Home | Archives | Guest Book | Links | churches of Christ | Contact Us
Plan of Salvation
 | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Store | World Evangelism
Gospel Gazette Online logo

Serving an international
readership with the
Old Jerusalem Gospel
via the Internet.

Vol.  10  No. 5 May 2008  Page 20
powered by FreeFind
Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Louis Rushmore

Use of Teaching Literature

Hi, I have used articles in personal bible studies that I have with certain people. I use them so that I can have “structure” in my studies, and not just open the bible without direction as to what we’re talking about. For some reason, though, I started thinking that I would be opposed one day for not just using the “bible only” in my teaching. This lingers in my mind at times, and I wonder if I’m not thinking for myself when using other’s articles. What are your thoughts concerning this? Am I thinking too much of myself rather than in imparting spiritual information to another soul? Thank You, Anthony Grigsby

    Certainly, the Bible needs to be the basis of all worthwhile religious instruction. However, every comment about and explanation of Scripture is categorically comparable to using literature. Every sermon is categorically comparable to using literature, due to observations and comments beyond simply reading Scripture.

    The Bible itself expects explanations in addition to simply reading of Scripture. Consider these two examples, one from each testament of the Bible. “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. …Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:30-31, 35).

    One may use the Bible without literature when teaching someone if he is able to comfortably and effectively do so. Yet, literature (which is simply words written) that is true to what the Bible teaches and assists one teaching and/or one being taught is biblically defensible. 

Pornography, Divorce and Repentance

    Matthew 5:27-28 describes lustful thoughts as sinful, which certainly are a precursor for many who bring their lusts to fruition by committing adultery. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus Christ clarified Old Testament interpretation (of Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18) by the Jewish religious leaders respecting adultery, to include in the sin of adultery the thoughts that often precede the physical activity of adultery. Similarly, the apostle Peter described brethren, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin” (2 Peter 2:14). Lust usually precedes adultery. “Here, as in reference to murder, Jesus legislates against the thought which lies back of the act. He cuts off sin at its lowest root. The essence of all vice is intention. Those who indulge in unchaste imaginations, desires and intentions are guilty before God” (McGarvey and Pendleton). Elsewhere, Jesus also defines sin as originating in the heart or from within a person; “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).

    That being said, I am not aware of any commentator, preacher or other student of the Bible, among the churches of Christ or not, who is on record as supposing that lust by itself constitutes biblical grounds for divorce because of fornication or adultery (and possible subsequent remarriage) per Matthew 5:32 or 19:9.

    While one’s spouse viewing pornography and chatting on the Internet with members of the opposite sex may well be sinful, as well as a source of contention between marriage partners when discovered, the sin at that point is not public beyond the marriage partners. Repentance by the offending spouse and the willingness of the offended spouse to forgive the other ought to begin mending the wounded marriage as well as satisfy the offending spouse’s responsibility to God; irrespective of the sin, repentance and prayer constitute what one might call the second law of pardon for a Christian who sins (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).

  If the publicity of the marriage partner’s sin was to family members or other supposed confidants by the other marriage partner, why could not the guilty one’s repentance be made known to the same confidants also by the other marriage partner? However, if through the impropriety of one’s spouse and confidants or otherwise one’s sins are generally known, then, a sinning Christian ought to acknowledge sin in his or her life before the congregation against which one’s sins may bring shame and reproach, or adversely affect a congregation’s confidence in a fellow Christian. Neither Scripture nor common application of Scripture about repentance require one to specify the specifics of the sins for which a brother or sister is repenting (James 5:16 notwithstanding); those who know what the sin is don’t need to be apprised of what it is, and those who don’t know what the sin is don’t need to know. Brethren only need to know that a brother or sister repents of sin that may bring shame and reproach on the Lord’s church.

  Marriage is to be continued unless it is not possible to do so (e.g., death, Romans 7:2; adultery, Matthew 5:32; 19:9; desertion, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; preservation of self or other family members, Psalm 119:121; Acts 22:25; 24:9-11; 28:19). “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Works Cited

McGarvey, J.W. and Philip Y. Pendleton. Four-Fold Gospel. Cincinnati: Standard, 1914. CD-ROM. Austin: WordSearch, 2004.

For Whom Should a Christian Vote?

Can you give me some general advice when it comes to picking a candidate to be President? I’m young (22) and kind of inexperienced at this. In asking this, of course, I know that everyone may have something that they see personally in a candidate, so I’m not asking for any personal information from you (unless you desire to share it). From a Christian’s perspective, I need general advice. Though the Lord will ultimately pick who gets in office (Daniel 4:17 & Romans 13:1-6), and knowing too that none of the candidates will be perfect, I want to at least look at what the candidates stand for, and pray that they will be as honest as possible (I Timothy 2:1-2). [I emphasized part of the last sentence. ~ Editor]

    Hardly anything could be added to this scenario to make it better advice for anyone readying himself to vote for the next president. It is unfathomable that a professing Christian would do his or her part through the electoral process to promote the very sins that God through the New Testament condemns. Aside from the economy, national security, etc. over which there may be lively debate respecting the pros and cons of various presidential candidates, for the conscientious child of God there can be no debate regarding what political parties and their candidates may promote, in direct opposition to what the God of heaven opposes! I cannot imagine a faithful Christian purposefully contributing to the election a political candidate who espouses abortion (“murder” Matthew 19:18), homosexuality (Romans 1:24, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9), etc.
    Essentially, there is a noteworthy conflict between political candidates and God whenever political candidates favor any of the sins that appear in the various New Testament catalogs of sins (Romans 1:29-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; Revelation 21:8). “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20