Vol.IV No.XII Pg.7
February 1968

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Should out-of-duty members be used for public prayer? Should we call on members who are Masons, or who are trouble makers, to lead in prayer? CP


The problem is solidly based upon the fact that we may appear to sanction and lend support to that which we recognize publicly. The "out-of-duty" member may consider our public use of him as our way of saying we do not consider him "out-of-duty" before the Lord, nor in our own judgement. The "trouble-maker" may gain followers and social stature by such use, and be encouraged to seek further gains, promoting personal ends.

But there is more to the problem than this. We may have lost sight of the true purpose of prayer, and other functions of saints assembled for the worship of God; and we may have made the "service" (?) into a program of public appearances. We need no performers at all -- neither "faithful" nor "out-of-duty"; and if the leader is really going to pray, his honest outpouring of heart to God will be no handicap to others who want to pray.

Further, we may be putting our God-given obligation to discipline -- to instruct, train, correct -- into the hands of who-ever appoints those who function publicly. Instead of going to the man who is out-of-duty, to "restore such a one in the spirit of meekness" (Gal. 6:1) we may be using "public appearance" or the lack of it, as a club over his head. The men who select those who are to take some public part in the worship may thus by-pass God's plan for edifying and strengthening brethren. Is the weak member (and I believe the member who actively participates and supports the pagan religion of various "secret orders" is weak) your brother? Then treat him as a brother! Give him the needed assistance to become stronger -- to see the all-sufficiency of God in Christ. (Col.2:6-f) Work and pray with the trouble-maker, to correct his divisive ways. If it becomes necessary to sever fellowship do so according to divine instructions (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thes. 3:14 etc.) But don't turn, or allow the elders to turn this over to some one who "calls on" various ones for prayer.

Bro. Turner:

Does "assembling" (Heb. 10:25) refer to Lord's Day meetings only? GD


Note the word is "assembling"; NOT "the assembly". It is an ACT which we must not cease to perform, not a place or group we must frequent. The word literally means "together-gathering", and embraced all "togetherness" essential to faithfulness to Christ.

"They continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house--" "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." "But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him" (Acts 2:46;; 5:42;;12:5f). Early Christians worked and prayed together. Only when the Hebrews began to drift away did they "forsake assembling" and needed to be called back.