...the churches of Christ salute you! Rom 16:16

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My Thoughts

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A couple months ago I penned the article “Who Is Going to preach for you to­morrow" that appeared in the November issue of The Light. That article spurred me to preach a sermon here at home that I titled "Call it What You Want to Call It" because I really didn't have a title for it. I could have called it "My Heart" or simply "My Thoughts" as I have titled this editorial.
As we are coming upon another new year, I sit here at home concerned about the church. I am not talking about my home congregation here at Lorena even though I am concerned about it too, but I am talking about those of us who believe in marriage till death do we part. I was blessed to have parents that raised me and taught me to understand there was no exception for breaking a promise made before God and my friends. My dad would get pretty blunt sometime and would tell me just where liars would spend eternity.
He was right in teaching me that when I told my wife, my God, and my friends that I would take her as my wife "till death do we part," I did not say "unless or except if you commit adultery." There was a reason that I did not do that. You go to Mark 10:2 where the Pharisees asked Jesus, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife"? Then in Mark 10:3 Jesus asked them a question, "what did Moses command you?" and then in verse 4 they answered and said "Moses suffered to write a bill of divorce­ment and to put her away."
Then Jesus told them why in Mark 10:5 "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." Then in verse 6 he drives his point home to the people he was speak­ing to. He said "but" and then told them in the beginning it wasn't so and finished in verse 9 "what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
For a period of time God allowed Moses to make a change because of those hard hearts that the Jews had. That law and precept has been nailed to the cross, along with all the bloody sacrifices that the Jews had to do yearly. No where did the apostles ever pen that an exception was lawful con­cerning our promise that husband and wife make to one another.
Why am I concerned? There is a division in the church today over this very subject. I have dear brethren and friends that teach, will allow to have taught, and will support those who do teach there is an exception for divorce and remarriage in our gospel age. I have penned the ugliness of this sin in this journal before and how it affects so many innocent people in a negative man­ner. Above all, Gal. 5:19 makes it clear that adultery will not be in that heavenly city. With all that said, there are some of my dear brethren that will promote the idea that there are no grounds for us to scripturally divide over this matter and it is alright to worship in congregations where this sin (divorce and remarriage for an exception) is taught, upheld and in many cases allowed to dwell in a congregation.
Only the truth can bring us together. Preaching the exception, upholding divorce and remarriage and living in adultery are not a matter of growth. I am happy to see as of now those same brethren do not want this false doctrine taught in their home congregation pulpits. I am concerned though because many of them will say it doesn't hurt a congregation to hear the other side, even though the leadership believes it to be false. I disagree, and so does the Bible, but that will be another article for another day. A bigger concern is how these brethren are able to promote their philosophy and false ideas concerning us all moving forward with those that uphold adulterous mar­riages. They have seen a crack in the wall and have heard the discontent and they are seizing the moment. We preachers who have always taught against the exception to our promises have become fragmented along with the leadership of congregations.
We are now operating in the "anti syn­drome." Example: If you are anti "The Light" then we are together. Or maybe you are anti Mackie Bounds, and then we are together. We never ask what each other believes but we are anti some one so we are now officially a clique. The list could go on but I am sure you get the picture. This makes it so easy to promote many different ideas and philosophies just as long you are anti the same thing I am anti to. My dear brethren, I plead with us all, come together and leave our hurt feelings outside the door and stand for what we know the Bible teaches concerning this subject and others.
The truth is suffering and so is the church! Brethren I am weary of the church politics that exist today and shame on all of us for our lack of love, that keeps us from talking to one another eye to eye and just be honest with each other. I am amazed that we think we will get by with something that we used to spank our children for! When we asked them a question, we ex­pected an honest straight forward answer. When they would start going in circles with their answers, as a parent I became very concerned and I knew we had a problem. I wonder what God thinks of us grown-ups?


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