<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Untitled Document No “Right” Way To Do A "Wrong" Thing

There always seems to be an effort on the part of some to try some new innovation not supported by the scriptures. Then, when confronted by sound brethren, they will try every way to give some “right” reason for doing a wrong thing. I recently saw this cliché on a church sign: “There is no right way to do a wrong thing.” How true! No matter how man might try to justify his innovations there is no right way to do a wrong thing.

Those who try to justify choruses or solo singers twist and distort the scripture by trying to say that there is NO scriptural support for congregational singing. Those who try to justify fellowship with the denominations argue a non-scriptural view of fellowship. Those who teach that there is no law under the New Testament covenant totally distort the context of New Testament letters like Galatians. In the end there is no RIGHT way to justify these WRONG things. How do we know that all of these are WRONG?—because the scriptures point out the error of each one.

Some few years ago a great effort was made to bus kids to church study periods and worship services. There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to teach children the necessity to love and serve God. However, many bussing programs began to inject other innovations that were contrary to scripture. Many began to bribe the children to attend by offering candy, gifts, and other kinds of incentives.

Then, when many found themselves with so many young children that they disturbed the worship service, they invented something they called “children’s church.” This took the children out of the main worship assembly so the adults could “enjoy” their worship. Sound brethren soon showed how erroneous it was to divide the worship assembly of God’s people. Many of the churches gave up “children’s church” because it was proven that they were in error. Finally, most of the bussing programs failed for several reasons: prohibitive costs; most children had to be bribed to attend; but most of all because it involved tremendous work on the part of brethren, and they just were not willing to continue the hard work. With the fall of the bussing programs
came the end of “children’s church” for a while.

Now, a few years later, we are beginning to see a program similar to “children’s church” in some congregations. Some now dismiss the younger children from the worship assembly so that they might attend a class (or classes) while the adults and older children remain for the worship service. When confronted about the innovation, the argument is that these classes are altogether different from “children’s church.” In other words, this is the “right” way to dismiss young children from the worship assembly. It is no matter that the approach is different; it is still wrong. Just as sound brethren argued against “children’s church;” the same scriptures forbid any kind of divided worship assembly.

Notice what the Bible says about the worship assembly: The scripture speaks of ALL the people being together, “And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; . . .{5} And Ezra opened the book in the sight of ALL the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, ALL the people stood up: {6}. . .And ALL the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:4-6).

Paul also shows how ALL the people were together for New Testament worship services, “When ye come together therefore into ONE place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20); and “If therefore the WHOLE church be come together into ONE place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” (1 Corinthians 14:23). Paul speaks of the “WHOLE” church coming together “in ONE place.” Paul was NOT speaking of all just being in the same building, but all assembled together at the same time.

The Hebrew writer said we are not to “forsake the assembling” of God’s people together (Hebrews 10:25). Neither should some adults be forced to forsake the worship assembly just to be glorified “baby sitters.” And, that is what is happening! Any dividing of the assembly is a man made innovation. It is wrong! It is wrong whether sending children to a “children’s church” or to some similar kind of class. No matter what the program, dividing the assembly is wrong, and cannot be made right. Not only are the children divided from the assembly; but the adult teachers, who are caring for them, are divided from and absent from the assembly while others worship. The sad thing is that usually the very purpose for such is to “give mom a break.” Since when can mom take a break from teaching her child(ren) some of the greatest lessons they need to learn.

These small children need to learn just how important worshipping God should be in their lives. They need to learn how to show the proper awe and respect for God (and fellow worshippers) while in the worship assembly. Young children need to be learning just what the worship assembly is about. They need to be taught to be quiet. Nothing is more disturbing than a child that is let cry or talk continually in the worship assembly. These are the problems some have tried to overcome with “divided assemblies.” All these things can be taught to children from the time they begin to crawl. If they can be taught to behave in a class, then they can be taught to behave in the worship assembly. If they have to be removed from the assembly, let it be to dust off their bottoms until they learn the proper behavior during worship. All in all, the truth is: There is no right way to do a wrong thing.

—John D. Cotham

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /