person is worthy of glory! God deserves each and every ounce of glory and adoration! However, when we name extra religious organizations after mankind, we are robbing God. Secondly, we see the practice – “…glory…” which refers to praise, homage and worship. Far too often, we are enamored with man instead of with God. Only God is worthy of praise and worship (Matthew 4:10). Thirdly, we see the place – “…in the church…” God is not glorified in a manmade “institution.” Although excuses are given for these extra-biblical organizations (“they do a lot of good” or “great men are involved in them”), the truth of God’s Word still remains. Lastly, we see the period – “…throughout all ages…” There will never be a time when this passage will not be true! Although many congregations are just “singing a little louder,” God’s Word will never be completely masked!

Secondly, the pattern is left when it comes to giving. Almost unbelievable to me is the fact that some congregations are actually holding fundraisers, yard sales, dinners and other means to support the work of the church. God could not have been clearer as to how He desired the church to be funded. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Defending Christianity, preaching the Gospel, edifying the saved and giving to those in need are all works of the church and are only to be funded through “freewill” offerings on the Lord’s Day. Paul, a true missionary, was supported by his own hands and local congregations (Philippians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:9). Can you imagine Paul holding a dinner for donations to preach the Gospel or selling tickets to an event to raise money to give a defense of his Christianity? Brethren, we are drifting, and singing a little louder will not anchor the ship.

Thirdly, the pattern is left when it comes to generosity. How should we send aid to needy people? God said, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Paul gathered aid for the needy from congregations and individual Christians, and he sent that aid by the hand of Titus and another brother (2 Corinthians 8:16ff). Titus and this other brother were chosen by the churches (2 Corinthians 8:19). Sadly, today many congregations give money to relief groups, bigger than local congregations, to do their benevolence for them. Why? If benevolence worked in the days of Paul, why won’t the same pattern work today? God gave us a model of how to help the needy, and singing a little louder will never change it!

Well-meaning brethren in many locations have left the simple pattern of the New Testament. God’s ways always work! Our plea must be to return to that which God has authorized. No additions, gimmicks, groups, centers, organizations or teams. The only team we need is the one God ordained, the church! I have heard it said by many, “We know it’s wrong, but what can we do?” We must lovingly demand a “thus saith the Lord” for all we believe and practice. If a congregation will not follow the pattern of the New Testament, then they are not a congregation of the New Testament! Please stop singing a little louder so that God’s Word can be clearly heard!

God’s Will, Will Be Done!

Thomas Baxley

Thomas BaxleyIn Judges 4, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died, so God gave them over to their enemies, into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan. Deborah was a prophetess and was judging Israel during this time, and God commanded Barak through Deborah to go up against Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army. Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him. Because of this, the honor of defeating Sisera would not be his, but it would fall to a woman. We continue reading and learn that it was Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, who killed Sisera while he slept.

God has a plan, and it will be done. Pharaoh tried to prevent God’s plan in his day, and his country was left in utter ruin. Barak was afraid, so God raised up someone else to do His bidding. This lesson should resound with all who claim to be faithful followers of God. God has a will, and it will be done. Let us always have the courage to repeat the words of Isaiah, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

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