Do You Know What We Believe?
This sounds like a question that you might think that a "DUH!! would be the obvious retort. Sadly, there are many in this world that does not know what we believe and why we believe it. What might be sadder is the fact that some of our own members do not know what we believe and why.
This past week, the name of our congregation appeared in a list of the Ranger United Ministries as participating at the First Baptist Church for a special program.
It is not our intention to say anything against this group, as they do a wonderful job in assisting those who need assistance. They are doing what all Christians should be doing by helping others in their needs. This benevolence is a responsibility of each individual as we have ability and opportunity.
We do not fellowship this group for several reasons.
First, there is no scriptural authority to involve anything other than the local church in acts of benevolence as far as any structured organizations go. To join with other groups makes the organization larger than the local church, thus unscriptural.
Second, the other groups participating in this ministry do not teach the same doctrine as we teach. 2 John warns about offering godspeed or greetings to those who do not carry the same doctrine about the Christ. The other groups do not respect the authority of scripture as we try to do, and their understanding of the plan of salvation leaves out several parts of what God reveals as His plan.
This ministry and the community at large see nothing wrong with the concept and might think it strange that we would not participate. I am quite sure that the appearance in the newspaper of our name will not affect anyone in any way that is noticeable or that might cause a problem of wondering what we preach, teach, and practice.
Most people are ignorant of what we teach. But, it is not for lack of effort on our part (I hope). The local newspaper has been gracious to publish articles that have been submitted, and the citizens of Eastland County could know what we believe by reading those articles. To my knowledge, only one couple has visited to meet the person writing those articles.
The nagging question has to be this: what if someone asked you what we believe here at Eastside. Would you be able to give an answer? 1 Peter 3:15 tells us that we are to sanctify Christ as Lord, and be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us, yet with meekness and fear. If you are not sure you could answer questions about our beliefs, you have just convicted yourself, and need to do some serious study.
We must also consider that we have a duty to share our knowledge with others. And we really should not have to wait until we are asked a question. These are precious souls, and we should be seeking their better welfare. Let us all resolve to remove doubt about what we believe to those in our community.
By Carey Scott
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