Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Multiple Memberships

inthenewsI recently came across the following letter to Dear Abby. It initially appeared in the paper in May of 1994. So, while certainly not recent news, it still appeared in a newspaper, and so technically fits the parameters of this column. It certainly gives an opportunity to teach.

DEAR ABBY: I am 45 years old, financially comfortable and would like to get married.

I would like to meet a man about my age who enjoys going to church.

I belong to the First Methodist Church, Blessed Angels Catholic Church and the Mount Zion Jewish Temple.

I also attend the Christian Science Church regularly, but I do take aspirin occasionally.

Can you please help me find a man of good character who is interested in marriage, and belongs to any of the above-mentioned places of worship?

A moderate cigarette smoker is O.K., but please, no beer drinkers. – VICTORIA

DEAR VICTORIA: You seem to have all the bases covered. I cannot understand how you can be a member of all the above-mentioned churches.

To find a good churchgoing gentleman, have a talk with any of your clergypersons and be up-front about your interest in finding a man. I am a firm believer that there’s somebody for everybody. Good luck.

Analysis:

You will note that Abby, in her response to the advice seeker, says, “I cannot understand how you can be a member of all the above-mentioned churches.” I daresay that just about all who read the article thought the same thing, wondering if the lady were a tad imbalanced – perhaps criticizing her lack of conviction.

Her practice is, however, the most logical application of the current attitudes held in the various denominations. How many times have you heard someone say, “One church is as good as another,” or, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.” All “Victoria” has done is apply such sentiments in real life. The Methodist church is just as good as the Catholic church, is just as good as the Jewish temple. God doesn’t care what I believe, so I choose to believe it all!

Someone might object that the problem is not her accepting all faiths as valid, rather that she herself chooses to believe contradictory doctrines. Maybe so, but the same charge can me made of God Himself! If, as claimed, God is in all those places, why is it such an absurdity that one of His followers is as well?

Remember brethren, God is not “the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

It is as absurd to charge God with being pleased with multiple faiths as it is to be a member of multiple churches. God has established His truth. It is not acceptable for men to formulate their own faiths; rather, they must contend for and accede to the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). To do anything less is to act illogically.