Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 12, 1959

Departures In Worship

Thomas F. Shropshire, Cactus, Texas

Some have pointed out the departures which are taking place in the church of the Lord relative to the work and organization of the church. They have wondered how soon the worship of the church would be affected. I am of the persuasion that this sphere has already been invaded. This may not be the case in the way some expect the worship to be affected but the corruption is very real and present.

Worship When we speak of worship, we usually have reference to the things engaged in when the church assembles. They are: preaching, teaching, prayer, singing, the Lord's supper and the contribution. There are more ways in which the worship may be corrupted than by adding an extra item to it or adding to one of the items named. We wish to point out how these items have been corrupted.

Preaching And Teaching

While the church is authorized to assemble for preaching and teaching, the preaching and teaching must be in harmony with the word of God to constitute true worship. Jesus said, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men". (Mt. 15:9.) Where you find a church whose work and organization have been corrupted, the same church will also be found preaching and teaching the things wherein they are corrupted. Jesus said, "0 generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Mt. 12:34.)

Churches which have been corrupted in work and organization, will be found defending their practice along those lines in their teaching and preaching. Why else would their preachers, from the pulpit, shed "crocodile- tears" in their description of some of us whom they claim are too hard-hearted to feed a poor, starving, orphan child. This is done in Preaching in defense of their benevolent societies. If such preaching is not corrupt, then I am a very poor judge of preaching.


The New Testament is definite in its teaching on prayer. We are taught how to pray and what to pray for. But brethren where the church has been corrupted in work and organization, do a great deal of praying for their unscriptural projects. And there are times, in services of some sound congregations, when a visiting preacher is called upon to lead in prayer, he will pray such a prayer that the informed members of the congregation cannot possibly, conscientiously say "amen" to it. I know, because I have been present when it happened. Thus, this part of the worship has been corrupted.


In some places, the singing has been copied from "our" choruses, which are found in some of the institutions of the brethren, until it has little left of the nature and purpose for which it was designed. "Cooperative" singing normals have done much to change the singing of hymns from their purpose of spiritual praise and edification to that of entertainment.

The Lord's Supper

Although I have not heard of a congregation meeting on a day other than the first day of the week to observe the Lord's supper, it has been advocated that it would really make no difference. This has been done to seek to set aside the binding nature of an exclusive apostolic example. Could the Lord's supper be scripturally observed by people who take it with the idea that it does not make any difference upon what day it is observed?


The contribution is corrupted when that for which the collection is made is without divine authority. It is scriptural to contribute on the first day of the week, as taught in I Cor. 16:2. But there is more to it than just the contribution. The purpose for which the contribution is made must be in harmony with the scriptures.

I would not make a contribution in a congregation where I know that the money contributed is being used unscripturally. This is the reason why many brethren do not (and neither do I) contribute personally to the United Fund, because much of it goes to the religious organizations of men. But where the church is corrupt in organization and work, much of the contribution goes into human organizations established by the brethren.