Monday, June 18, 2007

The Silence of the Scriptures

Does God's silence authorize or prohibit? This question has been discussed for centuries. Some believe that a thing is wrong only if there is a specific prohibition against it. This reasoning is used to defend such practices as the use of instruments in worship and taking money the church has collected and using it for recreational purposes.

A helpful passage to consider is Hebrews 7:14. "For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests." In this context, the Hebrew writer is making the point that the law has changed (v. 12). This was necessary before Jesus could be a priest. Jesus could not be a priest under the old law. Why? He was from the tribe of Judah. Why was this prohibited? Nothing was said about it. When the Law of Moses specified the tribe of Levi as the tribe from which priests would descend, all the other tribes were automatically excluded, even without a specific prohibition.

We should not defend a practice by saying, "God hasn't said not to." Instead, we need to find where the practice is authorized. Notice in Hebrews 7:14 that even Jesus, the Son of God, could not have the rules bent so as to allow Him to be a priest under the old law. Let us not think so much of ourselves that we bend the rules and expect God to be pleased. Instead, let's do only those things authorized in His word.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Support of Preachers

"So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:14).

This verse, along with the verses leading up to it, shows us God's design that those who devote their lives to preaching the gospel ought to be able to make a living from their work. Local churches and individual Christians ought to take this seriously. Are they, to the best of their ability, allowing those who labor in the gospel to devote their lives wholly to that work?

When we consider the responsibility to "support such men" (3 Jn. 8), we need to properly understand the nature of that support. It seems there are some who view the money they give to a preacher, at least to some degree, as benevolence. They are helping someone who is in need. The reason he is in need is because he has devoted his life to preaching instead of getting a job that will allow him to support himself and his family. This is not how the New Testament describes a preacher's support.

Paul told the Corinthians, "I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you" (2 Cor. 11:8). The money Paul received for preaching was not benevolent aid. He was paid wages. Wages are that which you earn for what you do. Therefore, when deciding what to pay a man for his work in preaching, it is right to pay him based on his work, not his need.

A word to preachers: There may be times when brethren will not or cannot provide enough support for you to completely devote yourself to preaching. In those cases, do what Paul did. Work while you preach (Acts 18:3-4; 20:34). It may not be ideal, but it can be done.

Preachers need to preach the gospel. Brethren and local churches ought to do what they can to allow those who preach to make their living from the gospel. Let us all take our responsibility seriously.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

BOTC - June 2007

The new issue of Banner of the Cross is now online and contains the following articles:

Tradition in Worship by Andy Sochor
The True Word of God by Andy Sochor

Banner of the Cross

Friday, June 1, 2007

PBT - June 2007

The June issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

The Bible by Andy Sochor
Preparing to Preach by Andy Sochor
Forsaking Methodology by Brandon Trout
The Establishment of the Kingdom by Andy Sochor

You can read these articles by clicking on the link below. I hope this material is helpful to you.

Plain Bible Teaching
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