Know Your Bible

VOL. 7                           November 9, 2008                           NO. 42

Two Ways To Keep Members Faithful

    There are two ways to keep members of the church "faithful." The first way is to be sure everyone is involved. Have a project for each member, and make sure that he feels important in his role. Praise him for the good job he is doing. Make him feel needed; make him feel that the well-being of the whole congregation rests firmly on his shoulders. That will keep him "faithful."

    There are two problems with this method. In the first place, it encourages the creation of projects that are not remotely related to the work of the local church. One member plays on the church ball team; another member leads the Boy Scout troop; another is an active member of the "Dorcas Society"; another plans the program for the men's luncheon. Everybody is busy all right, but in activities that are not authorized in the New Testament.

    In the second place, members are often given roles for which they are not qualified. A lady is chosen to teach a class not because she is qualified, but because she needs to be involved. A man is appointed a deacon to help him to be "faithful." Another man is appointed to serve the Lord's Supper for a month in order to encourage him to be present each Sunday that month. This method thus places "the cart before the horse," for no one should ever be assigned any work in the Lord's service who is not already faithful and qualified for the work to be done (2 Timothy 2:2).

    The second way to keep people faithful is to develop within them a genuine love for the Lord. When people love the Lord, they will be faithful, and it won't take some kind of "special" project to keep them faithful. They will also be involved: in worship, in study, in godly living, in sharing the gospel with a friend, in helping the needy. I have known literally hundreds of Christians who have never in their lives been appointed to any special work, but whose love for the Lord alone keeps them faithful. There is no superficial faithfulness on the part of these; theirs is a faithfulness that is real.

    Special responsibilities are fine for those who are qualified, but the man who requires some special duty to be faithful has never learned what true faithfulness is.

---Bill Hall

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Morals And Religion In Politics

    Yes, we are fed-up with political debate. But at this point let me ask you what the most important issue in the current election of officials is Economy? War? Medical care? Taxes? Social Security? Prayer in schools and public gatherings? The Ten Commandments in public places? National debt? The answer none of the above!!!

    Where does killing babies rank -3,671 per day- destroying the lives God has created in the womb? Explain your answer to your Creator, not to me! The One who gave you life in your mother's womb will demand an answer as to why you give your approving vote to those who uphold the destruction of that life given to others in the womb. All the rationalizing of the most intelligent and sophisticated cannot make destroying our own kind in the birth process a moral action. Nor is your guilt lessened by dismissing me as a religious fanatic or by unsubscribing from this mailout.

    This is not mixing religion with politics. The non-religious recognize moral, humanitarian standards. They approve of laws against murder, rape, incest, slander, thievery, and fraud -- all moral issues. They oppose genocide.

    Partial birth abortion cannot be defended morally by atheists or believers. Intentional killing of an infant ten minutes after its birth is murder. Who can deny that? Can intentional killing of an infant ten minutes before it is fully delivered be morally acceptable instead of murder? Who can believe that? In partial birth abortion, the infant's skull is punctured in the delivery process and the brain is suctioned out mechanically. In any circumstance or setting, that is grossly horrid, unbelievably inhumane, and undeniably immoral. "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked!"

    More lives are willingly terminated by abortion each day than were willingly terminated in the 9-11 attacks. The latter was a one-time killing; the other is continued daily. You know which candidates vote to allow that to continue and those who oppose it. Your vote inescapably aligns you with one or the other as a voice for the helpless and innocent or as a voice against them. And silence when you have opportunity to speak is also a voice against them. Those same politicians loudly decry the war casualties but they are as silent as the tomb about 3,671 lives aborted daily in our country (World Almanac statistics for 1996).

    There is something grievously perverted and wrong: A girl cannot get her ears pierced without parental consent but she can readily get an abortion without it even free of charge. A man can be arrested and fined for killing a kitten or puppy but an abortionist "doctor" is paid well for killing an infant in the birth process. Currently in Round Rock, an arrest warrant is issued for a young man who cropped a pit bull puppy's ears and tail without anesthesia and medication and for other cruelties to it -- a state jail felony. Animals are treated more humanely than humans!

    Abortion mills (aka "clinics") are lucrative businesses. Approval of taking lives for stem cell use can easily open another horrendous "industry."

    Infamous murderers have lawyers to plead their cases (even at taxpayer expense) to save them from execution. The helpless and innocent baby, peacefully alive and moving in its mother's womb, has no voice, attorney, or standing in the court. A just God will call individuals and societies into account for such.

    A mother's love for her child is the most basic natural affection. Those lacking in natural affection (inhumane, heartless, ruthless) face Heaven's condemnation (See Rom. 1:31; 2 Tim. 3:3 in various versions).

    We see banners crying "Keep Abortion Legal" in emotional rallies, but none read, "Keep Abortion Moral." Being legal is not equivalent to being moral. When Jesus stood before Pilate with the Jews demanding his crucifixion, "Pilate took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, 'I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.' And all the people answered, 'His blood be on us and on our children.'" (Matt. 27:24). When the complacent try to wash their hands of responsibility and let abortionists, demanding the right to kill babies, go ahead with their slaughter, they become no less guilty of innocent blood than Pilate was. Their blood will be on us and our children.

    Yes, there are many matters of importance in the election like taxes, economy, war, and medical care, but self-interests must not be put ahead of care for the helpless and innocent in the birth process. "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them" (Matt. 7:12).

    I am speaking for myself rather than for a group or church. If you say I am mixing religion and politics, so be it. Our founding fathers courageously set a precedent for me.

---Cecil Hook

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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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