There are some things that are
evidently approved by many good people, but I do not understand why
these things are so widely approved. Please do not hold these things
against me. Some things need to be changed, and in some cases I may need
One mystery is why there is so little
Bible taught in so many "Bible" classes. Some seem not to realize how
many Bible stories can be learned by small children and how many
passages of Scripture they can memorize. Children can be very happy in
good Bible classes. The "helps" for small children, in some cases, seem
unrelated to the Bible. The Bible speaks for itself. Kindness,
unselfishness, forgiveness, sharing, and other good traits are taught in
the stories and precepts of the Bible. Why should we turn from the Bible
to try to find better ways of teaching these things? Remember also that
classes are not just to entertain the children or to act as babysitters
so the mothers can go to their own classes.
Ladies "Bible" classes usually use
books that contain very little Bible. They are usually some woman's
ideas, which may be good, but are not as good as Christ's, Paul's,
Peter's, or Moses'. Such questions as "What is your favorite dessert?"
are hardly worth taking time which is set aside for Bible study to
answer, and there is no real value in knowing the answer anyway. Such a
question may serve as an "ice breaker," but there must be some better
way of introducing a Bible lesson. Psychology may be a good study for
people in school, but the Bible will completely furnish us all the
things we need to know for our spiritual welfare. The lack of Bible
knowledge is alarming, so why do we not emphasize Bible in "Bible"
classes? Teachers in classes on Sunday and midweek should prepare well
for very worthwhile classes which truly instruct in spiritual matters.
There are also some mysteries related
to music. Some of us are not well informed in this field that calls for
special talents. We are told that music speaks a universal language.
Under the name of music many very different sounds are presented. Is
there any one who appreciates everything that is called music? It seems
that some play for one audience and others perform for other audiences.
It seems to take several types of music to get to every one. One type
may not speak to all people.
Some talented people can provide music
that helps people relax. Others provide something (whatever it is) that
can turn a group into a mob so that cities must have extra police on
duty to keep some semblance of order after a performance. Vulgar words
with certain sounds and rhythm can provoke lust. Is there any doubt
about this? Often immodest attire and wild pagan like gyrations may be a
significant part of the "musical performance" in these degrading shows.
Very many purchase expensive tickets and travel long distances to be
present for shows that contribute nothing good to those present. That
which makes animals out of people is not good.
Very many good people perform in
certain musical programs and many very good people enjoy this music that
is not vulgar, but I confess I cannot enjoy it because of the volume.
What is so pleasant about loud music? May I be forgiven for not
understanding or enjoying this highly amplified music with these good
people? More and more Americans have a constant high pitched sound
ringing in their ears as a result of being around loud noises in
industry. Is there danger for these musicians and their audiences?
A few million people in this country
have stood for the scriptural precept of speaking as the oracles of God.
Many have said that we should speak where the Bible speaks and be silent
where the Bible is silent. The great mystery is why so many of these
people have gone after the "social gospel" which is the substitute for
the gospel of Christ that the modernists (infidels) introduced. The
church has been led to copy the superstructures (denominational
machinery) of the churches which write their own creeds and plan their
own forms of church government.
The church has been made the special
provider of entertainment in a world that already has television, school
athletic programs, little leagues, scouts, clubs, etc., but it may be
spiritually sick. The church is a great teaching institution (Eph. 4:
11; 1 Tim. 3:15). No officials in the Lord's church were known as
the chairmen of the refreshment committee or the chairmen of the
entertainment committee. (Please see Eph. 4:11.)
Some of the pet projects that were so
much emphasized thirty years ago are no longer such pets. The enthusiasm
for orphan homes has died down since the schools became so successful in
getting their hands into the church treasuries. Since the Herald of
Truth organization became so liberal very many churches have quietly
dropped it from their budget. Such big central agencies have a way of
falling into the hands of the ultra-liberals (e.g., the missionary
society). Will more people awaken to their mistakes? Time will tell.
When some brethren introduce some
unscriptural practices, a few brethren will oppose them. There is then a
third group that puts special effort into sitting on the fence. In
churches where the leaders will not take a stand in a battle between
truth and error, the churches ultimately follow the course of error.
Apostasy stays out only where it is opposed. This has been demonstrated
in each generation in which such wide spread apostasy has come, but
people do not seem to learn. I do not understand why they are not aware
that if we do not read history we are destined to repeat it. The
churches that did not oppose institutionalism thirty years ago now use
preachers regularly who are institutional in belief, unless some
powerful force of righteousness finally awakened the leaders to
conviction. Could you illustrate this by some church near you? Will the
next generation do a similar thing? There are many things that I need
help to understand.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 19, pp. 579-580
October 3, 1985
Articles by Irven Lee
The Simplicity of God's Marriage Law
The Attire of a
no Church Discipline