If you drove like you studied, would you be arrested?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Sgt. Fury, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Sgt. Fury

    Sgt. Fury
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    If you find yourself in a lane of traffic marked with a left-pointing arrow, how do you interpret that arrow? Which way do you go? Do you understand that you are only authorized to turn left, or do you take it as merely a suggested direction of travel and turn right if you feel like it since it doesn't say you can't?

    Or what about using a public restroom? How do you determine which one you are authorized to enter? Do you men (for example) look at the sign that says "Ladies", and say, "This is not the one for me, I'd better keep looking", or do you say, "Well, it doesn't say men can't go in here"?


    In situations like these, the answers are pretty plain. It's common logic that we all use everyday. But when people study their Bibles, they often cast such logical, reasonable thinking aside in favor of what they want, or what they've been taught in the past.

    The silence of the Scriptures is important, far more so than many think. However, it's a concept that is demonstrated many times in the Bible. Take Noah for example. God told him to make an ark of gopher wood. In this command there are three specific demands:

    Noah was to build an ark - not a train or a house.

    It was to be made of wood - not metal or stone.

    It was to be made of gopher wood - not pine or cedar.

    Any deviation from God's specifications by Noah would have been disobedience, and likely resulted in the end of mankind.

    That's one of many.

    So, would you be arrested?
     
  2. Sopranette

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    The dificulty in that is that there are several layers of truth to every single verse of His Word. It takes years, a lifetime, to fully understand the depth of wisdom contained within. In the meantime, we will stumble and occasionally fall. The trick is to remain faithful, and believe that His ultimate truth will be revealed fully to you and me one day.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  3. BobRyan

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    Quite often the tactic of crying "fundamentalist" is used by those who do not like what scripture says.
     
  4. Salty

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  5. Alcott

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    I might at least get a ticket, since I don't signal before I turn the page.
     
  6. Sgt. Fury

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    True, no man has ever plumbed the depths of truth in the Bible, myself included, yet many issues that have caused division over the years are simply things about which the Scriptures are silent.

    Take John 3 for example. What time of day did Nicodemus come to Jesus? Each and every person on these boards, yea, in the world with access to a copy of the book of John would agree that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night.

    What is the reason for this universal agreement? The Bible says he came by night. This is a matter of faith.

    Now, Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus by night?

    Some say it was to avoid the crowds. Some say it was to avoid criticism by the Pharisees. Some say he couldn't sleep and sought Jesus' private council.

    Depending on the fervency with which some hold one position or another, we might end up with three new denominations, the "Loners", the "Whiny Criticism Avoiders", and the "Sleepwalkers"! Ridiculous, right?

    Now, what is the cause for this disagreement? The Bible simply does not say why Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Any reason we come up with is a matter of opinion.

    That is the difference between matters of faith and matters of opinion. Matters of faith are based on what the Bible says. Matters of opinion are based on what the Bible does not say.

    The unity for which Christ prayed in John 17, and for which Paul pleaded in Eph 4 can only be achieved if people unite on what the Bible says. What is written. Division results from people going beyond what is written, plunging in to the bottomless depths of opinion.

    Whole doctrines are rooted in the addition or deletion of one word.
     
  7. Sgt. Fury

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    Yeah, sometimes it's just a question of where, 'cause it's going to happen!:laugh:
     
  8. Rubato 1

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    Nope. There's no one around when I study to see if I'm studying too fast.
     
  9. Sopranette

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    There are a lot of false prophets out there, waiting to lead us astray. Satan is constantly searching like a roaring lion for those who do not seek God's strength. And there are those who are still milk fed, too weak to continue studying, so they give up.
    Would I get a ticket? Maybe. And if the "cop" were to ask me to step out of the car and name every part of my car's engine, I would certainly fail!

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  10. Sgt. Fury

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    What if the "cop" only stopped you to let you know your tail light was out? Would you be willing to get it fixed? What if he told you that you were in the wrong lane to make the turn you wanted to make?
     
  11. Sopranette

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    If the "cop" was a respectable and genuine man of God, of course I would! My intentions are pure, well meaning, and sincere, but not always accurate and sometimes clumsy!

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  12. Sgt. Fury

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    Respectable is what we all ought to be shooting for, and I hope you find me so thus far.
     
  13. Darron Steele

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    Hello Sgt. Fury. As I have read your profile and noticed that you call your place of Sunday attendance is "___ church of Christ" without normal capitalization, I see where you are going.

    If I drove like I studied, I would drive all the time. I would examine every detail of what I was doing.

    However, if I was to drive with the assumption that every non-mention was either always prohibition, or always permission, meant one or the other, or meant anything, I would quickly run into problems.

    For instance, if I saw a sign on I-74 that tells me that Cincinnati is one way and Indianapolis is the other, under no-mention assumptions common to the Churches of Christ, I would infer that I am only permitted to drive on that road to Indianapolis or Cincinnati.

    That would be fallacious. It is 100% legal for people to use that road to get to many other points in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

    Another example would be "No turn on red. Curb lane excepted." Under the mindset common in the Churches of Christ, I would sit in the curb lane and think `Well, it does not say that I must, so I will not do it. I also will do everything I can to get everyone else not to do it too.'

    Just one person doing that is enough to cause a traffic jam that reaches the interstate and create potential for rear-impact car accidents at high speeds. That would be idiotic. Road sign makers rightly assume that they do not need to spell out to rational drivers that they should try to turn right on red with opportunity.

    Another example would be signs that tell me `This-or-that-town' is at exit # such-and-such.' If I was to infer that this meant I was directed to go there, I would be lengthening my trip exorbitantly -- and foolishly.

    Road signs and road markers sometimes
    1) are directives that forbid any other course of action,
    2) give permission,
    3) inform you of how you can get somewhere,
    4) give information upon which no course of action is required.
    We are expected to be responsible and use common sense and know the difference.

    The Bible is no different.
     
    #13 Darron Steele, Dec 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2007
  14. Sgt. Fury

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    1Cor 4:6b "Do not go beyond what is written" (TNIV) "Follow only what is written in the Scriptures" (ICB)

    That's all I'm saying. If we apply this logical approach to worship, what will our music consist of?

    The Bible only makes Christians only, and the only Christians.
     
  15. Darron Steele

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    If we applied your `assumptions of inference' to assembled congregational worship, we could not have church meetings.

    The New Testament never teaches that every New Testament-era congregation ran every meeting the same way -- let alone that such was commanded. 1 Corinthians 14:26-33 tells that congregation to devise an order, and introduces directive guidelines, and 14:40 repeats that injunction. If there was a uniform congregation pattern they were supposed to be following, the directive guidelines and mandate to create an order would have been unnecessary.

    Further, the New Testament does not give us enough details to surmise without conjecture even a single meeting of a single congregation from start to finish in order.

    Therefore, if we were to attempt to make `congregational worship' only what is explicitly stated in Scripture, we could not have meetings. In doing something simple such as deciding in which order to put the Lord's Supper and meeting the Hebrews 10:24-5 purpose, we would have to do something not explicitly stated in Scripture.

    Scripture is given "so that the| person who serves God| may be complete, | entirely instructed for all good work”* per 2 Timothy 3:16-7. The Scriptures are a handbook so that people who have committed to serve the Lord will be instructed on doing good works with their lives.

    The major problem with common Church of Christ perceptions is the assumption that the Bible was given primarily as a handbook on how to run congregations. This is clearly not the case. The New Testament is replete with directives on regular Christian living, and is scant on attention to congregation meetings. The reason for that has been shown.

    Therefore, the New Testament was not intended to give us a rulebook of congregational music. You are doing something like looking for how to solve a geometry problem by looking in an algebra textbook. Algebra textbooks deal with geometry some as a means of instructing in algebra, but algebra textbooks do not exist for that purpose. You are trying to get comprehensive answers to a question Scripture was not provided to address.

    Nonetheless, Scripture does give us information about use of musical instruments. New Testament-era Revelation 5:8-14 reports John present with πρεσβυτεροι “elders” = congregation leaders “each holding a harp” (ESV) as they “sing” (ASV) to the Lord. It is unrealistic to think “sing” means the harps were not used for their purpose. John was present for this during the New Testament era.

    Acts 13, 14, 17, and 18 report Christians participating in synagogue worship, and thereby worship with musical instruments: synagogues had shofars, a type of horn.** Acts 2:46 reports Christians “day by day, attending the temple together” (ESV); daily temple services involved choirs singing with instrumental accompaniment.^*

    So, while Scripture never directly addresses use of musical instruments in congregational worship, it does give us information so that we know it happened. We know it is not forbidden.

    Therefore, if we were to go with the 1 Corinthians 4:6 precept, we would not speak where Scripture is silent by adding a ban against musical instruments.
    ______
    *NBV|ICB|ASV|RVR 1909 “enteramente instruído para toda buena obra” translated.
    **Archaeological Study Bible, page 1783.
    ^*Punton, The World Jesus Knew, pages 124-125.
     
    #15 Darron Steele, Dec 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2007
  16. Sgt. Fury

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    I'm not suggesting every congregation follow the same order of worship. There are five acts of worship presented in the New Testament: preaching/teaching, singing, praying, giving, and observing the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16). It doesn't matter what order they're done in, so long as they are done. Determining the order of worship is up to the elders.

    I'm not sure what you meant by not being able to have meetings. Like business meetings?

    And I'm unfamiliar with the idea that the Bible is given primarily as a handbook on how to run congregations. Maybe you could spend less time assuming you know what I believe and just participate in calm, rational discussion.

    The reference to harps in Rev 5 is part of a book written in symbolic language (Rev 1:1 - "signified"), which speaks of a vision of things taken place around the throne of God. It is not a description of a worship assembly of the church on earth.

    And the instances where Paul and company visited the synagogues in various cities do not lend themselves to the idea that they were "going with the flow" while they were there. Paul was preaching the gospel to these people. They all met together on the Sabbath for worship, so if Paul wanted to preach to them, he had to be there with them. Half the time riots followed.

    To the Jews, Paul became as a Jew, that he might gain the Jews (1 Cor 9:20). His being there does not necessitate his approval of everything they did, nor that all of their actions were under the authority of Christ.

    Under the 1 Cor 4:6 precept, one does not have to add a ban on the instrument. The ban is in place already in that they are not commanded. The only authorized accompaniment is in the heart (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).
     
  17. Darron Steele

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    Determining an order for any of these things is done without the express statement of Scripture. We would have to make determinations of order without being told what to do from Scripture.

    As I indicated, if we were going to go only with what is explicitly stated in Scripture for congregation meetings, we could not have them. It does not tell us everything about them. We would have to do things that are not mentioned.

    For instance, it does not tell us whether the song leader is supposed to go to the front from the congregation, or to already be seated up front. How is the offering to be taken, because it does not say whether or not we are to go to the baskets or the baskets brought to us. Appointing someone to `lead us in prayer' or `direct our thoughts' during congregational prayer is an activity that Scripture never mentions. Remember, in the view you are presenting, nothing can happen in assembled worship that is not stated in Scripture.

    As for the "five acts of worship," you left out a couple that James 1:26-7 tells us to do, plus one mentioned by Paul in Romans 12. As for your selection of five, do we know all five of these things happened every meeting? You seem to assume that they did. I believe that is an assumption that would have to be proven.

    Any congregational meeting at all.

    I have not knowingly misrepresented your view. I am getting my impressions of what you believe from what you write.

    As you make clear from your posts here, you do believe that any action in assembly that is not mentioned in Scripture is an addition and a failure to obey. This reflects a view that the New Testament has for a primary purpose to be a handbook of congregational operations.

    From the looks of things, it appears that perhaps you are the individual who is getting into a huff. I got my impressions of your view from the things you write.

    Are you now denying that the Scriptures are meant to be an instructional handbook of how congregational worship is to be done? If so, what is your continued opposition to musical instruments based on? After all, if it is not, then the non-mention of musical instruments in congregational worship would mean exactly what I think it does: nothing.
    Agreed on the fact that some parts of Revelation are symbolic. However, "signified" (KJV) in this case means to communicate something; in more modern English it is "show" (ESV, NASB).

    However, the worship of Revelation 5 did occur during the New Testament era, and John was present, and he did not record it with a future tense. Further, πρεσβυτεροι were holding harps while they sang. That Greek word is transliterated "presbyters" and translated "elders" and refers to congregation leaders in the New Testament.

    Therefore, the passage shows that during the New Testament era, use of musical instruments in worship was expressly approved by God.

    Explaining this passage away is easy in the Churches of Christ. However, outside of them, I believe few would be convinced that God approved of musical instruments in the past, and still does in Heaven -- but suddenly not on the earth, when He never said so.

    Paul did not become as a Jew: Paul was a Jew.

    He makes that clear. Acts 21 reports where Paul himself was following the Judaic Law. In Acts 23:8, Paul identifies himself as a Pharisee.

    Paul was a Jew. Paul was a Jewish Christian, like others. Acts 21 indicates that there were Jewish Christians -- they continued to follow the customs of the Judaic Law, but knew Gentiles were not bound to do so. Jewish Christians continued to go to synagogue and the temple for worship, and this would have involved musical instruments.

    Again, you are assuming that non-mention universally condemns.

    That is an assumption that would have to be proven. Scripture never states it.

    To mandate that non-mention is always equal to a ban would be to mandate where Scripture has not spoken, in violation of the precept at 1 Corinthians 4:6.
     
    #17 Darron Steele, Dec 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2007
  18. Sgt. Fury

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    Perhaps we are both reading more "tone" into each other's posts than we should. My apologies.

    That said, I think you would be a difficult person to employ. If told to dig a hole, would you stand around doing nothing because your boss did not tell you to use a shovel or a post-hole digger?

    Paul commanded that "...men pray everywhere...", which means that men should lead prayer in the assembly of the church. They could do it while sitting, standing, at their pew, or from the front or rear of the assembly, so long as they do it. God has given us liberty in the details of how things get done.

    Heb 10:25 commands us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. If no assemblies are authorized, what is the purpose for this admonition? The authority to assemble is implied in the command to not forsake the assembling.

    James 1:26-27 does not refer to things done in the assembly, I think. IMO it speaks more of conduct as individuals. There's more to religion than the worship assembly, after all. It'd be a bit unwieldy to visit the widows and orphans in the assembly.

    Concerning whether all five acts of worship took place at each meeting, we can only know for sure that they took place steadfastly according to the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42). As far as I can tell, the Lord's Supper is only mentioned as having been observed on the first day of the week. An offering was taken up also on the first day of the week (1 Cor 16:2), although other collections could take place as needed per Gal 6:10. Singing, praying, and teaching do not appear to have any limitations put on them.

    Though the Bible does give instructions as to how we are to behave ourselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15), it is not limited to this use by any stretch.

    Rev 5 is not a description of an assembly of Christians on earth. It is a description of what John saw in the Spirit as an observer of what was taking place in heaven (Rev 4:1). There is no more authority in this passage of Scripture for instrumental music in the worship of the church than there is for having a throne with a rainbow around it, with someone like a jasper and a sardine stone sitting on it, with 24 seats surrounding it, and 4 various beasts full of eyes before and behind.

    Concerning instruments being authorized under the OT, you made a good point earlier. The shophar (trumpets) seem to have been authorized by God, but I don't think David's additions were.

    In 2 Chron 29:26-27 there seems to be a distinction made between the two. Take a look and tell me what you think.

    2Ch 29:26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
    2Ch 29:27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.

    Well, I've gone all "wordy" again.
     
  19. Sgt. Fury

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    The fact that instrumental music is not mentioned in the NT does, in fact, prohibit its' use. The kind of music has been specified (singing), therefore, to add another kind of music (instrumental) is to go beyond that which is written."

    We ought not need to be told everything not to do. It should suffice to be told what to do.

    As of Acts 15, the apostles had not told the Gentiles that they did not need to be circumcised. Judaizers were trying to convince them that they did, perhaps using similar logic to that which you are using in this case, "God never said not to..."

    When the issue was discussed, and letters sent to the Gentile churches, the apostles still did not tell the Gentiles that they did not need to be circumcised. What they did say was this:

    Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

    All that was necessary to prohibit the requiring of Gentiles to be circumcised was for the apostles to give no such commandment. They did not have to tell them not to.
     
  20. Sgt. Fury

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    Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). He didn't say, "If you love me, do anything I don't tell you not to do".

    The Bible does not tell me I can't have jelly on the unleavened bread of the Lord's Supper. It would make it taste better (those crackers are always so bland), and I like jelly. So do you think God would approve of such an action? Of course not.

    But these are the same reasons that many use to justify the use of instrumental music in the worship of God.

    1. The Bible doesn't say not to, and
    2. I like it.
     

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