The Language of Ashdod

Nehemiah, in the course of his work of restoration, noted that the men of Judah had married Philistine women and the offspring of this union spoke “the language of Ashdod.” (Nehemiah 13:23ff) Over the years, this expression has become a proverb. To “speak the language of Ashdod” is to betray mixed influences.
Joined to the World
Just as the men of Judah mixed themselves with foreign women, the denominations around us have, in varying degrees, mixed the Christian message with the ways of the world.
An evidence of this mixture is the continuing shift away from the biblical view concerning the marriage and sexuality. Divorce, until recently greatly restricted by religious people, has become acceptable. Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Methodists all offer “dissolution services,” celebrations of divorce which mirror the traditional marriage service. Likewise, the major Protestant denominations are in various stages of accepting homosexual unions as legitimate.
The Community Church Heresy
Churches of Christ are not immune to the same tendency. We, also, “speak the language of Ashdod” as the Community Church heresy leads into ever more accommodation with the world.
Consider the verbal shell game used to justify unscriptural practices. Female leadership and instrumental music, for example, are put forward in gatherings called “praise services” or “concerts” preparing the way for these innovations to enter the regular worship of the church.
Likewise the “language of Ashdod” is heard in the dissimulation put forward by Community Church leaders regarding the way of salvation. Baptism is described in glowing terms, perhaps even as “central,” or “vital.” And yet these same leaders will describe unbaptized persons as “Christians,” pointing to good works as conclusive prove of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.
In contrast to accommodation, God calls His church to purity. Our speech and our actions must present the integrity of an uncompromised faith. We cannot be united with the world and remain faithful to Christ. We must not yield to the seducing tones of Ashdod.

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Greg Tidwell

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