Who moved?

church progressivesby Stan Mitchell

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11, ESV).

Perhaps not many people know that in his early days, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat. One night he came to a friend and declared, “We’re going to change our political registration.”

“Really?” his friend asked. “What are we now?”

“We’re Republicans,” Reagan told him.

“But I thought we were Democrats. Why are we changing?”

“We didn’t change,” said Reagan. “They changed.”

I have never preached a sermon on how the King James Version is the only version Christians can safely use. I often preach on the cross, God’s mercy, grace. I don’t spend a lot of time poring over church bulletins and lectureship sermons in order to “mark” and denounce “unfaithful brethren.”

I have always thought of myself as a moderate in our brotherhood. But like the proverbial iceberg, I think the church has moved.

And I don’t want to give up the heart and soul of the Restoration Movement. I think that something far too precious would be lost if we did. We must never quit asking for a “Thus saith the Lord” for everything we do. Other religious fellowships convene, compromise, or legislate. We cannot. We must search, study, and apply!

I am tired of progressive brethren coming off as super-spiritual when they depict the church as doing everything wrong. Why is it that we think critics are always right and our church is always dumb and provincial?

Do you want to be part of a church the Bible does not describe? Would you like to bet your children’s destiny on terms of salvation other than those which the Bible lays down? Do you really want to face Almighty God one day and explain why you worshiped in a manner not prescribed in his word?

Scripture still possesses all authority. Christians must still seek its pages for their guidance. Denominations do not have the answers. Those are within the pages of your Bible!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan began preaching in 1976, and worked in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He served as preacher with the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He was Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He was married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He authored five books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs; Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song; Equipping the Saints for Ministry; and Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation. Stan passed away 19 Feb. 2019.

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