Know Your Bible

VOL. 12                                                                                                                          February 17, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 3



(The following is from Restudying Issues of the '50s and '60s A Historical Perspective by Bill Hall (pp. 26, 27)

"Now, obviously the sponsoring eldership that created the greatest division was the Herald of Truth, where the elders of the Highland church in Abilene took the oversight of the Herald of Truth radio and television program. A huge number of churches sent to the Highland church. 

An interesting outgrowth of the sponsoring church arrangement that I had never thought of was brought to my attention recently in the book that I have already mentioned by Richard Hughes, Reviving the Ancient Faith. Richard Hughes is a professor at Pepperdine University. He and I would be poles apart in our thoughts concerning how to use the Scriptures. But he made a point about the Herald of Truth that I never thought of. He said in his book that the anti-institution people missed this, and the Herald of Truth people missed this; it was such a subtle thing that people were not aware of what was taking place. But he says that when the Herald of Truth began, the greatest influence among  churches of Christ shifted from the brotherhood papers to the Herald of Truth. People all over the country were supporting it, and people all over the country were listening to it. He further says that a major change took place in the preaching of the Herald of Truth. He says that when the Herald of Truth first began, the preaching was focused on the one true church, baptism for the remission of sins, no instrumental music, the Lord's Supper every first day of the week. It was convincing people regarding the idea of restoring New Testament Christianity. That was the first teaching on the Herald of Truth. But by the late '60s and early '70s, they had begun to realize that the radio and TV programs that were really attracting the audiences were those whose emphasis was more on family relationships, finding inner peace for yourself, how to build a strong self-image.

Eventually the preaching of the Herald of Truth shifted from this more doctrinal, controversial type of teaching into this more "finding peace for the soul and a good self-image" type of preaching. Now, he said, all of the preachers of the country were listening to Herald of Truth, and as the Herald of Truth made that shift, the preachers made the same shift, so that by the '70s and '80s you could attend most churches of Christ and never hear a sermon on the one true church, restoring New Testament Christianity, or instrumental music. You might hear the plan of salvation given, but that's about it.

"And let me tell you something. There are some (I'm not going to say a lot. I believe most of the preaching I hear is good preaching) churches of Christ right now that are considered to be opposed to institutionalism that rarely every get any sermons that are distinctive at all from what you could hear in denominations all over the country. And I want to make sure you hear me and hear me well. If you attend worship at some church where you never hear the question of instrumental music, or baptism for the remission of sins, or the Lord's Supper every Sunday, or the one true church -- if you never hear teaching along some of those distinctive lines, you need to get out and you need to go somewhere else. You'll lose your conviction.

We have to give our support to the kind of preaching that helps people see that we're different from the denominational world around us. Be sure you get that point. There was a shift, and the shift was led by a centralized program. This is not me saying this; this is Richard Hughes, a professor, giving a history of churches of Christ in America."

---Bill Hall 

Page 1



The act of murder is as old as the world. Moses recorded the first murder committed by Cain against his brother Abel in Genesis 4:1-10. Lamech bragged about killing a man in Genesis 4:23. The world of Noah’s day was filled with wickedness “and that every intent of the thoughts of [man] was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Pharaoh murdered untold numbers of Hebrew babies in Egypt (Exodus 1). Moses himself killed a man (Exodus 2:11-12). The list continues throughout the history of man as lives are taken with evil intent and malice.

Our country is gripped with the fearful knowledge of murderous individuals killing innocent children, movie goers, high school students, families and fellow soldiers. The cry has been raised on the political stage of controlling guns and emotions run deep in defense of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” including the right to bear arms. What answers lay at the root of our headlong plunge into anarchy and death? The irony is found in the forked tongue of man’s wisdom that decries the murders of innocents yet forbids the knowledge of God to supplant the wisdom of men. A society that fills itself with the blood of the innocent is a society that removes the knowledge of God from its pages. The less God possess a people the more the people possess their own evil lusts as god.

Jesus explained the problem in Matthew 15:17-20. “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man" (Matthew 15:17-20). Murder comes from a heart devoid of righteousness. The wise man says, “Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, but what is in the heart of fools is made known. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:33-34).

Gun control will only have control when the heart is controlled by the Creator. The modern age is little different from ages past when the apostle Paul described the world filled with men who “will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2-4). Sound familiar? The root of what Paul describes is the problem of the heart.

The more we remove the teaching of the Bible from the hearts of our children and build our society on the whims of man’s wisdom the more we will experience the failed policies of human wisdom compared to God’s wisdom. Man would rather worship himself and without fail every time he exalts himself as god he destroys himself. The President can sign into law all the bills the nation will stand but until the imprint of the Creator is impressed upon the heart it becomes an exercise in futility. As people of God we must change our hearts to show forth the light of the gospel to a world darkened by the ravages of Satan’s murderous power. The answer to the plight of man is found in the might of God through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:14-21).

---Kent Heaton 

Page 2



Young people's unprecedented level of self-infatuation was revealed in a new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has been asking students to rate themselves compared to their peers since 1966 . . . Over the last four decades there's been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being 'above average' in the areas of academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability, and self-confidence . . . However, researchers found a disconnect between the student's opinions of themselves and actual ability . . . Psychologist Jean Twenge said: “What's really become prevalent over the last two decades is the idea that being highly self-confident - loving yourself, believing in yourself - is the key to success.  Now the interesting thing about that belief is it's widely held, it's very deeply held, and it's also untrue.”

- via The Daily Mail, 1/5/13


Romans 12:3  “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think . . .” 

Page 3


Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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