Being A Part Of Union Church Services

            Pertaining to working with denominational ministers in Union Services (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), I am one Pulpit Minister who has a problem. I have made attempts to cooperate with local denominational ministerial groups. However, my track record is not very good.

 

            I can cooperate on given projects without any problem. Such is the case of collectively fighting off sinful events and places that effect the community (Gambling Dens, Dance Halls, Saloons, Porno Shops, etc.).   Also, I  have attempted to hold hands with denominational ministers to oppose "Wrongs In The Local Schools," (indecent literature, scheduled events at church scheduled times, etc.).  I have also shared radio time donated to the local Ministerial Association, in order to get the Gospel over the airways.

 

            Thus, I hope the readers of this article will not judge me as one who is a stuffed shirt, and has all the answers to life's problems. In fact, there are days when I do not even know the questions, let alone the answers. I am not one who will cross the street to keep from saying "Hello" to a denominational minister or one who will be picking fights with him. Nor do I constantly use the pulpit to "Cut Down" every religious group's teaching in the world. I contend that on various occasions one must distinguish what the Bible says and what some religion's teachings are.

 

            Since I am a member of a religious fellowship, (Restoration Movement) which claims to strive to restore New Testament Christianity, I am obligated to strive to keep the "Unity" of the believers. Jesus prayed for unity of His followers, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:20,21) Thus, denominational ministers and I "part ways" on many issues.

 

Some are:

  1. Party names that cause divisions. Paul said this is sin in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
  2. Stating that one is saved prior to baptism. Mark 16:16 & Acts 2:38 both state that one must be baptized in order to be saved.
  3. Substituting sprinkling and pouring for immersion and even performing this on infants and those in a state of unconsciousness. English Bibles make it plain that the baptismal candidate went down into the water in Acts 8:38,39. Also, the act of baptism of the early church was always performed by immersion as the Greek word "Baptizo" always meant immersion. Other modes (sprinkling, pouring, etc.) were never used in the first several centuries of the church. Later this practice was brought on by uninspired men.
  4. Purposely excluding the Lord's Supper (Communion) from the regular weekly service. Acts 20:7 teaches that the early church observed the Lord's Supper weekly. This was the practice for many centuries until uninspired men began to change it to sharing it only monthly, quarterly, yearly or totally eliminating it. If one has the "right" to remove it from the weekly service, another has the "right" to eliminate the preaching, the singing, or the offering.
  5. Producing church governments led by popes, cardinals, bishops, superintendents, etc. who control congregations from afar off, and even appointing women to men's offices. 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-15 teach that the local congregation was governed by the local evangelists and elders, which were men.
  6. The accepting of unrepentant people into the church membership – drunkards, dopeheads, gays,  live-ins. Acts 17:30 makes it plain that sinners are to repent, or to turn from known sin.

            Many people think that a False Prophet is one who is out on a soapbox being radical and is very noticeable.  However, we are warned about False Prophets being able to be disguised as sheep, but inwardly savage wolves, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15) People who bring a false message (Dividing names – which they say are okay as we are all going to the same place, Salvation prior to baptism, Communion quarterly, Women preachers, Gays being acceptable to God, etc.), are False Teachers and should be exposed for what they really are: "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 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. 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?' And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:20-23); "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:24); and "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction." (II Peter 2:1)

 

            By participating in Union Services with people who teach contrary to the Scriptures – I am convinced that I am sending a wrong message to brethren who are not able to distinguish between their false teachings and true doctrine. I do not believe that the Scriptures teach that one church is as good as another.

 

            Likewise, I see very serious consequences to fellowshipping with denominational youth movements. Many of our youth are not well grounded in the scriptures – of course many of our adults are not, as far as that goes – and therefore, they will have real difficulty identifying false teachings at rallies, conventions and so forth. Thus, my convictions are – Stay on safe territory by inviting only those who you know are not going to teach falsely.

 

            Likewise, attend those revivals, rallies, conventions, retreats, etc. that you know will bless you real good.  The conclusion of the entire matter is — study God's Word daily, pray for insight and wisdom to determine what is false and what is truth.

 


 

God Is Still In Charge

If you are down and feel that it is our world's darkest hour;
Don't give up, God is still in charge.
He has sent bright sunlight, sweet flowers, and air we breathe.

If you are worried and wonder what tomorrow will hold;
Don't give up, God is still in charge.
He has given us food to eat, water to drink, and homes to live in.

If you are troubled, and worried about your loved ones;
Don't give up, God is still in charge.
He has promised He will never give us more than we can stand;

If you are tempted to stay in bed and not go to church;
Don't give up, God is still in charge.
He has promised He will not leave us comfortless;

If you are tempted to be silent and forget to pray;
Don't give up, God is still in charge.
He promised, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door shall be opened.

Don't give up, God is still in charge.

- Shara L. Allen

Posted in Articles By Brother Hoyt.