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 Vol. 3, No. 9 

Page 20

September, 2001

Since You Askedtypewriter

David, A Man
After God's Heart

By Louis Rushmore

How God can say of David a man after my own heart when he did all of those wicked things as recorded in the Bible?

God wanted King Saul to be his favored servant, but Saul disobeyed God. More than that, Saul was not penitent. Therefore, God removed Saul from being king and sought another. “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee" (1 Samuel 13:14). At least initially, God found his favored servant in David (1 Samuel 16:6-13). David did the bidding of God, and yet, like all mortals, sometimes he sinned. Some of his more notable sins, of course, include adultery and murder. Yet, with penitent heart, David turned back to God. The favorable reference to David does not gloss over David's sins and may have applied to David more before the sins that we remember against him. It is possible, though, the favorable reference to David refers as much to him after his penitence as before he committed those ignoble sins. "And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will" (Acts 13:22). The Acts 13:22 reference is part of a summary of Hebrew history, which does not address many details. David was, when selected, a man after God's own heart, and through repentance from sin later, was often thereby a man after God's own heart. It is no different with us. Happily, God may find in us humble servants, and yet when we sin, we can penitently return to God and resume to some degree Christian service. Let's not excuse David, but let's not be harder on David than we hope for God to be when dealing with us.

 
By Louis Rushmore

My name is John Thurne, I have been preaching to the deaf in Alabama and Tennessee. I am not presently preaching because I have been informed by the elders of my home congregation that I have to cease preaching to the deaf because we do not have a scriptural authority for a separate services. ... My question is, 1. Is it wrong to have a separate service for the deaf? 2. The elders said it was wrong because of the Lord's Supper, is it wrong to have the Lord's Supper separately? 3. Did not Jesus command us to preach the gospel to every creature?

Typically, interpretation, whether for the deaf or for other spoken languages, takes place in the same assembly of a congregation. In the case of the deaf, the interpretation occurs simultaneously with the spoken lesson without interruption or confusion since only one audible voice at a time is heard. Where two or more spoken languages characterize an audience, such as on some mission fields, a preacher speaks and then pauses while his words are translated to the other language. This latter situation is precisely what the inspired apostle Paul instructed the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:26-33).

Sometimes, in areas where a number of worshippers speak a language that is not shared by a larger number of worshippers, the two language groups will form separate congregations. Two such groups may have an agreement where they use the same facilities at different times, though they are essentially two distinct congregations (e.g., English speakers and Spanish speakers).

Biblically speaking, the worship assembly of a single congregation is defined as the whole church coming together in one place (1 Corinthians 11:17-20; 14:23). One of the activities in the worship assembly is the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11) in which the church participates together. The other aspects of worship, likewise, are jointly pursued by the whole church coming together at one time in one place.

The Greek word for the English “church” can refer to the universal church spanning the entire world and across the centuries since the establishment of the church (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22). Additionally, the word “church" can mean a congregation that meets in a certain city (1 Corinthians 1:2) or it can refer to the assembly of a congregation to worship (1 Corinthians 11 and 14).

Yes, the Gospel is intended by God for every accountable person on earth. However, no one dare ignore the areas in which God through the Bible specifies the details of how something is to be fulfilled. We look to the Bible for authority through commands, approved examples and implication (from which we are obligated to correctly infer). There is a biblical pattern or definition for what constitutes an assembly of the Lord's church (see above). In all things, we need to apprise ourselves of God's Word and determine to operate within the boundaries of divine authorization where God has specified. There is a way of doing the will of God (e.g., preaching to the deaf) without running afoul of divine instruction.

Women Wearing Pants

By Louis Rushmore

Please explain Deut twenty-two five in light of women wearing ladies pants?

Deuteronomy 22:5 reads, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." The Book of Deuteronomy was given to the Israelites after the inauguration of Judaism, which took place at Mt. Sinai. Obviously, the precepts that are in Deuteronomy, as such, have no regulatory power respecting the God-given law that preceded Judaism (i.e., Patriarchy), unless something given by God under Patriarchy was also included in Judaism. However, does a law under Judaism necessarily apply to the religious age, in which we live (i.e., Christianity)? Again, if a law under Judaism is repeated under Christianity, then such a requirement has force now, not because it was a law under Judaism, but because it is a law of God under Christianity. Additionally, something that was a law under a previous God-given system of religion (i.e., Patriarchy, Judaism), though the specifics do not apply now since they are not included in the New Testament, may have some bearing today due to the principle involved.

In this case, the New Testament does not forbid women from wearing garments usually worn by men. However, the principle that Deuteronomy 22:5 addressed is applicable today. That is, it has always been the case from creation through the present that God intends for men and women to occupy distinctive, complementary but different roles (1 Corinthians 11:3; 14:34-35; Ephesians 5:22-26; 1 Timothy 2:11-13). At no time more urgently than the present, society and even Christians need to be reminded of this.

From our vantage, there was little difference between the garb of males and females during the time when Deuteronomy 22:5 was effective. Yet, God determined that men and women would retain their respective roles, including for men and women not to wear the clothes of the opposite sex. Both Patriarchy and Judaism have been replaced with Christianity (Ephesians 2:14-22; Colossians 2:14; Romans 7:1-7; 2 Corinthians 3:11; Hebrews 8:6-7). Hence, strictly speaking, Deuteronomy 22:5 does not apply today and neither men nor women are biblically forbidden from wearing clothes that the opposite sex might wear. Still, though, God intends for men and women to retain their respective, God-given roles in the home and the church.

(Additional reasons for which Deuteronomy 22:5 may have forbidden confusion of clothing between men and women, include: (1) Pagans sometimes worshipped Venus by women appearing before the idol in men's armor while men wore women's clothes. (2) As women's garments usually covered all of the woman's legs but the man's garment was shorter, exchanging garments may have encouraged lust. (3) Men wearing women's garments may have indicated effeminate behavior, whereas women wearing men's garments may have indicated their adoption of masculine qualities.)

Copyright © 2001 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
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