Infallible is “incapable of error; never wrong” (Webster). While I have met a few who think they are never wrong, for the most part, we as human beings are aware of our proneness to be wrong. Even when exerting our best efforts and are filled with noble intentions we are capable of error. Sincerity demands that we seek to be right infallibly right in our service to God, loving Him as we do because of His wonderful gift of Christ. Is it possible to be infallibly safe in religion? I wish to explore that presently. As I do so, I am aware and conscious that there is still the possibility of error since I am a human being subject to error. The things considered today are things about which there has been and remains controversy. I am not going to try to prove the scriptural right or wrong, although what I believe may be apparent, I do wish to show the infallibly safe side or course to follow. As you read and consider these lines, if you locate error as a reader and potential friend please contact me at the address on the last page.
FOLLOWING GOD’S WORD IS NECESSARY TO BE “INFALLIBLY SAFE’
“The law of the Lord is perfect.” (Ps. 19:7). By subscribing to the law of the Lord, we can become perfect or complete. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Tim. 3:16-17). If we pursue a work that we may refer to as “good” but has no foundation in God’s word we at that moment are denying the sufficiency of the word and tread on ground that angel’s fear to tread. The children of Israel brought havoc on themselves because they failed to honor God’s word causing Him to say that they “did that which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.” (Jer. 7:31). For this reason we are cautioned from adding to God’s word (Rev. 22:18), subtracting from it (Rev. 22:19), or, altering it in any way (Gal. 1:8-9).
Instrumental Music in the worship of the Church never came into the mind of God. It was a sad state of affairs when mechanical instruments of music were brought into the worship among churches of Christ. Long had the battle waged against the antagonism of denominationalism. The walls were being shaken and the fastest growing religious group in America was churches of Christ. The plea went forth to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent. However, some brethren were soon to give way to some specifics of the religious world about them and swallow the idea if the Bible does not condemn specifically a practice then it may be adopted. A breach came into the church that has not passed until this very day. Any time a congregation has a signboard “CHRISTIAN CHURCH” it melts the heart of Christians as this reminds us of the time when our plea for religious unity on the word of God alone was stifled. While some contend for the liberty of using the instrument, all acknowledge that we may sing, please God, live the Christian and go to Heaven when we die without using the instrument in worship. That leaves us with the thought that not only are we right in following the Bible only, but the reasoning of men allows that to sing without the instrument is to be infallibly safe.
To grant the remission of sins in the Gospel Age without baptism never came into God’s mind. The great commission of the Lord as stated by Matthew and Mark (Mt. 28:19-29; Mk. 16:15-16), name specifically the requirement of baptism to be saved. Peter preaching the first Gospel sermon demanded baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). When the Gospel was carried to the Samaritans, they were required to be baptized (Acts 8:12-13). Then to the first Gentile converts baptism was commanded in the name of Christ (Acts 10:48). While the ark was necessary to saving people in the days of Noah, it is baptism that saves men today (I Pet. 3:20-21). Still, far and wide men occupy the pulpit, talk over the radio and television, write by means of the computer, newspaper, books, and tracts that salvation has nothing to do with baptism. As far as I known every religious group requires baptism except one, evidently attaching some importance to it. None as far as I am aware would say that it is wrong or that there is any harm to the soul of one by being baptized, therefore to be baptized is to be infallibly safe.
To drink beverage alcohol never entered into the mind of God. There are two things about which there is no disagreement. First, that drunkenness is wrong or sinful. Second, that it is acceptable to use alcohol for medicinal purposes (I Tim. 5:23). The point of disagreement is whether beer, wine and whisky may be used as a beverage such as water, tea or cola. Those who do so contend that since they do not get drunk then there is no ill effect to such drinking. From personal observation, I have noted that when people gather to drink socially more times than not, some become drunk. Officers of the law often stop people who think they are not impaired but discover that they are driving under the influence and are legally drunk. Without giving it but a passing thought, I have in mind five people of my acquaintance that held to the view that drinking in moderation was alright, who have succumbed to alcohol and have now turned away from Christ, left the church and in three cases have ended in divorce and the fourth is as we say “on the rocks.” Innocent people including little children must bear the brunt of social or beverage drinking of alcohol. It is not my burden to prove it is sinful in God’s eye (which I can do), but, to ask you to take the road of abstinence, It never entered the mind of God to allow Christians to use alcohol as a beverage or to engage in social drinking. To abstain is to be infallibly safe.
To be a member of a denomination never entered the mind of God. The church was established by the will of Jesus Christ and the right for it to exist was paid for by the Lord’s own blood. The church was set in the world to unite former warring people, the Jew and the Gentiles. Unity of all people in Christ was prayed for by the Lord, commanded by the Apostles and practiced by early Christian. Religious division is condemned in the New Testament, yet in the world today religious division is practiced by the multitudes, thanks is given to God for the many churches that exist so that one can find one to his liking and subscribe for membership within it. What is one to do? May I suggest that we read the New Testament to discover what the characteristics or marks of the church revealed therein and set about to locate such a church and then seek out the means of becoming part of its fellowship. Look for a church that is according to the Book in name, teaching, work and worship, whose members seek for holiness in their life and are caring and helpful to every member. Regarding or disregarding the teaching and practices of men, this way is to be infallibly safe.
Individual cups in the Lord’s Supper never came into the mind of God. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper He used one cup containing fruit of the vine ordering all the disciples to commune by drinking from it (Mt. 26:27). The Apostle Paul was absent from that gathering as he “was as one born out of due season,” received from the Lord the exact practice subsequently ordered the Corinthians to follow the same procedure. For twenty centuries, disciples were content to do as the Lord had exemplified. Then arose men claiming liberty the Lord did not grant. They decided that a better way of eating the Lord’s Supper would be to use individual cups. Jesus had used and the disciples drank from one cup (ASV a cup), literally a drinking vessel. Division followed and havoc began among churches of Christ, which has not ceased until this day. Those contending for one cup point with decisive fingers at statements in the scripture, while others declare that it is alright to use one cup, but they have the right to use more than one as a liberty. As progressives always do, they deny the right of other progressives on other subjects demanding scripture for all practices, as a missionary society and instrumental music, but make a disclaimer when considering individual cups. Surely, the legs of the lame are unequal. It remains that the use of individual cups is not found in the word of God. Therefore, the use of one cup is the practice that is infallibly safe.
The idea that a Christian can swear never entered the mind of God. When Jesus pointed men to the day when His Kingdom would be a reality on the earth (Pentecost), among the things He wished them (and us), to remember was the importance of a man speaking the truth, without swearing (Mt. 5:34-37). James brought the same fact to the forefront saying “above all things, my brethren, swear not at all” (Js. 5:12). Since Christians speaks the truth, there is no need to “swear.” People of the world are not so insistent to speak the truth, so, when they want others to know they are putting forth an effort to represent things as they are, an oath is invoked. Various things are used to give emphasis to the word being true, such as: I swear on the head of my children, the eyes of my mother, by God, or by heaven. Others use certain statements as, if I’m lying I’m dying, may the Lord strike me dead, or I solemnly swear. All these are unnecessary if one always tells the truth. In my youth it was common to hear sermons on the subject and others lessons were given of which it was pointed out that Christians should not swear in daily activities, no, not even in a court of law. Swearing was one reason given that a Christian should not occupy political office or enter the military. However, these days it is contended that the Bible does not have the courtroom and other political situations in view. It seems to me when a person swears in such situations it is a testimony to the fact that they are not truthful in others. At any rate, it is common to hear of Christians becoming lawyers (swearing and asking others to swear), judges, elected mayors and other public offices, like Sheriffs (small military officers) etc. etc. If one always speaks the truth and never swears, he is infallibly safe.
It never entered the mind of God to give Christians the right to gamble. Something unheard of just a few short years ago is now making headway among Christians. I am speaking of gambling. Some are arguing that it is just another form of recreation. Gambling is almost as old as the human race, but it has never been upheld by the godly. Some members of the church make no bones about it; they buy lottery tickets, wager on sports events, partake of office or work pools and even visit casinos. “The Bible” they say, “says nothing about gambling being wrong.” Admittedly, gambling is not specifically named; however, the contention that it is not condemned is a far stretch from the truth. The cause and the fruit of gambling are certainly given the condemnation of the Lord. Gambling has been proven to be an addiction just as much as drugs and alcohol, destroying the lives of many. It has wrecked homes leaving children without one or both parents, using money that should be spent for the betterment of the family but is used to satisfy the foolish heart of the gambler who thinks, one more time and I will be a winner. The root of gambling is greed or covetousness. The gambler desires to win to the point of taking from others what they have not earned. Gambling kills the work ethic making the gambler lazy. It breeds dishonesty and deceit, as once the gambler is addicted he will do most anything to obtain money to use in gaming. If one never gambles, he is infallibly safe.
It never entered the mind of God that all the dead will not be raised. The Sadducees (a leading sect of New Testament times), did not believe in the resurrection (Acts 23:8). They came to Jesus on one occasion thinking to tempt Him and as we say, put Him in His place, with a confounding question which they thought would set aside any idea of a resurrection (Mt. 22:23-29). With ease, Jesus showed the fallacy of their question and the doctrine that depended largely upon it. Today we not only have some that discount the resurrection in general but there are some that proclaim the resurrection of the righteous, yet, at the same time insist that the wicked dead will not be raised. A reason given is that they suffer enough in this life, another is their punishment or suffering is that they shall never live again—that they are eternally dead. Jesus refuted the Sadducees then and established forever the truth that all (ALL) will be raised, the wicked as well as the righteous (Jn. 5:28-29). As surely as we live, we are going to die, and as surely as we die, we are going to be resurrected from the dead. In addition, we are going to be raised to be judged and receive our eternal fate (Heb. 9:27). What an encouragement to the wicked to persist in their wicked ways is the doctrine that the wicked will not be raised from the dead. The Apostle Paul dealt severely with some who said the resurrection was already past (II Tim. 2:17-18; I Tim 1:18-20). To proclaim the Biblical fact that all the dead, the righteous and the wicked will be raised from the grave is to be infallibly safe.
Barney Owens 1410
The woods are not as pretty in winter as they are in spring,
but you can sure see a lot further