Vol.V No.VI Pg.3
August 1968

Do You Wonder? So Do We!

Robert F. Turner

It is quite natural for people who visit with religious groups other than their own, to wonder about their practices. Genuine concern should be encouraged — it is far better than an "I could care less" attitude, which often means we have no genuine convictions about our own religion.

Do you wonder why we baptize — why we immerse in water, rather than simply sprinkle a little water on the head of the candidate? We will answer your question. We immerse because the word "baptize" meant "immerse, submerge, dip or plunge under" in the first century when the N.T. was given (see any good Greek-English Lexicon.) Paul called baptism a "burial" (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12) and in an example of NT baptism "they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch." (Acts 8:38)

Now, we wonder also! We wonder why you sprinkle and do not immerse. Can you give a Bible answer? Will you??

Do you wonder why we SING but do not PLAY a mechanical instrument of music in the worship? Fair question. We SING because it is authorized in N.T. church worship (1 Cor. 14:15). We do not PLAY, because there is no authority for such. (see Acts 16:25; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12) We do not appeal to the Old Testament (which authorizes animal sacrifice, incense burning, etc.) because we are now subject to the law of Christ. (Heb. 7:12)

We wonder why you, who claim to be following Christ, insist on PLAYING??

Do you wonder why we partake of the Lord's Supper every First Day of the week? The early disciples did so "upon the first day —". (Acts 20:7) We have authority, therefore, to do this whenever the First Day comes (compare "Remember the Sabbath —" meaning whenever a Sabbath occurred) and no limitations suggested. (See 1 Cor. 11:23-f; 1 Cor. 16:2) We are deeply concerned about what and all that God would have us do -- surely a good attitude.

What scriptures do you give for a "once, twice, or four times a year" partaking of the Lord's Supper??

Do you wonder why we preach and practice congregational independence? It is because there is no authority in the N.T. for anything else. Oversight (Acts 14:23; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) is on a local scale; treasury (1 Cor. 16:1-2; Phil. 4:15) is on a local scale; hence collective action is on a local scale.

If you think you find authority for oversight and treasury on a brotherhood scale (churches acting collectively) why do you continue to preach congregational independence? Or, if you preach and practice denominational organization--, on what authority ?

Do you wonder why we insist upon N.T. authority for our faith and practice, Good question! We are trying to "do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Col. 3:17) We strive to act in keeping with the spirit of truth. (1 Jn. 4:6) We desire to walk in fellowship with Almighty God. (1 Jn. 1:6-f 2 Jn. 9-11)

We wonder how you could love the Lord, and claim fellowship with Him, on any other basis. (Jn. 14:23,17:17)