January 1, 1987 Issue
C.A. Smith

In a prior article under this same heading, we attempted to "stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance" (2 Pet 3:1), so that we might introduce some thoughts on "The Responsibility of Teaching." In it, we called attention to the many innovations that have since earlier days come into our Secular lives. I know you will agree with me when I say that many of those named, have proven to be worthy and beneficial to mankind in general. However, I am sure you noticed many that have been baneful to mankind, and we would have been better off having never known them. Certainly we do not object to innovations that are good and profitable being brought into our world, and do not hesitate to use them if they will enrich our lives and tend not to draw us away from our first love, namely, Christ and the Church. Let it be known however that we will not, must not, accept innovations in the church, for you see, Christ built her according to His specifications, and no man, or group of men have the authority to change her in any way. But, as you know, men are always wanting to introduce something new, something different, and change the way of doing things insomuch as the structure, work, and worship of the church is concerned. Such folk need to realize that in so doing, they violate many plain and specific instructions in the word of God, and will be held accountable in the day of judgment. Such are Enemies of the church and God help us to rise up against them and not allow them an in-road among the faithful. In conjunction with our writings on the "Responsibility of Teaching", this has certainly proven to be so. Innovations such as the Missionary Society, Sunday School, Children's church, and the Johnny come lately "World Bible School", considered to be, by many of our erring brethren, scriptural ways of teaching Gods word, when in fact they cannot for the life of them find even one scripture to support these innovations, which in reality have taken the individual responsibility of teaching Gods word away from the individual and put it squarely in organizations that are unscriptural, unauthorized, and ungodly. Now we learned in our previous article that the Church of Christ is the only organization upon the face of the earth that has the collective responsibility and authority to teach Gods word, and substantiated this from Holy Writ. What was said by earlier restorers is still true, that being, if an organization for doing the work of the Lord is bigger than the church, it is too big! If an organization is smaller than the church for doing the work of the Lord, it is too small! You see, the church was made to be by our Lord just right, and needs to remain that way today. But we too need to know that while we have talked about the church collectively teaching Gods word and its responsibility therein, we must not forget that this responsibility rests upon you and I, we who comprise the church, as individuals to do our several parts, in Gods way of teaching the precious Word of God to those who are lost in the depths of sin. So, we wish to single out different ones within the church and talk about their responsibilities. Lets begin with the Elders. I read in (1 Tim 3:2) where Paul says, that Elders must be "apt to teach", which simply means capable of teaching. Then in (Acts 20:28) he told the Elders at Ephesus to "Feed the church of God." Of course their diet was to consist of the Word of God, nothing more or nothing less. Now as individuals, elders and or leaders of the church must recognize this and just do as these scriptures suggest. This responsibility cannot be ignored nor done by proxy. Reason teaches us that should a father or mother attempt to feed their children without having anything to feed them with, their actions would be nothing less than a travesty to all who are aware of the situation, and besides this, the children would, perhaps, starve to death. Well, the same is true of a church in a starved condition, without any life in it, inactive, and doing nothing. Aren't we forced to the conclusion that the elders, or leaders, just do not have anything to feed them? That my brethren if you please, stand up in the pulpit and apologize for not knowing their lesson, and I have heard many say, "I am so hungry for some good pure and simple teaching from Gods word". We need to cry aloud to those who assume the leadership roles in the church, that their responsibility is to "feed the church". No wonder so many are looking around for something better. We had better awaken to this great responsibility before its too late. No wonder many of our congregations are dead, or on the verge of dying. They have absolutely starved to death. Brethren when we awaken ourselves to this, we will see churches begin to grow, and take on the activity of the early church. I am all for appointing men and ordaining elders in every congregation, but not at the expense of folk who are hungry for the Word of God. Let us make sure that they are willing and able to accept their "Responsibility in teaching Gods Word, to Gods people, the manna which is from above."

Other OPA Article Links:

By Way of Remembrance (Part 1)


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