Where Is The Pattern?
Such a phrase is often put forth by those who choose not to follow Bible authority. In all our articles and discussions about the patternist view, the underlying issue is the very fact that people do not want to be constrained by Bible authority. People want to do what they want to do, and do not like the fact that God tells them they cannot do such. So if you can remove the standard of authority, there are no rules and nothing is right or wrong. This is where many stand when what they teach and practice is not according to the word of God.
Those of us who hold to a “book chapter verse” mentality that demands a “thus saith the Lord” in our teaching are labeled as being patternists, (as if that is such a horrible thing). When we hold our ground as to what constitutes adultery, or who has the right to marriage, we are often given a label. The purpose for a label is to be derogatory, and is used as an opportunity for branding one as unfit to be listened to.
To answer the question of the article, authority is the pattern that we have been given by the Holy Spirit. Yes people do not want to hear it, but this authority comes from statements of fact, specific commands, first century examples as recorded in scripture, coming to necessary conclusions, and respecting the silence of scripture. Some people call this CENI, and speak of it as if it is a recent innovation of mankind. Many in the church of Christ were teaching the elements long before we ever heard of it in our conversations as CENI. The people who objected to CENI were those who did not like to follow Bible authority. They wanted to teach and practice things that the Bible prohibited. So they just made up the phrase of CENI, and anyone who followed CENI was out of touch with reality.
Thus these same people have given the label of patternist to those who hold to Bible authority. They mockingly claim that there is no pattern in the Bible and demand where it is. Well the answer is simple; if you want to be faithful to God and choose to follow the guidance of scripture, you are a patternist. Somehow, if they can intimidate their nemesis, they can shut them up, and they can continue to spew error out of their mouths. Many of these promote how many followers they have, and usually quote those who seem to support their anti-bible pattern. Why? Because they do not love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Any time one teaches that they must follow the pattern of sound words, they are simply telling people to do what the Bible says to do. We believe there is a pattern for the work of the church. We believe there is a pattern for our daily Christian living. We believe that if we follow the Bible examples, and do our best to serve our great Lord and Master Jesus Christ, that we will be rewarded with heaven. To find this pattern, all we have to do is study God’s words, and do things the way He wants us to do them.
It is a tragedy that so many people do not respect the authority of scripture, and have to resort to name calling to keep their personal agenda going. It is time for the faithful of God to stand up and express the pattern of sound words and not leave any doubt where we stand and the message we will teach.
By Carey Scott
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