Today we are going to be dealing with a topic known as antiism. This simply denotes someone who is actively against something. Let me give you a biblical example of what kind of antiism I am referring to.
Acts 15:1 And
certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless
you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be
Here we had some Jews that were saying that unless these gentiles were circumcised they would not be saved. Now we discover latter that circumcision was not binding on the Christian but these Jews were trying to make it binding based on their opinion and that is the kind of antiism I will be speaking about today. You have to understand that there a small split within the church of Christ especial in the 1960 era when some started drawing lines of fellowship over the following things.
1. They say that the Lord Supper can only be taken out of 1 cup.
2. They are against having a located preacher.
3. They are against having simultaneous bible classes and having women teaching some of those classes.
4. They are against preaching schools especially if they have a board of directors.
5. They are against the church funding an orphan or giving to anyone other than a needy saint.
6. They are opposed to church cooperation as they feel it will violate our autonomy.
7. They are against eating in the building and having a kitchen attached to the building.
These are the issues that I will be dealing with this morning and this evening. I think we can all agree that we need to allow Gods word to be our guide on these matters. But in order to find our authority from the Bible we need to understand some simple principles that we must use to help up see if the Bible supports the anti view. Bible authority can come in 3 different ways divine command, approved example or by necessary inference. Not only must we use these to find our authority we must also use the whole council of God. Without these principles a person cannot teach the plan of salvation because you cannot find one verse that just lays out the entire plan of salvation. You must use all of Gods word to find out exactly what it takes to be saved. It kind of like a puzzle you have to put all the pieces together so you can see the complete picture.
I think most us understand what a divine command is and what approved example is but I want to explain what necessary inference means.
In passage we see that we
are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves. Well the Bible
doesn’t give us a exclusive pattern on where to meet it just says to meet. So
this means that it is up to us to determine where we will meet. Perhaps it will be in rented
building or one that we purchase or maybe in a persons home. So you see
necessary inference simply means there are some things that are not specified
and God has left it up to us to determine where to meet. This is sometimes
called a matter of expediency. Just about everyone of the views that the anti
brethren hold all boils down to matters of expediency but unfortunately they
have made these matters of opinion binding when the God’s Word does not. Now
before we move on I just want you to know that I have no ill-will toward these
brethren and not all of them hold everyone single one of these views. Lets
begin with the first one.
1.Does the Bible teach that we can only partake of the Lord’s Supper from one cup only?
Matthew 26:27 Then He
took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink
from it, all of you.
You see they would say the Jesus just used one cup so we should use just one cup. However they fail to understand is that Jesus is using a figure of speech known a Metonymy (met tawn eme). A metonymy is defined as a figure of speech in which the name of one thing is used in place of that of another associated with or suggested by it. For example, someone might ask did she like her lemonade? Then they might respond yes she drank the whole cup. You see the cup represent the lemonade and not the cup itself. We Use the form of speech all the time. We might say the pot is boiling but we understand that the liquid is what actual boiling and not the pot. Let me give you 2 Biblical examples.
Moses wasn’t talking about the dirt or the water he was talking about the people that are on the earth. The same thing is true with our next verse.
Again he is talking about the people and not the
earth. So you see when Jesus was talking about the cup he wasn’t giving any
special meaning to the cup itself he was talking about fruit of vine. Now think
about this if we are to take the one cup literally and take this passage to the
extreme then this would mean that we could only partake out of the fruit of the
vine from that very cup and the cup would have be passed around from
congregation to congregation on every Sunday which of course is impossible to
do. Sometimes it helps to take a thought to the extreme to show error in it.
When it comes the Lords Supper we see that the
bread and the fruit of vine are to be used However how these items are to be
dispersed are matter of expedience. You can use one cup perhaps a tall glass or
short glass. You could use multiple cups. When it comes to unleavened bread you
could just pass the bread around by itself or you have it on a tray. None of
these are wrong because they are matters of expediency. So if a congregation
wants to drink out of one cup good for them they have that right but no one has
the right to make their way of partaking the Lords Supper binding but this is
what the anti brethren have done.
Another view that some anti brethren hold is that this no authorization for a located preacher. Now before I show the authority for this again I want to stress that having a located preacher is a matter expediency. A church does not have to have one but at the same time the church is authorized to have one.
Watch I show this from the Bible.
1. There is need that gospel be preached.
2. There is a need for preachers.
Paul who was preacher and he was located at the Ephesians congregation for 3
Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all
good things with him who teaches.
Now I believe I have clearly shown that Bible does authorize a located preacher and that he can be supported by the congregation.
3. They are against having simultaneous bible classes and having women teaching some of those classes.
Before I show the authority for this I want point again that this is a matter of expedience and if a congregation wants to have Bible class all in the same room for the very young to the very old or if they don’t want to have bible class at all it is their right to do so. But in the same manner it is ok to put the younger ones in one class and the older in another. Now let me prove this from the scripture.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe
all things that I have commanded you ….
Please notice that this is generic command to teach. The how is not supplied. This means it has been left up to us on how to teach which means it can be done individual or in bible classes or through a radio program or even through a TV program and the list can go on and on. Now lets apply this to a church. First of all we need to recognize that an eldership has the responsibility of watching over and shepherding the flock.
As these men Shepard the
flock there a many decision they have to make that are in the realm of
expediency. For instance they can determine what the best time is for the
church to meet and worship. They also determine the best use for the churches
money. Well in similar vain they have they right to determine the best way to
keep the flock spiritual strong. This means they can decide to have Bible
classes. Now we are told to submit to the elders in such matters in Heb. 13:17
so this means we should attend these Bible classes. Now to take this a step further the Elders can
break the people up into different age
groups so that they can be taught at their level which will greatly enhance
their spiritual growth. Common sense would tells us that it would be very
challenging to teach the Bible where a 3 year old and a 40 year old could learn
the Bible in the same room. So we can see that it would make since to divide
the people up by age. Now I think this is enough to show that it ok to have
simultaneous classes but now take a look at several examples which imply
Acts 5:25 So one
came and told them, saying, "Look, the men whom you put in prison are
standing in the temple and teaching the people!"
Now an angel had released the apostles from prison and told them to go teach about Jesus and here we see that they plural were teaching. Now logically, it would be more effective for these men to spread out and teach in small groups or individuals at the same time. I believe this is what is implied in this passage because I certainly cannot see all 12 of these qualified men standing together in the same place each taking a turn speaking with the same group of people. Another example comes from
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every
house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Now can you imagine
these 12 men running around in one group going from house to house taking turns
teaching to the people just in that house? That doesn’t make any sense to me. In order to be effective they
would have spread out teaching in different homes which shows us that simultaneous
bible teaching was going on and this no different than what goes in
simultaneous taught bible classes in the church building. To help put this into prospective I want to take the no class
view to its literal end. If it is the case that that the Bible can only be
taught when all the saints are assembled in one room then this would mean that the
saints could not teach the Bible to one another outside the assembly and this
is where this view will take you when its taken to it literal end.
We must understand that
coming together to study Gods word in the church building is no different than
us coming together in someone’s house or some other location. This is where the
anti-brethren get confused. You see Bible class is not the same as assembling
for worship. Bible class is simply a time that saints come together for the
specific purpose of learning more about God’s Word. Worship however is time we
all assembly together for the specific purpose of worshiping God which includes
singing, praying, exhortation, giving and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. So
you see there is difference between Bible classes and worship service.
Now lets take a look out
how women are authorized to teach some of these classes.
1. We can see that women
in the NT prophesied such as the 4 daughter of Phillip in Acts 21:9.
Prophesying is teaching.
2. We can also see that
the older women are told to teach the younger women in:
Titus 2:3 the older women likewise, that they
be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of
good things -- 4 that they
admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste,
homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not
3. We can see that Timothy’s mother and
grandmother must have played a part in teaching him the scriptures as a child
because Paul says:
2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things
which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you
have known the Holy Scriptures…
4. Finally we have the example of when Aquilla and
Priscilla husband and wife took Apollos to the side to teach him privately the
word of God more accurately in Acts 21:26.
However there are limits on when women can teach
So this means that a
women cannot teach over a man. However, a women can teach women or children
without violating this passage. So you see when you use the whole council of
God you can find authority for simultaneous Bible classes and authority for the
women to teach those classes which contain children or other women.
Some anti-brethren are opposed to preaching
schools especial if the have board of directories.
Once again we have a
matter of expediency. Their a number of ways to train Christians so that they
in turn will be able to teach others or take leadership roles within a given
congregation. It may be through a preaching school, by an eldership, by another
evangelist or by another Christian. There is not an exclusive pattern. Please
2 Timothy 2:2
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit
these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Please note that Paul is telling Timothy the he
is to teach other faithful men so they
can in turn teach others. The command is to teach the how is provided which
once again means that we are decided what way to teach them. Timothy could
teach them one on one or a school could
be used like Paul used in
Acts 19:9 But when some were hardened and did
not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from
them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the
It should be easy for us to see that its ok to
train men in a preaching school. We should also be able to understand that
these men can be supported by individuals or churches in order to help train
these men. Since this falls under the realm of personal judgment their nothing
inherently wrong with having a board of directors who play a key role in making
sure these men are getting thoroughly trained in God’s word.
Now in this next point I want to show that church has authority to give to an orphans home and to someone other than a saint. Now the only passage that we the have in the NT which talks about us taking care of orphans in found in:
First of all let me define what an orphan is: offspring whose parents either are no longer
alive or no longer function as parents (as the result of having abandoned their
Now the anti-brethren will say this passage is
talking about individuals only and so it cannot apply to the church. Now I am
in no way saying that the church only should take care of orphans but that it
is a responsibility of both individual and church and let me show you how.
Who is James written to?
James 1:1 … to the twelve tribes.. (referring
to the church).
Now notice the verse before and after James 1:27.
James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into
You see James is talking to the church and this
work can be done collectively or individually. To say this only applies to the
individual is to say that the church cannot practice pure and undefiled
religion. Now I want to show a pattern of this as we continue on.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are
of the household of faith.
Who is it written to?
Galatians 1:2 To the churches of
Notice the verse before and after Gal. 6:10
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing
Again this is referring to those in the church and
what they can do collectively or individually. I also want point out in this
verse 10 that good is to be done to all which includes both the sinner and the saint.
Now lets examine our next verse:
Please notice the word “himself” is the same Greek
word found in James 1:27.
Who is the letter written to? 1 Corinthians 1:2
In these verses Paul is talking about what a
person does when they partake of the Lord’s Supper which is done as church but
it is also done individually. This should be proof enough that the word
“himself” does not exclude the church which means that James
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of the week
let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper,
that there be no collections when I come.
Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in
all good things with him who teaches.
Notice Paul is informing of us our individual duty
of giving which is put into the church treasury to carry out the work of the
church such as paying the preacher in Gal. 6:6. All of these passages go
together to show that James
Here Paul is writing to
the church at
This goes right along with the fact that we are to
be like God who allows it rain on the just and the unjust.
To say that the church can only help the saint is
like saying the church cannot be like God. I want us to notice the argument
Paul makes to try and convert the people a Lystra.
This speech was designed to motivate these people
to turn away from their idols because God
does good to both the sinner and
the saint. Now who are we to say that the church cannot be like God and give to
both the sinner and the saint.
We can also see that the church in
Acts 6:1 Now in those days, when the
number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against
the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily
Notice in this text we can see that the church was
exercising benevolence as they were helping some on daily bases. Now it does
not tells us who was receiving this aid other than the widows but based on the
passages we have already looked it certainly
could have included needed saints and non-saints. Now most of those who hold the anti view will say that yes
widows who are really widows can be taken care of by the church based upon.
Within this text not only do we see a
responsibility of the church to take care of the widows, we also see that a
family member also has a responsibility of taking care of their widows. In fact Paul stressed
this earlier in:
1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of
his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
We see implied in verse
16 that the church had been burdened by such widows but Paul is wanting those
who call themselves Christians to step up and take care of their own family so
that the church could focus in on those who were really widows in need. However,
I think it is implied that if that
Christian refused to help their widow that the church would still help them
under this circumstance. I cannot see them the church telling a widow I sorry
your nephew Leroy is responsible for you and I know he want help you but that
just tough luck. Now even if this widow doesn’t qualify as a window in need she certainly as a saint in need and
every under the anti-view should be taken care of.
Another thing I want to point is that the Bible simply says
that the widows are to be relieved but it does not say how they are to be
relived. This falls under human judgment and is a matter of expedience. This
means the elders would determine in what manner these widows would be taken
care of. The same thing is true in.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the
Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,
Now the word “visit”
means to “look upon or to care for”
and this is not one time action but a continuous one. Again
the how is not given, so therefore it becomes a matter of expedience on how
this done. Now does it seem logical to you that the church can help widows but
yet it cannot help orphans yet we see both of them mentioned together in this same
Now another thing that
these anti brethren oppose is having a home for an orphan such as The Tipton
Home or The Westview Boys Home because
they would say this is a human institution and the church cannot give to a
human institution. Please remember that fact that the scriptures do not tell us how to take care of these orphans which gives us the right
to figure out how this will be done. Now the Tipton home and West View boys
home are exactly what they say they are. They are a home, nothing more or
nothing less and it would certainly be ok for a church to give funds to build
these homes and maintain them so that the orphans are taking care of. Providing
a home for an orphan is God ordained.
Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke
your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the
God has always wanted children to have parents and
home in which they can be provided for and trained in way of the Lord Now these
parents can either be their biological parents or their legal parents and this
is exactly what we have in these boys homes. Now some of these anti brethren
would argue that these homes are not real homes because they are incorporated
and have a board of directors. But they are wrong on this issue because many if
not all the states now requires a home caring for an orphans to be incorporated.
This is certainly allowed by Gods word because Paul teaches us that we are to
obey the laws of the land in Rom. 13. That is exactly what these homes are
Now I am not suggesting this is the only way that
orphans can be taken care of because a person could open their home to an
orphan but one must go through a legal process in order to do so. You would
have to become licensed and is some states and you have to be incorporated. But
guess what the same thing hold true for churches they to must be incorporated.
Now if incorporation means that a boys home is not a home well then that would
men that church that is incorporated is not church. That is where this way of
thinking will take you. Now from the research
I did the anti-brethren would say that the church could give money to a
needy saint who needed help with their needy orphan, but when they make
incorporation or a board of directors a dirty word then what will they do when there
brother in need has to become incorporated to meet to state law? Well if they
will hold the line to their teaching then they would no longer be able help
these needy saints simply because they complied with the law of the land. Do
you see how silly this becomes? A child in my home will be taken care in very
similar manner as a child in the boys home and whatever the church can do for
me and my orphans it can also do for the orphans in a boys home. I called the
West View boys home to find out some of the legal matter that go along with the
having a boys home. I also told him the reason why I was asking was because I
was going to study with some anti-brethren who say that you should take the
orphan into your own home. His response to me was this. I have yet to meet
anti-brethren who has ever taken an orphan into their home. Now it shouldn’t be
the case that majority of the anti-brethren should either have orphan in their
home or at some time had an orphan in their home since they believe that is the
only way an orphan should be taken care of?
I believe I have clearly shown that homes for
orphans can be taken care of by the church or by individuals and the church or
individuals can help both the saint and the sinner.
deal with Church Corporation.
What I mean
by this is when one church helps another church in various ways. Now the anti
position speaks against church cooperation in many different ways and these
ways vary one anti group to the other. So, instead of listing all there views I
thought it be easier just show what the Bible has to show about Church
cooperation. I believe I can show you from scripture where one congregation can
help another in both the physical realm and the spiritual realm without taking
away from their autonomy.
We can easily see that the church at
Acts 15:23 They wrote this letter by
them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of
the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and
We learn several things about church corporation
from these verses.
First we can see that a church can send men out to
another church and that they can send them a letter that has to do with
spiritual matters. These men also went out and exhorted and strengthened the
churches. We can also see where multiply churches helped support Paul as he
preached to the church at
have we established? There isn’t an exclusive pattern on how one church can
help another because it can include both physical needs or spiritual needs and
in no way does either congregation lose it autonomy because of this. Since
there isn’t an exclusive pattern for one church helping another this opens it
up to human judgment, therefore it is completely acceptable for one church to
send written material such a tracts or song books to another church. Or if one
church is evangelizing by means of a radio program or TV program several
churches can send money to that one church to help them with that particular
program. Now the anti-brethren would say its ok to have a radio program or TV
program but if the one church doesn’t have enough money to keep it going it
would be wrong for other churches to send them money so the could continue
their radio or TV program. They would further say that you cant find a example
of one church giving to another so that evangelism can take place. But this is
untrue. I have already shown that one church can help another church with
both physician and spiritual needs. We
can show from the example of Paul that multiple churches helped him in
evangelizing 2 Cor. 11:8 so the church would not burdened and then we can see
that aid was sent Paul by men from the churches in 2Cor. 11:9, Phil. 4:16.
Now tell me what is the difference between a
church sending funds to another church through the mail so that a preacher can
be supported in his evangelistic work in the radio or the TV program. There is
no difference. The money sent to Paul was for the purpose of evangelizing the
money sent through mail to another church is send for the purpose for the
preacher to evangelizing.
This is certainly a work that we can be a part of
but it in no way takes away from the responsibility of a church to evangelize
in their own area. Sometimes a church
might need a speaker and so it would be completely acceptable for another
church to send them one. These examples
could go on and on but this should be enough to show scripturally that
individual congregation can cooperate with one another without violating their
lets take a look at the topic of eating in the church building and having a
kitchen attached to building. Those who hold the anti view will argue that you
cannot eat in the church building and they get this from the following passage.
they have done is taken the scripture completely out of context and they make
it teach something that it does not teach. In context Paul was condemning these
people because they were not observing the Lords Supper instead they were having
this feast and getting drunk. From this alone we can see that Paul is not
condemning a common meal he was only condemning them for making a mockery of
the Lords Supper.
just for a minute lets play along and say that this verse teaches what the anti
brethren want it to say. If we are to take this to its literal end then the verse would mean that Christians
can only eat and drink in their homes. That’s where this view will literally take you. However it is very interesting that
these same brethren will many times have a water fountain in the building the
meet in. You find many times they are not consistent in their own rules. You see they would have admit that
they were committing sin ever time they take a drink out of the water faucet.
Now many times these same brethren will start up their church in a person home
which has a kitchen attached to it yet that doesn’t seem to apply. If they are
to be consistent then no one should be allowed to eat in that house again. Does
this seem extreme? Of course it does but this is where this type of thinking
is what problem is. Many of these brethren do not seem to fully understand what
the church is? The church is not some building made of brick and mortar because
the people make the church. There is no such thing as a holy building today.
Christians are the
In the first century the church meet in
various places. Sometimes they met in peoples homes Rom. 15:6; 1Cor.
Acts 20:7 Now on
the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break
bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his
Please note that in verse
7 they plural came together to break bread. This is talking about partaking of
the Lords Supper. However, in verse 11 after Paul raised Eutychus from the dead
he ate a common meal. The reason why we know this was a common meal was because
he was the only one doing the eating and the Greek word used for eating denotes
one tasting and enjoying a meal. This is word is never used in reference to
partaking of the Lords Supper. So here we have a scriptural example of someone
eating in the church building. Besides this we can see that it was a common
thing for the 1 century Christian to eat with each other in their homes which
no doubt was also used as their place of worship.
Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with
gladness and simplicity of heart,
Now one other response they have to this is to say
well it ok to have kitchen and to eat together in if an individual paid for the
kitchen and it wasn’t built out of the church treasury.
This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever because
if it is a sin to have a kitchen and eat in the building built from church
funds it should also be a sin even if an individual pays for it. This shows us
more inconsistency. Now every church should be good stewards of their money but
how they use that money on their meeting places and other areas is up to that
congregation and it elders to decide.
For instance a church building doesn’t have to
have a kitchen no more than it has to have running water, bathrooms or
electricity. However if the elders decide that it will be beneficial for the
church to have these things then they have the right to make to make that
decision because it is a matter of expediency. To say that it is a sin to have
a kitchen or a fellowship area to be built from church funds and then turn
around and say it not a sin if a individual does it cannot be supported by the
Bible because this it just a matter of opinion and Christians should never try
to make their opinion into law or that Christian will be going beyond that which is written.
The same authority that anti- brethren have to
build or rent a building to meet in is the exact same authority that another
congregation has to build a kitchen or a place of fellowship. When you think
about it there absolutely no difference between this building and your own
home. So therefore if its ok to have church in your own home which has a
kitchen and that you can eat in then should the same should hold true for this
building that we meet in that is owned by the church.
The same anti brethren are very inconsistent
because most of them would find it acceptable to build a preachers home out of
church funds which has kitchen. If it is acceptable to build a preachers home
and it have kitchen then using this same line of expediency it should be ok for
a church building to have a kitchen or area for fellowship.
Well there you have it. I have done my best to
show that all views that the anti-brethren hold are matters of opinion and
should not be allowed to cause division. We have to be careful as Christians
that we don’t strain out and gnat or swallow a camel. I hope these two lessons
have been helpful and have shown you that what we do here at Lone Grove is
authorized by God’s Word.