How is it that the Lord’s church was able to function for centuries and educate it’s members without the use of Sunday Schools or Bible classes (1 Corinthians 14:26), yet in our present time it is contended that the Church cannot be edified without their use? Why is it that the church could assemble in unity for nearly 1900 years and drink from a single cup during the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:27-28/ Mark 14:23/ 1 Corinthians 11:25-26) yet now cannot be so united since G. C. Brewer forced his “expedient” practice of multiple cups into the Lord’s church and thus began a division in about 1914. Are we allowed to force an “expedient” into the church and cause division over it (Romans 14)? How could the Lord’s church worship for 1800 years or more without the “expedient” of instruments of music in it’s worship? Why was the Lord’s pattern for training preachers, teachers, elders, and deacons (2 Timothy 1:5; 2:2; 3:14-15) sufficient for centuries, yet now insufficient and of “necessity” being replaced by “Bible” colleges? How was the church able to fulfill the great commission in taking the gospel unto all the world (Romans 1:8; Colossians 1:6), yet “must” now build missionary societies, “Bible” colleges, and hospitals in order to accomplish this task?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 declares,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (emphasis mine)
Does the Word of God indeed equip the church for “every good work” or is it in need of the institutions and innovations of man? Is the church thoroughly equipped or only partially equipped to do the work God gave her to do?
Again Paul writes in Ephesians 3:20-21:
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Does Christ’s power (Romans 1:16) rest in the church or in man-made institutions? Does all glory belong to God in the church, or does some of the glory reside in man-made institutions?
Consider Paul’s command to the Colossian brethren:
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Does the church have authority for everything it teaches and practices? Consider the following:
Though the Bible is not silent about an assembly of the church (1 Corinthians 14:26; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 20:7) it neither explicitly nor implicitly authorizes the church to divide its assembly into smaller groups? Where is the authority for “Bible” classes? (Colossians 3:17)
Though the Bible is not silent about the Lord taking a cup, drinking from it, giving it to the disciples, and telling them to drink from it (Matthew 26:27-28/ Mark 14:23/ 1 Corinthians 11:25-26), it neither explicitly nor implicitly authorizes the church to use multiple containers in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
Though the Bible is not silent about the education of the members of the church, both young and old (1 Corinthians 14:26; 2 Timothy 1:5; 2:2; 3:14-15) it neither explicitly nor implicitly authorizes the church to create institutions to perform the work of the church in training its members.
Though the Bible is not silent about the church supporting evangelists to take the gospel into all the world (2 Timothy 2:2; 2 Cor. 11:8; Philippians 4:15; 1 Timothy 5:18) and how to provide benevolence in times of crisis (Acts 11:27-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; Romans 15:25-28; 2 Corinthians 8,9) it neither explicitly nor implicitly authorizes the church or its members to form missionary societies.
For hundreds of years the Lord’s church was united on all of the issues addressed in this article, yet it is now divided on these and other issues. Who cause these divisions? Was it those who were “anti” the innovation? Or, was it those who have no Scriptural authority for their innovation and yet forced their creation into the church?
At some point everyone becomes an “Anti”. If a person were to declare that belief in Christ is not necessary for salvation, would not all claiming to be the church oppose such a doctrine? Would that not make them an “Anti” to the doctrine that faith is not necessary for salvation? Should “Anti-no faith” brethren be ridiculed and ignored for opposing that which is not taught in Scripture? Would “Anti-no faith” brethren be responsible for dividing the Lord’s church on the topic of faith? Absolutely not.
May the Lord’s church return to standing by a “Thus saith the Lord” rather than name calling and ridiculing those whom she cannot answer from the Scriptures.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’