Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

What About Their Conscience?

Roy S. Fudge

The above title is given to an article which appeared in the Gospel Advocate of August 6, 1934, written by Bro. Gus Nichols. I would like to notice some thoughts expressed in this article. Bro. Nichols mentioned a number of things that he implies to be parallel. I do not believe that they are parallel. Let us notice them one by one and see if they are and notice what is involved. He speaks of "disgruntled" brethren in the church.

The first I would like to notice is the opposition to Bible classes. In dividing into different classes we are doing only that which it commanded in Mt. 28:19, 20. That is, we are teaching the Word of God in an orderly manner. (I Cor. 14:40.)

Then there are those opposed to individual communion cups. What is the command? "This do in remembrance of me." (I Cor. 11:24.) Nothing has been added to or taken away from that commanded. This is doing that which is commanded in an orderly and decent way. (I Cor. 14:40.)

The opposition to a located preacher is also mentioned. We find an example of a located preacher in one place for at least three years. (Acts 20:31.) The Lord told Paul to stay in Corinth and he stayed for a year and six months. (Acts 18:9-11.) So we have Bible teaching and example for this practice, Some have objected to the Lord's supper being served at any time other than Sunday night. It is said that we have the example in Acts 20:7 for this practice. This scripture does not say at what time they took the Lord's supper. It says that they came together on the first day of the week to break bread. The time is not specified other than the first day of the week. At any given time on this day would satisfy the command and example.

There are others who object to elders today. Paul told Titus to appoint elders in every city. (Tit. 1:5.) E!deils were appointed in every church. (Acts 14:23.) Their work was to oversee the flock and feed the flock. (Acts 20:28.) This still needs to be done and therefore we still need elders today.

Some object to a baptistery. A baptistery is a place in which to carry out the command to baptize (Mk. 16:1). In using a baptistery we do as Philip and the church did. They come to the water, go down into the water, baptize and come up out of the water. That is all we do in using the baptistery, Song books were also mentioned. These do not add to or subtract from singing, that which is commanded. (Eph. 5:19.) They are used to help us sing together with the spirit and understanding. (I Cor. 14:15.)

Some object to the use of a tuning fork, This is not used in the worship as a part of the worship It is not used by the church. Only the song director uses it and that before the singing begins. It is no more a part of the worship than to clear ones throat between songs. It adds nothing to the worship nor takes anything from that which is commanded.

Some may even object to a meeting house. We are commanded to assemble. Heb. 10:25.) The early church assembled in the upper room or third story of a building. (Acts 20:8). The house in which they met was a meeting house since it was a house in which they met. Whether the church bought, rented, built or used it without charge we are not told. The important thing is to obey what is commanded of the Lord. The thing that is necessary to the obedience of a command is involved in the command.

These things are parallel in that they do not add to what God has commanded. In each of these we are doing only that which we have scripture for.

There are two things mentioned which are not parallel to these. They are church contribution to orphan homes and to those not saints. These two have been added to the word of God. They are not found in the work of the church as given in the Bible.

Bro. Nichols asks, "Where does this thing stop, brethren?" I know where it ought to stop. We should stop where the teaching of Christ stops. II John 9). Otherwise we will be cut off as a branch and be burned. (John 15:6.) Let us be careful to abide in the teaching of Christ that we not lose our souls. Let us also learn not to imply that which is not so and to handle the work of God without deceit.

Box 15 Hanceville, Alabama