March 23, 2003

Volume 13 - Number 13     

The Rise of a New Generation

In Judges 2:10-12 we read "..and there arose a new generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work which he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord." A new generation did not have the same appreciation in faithfully serving the Lord as did the previous generation.

The rise of a new generation has always presented numerous problems insofar as keeping alive God's true religion in the hearts of men. Even the rising of a new generation of Egyptians caused serious problems to God's people. They fared well until "there arose up a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). A study of the many times the Israelites fell away will reveal how hard it was for men to be true to God over a long period of time. We find a period where the Israelites were faithful, only to be followed by a period where they rebelled against God. As you read their history you scratch your head and ask "Why couldn't these people learn from their own history?"

When we come to the New Testament we find the faithful church of the Lord of the first century, but shadows of apostasy were already evident. The study of the history of the years following the completion of the New Testament church reveals the apostasy gaining momentum and finally culminating in a complete departure from the church we read about in the New Testament.

Then we read of the Reformation and following that the Restoration Movement. Men such as Barton W. Stone, Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, "Raccoon" John Smith, and many others called the people back to the Bible. The results were amazing. By 1860 there were at least 192,323 Christians who were part of the Restoration of the New Testament church! Kentucky alone had an estimated 45,000 members!

After seeing the tremendous success of those who called people back to the "ancient order," it is heartbreaking to see how a new generation arose who didn't have the same respect for the authority of the word of God as the generation before them. The American Missionary Society arose to evangelize the world. The advocates of this readily admitted that this was not the New Testament way of evangelizing, but they argued that the New Testament method just wasn't working. They introduced instrumental music in worship. They couldn't justify the use of the instrument by the authority of the New Testament, so they took the approach that they could do anything that wasn't forbidden in the New Testament. This approach allowed them to introduce just about anything that they wanted to do.

Among the Restorers, the more faithful students of the Bible maintained, and rightly so, that we must have authority from the Scriptures for what we teach and practice in religion. The gulf between those who believed in the Bible as the only authority in religion and those who believed they could do anything not specifically condemned became wider and wider. The U.S. census in 1906 recognized a difference between the church of Christ and the Christian Church, who took the liberal view. But the division had actually existed at least twenty (20) years before that time. At a later point the Christian Church and the Disciples of Christ split over the extremely liberal views of the Disciples. About twenty years ago the Disciples of Christ announced that they were no longer a part of the Restoration. They did not believe that the Restoration of the church of Christ of the New Testament was necessary or even the right thing to do. This is the ultimate result of the approach that the Bible is not our authority in religion.

It is heartbreaking to see a new generation arising today who are advocating some of the same basic things that split the church in the late 1800's. We hear of those of the new generation who advocate the "New Hermeneutics." "Hermeneutic" is the science of interpreting the Bible. What these men are doing is not "New" but the same old approach that some of our brethren took in the 1800's that split the church. Their position is that the New Testament does not provide us with a pattern, but we can do anything that isn't condemned. Doesn't that sound familiar? It should. It is the same philosophy that split the church of the last century. It is also the same old approach that has been used by the denominations for centuries.
Why can't these brethren let the church alone and allow it to remain faithful to the word and to continue to grow? What is there about some of God's people that they cannot stand peace and harmony? What is there about some gospel preachers who need to be recognized as having discovered some new truth that nobody else before them has discovered.

God's people can be faithful to him from generation to generation if they will do as God directs, but we must be aware of the ever present danger of repeating history and digressing from the New Testament pattern.

It is God's will today that his word be proclaimed faithfully by faithful preachers and teachers. "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:18-20). Paul told Timothy "And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Preachers and teachers of today must realize the responsibility that is theirs in faithfully declaring the Word. Paul warned Timothy "..Some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1). We all must earnestly "contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

by V. Glen McCoy

"Needin' Stability? "
Philippians 4:1-9
Genesis 23

Mark Your Calendars:

  • March 30: Fifth Sunday Contribution
  • March 30: Song Service - 6 pm.
  • April 12: Ladies Day at Orange Street in Auburndale, FL. “Hats Off To Ladies.”
  • June 1-7: Weeki Wachee Bible Camp.
  • June 20-July 8: Ghana Campaign 2003
  • July 20-26: Central Florida Bible Camp.

"For not he that commends himself is approved

but who the Lord commends," says Paul.

2 Corinthians 10:18




Remember in Prayer


 Wayne Vowell


Sydney Leavens
Linda Wilkerson
Grace Webb
Mary Gloster
Iva Turner
Stepheny Bennett
Art Stapleton
Bill Sherman
Lillian Comiskey



 Delbert Leavens


Morning Services


Bible Reading:

 Kerry Keathley  


 Dick Navarre  


 Ted Wheeler


Closing Prayer:

 Carl Rigney


Evening Services


Opening Prayer:

 Glen Law



 Dick Navarre



 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 Jim Treece

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