October 1, 1986 Issue

by Don L. King

    A concerned brother recently sent us a copy of an article which appeared in "Contending For The Faith" written by Ted Wheeler. (July 1986 issue, pg. 14). The heading was: " 'One-Container' Heresy Hits Lord's Work in Ghana" The brother relates how some "one-cuppers" from Britain sneaked in and sowed discord among the local churches in Ghana. He asked: "Why do false teachers always want to sneak in and disrupt (i.e.: Teach the One Cup-DLK) existing congregations? I never hear of them going out and evangelizing and starting a congregation. They always want to feed off existing churches. They remind me of parasites!"

    I have no knowledge of whom these "one cuppers" might personally be. However, I find it incredible that they "sneaked" in. It is unlikely they were able to teach and preach among the churches without invitation. In fact, the writer later says: "There is one Ghanian (Cambridge trained!) who was converted to the "one-cup" position while in Britain and I think he is their missionary or mouthpiece here. I understand he invited the two Britons to come and propagate their teaching. Mainly they visited the churches embracing the one-cup, but deceived their way into at least one faithful congregation under the guise of brethren who were on their way home and just wanted to give the church a few words of exhortation!..."

    It is simply amazing to me that those who hold to a practice totally unscriptural (individual cups, etc.) can still claim to be the Lord's church which speaks where the Bible speaks and is silent where the Bible is silent. Yea, and even brand those who teach a practice identical with the Lord's as "false teachers." Talk about role reversals. Those who use a form of communion unknown to the church until modern times become the faithful church while those who insist that the manner of observing the communion should be with one cup and one loaf are branded false teachers and heretics. Dear brother, you need to read the Scripture again. One cup and one loaf can be read in the Book of Books. That's the way Jesus instituted it; that's the way Paul commanded the brethren to observe it in 1 Cor 11:23-34. Paul gave one cup to the one congregation (Corinth) by inspiration. Apparently, He taught every other congregation exactly the same. In 1 Cor 4:17, he said, "For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."

    Bro. Wheeler says, "For the most part the Lord's church in Ghana is very sound. In regards to the above problem, I think there are about three to four congregations out of nearly 300 who either have embraced it (one cup-D.L.K.) fully or in some form."

    Again, it is simply amazing that those who are using the cups which can not be read in the New Testament are termed "sound." I have been under the impression that to be "sound" one had to be in harmony with the Word of God. It is impossible for me to see how a practice that has divided the body of Christ for years is now "sound." Godly brethren who met and worshiped together for years in full fellowship were divided and torn asunder often requiring those who would not give in to digression, to leave and find another place to worship. Surely, only the God of heaven fully knows all the heartbreak, tears and division brought about by the individual cups practice. Dear brethren, can it now be wrong to teach what Christ and Paul along with other New Testament writers said about the communion? Is it wrong to worship as they did? Are we false teachers to teach what they did? When we teach as they did, worship as they did and insist upon a thus saith the Lord for all practices relative to the worship of the church are we then unsound?

    At the close of Bro. Wheeler's article is a short piece by Ira Rice Jr. He includes some bits of a personal letter he apparently wrote in response to Bro Wheeler's writing. A few of his comments are interesting. He says, "...Like you, I have never heard of them going out to directly evangelize the people of the world. They always feed off existing churches." Bro. Rice needs to be brought up to date. We are going all over the world today. We are establishing congregations from scratch by the hundreds. Yes, we will preach the truth to any one who wants it, even if he happens to be a member of the church worshiping in error. We preach to alien sinners, denominational people, infidels or anyone else who demonstrates an interest in the pure and simple gospel of Christ. The charge that we feed off existing churches is not only unfair but untrue as well. Some of the sweetest memories I have, as a gospel preacher, is of going to places where the gospel, in its pure, ancient and simple form has never been preached. The vision of their faces, sometimes stained with the tears of utter joy, as they listened to my feeble efforts to proclaim it, is one I hope I never forget. I recall one brother in the Philippines a few years ago who came to me after a sermon and said, "Thank you, brother, for teaching me the truth!" Such sweet brethren! These are great rewards for the privilege of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. --D.L.K.

Other OPA Article Links:

Innovations - Multiple Cups

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