Dec 21

Print this Post


In this final article written under the above heading, the first action taken when a person comes to the local church of Christ, and says he has a plan, is to send him packing! God has one plan for the local bodies of the “called out ones,” and it is the only plan the churches of Christ are authorized to use! Though the years, men have come out with any number of plans for the saved in Christ and through these plans they have led some churches of Christ into error!
As pointed out in article number two in this series, right in the state of Oklahoma there is a group of men, posing themselves as “elders,” who have taken several local churches of Christ, unto themselves. A good question that needs an answer is this: “What is their final plan for the churches of Christ?” Here we are asking, not only what they plan for the one congregation which they serve as leaders, but what is their plan for all the churches of Christ in the city wherein they are located? Moreover, what is their plan for all the local churches of Christ in the state of Oklahoma? If their plan is to have one church, as a “home church,” with “satellite” churches in other locations within the city, which they will serve as “elders,” just how far out and how many local churches do they “plan” to bring under their “eldership?”
Their authority, at least the passage they might use, that is if they are concerned about New Testament authority at all, must be Paul’s words to Titus, as Paul wrote: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). The use of this verse is not new to these so-called elders, no, this “plan” has been sent forth to the churches of Christ before in a book, wherein the writer espoused this same “plan:” one eldership over all the congregations in any given city! The fact, that no building would be able to hold all the members, of all the local congregations, will necessarily require “satellite” churches! This means that one eldership, naturally the eldership of the largest congregation; the congregation which has her sights set on being the largest congregation in the city; will have all authority over these so-called “satellite” churches! Men will go out from the large church, to implement the desires and the orders of the supreme “eldership!” With this, the local churches of Christ have no autonomy at all.
The central question, how do we harmonize the words of Paul in Titus one, verse five, with the action done under the oversight of the apostleship of the same man, Paul? Here reference is directed to Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, …” Did the apostle violate his own instructions to Titus by ordaining elders in every church? You can see Titus’ dilemma 1) is he to “ordain elders in every city,” or 2) is he to do as did the apostle, “ordained them elders in every church?” So, how would Titus or how would you, harmonize these two actions; both done by and directed by the same apostle? One thing to keep in mind, is the fact that Crete was a small island, but it had hundreds cities. This resulting in small towns, cities; thus, more than likely having but one congregation is each city, town! Therefore, Paul’s words to Titus: “ordain elders in every city!” With this, there is no difference between what Paul did and what he told Titus to do! One thing for sure, Paul did not contradict himself! And, let us not forget, the inspired writers of the New Testament never, as the “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20), intended for one eldership to be over another eldership. It being the case that elders were “ordered in every church!”
It has been said of old, “that if it is bigger than the local church, it is too big” and “if it is smaller than the local church, then, it is too small.” There has been a desire on the part of same, throughout the brotherhood, from the time of the churches of Christ in America, to have organizations outside the local churches of Christ! It is as though God had a fault in his plan for the local autonomous churches of Christ! Arrogant men have stepped forward to put in, or among, the churches of Christ, their ideas of “bigness,” they can do what the local churches of Christ cannot do! These organizations, of course, are operated by the authority of men and not God!
It is a case of man versus God! On whose side will you stand? Call to mind the words of the apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29); and make your stand with these words planted deep in your heart!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/i-have-a-plan-3/