Category Archives: 2018 – Sept

Editorial: What Does The Bible Say About Drinking? (September, 2018) — Jon Mitchell, Editor

This is a subject which should be addressed within the body of Christ. My wife once told me about one of her co-workers, a very religious lady, who talked freely of storing six packs of beer in her automobile’s trunk. Some college friends of mine who profess Christianity drink alcoholic beverages socially and defend the practice. Some leaders and teachers in the church also defend the practice or hesitate to see anything wrong with it. Thus, we see a great need for biblical teaching on this subject (Hos. 4:6). In addressing it, my goal is to present the evidence of Scripture to the reader and respectfully and kindly encourage them to have God’s will as their highest priority (Col. 3:17), recognizing that this is a sensitive and controversial subject (Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).

To my knowledge, all who want to follow the Bible will acknowledge that drunkenness is listed among the works of the flesh which condemn those who practice them as not inheriting God’s kingdom (Gal. 5:19-21). The point of disagreement lies around the question of when one is drunk scripturally. When does God consider someone to be drunk?

The Greek-English lexicographer W.E. Vine cites “drunkenness” (Gal. 5:21) as methe in the original Greek, defining it as “‘strong drink’…denotes ‘drunkenness, habitual intoxication’… Vine also ascribes the word translated “drunkards” (1 Cor. 6:10) to the adjective methusos, defining it as “‘drunken’…used as a noun…in the plural…‘drunkards’…” So far proponents of social drinking completely agree because in their minds there is a difference between consuming one margarita and being drunk. I understand that reasoning, yet also am reminded of God’s warning in Isaiah 55:8-9.

With that warning in mind, note that Vine also cites the verb translated “get drunk” in the command against doing so (Eph. 5:18) as methusko, which “signifies ‘to make drunk, or to grow drunk’…an inceptive verb, marking the process…‘to become intoxicated’…” (emphasis mine). Vine specifically includes in the definition of the verb “get drunk” not only what the proponents of social drinking would call the end result of several drinks (drunkenness), but also the entire process of becoming drunk. Robert Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible defines methusko as “to begin to be softened.” Therefore, the word which the Spirit of God inspired Paul to use in this command against drunkenness would not only condemn the inebriation resulting from a consumed six-pack of beer, but also the entire process one would undergo to reach that state of inebriation (social drinking).

Elsewhere, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul and Peter to command us to be “sober” (1 Thess. 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 5:8). Paul’s command is part of a contrast between the Christian being of the day and thus awake and sober rather than of the night and sleeping the sleep of drunkenness. Peter’s command is part of a warning to be continually on the lookout for the devil who is always on the prowl like a lion, seeking someone to eat. The Greek word they used which is translated “sober” is nepho, which Vine defines as “to be free from the influence of intoxicants.” Greek authority James Strong defines it as “…to abstain from wine (keep sober)…” Joseph Thayer’s second definition of nepho says, “to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect” (emphasis mine). Regarding the term “temperate,” social drinking proponents cite how it is sometimes defined as moderation with regards to consumption of alcohol. As we examine that notion, it is worthy to note that nepho is the verbal form of nephaleon (“temperate,” 1 Tim. 3:2, 11; Tit. 2:2). Lexicographers Henry Liddell and Robert Scott define nephalios, an early form of nephaleon, as “sober: and of drink, without wine, wineless.” Thus, the promotion of total abstinence from wine in Vine and Strong’s definitions of nepho and Liddell and Scott’s definitions of its derivative of nephalios and nephaleon leads us to conclude that Thayer had in mind the definition of “temperance” found in The New World Dictionary for his definition of nepho: “total abstinence from alcoholic drinks.”

This shows us that by inspiring Paul to use a word which in the Greek meant total abstinence from intoxicating drinks, God’s idea of “sober” (1 Thess. 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 5:8) is more along the lines of how Alcoholics Anonymous use the word when they ask their members, “Are you sober?” When AA says “sober,” they do not mean, “Does your blood alcohol content meet the legal requirements to operate a vehicle?” Rather, they are asking, “Have you totally abstained from consuming alcoholic beverages?” That is what nepho means in the New Testament, which has this command completely in sync with Ephesians 5:18’s condemnation of methusko, the entire process which would result in methe, drunkenness.

The only divinely approved allowance of the ingestion of any intoxicating beverage would be small amounts for medicinal purposes (1 Tim. 5:23). There is no comparison between the command to “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” and the notion to have a cocktail at dinner or a can or two of beer at the party. Concerning the latter, drunkenness results much sooner than one might think.

Remember that God created us and thus knows our bodies and how they react to social consumption of intoxicating beverages. Dr. Haven Emmerson wrote Alcohol, Its Effects on Man, in which he reported that even the first sips of an alcoholic beverage causes changes in mood or behavior. He cited studies of how the first measurable effects on younger, inexperienced drinkers were detected after half a can of beer, the equivalent to half a cocktail or half a glass of wine, while on adults who are occasional drinkers the first measurable effects were detected after only one beer or cocktail. Toxicologist Clarence Muehlberger wrote an article on drunkenness for the 1959 Encyclopaedia Britannica in which he said, “The higher nerve functions of the forebrain, such as reasoning, judgment, and social restraint are impaired by very low concentrations of alcohol in the blood.” Dr. Donald Gerard wrote in his article “Intoxication and Addiction” in Drinking and Intoxication that “judgment and inhibitions are affected” with “the first few ‘social’ drinks.” The 1971 First Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health reported that even the first few sips of an alcoholic beverage can cause changes in mood or behavior. The American Automobile Association said, “The effects of alcohol begin with the first drink…The first effects are impairment of judgment and reasoning and weakening of self-control and normal inhibitions.”

Yet objections to these clear biblical and biological facts still come. A common one centers around how Christ turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). The wine in question is understandably assumed to be an intoxicating beverage, since that’s what wine is today. Because of this, some have even gone so far as to assume the master of the feast saying that the guests were already drunk by the time Jesus made the good wine (v. 10), defining “good” as “best for getting smashed.” However, in biblical times the terms translated “wine” could refer not only to an intoxicating beverage (Prov. 20:1), but also to the grapevine itself (Num. 6:4), clusters of grape which were just gathered (Jer. 40:10), or freshly trodden grapes (Is. 16:10). Furthermore, Strong defines the master of the feast’s phrase “drunk freely” (methuo) not only as “to drink to intoxication,” but also adds another definition: “drink well.” Liddell and Scott, along with lexicographer Samuel Bloomfield, agree and state that it could refer to the quantity of drinking without necessarily indicating as to whether the drink was intoxicating. Also, Thayer defines the “good” wine (kalos) as “beautiful” and “excellent,” which logically correlates much more to taste or appearance than supposed intoxicating qualities.

Thus, the wine Jesus made was not intoxicating in nature, but rather sweet grape juice. The master of the feast was accordingly saying that normally the best tasting and looking wine was served first with the sub-quality being saved for after the guests had drank well, or all, of the former. To claim otherwise would have Christ making intoxicating wine for guests who had already become tipsy at best (cf. Hab. 2:15). Such does not correspond with Christ’s nature.

More study will be given to this topic in the next editorial. I pray this study will be beneficial to the reader and glorify God.   — Jon

Living In Spirit And Truth In A Social Media World — Tony Brewer

Worshiping in spirit and in truth simply means worshiping with the proper attitude and doing the right things (John 4:24). If worship is to be done in spirit and truth then the service we offer by our lives is to be done in spirit and truth as well (Rom. 12:1). Living in spirit and truth has always been complicated but in the last two decades we have introduced social media and made it even more complicated.

The platform of social media changes from time to time. Myspace gives way and makes room for Facebook. Snapchat fell out of favor with the masses. Instagram rose in prominence. YouTube is holding on and revamping to be more conducive to social interaction between its subscribers. It does not matter which platform is popular or which platform you use, you must maintain a life of service to God in spirit and truth. How is that done? To answer that question we will notice the main misconception about social media, the main problem with social media, and the solution to the problem.

The Main Misconceptions About Social Media

What we do in this plane of existence lasts in eternity. According to the voice from heaven, the labor of the dead who die in the Lord follow them (Rev. 14:13). In like manner, our evil deeds will follow us if we die outside the Lord (Rom. 2:6). Thus it is with social media.

Sadly, many refer to their face to face interaction with this world as the “real world” and social media as “not the real world.” The concept that social media does not affect our existence in this world and the next is absurd.

A cursory search of the internet turns up cyberbullyhotline.com, which list statistics concerning the pandemic problem of bullying online. Cyberbullyhotline.com lists, “42% of teenagers with tech access report being cyberbullied over the past year,” “of the 69% of teens that own their own computer or smart phone, 80% are active on social media, and “20% of kids cyberbullied think about suicide, and 1 in 10 attempt it.” Am I saying that Christians on social media are bullying people to the point of suicide? No, I am not. However, these statistics are indicative of a powerful tool that can not be relegated to the realm of “not the real world.”

What we do on social media affects us, period. It does not happen without consequences. If we can understand that social media is simply media, and there is no difference between social media and the real world, then we will be much better equipped to live in spirit and truth in a social media world.

The Main Problem With Social Media

In my personal ministry I am heavily involved with social media as a gospel preacher. I am part of a group of men who work together to spread the gospel on Facebook. From personal experience, the negative things Christians do on social media have less to do with living a wicked life in their face to face interactions and more to do with how they conduct themselves fulfilling their obligations to the Great Commission.

There have been more atrocities committed in the name of contending for the faith on social media than I would care to try and list. I know we are told to contend for the faith (Jude 3). Are we to contend to the point of casting the very life of a Christian in a negative light? If you will allow me to appropriate the words of Paul, God forbid!

A principle comes to mind from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth. These Christians were trying to live in spirit and truth in the socioeconomic climate of the first century. Sadly, they were taking fellow Christians to court and suing them (1 Cor. 6:6). Paul spoke of this as being a shame to them (1 Cor. 6:5). He said that the solution to this is to just take the wrong (1 Cor. 6:7). Notice that Paul equated the wrong of going to court in front of unbelievers to the wrong that the offending brother committed in the first place (1 Cor. 6:8). This principle is applicable to Christians living their lives in spirit and truth in a social media world. Christian, take the wrong!

Being offended is the new “it” thing to be. If we look in the right places we will find offensive things on social media. If we look hard enough and diligently enough, we will find Christians who disagree with us on matters of judgment and on matters of salvation. It seems that some Christians on social media take it upon themselves to reprove all the unfruitful works of darkness in existence (Eph. 5:11). I know that reproving the unfruitful works of darkness is a commandment that is in the Bible and that it is applicable to Christians even in a social media world. Yet, there are unbelievers who see everything we do on social media. When we publicly mark someone as a heretic, in principle we are going to law before the unbelievers. Christians have not been living and interacting with social media long enough to understand the ramifications of hauling a alleged heretic before a social media tribunal and denouncing him as hell bound. We are not called to be spiritual policemen. Contrariwise Paul asked whether we should rather take the wrong or at least deal with the alleged heretic privately. When we publicly mark alleged false teachers on social media we are sacrificing our effectiveness to reach others with the gospel upon the altar of being right. Friends, that might be in truth, but it is certainly not in spirit.

If we want to live and serve in spirit and truth on social media, we must cast our Christianity in the best possible light. As Christians we must not wallow in the mud with those who would tarnish the very name of Christ which we wear. Publicly airing our grievances, whether justified or not, is the main problem otherwise faithful Christians face while trying to live in spirit and truth in a social media world.

Now, if you are like me you have fallen short from time to time. Do not lose heart. Simply resolve to be more Christ-like in your approach to evangelism on social media (Phil. 2:1-11). Now, let us look at some Scripture in order to understand how to solve the problem of social media.

The Solution To The Problem

The solution to the problem facing the Christian living life in spirit and truth in a social media world is simple. Do less contending for the faith and more evangelism. The microcosm of social media is not the place to contend for the faith by policing brethren. We have to shine light on error, we have to preach truth which convicts, and we must preach the whole counsel of God. However, we can not do this by imposing our opinions of the way things ought to be on others (Acts 20:27; Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:2).

How can we solve the problem of social media? It is simple. Lead a quiet life, mind our own business, and work as we are commanded by God (1 Thess. 4:11). If we can accomplish these three things, then we will lack nothing, and we will be known to walk honestly to those who are unbelievers (1 Thess. 4:12).

Keeping the commandments given to us by God will help to solve the problem with social media. If we are busy doing the Lord’s evangelistic work, then we will not have time to haul others before a social media tribunal. Again, we are not called to be spiritual policemen.

If we believe the best in our brethren and do not jump to conclusions, we will not be offended so quickly (1 Cor. 13:7). In so doing, we will be able to show the love of Jesus to the world by showing a love for the brethren (John 13:34-35). By showing love toward our brethren, we can show the world that it is desirous to be a Christian. Then perhaps those that see us will be drawn to study with us and consequently be drawn to Jesus (John 6:44-45).

Conclusion

Living in spirit and in truth in a social media world can be daunting. It is fraught with danger. Social media is a difficult place to live and keep the proper attitude along with doing what is right. If Christians can understand that what happens on social media is real, if Christians can be aware of the main problem of social media, and if Christians will solve their problem, then they will have no difficulty living in spirit and truth in this social media world.

Tony is the gospel preacher for the Bay Church of Christ in Bay, AR. He is a 2015 graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching. He also does extensive social media evangelism and Bible teaching.

Preaching Reverently — Robert Curry

The world has no respect for God, His authority, and His Word. Paul wrote, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18, ESV). The apostle expressed that view in the first century to the church in Rome within the culture of the expanding Roman empire, but it could easily apply to our own world. In fact, it is, tragically, not only a loss of a fear of God, but a rejection of authority as a whole. Richard Stennet, a NYU sociologist, commented, “We have come to fear the influence of authority as a threat to our liberties, in the family and in society at large.” So then, such an outlook offers nothing to which one might give honor, respect, and reverence.

Out of this fear and inept worldview there has arisen a rejection of authority in preaching and the result is a loss of divine reverence in preaching. When absolute authority is rejected—all authority in heaven and earth belongs to the Lord (Matt. 28:18)—then the goal of biblical preaching is altered to something more socially palatable. Lost is the recognition of God and the divine authority that lies behind all preaching. Fred Craddock lamented, “But where have all the absolutes gone? The old thunderbolts rust in the attic while the minister tries to lead his people through the morass of relativities and proximate possibilities.”

While the world demands cautious neutrality to anything authoritative, Christianity expects courageous submission to the inescapable authority of God. Yet, “the old thunderbolts” continue to rust in far too many pulpits. Our pews are filled with hearts deadened to the authoritative truth of God’s Word because the Lord is not approached with a desire to be in His presence with reverence.

The Preaching Task

Biblical preaching is an awesome privilege and a serious task, never to be taken lightly for it is centered on the Lord. Tom Holland wrote, “Preaching Christ involves three necessary things: one, preaching a message from Christ; two, preaching a message about Christ; and three, preaching for the purpose of leading men to Christ for salvation.” More than just making a speech or having something to say, preaching, when it is done properly and responsibly, is done as a messenger (Isa. 52:7). Paul alluded to this in Romans 10:15, too often seen only as a general reference to the act of preaching when it is actually a reminder that as a messenger of God’s Word the preacher brings into the pulpit something that originates with and authorized by God. “The man who is a herald for Jesus Christ,” wrote Holland, “or one who serves as an evangelist, does not proclaim his own message. He preaches the message from the King. The evangelist proclaims the good news from the King.”

So then, preachers are given what belongs only to God. Albert Mohler wrote, “The preacher dares to speak in behalf of God, standing in the pulpit as a steward of the mysteries of God.” “This is how one should regard us,” said Paul, “as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1). The preacher as a steward of what belongs only to God is an intriguing thought. As the stewards of the mysteries of God, preachers are caretakers of the biblical story, seeking to present it to all who will hear it and will respond to God’s authority.

The preaching to which I refer has been associated with expository preaching, which when opened for discussion would elicit a number of responses and definitions. Peter Adam wrote, “Expository sermons help us let God set the agenda for our lives.” Put simply, expository preaching involves the exposition, or comprehensive explanation, of the Scripture; that is, expository preaching presents the meaning and intent of a biblical text, providing commentary and examples to make the passage clear and understandable. The expository preacher’s goal is simply to expose the meaning of the Bible, verse by verse. Mohler commented, “Expository preaching is authoritative because it stands upon the very authority of the Bible as the word of God. Such preaching requires and reinforces a sense of reverent expectation on the part of God’s people. Finally, expository preaching demands the central place in Christian worship and is respected as the event through which the living God speaks to his people.”

Mohler’s statement, “Such preaching requires and reinforces a sense of reverent expectation on the part of God’s people,” evokes a powerful challenge to the dynamic of biblical preaching. An elder I knew years ago stated that “anybody can preach.” I insist that while many and perhaps most can stand before the congregation and have something to say, to preach as the Bible expects and demands is something far beyond anything casual. If the preacher will perform his task biblically, and so properly, he will realize that the sermon is not the task of the preacher alone, but of the audience as well, for it is a shared experience. That the Word of God has been engaged together must be a goal of preaching. When that is desired by both the preacher and the congregation, a sense of “reverent expectation” forms a foundational element in the preaching event.

Preaching With Reverence

The word “reverence” is translated from two Hebrew words: yare’, “fear, so then respect” (Ps. 89:7; Lev. 19:30; 26:2) and shachah, “falling down, prostrate” (1 Kgs. 1:31; 2 Sam. 9:6; Esther 3:2, 5). In the New Testament “reverence” is rendered from deos, “awe, Godly fear, profound respect” (Heb. 12:28), phobeo, “to be frightened, alarmed; deep respect” (Eph. 5:33), and entrepo, “inferiority & superiority, submission to a higher level” (Matt. 21:37; Mark 12:6; Luke 20:13; Heb. 12:9). So then, “reverence” implies a respectful attitude of submission leading to a sense of honor and esteem of the word of God. This is a very biblical thing for we are to reverence the name of God (Matt. 6:9) and His house (1 Tim. 3:15), His attributes (Mal. 3:6; Eze. 18:25; Is. 45:21-22; 1 John 4:8; Titus 1:2), His commands (Jn. 12:50), and, therefore, His word (Ps. 119:160; John 17:17). This reverence represents our desire for and the privilege of worship (John 4:24).

To preach with reverence begins and ends with one profound truth: what is proclaimed is the very Word of God. The preacher has been entrusted with what belongs only to God and that is a staggering realization for any man who takes the task of preaching seriously. The English preacher and scholar, William Gouge (1575-1653), wrote that preachers preach the Word of God in four respects: (1) the preacher realizes and embraces that the author of the text proclaimed is God (e.g. 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21); (2) the subject matter of the biblical text is the will of God (e.g. Rom. 12:2; Eph. 5:17); (3) the Word is to exalt the glory of God (e.g. John 1:14; 1 or. 10:31); and (4) the effect and power of preaching the Word of God is salvation (e.g. Ps. 3:8; Rom. 1:16; Col. 3:16; Heb. 4:12). We can see then that biblical preaching requires recognition of reverence toward what is being presented. The speaker and hearers together must enter into the preaching event with a reverence toward what is being said and done. In so doing the congregation expresses a true sense of reverence for biblical preaching, understanding that the sermon brings the word of Christ into the worship of the assembly.

Conclusion

Preaching the Word of God is an awesome, but serious task, one never to be taken lightly. To understand and embrace the Bible’s authority to guide (2 Tim. 3:16), its power for salvation (Rom. 1:16), and its timelessness (Is. 40:8; 1 Pet. 1:25) will lead any responsible and faithful preacher to embrace his task with reverence. By the essence of its vitality the preaching event becomes the task of the man who acts as a steward of the very words of God, for he proclaims from the depths of his heart the good news of eternal salvation.

Knowing and embracing this demands that the preacher enters the act of preaching with reverence to all that belongs to God.

Robert has preached for forty years and presently preaches for the church of Christ in Sidney, MT. He is a published author, former adjunct professor, and teacher in the mission field.

 

References

  1. https://www.albertmohler.com/2013/09/06/preaching-with-authority-three characteristics-of-expository-preaching/
  2. Fred B. Craddock, As One Without Authority (Nashville: Abingdon, 1979), 13.
  3. Tom Holland, Preaching: Principles and Practice, Vol. 1, Homiletic Handbook (Henderson, TN: Holland Publications, 1974), pgs. 53, 39.
  4. Peter Adam, Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Expository Preaching (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), 128.
  5. https://www.apuritansmind.com/pastors-study/preaching-gods-word-by-dr-william-gouge/

The Role of Women in the Lord’s Church — Will Hester

Over the last 28 years, we have seen a large contingent of the church that has taken an unscriptural stance on an important doctrinal question. Most would think that we would talk about instrumental music just by that statement. Although that issue is important to discuss, we are not talking about that doctrinal question at this time. The doctrinal question we will be attempting to answer is, “What is the role of women in the church of the Lord?” This question has plagued the church in many different ways. On one side you have those who believe women have no voice at all in the worship service. On the other side you have those who believe women can do anything a man can do in worship and maybe even more. The pertinent question that must be asked when studying this doctrinal position is, “What roles are women allowed to have through scripture within the confines of worship?”

The view of women within the Lord’s church has been tainted because the interpretation of certain passages has been tainted by denominationalism. We have seen that most liberal theologians have done eisegetical study, forcing a meaning into a text that is not intended by the author, with these texts. When we do this, we are creating our own narrative to suit our own version of Christianity. Did we die for the sins of the world? Did we purchase the church with our blood at Calvary? The answers are a resounding no! However, the way some of our friends view the Bible would make us believe that they think they did purchase the church. We are only interpreters and must be exegetical in our approach to the scripture. When you exegete a passage, you are literally being led to your conclusions about a certain Bible subject by following the text itself. Exegetical study is critical for viewing the texts of the Bible and discerning what the text says about doctrinal issues that we face.

As we go through this study, we will try to look at both sides in equal measure. Our goal is to view the arguments of both sides and try to formulate a conclusion of which argument holds with the biblical view of the role of women. We will also be looking at the different roles that women do have within the confines of scripture. The goal of this study is not to cause division but to allow for discussion and to show that we must use the Bible as our only guiding principle for faith and practice.

Arguments For An Expanded Role Of Women In Worship

The position for an expanded role of women in worship is the minority view in the Lords’ church; however, the proponents of this view have a very loud voice. These voices are being given an audience at some of our brotherhood school’s lectureships. Abilene Christian University, Lubbock Christian University, Lipscomb University, and Pepperdine University have decided that they will allow these views to be defended at their lectureships. We find that the Bible departments are bending to the whims of these men and women.

On Wednesday night of the 2018 Pepperdine Bible Lectures Don McLaughlin, preaching minister at the North Atlanta Church of Christ, gave the 7:00 pm keynote address on “1 Corinthians 12-14.” From this text, brother McLaughlin used for a subject “The Gift of the Spirit to the Body of Christ.” Twenty-two minutes into his lesson, Don uses a term that would be the calling card of the rest of his lesson. He coined the term, “hermeneutical segregation,” in speaking of “our” belief of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers.

He would ask the question, minutes later, “What is a woman’s body for?” Don attempts to answer his own question by stating, “It is for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit…not for exploitation by men or women for financial and self gratification.” He then stated, “Let me take it a step farther. I am going to talk to the ladies. Women’s bodies are not for evaluation or comparison.” I agree with his assertion. A recurring problem we have in this country is “body-shaming.” In many instances, our society shames young women for not having a certain body type or for not being under a certain weight. However, Don does not stop there. He would state further, “I will say one more thing. We have lived under the false assumption that the Holy Spirit prefers male bodies to female bodies for leadership in the church. That did not arise from Scripture, but that is what WE put on Scripture.” As we will see later, his argument does not hold fast to what Scripture says.

One of the main arguments used by the proponents of an expanded role for women is, “We must take 1 Timothy 2:8-12 as cultural for the first century and not a command for us in the 21st century.” Patrick Mead, senior minister at Fourth Avenue Church of Christ, has been the biggest proprietor of this position in recent memory. He, along with a couple of others, wrote the document found on the Fourth Avenue website entitled, “Document on Women in Worship and Ministry.” In this document, we find that the authors make the statement, “Paul felt the need to address the situation in Ephesus with several commands, most of which we do not apply to ourselves or to our congregations.”

The text of 1 Timothy 2:8-12 states, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.  And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” The view of these scriptures as just being “cultural” to the first century is not a new phenomenon; however, for many years it was just a dominating denominational view.

A point of contention within this text, according to the proponents of this view, is the translation of two Greek words used by Paul in verse 12. The first Greek word, which is a very uncommon word, is “αὐθεντεῖν” (authentein). This word comes from the verb, αὐθεντέω (authenteo), which carries an idea of “having authority over, to be domineering, and having full power.” Those who have a feministic view of where they believe the church should be going take this word as the key to this passage. In their estimation, verse 12 only pertains to a cultural problem in the church at Ephesus. It is only to be taken to the conclusion of being for the relationship in the home and not the church.

The second Greek word, which only occurs in the New Testament four times, is ἡσυχίᾳ (hesuchia). This word carries the idea of “being calm, being in silence or having a stillness in ones’ life as a believer.” Brother Thomas Robinson, Senior Minister at the Manhattan Church of Christ in New York, wrote a study guide entitled, “A Community Without Barriers.” In his study guide he references this Greek word and says the following, “Again, the phrases translated by the RSV ‘learn in silence’ and ‘keep silent’ both use the Greek word hesychia which means ‘quietness’ rather than ‘silence.’” He would further state, “Quietness is not silence.” As we will see, it is not so cut and dry as he tries to make it out to be.

Another main argument from the proponents of this position is, “What do you do with Phoebe, the deaconess that Paul mentions?” The singular point that is focused upon is the Greek word “διάκονος” (diakonos). This word carries the idea of “a person who is a servant and is set to serve.” The main push of this argument is that “diakonos” can be translated as “deacon.” With the revelation of this information, they translate that word as “deaconess.” Romans 16:1 in the New King James version states, “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.” They view these verses as the key to view the scriptures in a brand new light.

A final major argument comes from 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, which states, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.” Thomas Robinson writes of this passage, “Here, as elsewhere, Paul judged the actions of the community not by a rigid standard of required conduct that was eternal and unchanging. Rather, what mattered to Paul (because it matters to God) was the souls and salvation of people.” He further states in his study guide, “In our day and in our context, the kind of shame and disgrace that Paul wanted the church to avoid is more likely to come upon the church by silencing women (and thereby indicating that they are somehow inferior to men) than by allowing women to use all the gifts that the Spirit has given them.” As it seems, the narrative that they want to portray is one of tolerance and equality. In their view, the roles of women and men are similar and equal to each other. The perspective given is, “To stay relevant with the times, then we must embrace all progressive cultural narratives.”

Arguments for a Biblical and Less Inclusive Role for Women in Worship

The position that this author takes, like so many in the Lords’ church, is that women have specific roles they must take in the makeup of the church; however, they are not to step outside of the parameters of Scripture. We have seen our more “progressive” brethren are willing to forcibly insert a meaning into texts that are not there. When they do this, then they are misleading scores of people with their view of scripture.

The passage in 1 Timothy 2:8-12 gives us the first indication of what we are to look for in defining the role of women. David Lipscomb explains the text of verse 11 by stating, “The position of women in public worship is a quiet learner in manner, yielding submission in all lawful respects to the position God had placed man as leader of the worship in the public assembly of the church.” Lipscomb would further state, regarding verse 12, “The point guarded against here is woman’s assuming authority over man…this is the only reason given why it is wrong.” Brother Lipscomb is not taking a male chauvinistic approach to the passage, but he is taking a clear and concise role that is defined through Scripture.

Brother Robinson tries to point out that hesuchia means only “quietness” and it cannot mean silence. According to Strong’s Concordance, which is one of the most reliable concordances one can own, hesuchia means “silence” in verse 11. As we have seen, the misdirection used by the proponents of an expanded role for women is prevalent. In order to fit their view of Scripture into the box, they must change the way words are defined to change the narrative.

The Greek word authentein means, “to have authority over or to be domineering.” We cannot overlook that this word means what it means. Although there have been many cases where people have tried to change the definition, it remains constant that the original meaning is what we have shown. In verse 12, Paul is not just addressing a cultural problem. Paul is addressing the church through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and is addressing a wider issue. Women, in church and at home, must be submissive to men and not exercise authority over them as well.

The question of Phoebe is one that has caused much strife and division. Brother Lipscomb states in his commentary on Romans, “Some think she was a publicly recognized deaconess, but we find no recognition in Scriptures of any such class.” He would further state, “Many women did, however, voluntarily devote themselves in a womanly way to teaching and to those who preached, waiting on the sick and doing whatever work presented itself for them to do. Phoebe was one of this class.” I could not agree more with these statements regarding Phoebe. The word diakonos in Romans 16:1 is properly rendered in most translations as “servant.” Phoebe was a servant of the church and devoted herself to taking care of the people of the church. As a Christian, she understood her role and was “commended by Paul for her service,” according to Brother Lipscomb.

When we look at 1 Corinthians 14:34ff in light of everything we have seen thus far with other passages, we see that the progressive view is not the view that should be taken. Brother Lipscomb writes of verse 34, “No instruction in the New Testament is more positive than this; it is positive, explicit and universal; and however plausible maybe the reasons which are urged for disregarding it, and for suffering women to take an active part in conducting public worship, yet the authority of the inspired apostle remains positive and his meaning cannot be misunderstood.” This passage is not one to be taken just on a basis of cultural stigmas. We must remember that Paul, like all the writers in the Bible, were fully inspired and that they were given the words to write from God. Brother Lipscomb would continue, “He looks at it from every viewpoint, forbids it altogether, and shows that from every consideration it was to regarded as improper for them to take any active part in conducting the public service.”

Biblical Roles For Women

As we all know, there are five acts of public worship. These are singing, praying, preaching, giving and observing the Lord’s Supper. These acts of worship are important to the church and how we are to give praise to our Father. The Bible clearly indicates that we all must actively participate in these to be pleasing to God.

The question that remains is, “What roles, if any, do women have in the structure of the church?” This is a great question and it must be answered with the Bible and, most importantly, it must be answered with great care. The women of the church have a vital role to play in the church!

One role women must take on is a participant in the worship itself. What does this mean? Do women take leader roles? As we have seen, they do not take on the role of the leader; however, they must give their being to the worship of God. When we come together to partake of the emblems of the Lord’s supper, we all must participate. When we sing songs of praise, we all must “sing and make melody with our hearts to God.” When we pray, we all must give our thoughts and praise to God through prayer. When the preacher is preaching, we all must give our attention to the speaker and listen to the sermon being taught. When we give of our means, we all must give of what we have been blessed with each first day of the week.

The women of the church can also take on the role of mentors to the young ladies of the congregation. They can give pertinent skills training and advice for girls. This is also a Biblical concept. Titus 2:3-5 states that the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” This passage gives the women of the congregation insight into what God is looking for from the ladies of the church.

The Great Commission of Matthew 28 is not just a statement for men, but it is also for women. Some of the most brilliant preachers in our brotherhood would not have been the men they were, had it not been for the women who stood beside them or the ones that taught them. Someone might ask, “Wait, I thought women were not allowed to teach and now you are saying they can?” We are all to teach and bring souls to Christ every day because that is a primary function of being a Christian; however, the roles must be understood. If we are the kind of Christians we must be under the New Covenant, then those around us will be taught just by our example. Women can have a much greater influence in some respects than men can have in certain areas.

For too long, we in the mainstream” have been silent on the roles women play in the church and vocal against what they cannot do. May we continue to search the Scriptures, train women to be confidant in their roles, and train churches to understand there are many roles women have which do not compromise Scripture for the sake of cultural relevancy!

Will is married to Sarah and is the minister of the Pleasant View congregation in Skullbone, TN.


Editor’s Note:  This online edition of brother Hester’s article contains the full text of the article.  Through an editorial mistake, a section of his article was accidentally left out of the printed edition of the September issue.  The fault for that omission is mine alone, and for that I apologize to brother Hester and to the reader.  — Jon Mitchell, editor 

The Generational Gap In The Church — Chase Green

One does not have to obtain a degree in advanced statistics to see that the church has a major problem in retaining young people. The evidence is all around us in an alarming number of congregations.

I recently conducted a very unscientific poll of several gospel preachers and asked them the approximate percentages of the following age groups in their congregations: under 30 years old, 30-60 years old, and over 60 years old. The results were about what I expected: a large number of our congregations are aging. Yet perhaps it is what I was not expecting about these results that is most interesting. I will address that at the end of this article.

As one of the few of my age group still left at my congregation, I have long felt as if my generation was the “lost generation” of the church. I can remember being one of several people my age who attended my congregation when I was younger, but now most of them have gone off into the world. I know that my congregation is not the only one experiencing this phenomenon.

The question becomes: What can we do to “stop the bleeding,” so to speak, and turn things around for the future? In the medical field, there is a word called panacea. A panacea is a “cure-all,” or a “wonder drug” that is supposed to remedy all problems. Of course a true panacea for all of the world’s medical ills does not exist!

The same is true regarding the problem of the church losing its young people. Yes, if all of our young people loved the Lord and abided by His Word then the problem would be cured, but we know that sadly many of our young people will choose to leave the Lord’s church.

I don’t believe that there is some sort of panacea for keeping our young people interested in the church, but I do believe that there is room for improvement so that we stand a better chance retaining them.

First, it is imperative that our congregations become less inwardly focused and more outwardly focused. What do I mean by this? If we aren’t careful, the church can gain a “me, me, me” mentality to the point that we are more focused on being served ourselves, rather than serving others. To illustrate this point, think about the following. Do your church members typically turn out better for a VBS or a fellowship meal, or for a door-knocking? If the answer is the former, then there may be too much inward focus. To remedy this, our congregations need to take the attitude of Paul, who said he became all things to all men, so that by all means he might save some (1 Cor. 9:22). We need to stop at nothing to try to reach out to our communities for benevolence, biblical education, and evangelism. If we do this, perhaps our young people will realize that they have an important place in the church and are needed for its success.

Next, we need to be careful not to get caught up in erroneous doctrinal extremes. What I mean by that is this: We cannot allow ourselves to react to a false doctrine in such a way that causes us to go too far the other direction and end up preaching something false to the other extreme. For example, we may, in an effort to avoid grace-only theology, allow ourselves to go too far the other direction and completely avoid talking about God’s grace. Perhaps, on the other end of the spectrum, we might emphasize God’s grace to the point that we no longer teach on the seriousness of sin. If this be the case, then a reading of Romans chapter 6 is in order! We need to make sure we don’t turn off our young people from hearing the truth by ignoring certain subjects that have been corrupted by those who are either too far to the left or to the right; we need to teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

Finally, we need to make sure that we are not trying to keep our young people faithful through means of entertainment. The old adage is true: if it takes a gimmick to get them to come, it will take a gimmick to keep them! The church cannot compete with the entertainment the world has to offer, so it would be foolish for us to try! Rather than trying this approach, we need to instill in our young people a deep love for God and a realization that this world is not their home! “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Heb. 13:14-15). We need to teach our young people to put God first in every aspect of their lives (Matt. 6:33). We need to teach them to prefer one another (Rom. 12:10) rather than their worldly friends. We need to teach them wisdom (Proverbs), and we need to show them through our actions that fearing God and keeping His commandments is the whole of man (Eccl. 12:13).

Now, back to the results of my survey! As I said before, I was not surprised to see that the majority of congregations polled had mostly people in the 60+ age group. Yet what was surprising is that there was a lot more variation than I had thought. There were plenty of congregations who still had a good mix of the under 30 and 30-60 age groups. What I learned from this is that I was looking for results based upon my own biases. Rather than expecting the results of every congregation to look like my own congregation, I should have waited to see the data before trying to make my own conclusions.

You see, there isn’t any one generation that is the “lost generation.” Why is that? Because every generation who does not know the Lord is lost! We need to be reaching the masses with the gospel of Christ! Age? Well, that’s just a number!

Chase is a 2017 graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching and preaches in West Monroe, LA, alongside his wife and children.

 

Claude Pharr, Gospel Preacher — David R. Pharr

My brother Claude Welborn Pharr, 80, ended his earthly pilgrimage July 26, 2018. Jeff Trotter gave the funeral sermon at the North Main building in Mocksville, NC, where Claude had been the preacher for the last 14 years of his life. A large crowd was in attendance with uplifting congregational singing. He was buried in the cemetery of the nearby Jericho Church of Christ at Mocksville.

Claude was born July 2, 1938, in Wilkesboro, NC, where we grew up. Claude obeyed the gospel in his teens. Our background as a family was with the Methodist Church in Wilkesboro, NC. We were led to New Testament Christianity chiefly under the influence of Cliff and Lucille Walter, who had moved to Wilkesboro for business, but with the determination to start a congregation. In the providence of God, they became our neighbors. Our mother, though lacking advanced education, was an avid searcher of the Scriptures and when brother Walter turned conversations to the truth about salvation and Christ’s church, she was willing to listen. Claude inherited that love for truth. Eventually our entire household obeyed the gospel. Our family never forgot God’s goodness in bringing the Walter family into our lives.

Some years ago in an informal conversation with a few preachers and other men, a brother was criticizing what he had understood to be old fashioned methods of evangelism back in the 1950s. Claude reminded him that it was just such “old fashioned” teaching that had brought him and many others to the way of truth.
He was a full-time gospel preacher for 58 years. In the earlier years he worked with congregations in Lenoir, NC; Martinsville, VA; Lansdale, PA; Charlottesville, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Indiana, PA, before coming back to North Carolina about 30 years ago. For 16 years he worked with the South Fork congregation in Winston-Salem. After leaving South Fork he continued to live in the Winston-Salem area and served with the North Main Church of Christ in Mocksville for the last 14 years of his life. The total years of ministry in North Carolina surpasses that of most preachers ever in the Carolinas.

We have sometimes been asked how we decided to be preachers. There seems to be no specific answer, but Claude seems never to have doubted that it was the thing to do. His devotion was to local work, preaching sound sermons, expounding the meaning of Scripture, helping people and winning souls. Though never a compromiser over essential issues, he was always devoted to maintaining “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Claude seemed in excellent health until spring of this year when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He spent 85 days in Wake Forest Baptist Hospital undergoing treatment. For a few weeks he was able to be at home. His 80th birthday (July 3) was celebrated with a drop-in party at the North Main building. On the weekend of July 22 he suffered a stroke and passed away on the following Thursday.

He and his wife Jo were married for 58 years. They had met while I was preaching for her home congregation in Point Pleasant, WV. Her devoted parents had instilled in her a strong character, a modest lifestyle, and lifelong convictions. She was Claude’s mainstay through all the changes of life. All who know her admire her courage and steadfastness even through the most trying days of his terminal illness. Also among survivors are Brett Pharr (Nancy) of Charlotte; a sister, Sheron Ward of Winston-Salem; a granddaughter, Brittany Pharr of Nashville, TN. (Their daughter, Claudia Jo died in childhood,) Our only sister Ruth proceeded him in death several year ago.) All are faithful Christians. Brett is an elder with the Gold Hill Road congregation in Ft. Mill, SC.

A few days after Claude’s passing I asked one of his long-time friends, Carl O. Cooper, to share his feelings. He wrote: “Claude, I love you like a brother and I miss you. You made me a better man. All those years I sat at your feet and listened to your logical explanations of Scripture, your expository Gospel sermons, and your very informing Bible classes have strengthened my faith and given me greater knowledge of the Scriptures. You were always there when I was ready to teach a Bible class or write a book. You always had ideas and Scriptures that helped me in my studies. We studied together, we went on mission trips together, we taught lost souls together, we laughed together, and we were good friends. I miss you Claude. Heaven is an even better place because you are there.”

David was the former editor of the Carolina Messenger and is on its board of directors. We extend to him our sympathy on the loss of his brother Claude.
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Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:23-26

Two Religions, Two Gods — Dewayne Bryant, Ph.D.

Before 11 September, most people knew very little about Islam. The average person might have recognized the name Muhammad as belonging to a famous religious figure but would have known little about his life or teachings. Although Muslims had been immigrating to the US since the 19th century, their numbers were small enough that they remained unfamiliar to most Americans.

The destruction of the World Trade Center put Islam under a spotlight. Americans wanted to know about the religion of those responsible for the greatest act of domestic terror in the nation’s history. Books on Islam began to appear. Sales of both the Bible and the Qur`an spiked.

In 2015, Larycia Hawkins, a tenured professor at Wheaton College in Illinois, wore the hijab as a sign of solidarity between Christians and Muslims. She said that she stood alongside Muslims because both Christians and Muslims are “people of the book” who worship the same God. Naturally, this aroused no small amount of suspicion on the part of the administration. Although Hawkins’ writings included the apparent endorsement of theological traditions at odds with Scripture, her donning a purple hijab seems to have been the final stroke leading up to her departure from the school. Are Hawkins and others—such as Pope Francis and Roman Catholic apologists—correct in their assessment that Christians and Muslims both worship the same God?

Different Gods

Christianity and Islam share much of the same religious history as well as many individual characteristics. Both claim belief in a single God, point to some of the same sacred texts as authoritative, and agree on many points of moral teaching. With such extensive similarities, some have concluded that the two faiths are different approaches to worshiping the same God. As popular as this may be in the popular media, neither the Qur’an nor the Bible permits such an identification.

The most significant difference between Christianity and Islam is the radical view of the oneness of God (tawhid) in Muslim doctrine. Isma’il al-Faruqi (1921-1986) says, “There can be no doubt that the essence of Islam is al tawhid, the act of affirming Allah to be the One, the Absolute, transcendent Creator, the Lord and Master of all that is” (al-Faruqi 1995, 17). This language sounds similar to what a Christian might confess about the God of the Bible, but there is a more profound difference between God and Allah: the absolute denial of the Trinity.

Like some others throughout church history—such as adoptionists, Arians, and Socinians—Muslims deny the doctrine of Trinity. According to Muslim thinkers, Christians recognize three gods in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit even though the New Testament teaches their oneness. One passage which indicates something of the triune nature of God occurs is in John 14. Philip asks Jesus to “show us the Father” (v.8) Jesus responds, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (v. 9).
On 13 October 2007, 138 Islamic scholars issued an open letter titled, A Common Word Between Us and You. The basis of the letter was Sura 3:64, which calls Christians to come to a common belief in God as one, not to associate any other gods with him, and to submit to Allah. The letter, whose signatories represented every major Islamic country or region, asks that Christians profess their love for God by embracing his oneness, and therefore rejecting any “associate.” By this, they meant a complete repudiation of belief in Jesus as God’s divine Son (Sura 5:78; 9:30; contra John 10:30), as well as the divinity of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 13:14).

The denial of the Trinity is a significant problem for those who would equate God and Allah. This is not a simple matter of describing a minor difference of opinion. Muslims classify the belief in the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit as the sin of shirk (practicing idolatry or polytheism) and see it as ranking among the gravest offenses a human being can commit. Muslims deny the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit (whom they call “associates” or “partners”), making their concept of Allah fundamentally different than the description of God found in the Bible.

Different Jesuses

Jesus (Isa) occupies a prominent place in Islamic theology as the second greatest prophet after Muhammad. He is also one of the five elite messengers of Allah, called the “Possessors of Steadfastness (‘Ul al-Azm). Unlike Christians, Muslims have always taught that Jesus was not crucified (Sura 4:157). Like Jews, Muslims could not accept a crucified, humiliated Messiah, a difficulty that the apostle Paul himself addressed when writing to the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:23).

Not only do Muslims reject the historical reality of the crucifixion, but they also dismiss the deity of Jesus. In doing so, Islam rejects the very foundation of the gospel—the substitutionary death of Christ for the forgiveness of humanity’s sins (cf. Rom. 5:8). Herein lies the beauty of the gospel: human beings are lifeless, helpless, and hopeless; spiritually, little more than walking corpses. In spite of our rebellion against him, God reached down from heaven to pull his people out of spiritual death and take them into his kingdom (Col. 1:13). Sadly, this is something that our Muslim neighbors will not accept.

The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus claimed divinity. He stated, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), a claim that could be seen as relatively vague until we consider the response of his opponents. They understood him to be committing blasphemy, claiming to be God (John 10:33). Other passages clearly teach the deity of Christ (John 1:1-14; 20:28; Rom. 10:9; Tit. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:1).

The Jesus of Islam is neither God nor the Son of God. If Jesus is not divine, this puts further distance between the Muslim and Christian understandings of the essential nature and character of God himself. A person cannot remain in right standing with God while rejecting the Son (Matt. 10:33; cf. John 8:19). In Christianity, recognizing Jesus as divine is a non-negotiable necessity; in Islam, it is blasphemy of the highest order.

Different Scriptures

Although we may hear the oft-repeated refrain, “Both Christians and Muslims are people of the book,” the question is, “Which book?” Neither Christians nor Muslims can accept the teachings of the Qur’an and remain true to the Bible. For this reason, Muslims believe that the Bible is a corrupted book. The late Islamic scholar Hammadah Abdalati states, “Long before the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad, some of those books and revelations [given to people like Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus] had been lost or corrupted, others forgotten, neglected or concealed. The only authentic and complete book of God in existence today is the Qur’an” (Abdalati 1975, 12). Although the Qur’an speaks highly of the Bible (Sura 2:41, 89, 101; 5:71), Muslims believe that the information it contains can only be accepted as factual as long as the Qur’an confirms it.

The primacy of the Qur’an is unchallenged in Islam. Although Muslims believe Allah revealed his message through the prophet Muhammad, they consider the Qur’an to be the perfect, eternal word of Allah in much the same way the opening verses of John’s Gospel describe Jesus (John 1:1-14). Religious authorities heavily discourage textual criticism of the Qur’an. Any Muslim scholar attempting to analyze copies of the Qur’an containing textual variants will find himself ostracized if not persecuted.

If the Bible is considered to be a corrupted book, then the only trustworthy text for a faithful Muslim is that of the Qur’an. At the same time, no committed Christian can cede the authority of the Bible. In short, for the Christian and Muslim views of God to be remotely compatible, both must accept the book of the other as authoritative, which is something neither side will do. Christians will not accept the authority of the Qur’an. Muslims will not defer to the Bible when they believe it to be an adulterated text. This produces an insurmountable impasse in any attempt to equate the two faiths.

Different Faiths

Although some professing Christians consider Allah and the God of the Bible to be the same, doing so means ignoring many essential differences between Muslims and Christians. Recognizing these differences is not an expression of intolerance, condescension, exclusion, or judgment but a description of fact.

Some have argued that all religions interpret the same events or persons differently. To be consistent, however, this cannot be permitted when it comes to the nature of God. Either the Qur’an—as the eternally true, pure, and perfect word of Allah—is correct, or it is not. There is no middle ground for dialogue. The Bible and the Qur’an make mutually exclusive claims.

A desire for peace might motivate the efforts to connect Christianity and Islam. Without a doubt, the New Testament teaches that Christians should strive to live at peace with others if at all possible (Rom. 12:18). At the same time, Christians cannot make compromises with those in error. Even a cursory examination reveals that Allah and God are two different beings, causing these two religions to differ on the most fundamental level.

Dewayne is a minister at the New York Ave. Church of Christ in Arlington, TX. He serves as a staff writer for Apologetics Press and the Apologia Institute, and as a professional associate for the Associates for Biblical Research.

References

  1. Abdalati, Hammada. Islam in Focus. Indianapolis, IN: American Trust Publications, 1975.
  2. Al-Faruqi, Isma’il. Al Tawid: Its Implications for Thought and Life. Verndon: International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1995.