Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 15, 1959

"Ice Cream Fellowship"

Wilson M. Coon, Phoenix, Arizona

One of the liberal churches of Christ in Phoenix, Arizona, has just concluded a Vacation Bible School Graduation Program as opened with a V.B.S. song, followed with a prayer. Each of the classes then proceeded to put on a program. Class awards for highest attendance came next, with the presentation of graduation certificates to follow. The gospel invitation was next on the program. With the gospel invitation out of the way, the program got down to serious business, "THE ICE CREAM FELLOWSHIP WILL FOLLOW IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL GRADUATION PROGRAM IS ENDED. PLEASE STAY AND ENJOY YOURSELF." (The highlights and direct quote taken from official program announcement)

One would have a hard time finding such a program in the ancient church, headed by the apostles; however, the liberal churches are not too much concerned with following the order of the New Testament. The last will and testament seems to be a bit old fashioned for the streamlined church with programs for the day. The New Covenant, according to the practice of some brethren of this generation, belongs to the past and fits a people long since dead and gone.

We are sure that the apostles had a hard time teaching the people the truth without such programs and "Ice Cream Fellowships" of the ultramodern church of the twentieth century. It is a wonder that the church did not die under the leadership of inspired men who refused to put on such programs. Strangely enough, however, the church grew rapidly.

Try your hand at bending the word fellowship to fit "Church of Christ Ice Cream Parties" and see how you fare. The Greek word "koinonia" is translated communication one time, communion four times, contribution one time, distribution one time and fellowship twelve times. You will find the words in the following verses:

Acts 2:42; 1 Co. 1:9; 2 Co. 8:4; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 3:9; Phil.

1:5; 2:1; 3:10; 1 Jno. 1:3,6,7; 2 Co. 6:14; 1 Co. 10:20; Eph, 5:11; Phm, 6; 1 Co, 10:16; 2 Co, 13:14 and Ro, 15:13, Let us take each of the translated words from a verse of Scripture, supply the term "Ice Cream Fellowship" instead, and see how the verse sounds. Let us start with Acts 2:42, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostle's teaching and ice cream fellowship . . ." We shall use Philemon, verse 6 next, "That the ice cream communication of thy faith became effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." Rom. 15:26 is the next verse, "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain ice cream contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." We shall use 2 Cor. 9:13 next, and last, "Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal ice cream distribution unto them, and unto all men."

Now you may think that this line of reasoning is absurd. Well, it is no more absurd than the practice of the modern churches. If the practice is inserted in the text and the outcome is absurd, it remains, therefore, that the practice is absurd to begin with. To illustrate further, let us use the word sprinkle instead of baptism and note the outcome, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, sprinkling (scattering them in drops) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Let us briefly use some other terms that fit the practices of some of the modern churches, "Skating Rink Fellowship", "Mixed Swimming Fellowship", "Hot Dog Fellowship," "Pink Lemonade Fellowship", "Taffy Candy Fellowship", "Greased Pig Fellowship", "Coffee and Donut Fellowship", and "Hamburger Supper Fellowship".

Perhaps we should add this: Ice Cream Fellowship must be a cold communion.