We have the apostles, in many places, admonishing their readers to use "sound words, sound speech, sound doctrine, faithful words, oracles of God, etc." Upon such admonitions, Thomas Campbell formulated the slogan, "We will speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent." Amish people were so impressed with that idea that they used the King James words such as "thee, thou, thine, etc." But the apostles were not talking about the language of some translation. Their admonitions pertained to being sure they did not stray from the teaching revealed by the Spirit and that is what we are to be concerned about today.

Unscriptural doctrines are sometimes advanced by the use or misuse of certain words or phrases. For instance, we hear of "the fall of man." Certainly man fell but the common use of the term indicates the Calvinistic doctrine of Total Depravity. The use of the word "saved" has been so twisted as to teach a false idea. Nothing wrong with the word; just the misuse of it. The Bible says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Then, "The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." But most denominational preachers stretch the word out to mean something else. The good word "Christian" has been subjected to such loose usage, both by my brethren and the denominational world, that it has lost its Bible meaning and has become an umbrella that covers most anything that people want covered.

The word "church" has lost the Bible meaning of just being "a called out people belonging to the Lord." A bishop in New Testament times, was one of a plurality of elders in a local church while a pastor was one of the bishops or elders.

There are many more. The lesson is this: instead of being influenced by our denominational neighbors and picking up their language, we should influence them by our correct use of sound words and sound doctrine. Use their misuse of these words as a means of initiating a Bible discussion.

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