Know the Time

?The times, they are a changing.? Bob Dylan?s observation of social upheaval in the 1960s describes the churches of Christ at the opening of the twenty-first century.
Worship is changing. Congregations bring in all manner of deviance, pandering to every selfish whim. Entertainment replaces reverence. Emotionalism replaces obedience. The spirit of this age replaces the Spirit of Grace.
Church government is changing. Freelance organizations misappropriate the work God intends for the church of Christ. Mercenary professionals usurp the divinely authorized assignments of pastor, deacon, and evangelist. Congregations become fraternal societies, existing to meet the needs of their members. They are no longer a fellowship of God?s people, gathered in obedience to His will.
A Time of War
The time is long past for us to be honest. Many organizations and individuals claim to serve the Lord?s church, but, in Gershwin?s phrase: ?It ain?t necessarily so.?
We need a reality check. It is time to ask pertinent questions and to expect clear answers. It is time to face our crisis, to divide truth from error, to unmask the frauds deceiving God?s people.
Already much error, previously carefully hidden, now openly affronts the brotherhood. If the pace of apostasy continues, the division will be complete within the next five years. While we do not rejoice in the falling away of those who were once our brethren, we rejoice in the purification of God?s church.
A Time of Victory
Freedom from the corrupt elements of our fellowship provides freedom to be the church that is pleasing to God. In the grace of our Savior, we must restore obedience to Scripture. We must rebuild the broken walls of faith, following the revealed pattern of doctrine and practice.
In obedience to God, we will teach, work, and worship as Scripture commands. The Lord will be with us. War is often bitter, but victory in Christ makes the struggle worth the effort.

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Greg Tidwell

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