Apologist “ But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man 
that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” ( I Pet. 3:15)
West Side Church of Christ A Editorials Articles
By Many or By Few
Where I Stand
The New Testament (2)
Be Not Yoked The New Testament (3) Holy Spirit Baptism A Criticism of Hume

When Jehovah of Hosts sent the children of Israel into the promised land, it was with a mission: utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree, overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire,  hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place (Deut. 12:1-3).  Israel was to smite them, and utterly destroy them and was commanded not to make any covenant with them, nor show any mercy unto them whatsoever (Deut. 7:2).  Complete and total destruction of the pagan nations and their evil practices was the goal.

This was the goal, not because Israel was more in number, better, more righteous or holier than these pagan and sinful nations (Deut. 7:7; 9:5).  Indeed not, because they, themselves, were a stiffnecked people (Deut. 9:6).  It was, however, because God was righteous and these nations were so sinful that they had done every abomination which He hated (Deut. 12:31).  Furthermore, He was fulfilling His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen 12:1ff; Deut. 7:7-11; 9:5).

When these nations were expelled, Israel was warned that they were not to make any covenant with them, nor show any mercy unto them, neither make marriages with them.  They were not to be snared by following them, nor go enquiring after their gods (Deut. 7:1-5; 12:30).   They could lend to them, but they were not to take from them; they could rule over the pagan nations, but they were warned never to let the pagan nations rule over them (Deut. 19:5).  Israel, severing itself from the nations surrounding it, was to retain it’s purity and holiness because God was holy (Lev. 20:26).

Like ancient Israel, the Lord’s church is to retain its purity.  The apostle Paul declared that Christians are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (II Cor. 6:14-18).  The Lord’s church must not participate  with (“fellowship”), support (“communion” ), have any accord with (“concord”),  have any portion or share with (“part”), or have any agreement with denominations or any person or organization that is not authorized by the New Testament.  

The purity of the Lord’s church is maintained not only by separating itself from these unauthorized human institutions, it is also maintained by advancing the Cause of Christ and through highlighting their sinfulness and error when and where possible.  Clear lines must be drawn between the Lord’s church and denominations.  Paul clearly warned the Lord’s people to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:10,11).  In this way the Lord’s church is kept holy (I Pet. 1:13-17).

The Lord’s church does not need to emulate any denomination in order to be successful.  Scriptural success is determined, not by how large a number fills our buildings, not by how well we are approved of by the world (either secular or religious), not by how many “committees” we have, not by how many social “programs” are in progress, not by how many perceived social ills we seek to remedy, not by how many poor and naked are fed and clothed, not by how much money is collected, not by how large of a building we own, not by these or any other of a thousand man-made metrics we can imagine.  Scriptural success is determined by whether or not we receive divine approval.  This, and only this, must be the measure of success, the only metric that matters in the end.

The enemy not only stands at the gate, he is attacking it.  The truth of God and His church are being attacked daily and it will not do for Christians just to sit idly by, to stay safely tucked inside the gate.  It is true that the gates of hell can never prevail against the Lord’s church, the dragon will not subdue the beautiful Bride of Christ (Matt. 16:16-19; Rev. 12:1-17).   Yes, that is true.

But the Great Commission is not to be safe, it is to engage!  Go!   Teach!  Preach!  Precisely because all power is given unto the Lord, we have no need to fear (Matt. 28:18-20; Heb. 13:5,6).  Boldness is called for now, not timidity, not cowardice, for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7,8).  We are not to join the enemies of the cross of Christ but rather resist and defeat them!  We should be in their temples and in their synagogues opening and alleging the Christ of God (Acts 17:1-4).

Unfortunately, many decent and well-intentioned Christians unknowingly lend aid and comfort to those of whom the Lord does not approve.  They hear of a good work being done and want to help.  Their kind and generous heart aches for the less fortunate and so they give and support and do.  No one doubts or condemns such motives.

But, unfortunately, good intentions do not excuse sin.  It is sin to fellowship a denomination (I Cor. 1:10-16; Rom. 16:17).  However harsh it may seem, the best course for the soul of the one in the denomination and the one in the Lord’s church is to maintain the purity of the Lord’s church and to teach them out of their denomination.  Our relationship with those in the world should not cause us in any way to participate  with (“fellowship”), support (“communion” ), have any accord with (“concord”),  have any portion or share with (“part”), or have any agreement with denominations or any person or organization that is not authorized by the New Testament.

There is no need to be ugly or mean or insulting.  Love for the souls of men and for the Lord ought to guide us.  But that is precisely why, as Christians, we will seek to utterly destroy denominationalism.  It is a sin which is an abomination to the Lord.  

It is not wrong to seek the spiritual destruction of denominationalism.   In fact, it is right and proper. The Lord’s church must advance and it should never be unequally yoked with those that have no fellowship with God.  –ELP

Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked
Editorial Christian Apologist
Copyright Eric L. Padgett  07-18-2013