WHAT CHURCHES DO (and get away with) IN THE


E.R. Hall, Jr.

            Many are the people who think that anything can be done in the name of religion. Many things are done and gotten away with by people who do them under the disguise of religion. Oral Roberts came up with outlandish schemes. Jim Bakker did for a time until the civil authorities caught up with him and others like them are still at it. However, the bulk of things practiced in religious institutions today do not have to be “outlandish” to be false when compared to what the Bible teaches.

            For example, look at all the names that religious institutions call themselves. They are by the hundreds, if not the thousands, and yet when you take each name and go to the Bible to find them therein, they aren’t there. Someone says, “Oh, there’s nothing in a name”, but what does the Bible say? Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” The name referred to is the “name of Jesus Christ” as verse 10 points out. People today are no longer content to be simply called a Christian and members of the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18), the church of Christ (Romans 16:16) because we have all these other names to call ourselves. The conclusion is: All the names we’ve adopted and churches that are available are foreign to the Scriptures and if we are wearing these names ourselves and admitting membership in these churches, we are foreign to the Scriptures, too!

            Some churches use mechanical instruments of music in their worship and this practice has become so commonly accepted people feel strange to worship without them. Do you ever stop to consider what God has said about the kind of music we are to use in worship because, after all, our worship is supposed to be directed to Him in the first place? In Ephesians 5:19 we read, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16 says, “…teaching and  admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Singing is to be done with our lips (Hebrews 13:15) upon the instrument of our heart according to these verses. No mechanical instrument is authorized by God! Because some churches or most churches use mechanical instruments under the disguise of religion does not make them right.

            Some churches allow women to lead or conduct parts of the services. This, too, is done in the name of religion but again what does God’s word say? In 1 Corinthians 14:34 we read, “Let your women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak;…” Also 1 Timothy 2:11-12 teaches, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” This is a far cry from the public praying, preaching, and ‘testifying’ on the part of women that can be seen and heard in most denominational churches.

            Another example would have to be that of many churches failing to properly observe the Lord’s Supper. Some do not observe it at all. Some might observe it weekly but do so on any day of the week. But, again, we must ask the question, “What sayeth the Scriptures?” Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them,…” This verse shows the practice of the early church, under the supervision of the apostles, was to “break bread” (eat the Lord’s Supper) on the “first day of the week”. Must we not also seek to do things in the name of religion today that are according to apostolic approval? Yet, still, many churches have no problem with observing the Lord’s Supper on Saturday night (the 7th day of the week), once a month, once a year, or never observing it at all.

            Are all of these examples we have given insignificant? Does it really matter what we do religiously? Is anything and everything alright as long as it has a religious connection being given to it? What are we going to make of these verses if our answer to any of the above questions are “yes”? “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9). Let us never put the doctrines or practices of men or churches “above that which is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6)!


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