The Reformation

 The medieval Roman Catholic Church had many areas that separated it from the church found in the New Testament. The practice of simony occurred which was the practice of selling church offices to the highest bidder. Miscellaneous money making schemes were used such as the selling of indulgences, which was a source of rich profits for the Catholic Church. Some of the leading clergy claimed to be celibate but had concubines, and a number had children by these concubines. In many instances the Catholic Church resorted to carnal warfare in order to increase its power over others.

      However, throughout that time there arose some dissenting voices of people who protested against the abuses from the Biblical pattern.


      Generally when people think of the reformation they think of names like Martin Luther or John Calvin or Zwingli. However, there were many other individuals and groups who spoke out against the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church.

      For example, the Albigenses became prominent in southern France about 1170 A.D.  They did hold some Gnostic philosophies and dualistic ideas about God. They were opposed to the doctrines of purgatory and image worship. They recognized the authority of the New Testament and opposed tradition as authority in religion.

However the Catholic Church had no tolerance for this group of people. Henry H.  Halley says this was the outcome of their opposition to Catholic authority.

In 1206 a crusade was ordered by pope Innocent III; a bloody war of extermination followed; scarcely unparalleled in history; town after town was put to the sword and the inhabitants murdered without distinction of age or sex; in 1229 the Inquisition was established and within a hundred years the Albigenses were utterly rooted out.[1]

      Moreover, the Waldensians were founded by Peter Waldo about A.D 1170. This group was more like the Protestant and Puritan movements. They were noted for their zeal for purity of life. They rejected masses, prayers for the dead and purgatory, and taught that the Bible was the sole rule of authority for belief and life. The Waldensians believed that everyone should be able to read the Bible in their own language. The church was not infallible, and Christian “laymen” were entitled to preach. They were also extremely benevolent to the poor. However they too were suppressed by Inquisition. Nonetheless, they did survive persecution and about thirty five thousand still exist in Northern Italy today.

      Furthermore, John Wycliffe (1324-1384) was another early reformer from England. He opposed the authority of the pope, cardinals, patriarchs, and monks, and Petrine succession, and the doctrine of transubstantiation, and celibacy. He also denied the veneration of saints and relics. He declared:

If there were one hundred popes and all friars were turned into cardinals their opinion ought not be acceded to in matters of faith except so far as they based themselves upon Scripture.[2]

Probably one of his greatest contributions was his belief that people had the right to read the Bible for themselves. He did translate the bible into English from the Vulgate. He believed it was a sin for clergy to keep the bible from the laity. The Catholic Church believed that it was injurious for the people at large to read the Bible, in the year 1229 at the Council of Toulouse forbade the Scriptures to laity. It was expressed in these terms:

We also forbid the laity to possess any of the books of the Old or New Testament, except, perhaps, the Psalter or Breviary for the divine Offices, or the Hours of the Blessed Virgin, which some, out of devotion, wish to have; but having these books translated into the vulgar tongue, we strictly forbid.[3]

In this way comparisons between the New Testament church and the Roman

Catholic Church could be avoided.

      Another early reformer was John Hus, who led a very active reform movement in Bohemia. He was a priest in the Catholic Church but was influenced by the ideas of Wycliffe. Hus intended to reform the church in Bohemia along the same lines as proposed by Wycliffe. He opposed the doctrine of indulgences and encouraged the return to the study of Scripture. He was excommunicated by the archbishop of Prague and later by the pope. He was put into prison and after he refused to recant, on July 6, 1415 he was burned at the stake as a heretic by the order of the Council of Constance. He was condemned as a heretic because of his diligent search for truth and his desire to reform the church along the lines of that found in the New Testament. Persecutors can destroy the bodies of men but they cannot destroy their ideas, and the ideas of these early reformers spread to others.


      Possibly the most outrageous thing that took place to incite the Reformation was the sale of indulgences. In 1506, Pope Julius began building Saint Peter’s in Rome, and it was continued by Pope Leo X. However, the project was threatened by the lack of funds and the sale of indulgences was begun. It was thought that after one had repented of sin and had confessed it that the guilt of sin and eternal punishment was forgiven by God, but there was a temporal satisfaction that the repentant sinner must fulfill either in this life or in purgatory.

To offset this one could do some meritorious deed, or take a pilgrimage, or make a donation of money to the church. Moreover, the indulgence was a document that one could buy for a sum of money that would free the purchaser from the temporal penalty of sin. The idea was first set forth by Alexander of Hales in the thirteenth century. Clement VI declared it to be dogma in 1343.

      Luther was a Catholic priest in Germany who was very dedicated to that faith. He fasted for days on end, extended vigils far beyond the rule, abased himself, performed noxious chores, confessed every sin he could imagine. He said of himself: “If ever a monk got to heaven by his monkery, I was that monk.”

He also taught biblical theology at Wittenberg University when John Tetzel began his sale in indulgences in Germany.

John Tetzel, at the authority of the Pope, came through Germany selling these indulgences, preaching, ‘As soon as the money tinkles in the chest, the soul springs out of purgatory.’ Luther was highly disfavored at this abuse. He did not, at this time, deny the authority of the pope nor the efficacy of penance, but only the abuse. Thus on October 31, 1517, he nailed to the door of Castle church in Wittenberg ninety five theses for debate (a common thing in that day).[4]

      Martin Luther saw that this did not agree at all with his belief about the way that God saved people. Therefore, Luther condemned the abuses of the indulgence system and challenged any one to debate him on this matter. In defending scripture he was proud to defy both councils and hierarchy. In 1520 a bull of excommunication was issued by the pope which stated that unless Luther recanted he would be cast out of the church. To show his contempt for the document he publicly burned it. In the years that followed there was actual combat between the Lutherans and Roman Catholics. The pope declared the war a Crusade, and offered indulgences to all who would take part. The war lasted from 1546 to 1555. Moreover, in 1555 peace terms were drawn up in the Peace of Augsburg. This document stated that both Lutheranism and Catholicism could be tolerated in Germany and that each prince could decide which religion would be legal in his territory. Luther spent the rest of his life spreading and defending the ideas of Protestant Reformation. He was a prolific writer and his works fill about 70 large volumes; beside this he translated the Bible into


      Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531) of German Switzerland was also a priest within Catholicism. However, he too became very discontent with the Roman church. In 1522 he prepared sixty seven theses in which he differed with the Catholic Church. He published them and offered to debate them. He began to oppose indulgences and of the veneration of images. He emphasized salvation by faith, the authority of the bible, and the headship of Christ in the church, and the right of clerical marriage, and church services were held in the language of the people. He would permit nothing in religion except what could be proved by Scriptures. He also believed that only those who rejected the gospel in unbelief were predestined to condemnation. Furthermore, he believed that the Lord Supper was symbolic and simply a memorial to Christ, and in this he differed from Catholic transubstantiation (he did not believe that the priest could perform a miracle to change the elements into the actual body and blood of Christ) and Lutheran consubstantiation. He also had rejected the doctrine of original sin and taught that babies could be saved without baptism. Zwingli reduced the church service to extreme simplicity; pictures and statues were removed and organs were banished and instrumental music ceased to be used. The Catholic Church used forcible measures to suppress the Zwingli movement and began warfare in 1529. When the war began Zwingli said farewell to his wife and children and went with follow reformers to battle. The reformers were defeated with great slaughter and Zwingli himself died in battle October 11, 1531.

      John Calvin of French Switzerland was a successor to Zwingli as a reformer. He was born in Noyon, France to Roman Catholic parents. Calvin was converted from Catholicism in 1533. He went to Geneva in 1533. Calvin was about 25 years younger than Luther and Zwingli and had the advantage of building on their foundations. On July 20th, 1539 Geneva renounced the papacy and accepted


One of the essential principles of his system of theology was human depravity. He accepted the teachings of Augustine that the will of man is depraved, and, accordingly, the doctrine of predestination was a necessary part of this theological system. Whereas Augustine said that God permits people to be damned, Calvin stressed that God ‘decreed’ their condemnation and that the number was definitely established and could not be increased or diminished. For the elect he taught the corollary of predestination and the perseverance of the saints.[5]

      Calvin followed a simple worship in his churches. There was congregational singing, which was a departure from his early experience in the Roman Catholic Church. They did not use instrumental music, for Calvin thought that was a departure from New Testament worship. He broke away from altar worship, and placed an emphasis upon reading and preaching. Calvin and his followers required complete uniformity to their beliefs. Inns were required to keep a bible handy and no dice, cards, or gambling allowed, and no one was allowed to be out after nine o’ clock at night. The religious leaders pronounced excommunication on all who refused to follow Calvin’s theology. Between 1542-1546 there were fifty seven executions and seventy six banishments from Geneva because of heresy. The five points of Calvinism are: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.


      There were other reform groups that are called Anabaptist. The word means rebaptizer, and they were known for rebaptizing people. Lynn McMillion summarized the teaching of many of these groups in this fashion:

First, they practiced only believer’s baptism and rejected the Catholic practice of infant baptism. Second, they believed that the spiritual government of the church rested upon the power of each local congregation. Third, for Anabaptist a belief in the communal nature of the church’s fellowship constituted a mark of the true church. Fourth, the significance of the Lord’s Supper was found in its memorial character rather than the Catholic sacrificial understanding. Fifth was Anabaptist insistence upon passive obedience to civil government. This developed as a counter thrust to the belief that the union of the church and civil government of the medieval era had eroded the spiritual quality of the Catholic Church.[6]

      In some of the groups they refused to bear arms, to hold civil office, or to take oaths, or participate in worldly amusements, some introduced feet washing based upon what is said in John 13. Some of them began to rely in an inner light believing that the Holy Spirit would work apart from the bible in bringing them to truth. Most of them rejected predestination of Calvin and emphasized free will of each individual.


      The last reform movement that will be discussed in this paper is the Church of England. The difficulty between Henry VIII of England and the pope developed out of his desire for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Cairns had this to say about this conflict:

When it became apparent that he could not have a son by this marriage, Henry became concerned, because he believed that England would need a male ruler after his death in order to see the land through the period of international turbulence. He also thought that possibly God was punishing him for marrying his brother’s widow, an action prohibited by canon law and Leviticus 20:21. Falling in love with the pretty Anne Boleyn, Henry ordered his advisor Cardinal Wolsey to negotiate with Clement VII for a divorce from Catherine. Clement VII was unable to grant his request because in 1527 he was under the control of Catherine’s nephew, the powerful Charles V, the ruler of Spain and the emperor of Germany. Henry accused Wolsey of high treason when he failed to get the divorce but Wolsey died before Henry could execute him.[7]

      This eventually led to the Acts of Supremacy of 1534. This decree declared that the king was the only supreme head of the Church of England. In 1536 Parliament ordered all monasteries to close and the land was taken over by the government. However, the Church of England still holds to many doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the major differences between the groups involves ecclesiastical power. The Church of England preserves the Catholic sacraments and creeds but rejects the authority of the Pope of Rome. After many English colonists moved the North America, connections with the Church of England were broken during the Revolutionary War. The church in North America was then named the Episcopal Church.


      It is evident that each reformer’s work resulted in the beginning of a new religious group. Unusually there was an effort to correct some particular error or errors, but as his followers increased in number a formal statement of faith and practice was adopted and a new religious denomination was born. The first few denominations were off shoots from Catholicism. As time passed by many other churches appeared as off shoots of the off shoots until today there is religious chaos. Although great doctrinal changes were brought about by the Reformation, the student must not think that the new denominations broke away totally from New Testament departures that have occurred over the centuries. The Protestant reformation developed its own set of problems and divisions. Practically every group has invented some organizational structure which suits the purposes of men, but which largely ignores the simple serving organization of the New Testament church. As is so often the case with civil government, high offices in religion tend to be self serving, wasteful, and abusive. For example, local members lose control of funds and property. Even doctrinal positions may be forced upon churches, without regard to what members find in the Scriptures.

Divisions have not resulted from God’s word, but from man’s misapplication of it.

The only way to achieve unity is by a return to the Bible. First, there needs to be an acceptance that the church was established 2,000 years ago on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The church is perfect in its plan and in its design. And it was intended to be the model for all subsequent ages, in all matters of faith and practice. Now we do not have to model the customs of the day or social traditions of the first century. But it is a model of faith and practice. Second, the New Testament Scriptures, as they reveal the church, are a pattern or a blueprint for us to follow today.

[1] Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1965) 785.

[2] F.W. Mattox, The Eternal Kingdom (Delight: Gospel Light Publishing Company, 1961) 225.

[3] J.W. Shepherd, The Church the Falling away and the Restoration (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1929) 75.

[4] Morris M. Womack, The Church through the Ages (Austin: R.B. Sweet Company, 1965) 32.

[5] Mattox, 260.

[6] Lynn A. McMillion, Restoration Roots (Dallas: Gospel Teachers Publications, 1983) 12.

[7] Earle E. Cairns, Christianity through the Ages (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996) 322.

Restoration plea of the churches of Christ

One man’s words, spoken 2000 years ago, sparked a revolution that today is the most powerful force on the planet:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19) …Jesus Christ, Savior & Son of God (New American Standard Bible)

This simple declarative statement remains the most powerful words ever spoken by man. Within approximately 50 days of the great commission, Peter – an Apostle of Christ and one of the leaders of His disciples – preached what is believed to be the first major sermon of the one true church. (Acts 2:14-47)

Now here we are 20 centuries from the time Christ established His church and we find ourselves in a divided religious world where most people are confused about who, where and how they should worship. There are too many voices delivering too many different messages.

This document is intended to help us all rediscover the message of Christ and help restore the Christian principles that led to the phenomenal growth of Christ’s church throughout the world.

With so many different denominations or religious groups worldwide – each with its own views and doctrines – it is not easy to find the truth. Our Lord never intended it that way. His message is simple: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5).

Even the great founders and spiritual leaders of current denominational institutions echoed this message. Consider the words of these famous ministers:

“I ask that men make no reference to my name, and call themselves not Lutherans, but Christians. What is Luther? My doctrine, I am sure, is not mine, nor have I been crucified for any one. St. Paul, in I Cor. 3 would not allow Christians to call themselves Pauline or Petrine, but Christian. How then should I, poor, foul carcass that I am, come to have children of Christ a name derived from my worthless name? No, no my dear friends; let us abolish all party names, and call ourselves Christians after Him whose doctrine we have.” (Hugh Thomas Kerr, A Compend of Luther’s Theology).

“I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living! I hope the Baptist name will soon perish, but let Christ’s name last forever” …Charles Spurgeon, a prominent Baptist preacher (Spurgeon Memorial Library Vol. I Page 168)

“Would to God that all party names, and unscriptural phrases and forms which have divided the Christian world, were forgot and that the very name (Methodist) might never be mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion.” (John Wesley, A Dictionary of Arts, Science, History, Biography, Law, Literature, Religions. Vol 9, page 540)

We are called to be a part of the Church that carries on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ until he returns. Non-denominational Christianity requires that today’s church strive to imitate the Lord’s body as it appeared in the mind of God and as it appears in the New Testament.

Achieving that means holding on to certain premises practiced by first century Christians, as well as the fellowship of churches of Christ TODAY. In the interest of brevity, we will discuss two of those premises.

First, we believe that the church was established 2,000 years ago on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The church is perfect in its plan and in its design. And it was intended to be the model for all subsequent ages, in all matters of faith and practice. Now we do not have to model the customs of the day or social traditions of the first century. But it is a model of faith and practice. Second, the New Testament Scriptures, as they reveal the church, are a pattern or a blueprint for us to follow.

As discussed earlier, since the first century there have been many departures from the New Testament pattern of the church. Therefore, there is a continual need for the restoration of the church. The major reason for a continual restoration is that mankind has a history of departing from God. Consider Jeremiah 6:16.

“This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

As one reads the history of Old Testament Israel, you will see time and time again that they would walk with God for a while then they would drift away.

Another illustration of this would be during the time of King Josiah. He became the King of Israel when he was just a boy, only 8 years old. When he was a young man he began to make real progress in driving idolatry from the land. When he was 26 he had the people clean out the temple of God in Jerusalem. And while they were cleaning out the temple they found the Law of Moses. And he had the people assemble and the law of God was read. And they wept and restored some things that had been neglected for a very long time. Note II Kings 22:8-13; II Kings 23:1-3:

The same cycle existed during Jesus’ earthly ministry. In John 17:20,21 Jesus expressed a strong emphasis on unity and not being divided.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

But it has been difficult for followers of Jesus to respect that prayer. Even among the 12 apostles of Jesus there was disharmony at times, look at Mark 9:33-35.

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

And then in I Corinthians 1:10-12 we read that early churches struggled with keeping unity with one another.

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”

These are just a few examples of the human tendency to let things slip away, and our loyalty to God’s truth decline. Only one church existed in the first century of Christianity. That one church was the one that Jesus said that he built in Matthew 16:18. It is the same one that the apostle Paul described as the body of Christ in Ephesians 1:22,23. Therefore, the church in the New Testament was not Catholic or Protestant. It was simply the church that belonged to Christ.

There is a story told of an elderly couple who had some bronze baby shoes built into bookends. An antique collector heard about the bookends and wanted to buy them. And he offered them $100 dollars and the elderly couple smiled. And they said, “no they are not for sale”. And the collector pushed it and said, “$500 dollars”. And then, “$1000 dollars” all the way to “$10,000 dollars”. And finally he said, “I would be interested why in your old age and at a time when you could really use the money, why you are not willing to sell those shoes?” And the couple said back to him. “You do not understand – those shoes belonged to our child who died when he was just a baby. So they are not for sale at any price.” Ownership makes a difference and the New Testament says that the church belongs to Christ.

However, it was prophesied that there would be a falling away – caused by people wanting to serve themselves rather than Christ. Acts 20:28-30

28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

& II Timothy 4:1-4.

4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Let’s consider some of the departures from the New Testament pattern, since the first century, that can be discovered in church history.

One was the gradual development of a system of rulers into a hierarchy, patterned after the political organization of the Roman Empire. The New Testament teaches that there is to be a plurality of Bishops (elders – shepherds) over one congregation. Read Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17. And you will see there was not one Bishop over one church. This change in the polity of the church gradually developed into the papacy.

Another was the formulation and enforcing of uninspired church decrees.

For example, praying to saints, infant baptism, praying to Mary, instrumental music, and the compulsory celibacy for church leaders, the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope, and the doctrine of purgatory. This is not an exhaustive list but just some of the departures.

In the first century after the resurrection of Jesus the early church conquered the heathen world. But after that the heathen world conquered to an extent the church by allowing human traditions to creep in.

However, back in 1500’s, there were some men who began calling for reform, like Martin Luther and John Calvin. And these men helped to correct many of the abuses and departures from the New Testament pattern.

These men did reform the church but did not restore the church to its original pattern.

And the Protestant reformation developed its own set of problems and divisions. Practically every group has invented some organizational structure which suits the purposes of men, but which largely ignores the simple serving organization of the New Testament church. As is so often the case with civil government, high offices in religion tend to be self serving, wasteful and abusive. For example, local members lose control of funds and property. Even doctrinal positions may be forced upon churches, without regard to what members find in the Scriptures. A current example of this is that some denominational leaders are trying to force the acceptance of gay and lesbian members & ministers.

As a result – today there are several hundred different protestant churches.

Divisions have not resulted from God’s word, but from man’s misapplication of it. We believe the only way to achieve unity is by a return to the Bible.

Hence, back in the 1700-1800’s people in several different places in the world began what some church historians have called the restoration movement. The attempt of these leaders was not to establish another denomination but to simply be Christians nothing more and nothing less.

These people are not as well known but still made their marks of revival during their ministries. In North Carolina and Virginia there was a man by the name of James O’ Kelly. Up in New England, two men stand out – Abner Jones and Elias Smith. In Ohio there was Walter Scott, in Kentucky a man by the name of Barton W. Stone, and then in Pennsylvania and West Virginia – Thomas and Alexander Campbell.

These men like others saw the vast changes from the original New Testament pattern. And their cry was to go back to the Bible as the final authority for worship and practice.

What do we need? We need to take God’s inspired word and follow it and not the traditions of men. Because most religious differences are due to the acceptance of practices not found in the Bible.

We need to find out what the New Testament says about conversion and follow it. For example, infant baptism is not taught in the New Testament, but rather, before a person is baptized they must come to a personal need and faith in Jesus Christ, like Jesus stated in Mark 16:16. Even John Calvin the founder of the Presbyterian Church came to this biblical conclusion.

“As Christ enjoins them to teach before baptizing, and desires that none but believers shall be admitted to baptism, it would appear that baptism is not properly administered unless when preceded by faith.” (Harmony of the Evangelists, Vol. 3. Page 38).

And what it says about worship and follow it. Some churches worship today is based more upon the material splendor of the Old Testament temple. But when Jesus died – his cross took the place of the altar and the priesthood changed, and the ceremonies changed. And now the New Testament teaches that all Christians are priests and to individually offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. (I Peter 2:5,9; Romans 12:1; Revelation 1:6). Of course, we all have different roles and the bible defines what our roles should be, but every child of God has a priestly function to perform. In the words of the Scottish preacher John Caird (1820-1898), “Live for Christ in common things and all your work will be priestly work.”

Ephesians 4:15,16 emphasizes that every member has his or her work to do, and by this harmonious working together the body of Christ will grow.

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

To restore New Testament Christianity we must resist the trend of individualism and isolationism, and celebrate a sense of belonging to one another in Christ’s body. First century believers were together frequently to praise God and edify one another.

And we should restore how the church was governed and organized and stay with it. Churches of Christ do not have the trappings of modern day bureaucracy. There are no regional or national headquarters. Therefore, we do not submit to the Pope, or to the patriarch of Constantinople, or to the archbishop of Canterbury or to the Missouri synod. Each congregation is autonomous (self-ruled). However, congregations do cooperate in sending out missionaries and in various types of benevolent needs domestically and overseas. We need to restore local church autonomy and the bible system that each church must answer for itself. This is made clear in the letters to the seven churches addressed in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 where each one would stand or fall on the basis of its own actions. A self-governing church can remain faithful even if all other churches should apostatize.

We must make sure that we restore Christian morals and concern for others. God wants us to internalize and live the values of heaven. The church of any age must not let the world set the agenda for morality.

We must also restore the need for reaching out to lost souls and the urgency of taking the gospel to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20). Restoration is the never-ending struggle to capture the essence of the religion of Christ.

The early church was an excited church. Let’s get a first hand look at this in Acts 2:42-47.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Notice some key words in this text. They were devoted, filled with awe, and they were together. They ate together, assembled together, and prayed together. Their concern for the Lord and his people was greater than their concerns for material goods.

We need to work at restoring the simplicity of New Testament worship. We should not impoverish worship to God by hindering it with human tradition (Mark 7:7-9). Various human traditions have been added to worship since the first century. For example, the veneration of images, prayers to Mary, instrumental music, etc – none of these traditions can be found in the worship of the New Testament. If these things can not be found in the New Testament we believe it is safe and right to leave them out, too. Conversely, you do find that as the early Christians assembled together on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 16:1,2; Acts 2:42), that they would sing, pray, study the Scriptures, take up material collections for benevolence and other needs, and they would take communion to remember what Christ had done for them. And we know from such respected church historians as Neander and Eusebius that the early Christians would take this memorial supper every Sunday. And Christians are to continue to do this until the Lord returns (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

The church is a community of believers, not an anonymous group of worshipers. People need to belong and be accepted. New Testament Christianity is a group of people banded together to worship God and serve one another. We are not Catholic or Protestant but simply members of the church for which he died.

If this plea sounds good to you we would encourage you to become a part of this movement. The key is to look back into the owner’s manual (the Bible) and rediscover the church.

Written by Jim Crisp



Essay on Homosexuality

As far back as 1993 more than 75 openly gay and lesbian officials had been elected in local, state, and congressional positions in the United States. More than 130 counties, cities, and States had gay rights laws on the books.

Today, more and more there is a push for States to endorse same sex marriages. What do you feel about this? Are we being too narrow minded, too insensitive, to say we oppose it. And what do you think Jesus would say about today’s gay and lesbian movement? Some religious groups openly accept homosexuals into their fellowship. The Episcopal Church has even appointed a homosexual to the office of Bishop. According to pro-gay polls in the United States around 25 percent of Episcopal priest and 50 percent of Roman Catholic priest are gay. A study of the Church of England reported 15 to 30  percent of their priests are gay. However, because these figures come through pro-gay sources, they undoubtedly need to be downsized. Nonetheless, there can be no question that the figures are high. Recently a leading scholar in the Churches of Christ has been reported to have sex with young men. Should this be normal for all of us? If one man can establish a church for the gays, why cannot another establish a congregation for the “practicing prostitutes, drunkards, and idolaters”. For most Christians the central issue is neither whether God loves homosexuals nor whether Jesus died to save them. The basic debate has been whether God endorses homosexual practice as an option, or whether homosexuals must be repentant and practice abstinence.

Homosexuals have long claimed that it is not a matter of choice for them, but it something they were born with. Swaab and Hoffman studied the brains of thirty four subjects. There were 18 male subjects who died from a variety of causes. There was second group of ten homosexual men who died of AIDS. The later group consisted of four males and two females. The conclusion of the study is that the human hypothalamus of the homosexual men is 1.7 times as large as that of the rest of the reference group.

Of course the genetic claim for homosexuality is important to that group for at least two reasons. First, if homosexuality is something innate, then homosexuals are no more responsible for their sexual orientation than for eye color or height. Attempts to get homosexuals to change will also be useless.

Second, this claim has political implications. They could claim civil right status as a minority.

However, researcher Kenneth Klivington, at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, raises the chicken and egg question regarding the hypothalamus; does its size determine homosexuality, or does homosexuality determine its size. Furthermore, the males studied had AIDS. Could the differences in the hypothalamus be the result of that disease rather than the cause of sexual orientation? Francis Stevens, the editor of Deneuve, a lesbian news magazine was also skeptical of the findings: If the gay guy’s hypothalamus is smaller, what’s it like for lesbians? Good question.

A very important study of genetics has to include identical twin studies. The Boston University School of Medicine has conducted this type of study. Among 56 homosexual men who were twins, 52 percent of their identical twins brothers were also homosexuals. By contrast, only 22 percent of non-twin brothers and only 11 percent of adoptive brothers were found to be gay. Am I missing something? If there is to be a genetic explanation for homosexuality should not 100 percent of the identical twins be gay? A 1992 British Journal of Psychiatry reported the results of study in which, of 46 homosexual men and women who were twins (both fraternal and identical), only 20 percent had a homosexual co-twin. The report concluded that genetic factors are insufficient explanation for the development of sexual orientation.

It is probably better to say that homosexuality is the result of a variety of causes. There is some evidence that family pathology at least to some being homosexuals. About 67 percent of male homosexuals come from a home where the mother is a domineering man hater and the father is weak, detached and often uninvolved in the family. Bieber’s exhaustive study strongly supports the nurture hypothesis as the cause of homosexuality. The 106 homosexuals in his study were afraid of the opposite sex, inhibited heterosexually and too close to their mothers. They often hated their father or brothers. They fathers were usually detached and hostile. In comparison with a group of heterosexual men, their parents often had a poor marital relationship. Their mothers tended to favor their homosexual sons to their husbands. They discouraged masculine activities and attitudes and encouraged feminine activities and attitudes.

Scripture and Homosexuality

Many Christians are ardent opponents to homosexuality because they believe that it is contrary to the explicit teaching of the Bible. However, many homosexuals have come to the conclusion that it does not condemn their practice. I want to examine several passages of Scripture noting both traditional and more recent homosexual interpretations.

Genesis 19:1-11

The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah has traditionally been understood to be homosexuality. However, the passage has been challenged at least in two ways by homosexuals. First, some have argued that it is not talking about ordinary homosexuality but rather homosexual rape. However, the text does not slightly hint that what the men of Sodom wanted to do would be permissible if only Lot’s guest had consented. A second interpretation of Genesis 19 claims that the passage is not about homosexuality at all but rather a gross violation of the hospitality code. Lot entertained two foreign visitors who might have had hostile intentions for the community. Therefore, the men of Sodom were suspicious of the intentions of these visitors in Lot’s house. They support their interpretation by arguing that the Hebrew word yadha is found 943 times in the Old Testament. It is only used ten times to refer to sexual relations, and according to their argument only to heterosexual relations. Therefore, yadha must be taken to mean “to know” or to “get acquainted with”. This also carries over the Lot’s daughters, where he is simply saying to get to know his daughters better.

However, even in other places in the book of Genesis yadha is used uncontestedly of something sexual. (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; 24:16; 38:26). Context, not the number of occurrences, determines the meaning of the word in a particular setting. The text says that Lot’s daughter had not known man. The verb is yadha – that is they have not known coitus. That yadha in both occurrences in this story means sex knowledge is affirmed both in the Brown-driver-Biggs Hebrew Lexicon and in the Kohler-Baumgartner Lexicon. Moreover, current English translations translate the verb in this way. No informed person would argue that homosexual acts were the totality of the sin of Sodom; but one who accepts the New Testament interpretation of Old Testament passages finds confirmation of the sexual nature of their sin.

For example, II Peter 2:8 and Jude 7 give a striking commentary on the sin of Sodom.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

Both of these texts describe homosexuality as an abomination punishable by death. Homosexuals say that this does not signify that homosexuality is wrong, but because in the Old Testament world it was associated with idolatrous pagan worship. Sometimes the word abomination refers to an idol as in Isaiah 44:19, Jeremiah 16:18 and Ezekiel 7:20. Specifically it is claimed that Leviticus 18 has the purpose of distinguishing Israel from its pagan neighbors (18:3) and the prohibition of homosexuality follows directly after the condemnation of idolatrous sexuality (18:21) The same is true of Leviticus 20.

However, homosexuality is condemned in the context of adultery, bestiality, and incest as well. Clearly, those practices were not prohibited simply because of their association with idolatry.

These passages in Leviticus do not raise the question of what one’s sexual orientation is; they do not ask whether the two persons involved think they are in love or not; they do not ask whether a permanent relationship exists or whether it is a one time act between nameless strangers. These laws do not discuss emotional conditions at all.

Romans 1:21-27

Homosexuality was a common practice in the pagan world of the first century. Several of the early Caesars were homosexuals. It is by no means a twenty first century invention of sexual behavior. It is best not to diagnose homosexual sex acts as a sickness but rather as sin. Homosexual acts are condemned both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The apostle Paul was aware of the homosexuality of his day. Paul brings them under God’s condemnation which puts them in need of salvation. Homosexual conduct, like other sin, dethrones God (the Creator) and enthrones man (the creature). Paul also says that homosexual conduct is unnatural. That’s the last thing that gays would ever want the Bible to say about what they do. This is the only specific text that deals with lesbianism (homosexual relationships between women).

I Corinthians 6:9-11

The apostle Paul referred to homosexuals when writing to the church at Corinth, and then said, “and such were some of you” (I Corinthians 6:11). God has the power to redeem people, forgiving them of sin and freeing them from its dominion over their lives. Homosexuality is no exception. There are others who believe that homosexuals can change.

Dr. John Money

Some People do change their sexual orientation. There is absolutely no harm in trying.

Glenn Wood and John Dietrich

Despite the rhetoric of homosexual activists, all studies which have attempted conversions from homosexuality to heterosexuality have had significant success.

Ruben Fine

I have recently had occasion to review the result of psychotherapy with homosexuals and been surprised by the findings – a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexual.

Irving Bieber

We have followed some patients for as long as ten years who have remained exclusively heterosexual.

Lawrence Hatterer

I’ve heard of hundreds of other men who went from a homosexual to a heterosexual adjustment on their own.

Patricia Hannigan

Each person has to decide where his or her own satisfaction lies; there is no one formula. If the foremost priority in one’s life is his religious faith, then his personal happiness might come from conforming to that faith rather than from pursuing his sexual orientation. With human beings, truly anything is possible.

From the Bible and these experts we learn that if a person is motivated and willing to exercise patience and discipline, you could have a good reason to be optimistic about change. People definitely can and do change. Sexual integrity is an act of the will, expressed through day to day decisions. No matter how close the gay movement comes to making the acknowledgement, “we can’t help who we are,” I can’t imagine a single one who is eager to relegate himself or herself to the status of a robot, without personal choice.


In the story of creation in Genesis 2, God created Eve out of a part of Adam’s body, as one suitable for Adam. He did not create another man to consort with, but he created a woman, and established marriage upon a heterosexual relationship. The creation story plainly shows that God’s will and plan for mankind is that one man and one woman is what constitutes a marriage. Moreover, in I Corinthians 7:2-5, the apostle Paul reveals the moral foundation for satisfying our sexual desires. It is clear that it is to be found in marriage between a husband and a wife.

As George Washington accurately observed in his “Farewell Address,” national morality cannot prevail apart from religious principle:

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds… reason and experience forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

The Existence of God

Teleological Argument for the Existence of God

We live in an increasingly sophisticated and educated world. It is no longer enough to know what we believe. It is essential to know why we believe it. We are likely to be challenged by Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, all of them claiming to have a valid religious experience. Moreover, in our scientific age there are many who are skeptical to the belief of God.

Therefore, four classical attempts have been presented to prove the existence of God. These have been called the teleological, moral, ontological, and cosmological arguments. In this paper I will examine the teleological argument.

One of the early forms of this argument was given by William Paley (1743-1805).

A summary of this argument goes like this:

1. A watch shows that it was put together for an intelligent purpose (to keep time).

a. It has a spring to give motion.

b. It has a series of wheels to transmit this motion.

c. The wheels are made of brass so that they do not rust.

d. The spring is made of steel because of the resilience of that metal.

e. The front cover is of glass so that one can see through it.

2. The world shows an even greater evidence of design than a watch.

a. The world is a greater work of art than a watch.

b. The world has more subtle and complex design than a watch.

c. The world has an endless variety of means adapted to ends.

3. Therefore, if a watch calls for a watchmaker, then the world demands an even greater intelligent Designer (viz., God). (Norman Geilser: Philosophy of Religion – page 104)

A fundamental aspect of creationism is that the world is full of design, and a good example of this is an insect called the bombardier beetle (Brachinus). The German chemist Dr. Schildknecht discovered that the beetle mixes two chemicals (hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinine) which collect in a chamber. This chamber is lined with cells that secret catalyses and peroxidases. In order to store those two chemicals in its own body until needed for self defense, a chemical inhibitor is there to make them harmless. Under pressure a valve is forced open and the chemicals are expelled explosively through an opening at the tip of the abdomen. When ever threatened the bombardier beetle shoots out a noxious gas at 212 degrees F, out of two tail pipes right at the would be aggressor. There is also a popping sound when this explosion occurs. The obvious question is how could this marvelous and complex mechanism have evolved with out intelligent design? According to evolutionary thinking there must have been thousands of generations of beetles improperly mixing these hazardous chemicals in fatal experiments until they finally got it right.

For example, Mark Isaak says that a step by step evolution of the bombardier system is not that hard to envision from a primitive arthropod. Here are the steps that he presents:

  1. Quinones are produced by epidermal cells for tanning the cuticle. This exists commonly in arthropods. [Dettner, 1987]
  2. Some of the quinones don’t get used up, but sit on the epidermis, making the arthropod distasteful. (Quinones are used as defensive secretions in a variety of modern arthropods, from beetles to millipedes. [Eisner, 1970])
  3. Small invaginations develop in the epidermis between sclerites (plates of cuticle). By wiggling, the insect can squeeze more quinones onto its surface when they’re needed.
  4. The invaginations deepen. Muscles are moved around slightly, allowing them to help expel the quinones from some of them. (Many ants have glands similar to this near the end of their abdomen. [Holldobler & Wilson, 1990, pp. 233-237])
  5. A couple invaginations (now reservoirs) become so deep that the others are inconsequential by comparison. Those gradually revert to the original epidermis.
  6. In various insects, different defensive chemicals besides quinones appear. (See Eisner, 1970, for a review.) This helps those insects defend against predators which have evolved resistance to quinones. One of the new defensive chemicals is hydroquinone.
  7. Cells that secrete the hydroquinones develop in multiple layers over part of the reservoir, allowing more hydroquinones to be produced. Channels between cells allow hydroquinones from all layers to reach the reservoir.
  8. The channels become a duct, specialized for transporting the chemicals. The secretory cells withdraw from the reservoir surface, ultimately becoming a separate organ.

This stage — secretory glands connected by ducts to reservoirs — exists in many beetles. The particular configuration of glands and reservoirs that bombardier beetles have is common to the other beetles in their suborder. [Forsyth, 1970]

  1. Muscles adapt which close off the reservoir, thus preventing the chemicals from leaking out when they’re not needed.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide, which is a common by-product of cellular metabolism, becomes mixed with the hydroquinones. The two react slowly, so a mixture of quinones and hydroquinones get used for defense.
  3. Cells secreting a small amount of catalases and peroxidases appear along the output passage of the reservoir, outside the valve which closes it off from the outside. These ensure that more quinones appear in the defensive secretions. Catalases exist in almost all cells, and peroxidases are also common in plants, animals, and bacteria, so those chemicals needn’t be developed from scratch but merely concentrated in one location.
  4. More catalases and peroxidases are produced, so the discharge is warmer and is expelled faster by the oxygen generated by the reaction. The beetle Metrius contractus provides an example of a bombardier beetle which produces a foamy discharge, not jets, from its reaction chambers. The bubbling of the foam produces a fine mist. [Eisner et al., 2000]
  5. The walls of that part of the output passage become firmer, allowing them to better withstand the heat and pressure generated by the reaction.
  6. Still more catalases and peroxidases are produced, and the walls toughen and shape into a reaction chamber. Gradually they become the mechanism of today’s bombardier beetles.
  7. The tip of the beetle’s abdomen becomes somewhat elongated and more flexible, allowing the beetle to aim its discharge in various directions.

Note that all of the steps above are small or can easily be broken down into smaller steps. The bombardier beetles’ mechanism can come about solely by accumulated microevolution. Furthermore, all of the steps are probably advantageous, so they would be selected. No improbable events are needed. As noted, several of the intermediate stages are known to be viable by the fact that they exist in living populations.

The scenario above is hypothetical; the actual evolution of bombardier beetles probably did not happen exactly like that. The steps are presented sequentially for clarity, but they needn’t have occurred in exactly the order given. (Mark Isaak: Bombardier Beetles and the argument of design, 2003)

At least he was honest enough to say that this scenario is hypothetical, because there was no way for him to validate what he just said. Strict science requires empirical research, where you can have experimentation and repetition of the event or process under investigation. The topic of origins can never be treated like an exact science. No human was there to observe it. Therefore, exact science can not give a definitive answer on origins. Was Isaak right in suggesting that a large change is built up from many small changes? What Isaak presented was just a theory. It was only a guess – he does not have evidence for it. Therefore, it in no way refutes the idea of intelligent design. Therefore, evolution is a belief system about the past based upon words of men and women who were not there. The topic of origins falls in the realm of theology, metaphysics and philosophy. Common sense tells us that this amazing little insect which can fire four or five bombs in succession could not have evolved piece by piece. All had to work perfectly the first time or all hopes for Bomby and his children would have exploded.

However, there are many points within science that many theistic creationists have no problems. The word evolution simply means change. There is change all around us. The word microevolution is used to describe the countless varieties within the same species. You can find that in your neighborhood with a dozen of different types of dogs. Conversely, macroevolution would an example of birds developing from reptiles, or the belief that living things came from nonliving things, and all natural processes are caused by chance alone. Somewhere back in the deep past our great grandfather was an apelike creature, covered with hair instead of clothing. Further back they say, our ancestor was some kind of insect eating mammal. Still further back our ancestors were fish. Was my great, great…, great grandmother really a fish? Was her great, great…, great grandmother something like slime? That’s what macroevolution tells us. But even Darwin admitted that the fossil record did not support the belief of macroevolution. The missing links are still missing.

Michael Denton, in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, summarized the situation in this way:

…the universe experience of paleontology … while the rocks have continually yielded new and exciting and even bizarre forms of life…what they have never yielded is any of Darwin’s myriads of transitional forms. Despite the tremendous increase in geological activity in every corner of the globe and despite the discovery of many strange and hitherto unknown forms, the infinitude of connecting links has still not been discovered and the fossil record is about as discontinuous as was when Darwin was writing Origin. The intermediates have remained as elusive as ever and their absence remains, a century later, one of the striking characteristics of the fossil record. (Lee Strobel: The Case for a Creator, page 56)

The world abounds with countless other examples of design and perfect coordination.

F. J. Dyson, writing in Scientific American, said this about our habitable cosmos: As we look into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known we were coming. (Rubel Shelly: Prepare to Answer Page 42)

Furthermore, Don England who taught Chemistry had Harding College believes that the human brain is an architectural masterpiece.

A single human brain weighs about three pounds and contains 100 billion nerve cells called neurons and 900 billion (none times the number of stars in our galaxy) neuroglia. Neuroglia are specialized connecting and supporting cells of the brain and spinal cord. Yet the myriad of cells and component parts of the brain are so designed and ordered, within a volume smaller than a shoe box, that the brain thinks, creates, contemplates, loves, hates, senses, and worships. The central nervous system in general, and the human brain in particular, possibly constitute the strongest teleological argument for the existence of God. This is true because, without God, the only explanation is that a cloud of hydrogen gas of unknown origin, through chance, evolved into a compact mass of highly organized and differentiated matter – the human brain – which, in the body of a person, is capable of contemplating the universe! One must decide which of the two faith alternatives is more reasonable: chance or intelligence. (Don England: God are you really there? Page 38)

The teleological argument is very simple. The intricate design found throughout the universe could have come about without a supreme architect and designer behind it. Where there is order there must be an orderer

Consider what Doctor A. Cressy Morrison (physician and former president of the New York Academy of Science) has to say:

The evidence is strongly suggestive of this directive purpose back of everything….We have found that the world is in the right place, that the crust is adjusted to within ten feet, and that if the ocean were a few feet deeper we would have no oxygen or vegetation. We have found that the earth rotates in twenty four hours and that were this revolution delayed, life would be impossible. If the speed of the earth around the sun were increased or decreased materially, this history of life, if any, would be different. We find that the sun is the one among thousands which make our sort of life possible on earth, its size, density, temperature and character of its rays all must be right, and are right. We find that the gases of the atmosphere are adjusted to each other and that a very slight change would be fatal…. Consider the bulk of the earth, it place in space and the nicety of the adjustments, the chances of some of these adjustments occurring in this order of one to a million, and the chances of all of them occurring cannot be calculated even in the billions. The existence of these facts cannot, therefore, be reconciled with any laws of chance. It is impossible, then, to escape the conclusion that the adjustments of nature to man are far more amazing than the adjustments of man to nature. A review of the wonders of nature demonstrates beyond question that there are design and purpose in it all. A program is being carried out in all its infinite detail by the Supreme Being we call God. (Batsell Barret Baxter: I Believe Because… Page 66)

Some try to communicate that there isn’t anything special about the earth. It is just an average unassuming rock. And modern science is constantly looking for life on other planets. These other planets are turning out to be just unassuming rocks. So far as we have sent out space rovers even to Mars we are discovering that earth is a special place, and that it is a very privileged planet. I remember hearing John Clayton say in a lecture that the earth is located in a safe place, because the larger planets farther out in our solar system act as comet catchers.

The Bible and God’s existence

The bible is not silent on who was the Creator. Genesis 1:1 simply starts by saying that God created everything. The bible also points out that there is good evidence available to prove that God exists. Clearly, God is not hiding; His trademark is all over creation.

The following is adapted from Skippy Myers study guide notes on Philosophy

If houses can not just happen, how could worlds just happen?

Hebrews 3:4

4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

If a watch cannot occur by chance, neither can the systematic cycles nor geometric precision of stars.

Psalms 8:1-4

1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise [b]
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

If intelligent planning is behind all ordered design, how could nature’s intricate net works have no planner?

Romans 1:20

20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Order in the universe spells God!

Even with all of the philosophical arguments for the existence of God, you still may never prove God to some people, because God is invisible and therefore unseen. But simply because we can not see something does not mean that it does not exist. We can not see atoms, but atoms certainly have an effect. Some people try to eliminate God because that makes them feel better about their own personal condition. So if God does not exist then there is no God to whom we must answer. But there is evidence, as we have seen, in the teleological argument for the existence of God.

Moreover, our personal experience of God has its basis in faith. Faith is the key that unlocks the door. In Acts 17:24-31 we read,

24″The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28’For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29″Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (New International Version)

Staying Clean


Is it wise to believe everything you hear?  Michel de Montaign, a religious writer in the middle ages, believed that we should never embrace the ready-made views of others, no matter how impressive their authority.  Instead, we should consider various ideas, then make a choice.

In the religious world today, there are a lot of people who are willing to tell us what we must do to be saved, but not everyone is saying the same thing.  The question is, who is right?  Wouldn’t you agree that when it comes to religion, the only reliable source is God?  The story is told about how the huge generators in Henry Ford’s first plant in Dearborn, Michigan broke down. The plant came to a halt.  Ordinary mechanics and their helpers could not get the generators going.  Ford was losing money.  Finally, he called in Charlie Steinmetz, one of the greatest minds in the field of electricity.  Steinmetz had built the great generators in Ford’s plant.  After arriving, he seemed to putter around for a few hours, then threw a switch.  Immediately, the giant generators roared into operation.  A few days later the bill came – $10,000.  Although Ford was a very rich man, he returned the bill with a note, “Charlie, isn’t this bill a little high for a few hours of tinkering around on those motors?”  Steinmetz returned the bill.  This time it read: “For tinkering around on the motors: $10.  For knowing where to tinker: $9,990.  Total: $10,000.”  Henry Ford paid the bill.  My point is this, the greatest value is not in the tinkering but in knowing where to tinker.  God knows where to tinker!

This tract is not designed to give you all the answers, but to point you to the Source.  You are encouraged to carefully study the Bible passages quoted in this tract.  All passages are taken from the New International Version of the Bible – a modern English translation of the Scriptures.


This is an important starting point because it establishes our need for Christ, and salvation from sin.  The Bible says, that God has revealed Himself to mankind throughout all of mankind’s existence.  Even the world attests that something intelligent, powerful, and creative brought it into existence.  Do you believe that the clothes you wear had a “designer” but the world did not?  It is not necessary to actually see the Creator to recognize the fact of special creation.  That’s the argument of the apostle Paul in Romans 1:18-32.  There is indeed design in this world; and I am convinced it was created by superior intelligence.  God is not only creative and intelligent, but He is also holy.  I John 1:5 states; “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him is no darkness at all.”  In other words, it’s not how we look in our own eyes or in the eyes of others, but how we look in the sight of God.  A lot of people try to determine good or evil on how it relates to God.  He is the standard upon which to base our lives!  The Bible tells us that God is not just a force, or principle, but God has personality and attributes, and one great attribute of God is He is holy!


Sometimes when I talk to people I’m given the impression that they have a relationship with God based on their own self righteousness.  Statements are made such as: “I try to be a good neighbor” or “I keep the ten commandments” or “I’m not a bad person!”  According to Scripture it is impossible to earn a right relationship with God.  The reason is simple.  When we compare ourselves to God, we all fall short of His standard of perfection.  Two passages in the book of Romans help us establish this point.  Romans 3:10 says: “As it is written: there is no one righteous, not even one.”  Then in Romans 3:23 we find: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

It is like jumping into Long Island sound and trying to swim unaided across the Atlantic to England.  Some of us would swim farther than others, but not one of us could cross that ocean without help.  No doubt, some people live better lives than others, but when we compare ourselves to God, we all have a sin problem.  It is obvious to me that something is wrong when, in the world, you see corruption in government, religion, sports, business, community and even in our homes.  What’s more, our entertainment, music and other media mesmerize us with messages that exploit our ethical standards.  The Bible reminds us of a holy God who hates evil and holds this world accountable for its’ actions.  Unfortunately, many have become cynical about these matters.  We can stop thinking about and looking to God for help.  Fortunately, God has never stopped thinking and providing for us.


If there is to be reconciliation between mankind and God, the initiative and action must come from God.  Consider this.  An eight year old boy named Derky  was flying with one of his father’s pilots when the plane developed engine trouble.  They sent out a “Mayday” signal just before crashing in a desert region.  The word got through to his father and a search began.  They found the dead pilot, but the boy had wandered into the desert.  They sent back word to the father, who had brochures made.  He immediately flew up to the area, and started throwing brochures out the window, blanketing the area with a message to his son.  The message written on the brochures was something like this: “Derky, don’t worry.  I’m searching for you.  I’ll find you.  Dad!”  Imagine how that boy felt finding a love note falling out of heaven from his father.  That’s what Jesus Christ is saying to us.  He reveals God’s unyielding love for you and me.

It was not just the incarnation of Christ that causes reconciliation between God and mankind, nor was it Jesus’ example as He lived among us.  It was through his death that peace is possible between God and his creation.  Colossians 1:20 speaks of Christ when it states: “And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”  You ask, how can a holy God be just in canceling a debt?  If a judge sets a man free who is guilty of a crime, the judge cheapens the law and leaves the injured party without restitution.  God, however, paid the debt for our sins when He gave his Son on the cross, thereby upholding the holiness of his laws!

The cross and the resurrection of Jesus address the three most haunting problems of our age: guilt, a problem with the past; meaninglessness, a problem with the present; and hopelessness, a problem with the future.

Dr. S.D. Gordon, a Boston preacher, one day placed a beat-up rusted bird cage beside his pulpit, and proceeded to tell how he happened to have it.  He had encountered a grubby, dirty little boy, about 10, coming out of the alley swinging this old bird cage.  Several tiny birds were shivering on the floor of the cage.  Dr. Gordon asked the boy where he got the birds, and he said he trapped them..  When Dr. Gordon asked the boy what hew was going to do with them, he replied, “I’m going  to play with them, have fun with them.” Dr. Gordon said, “Sooner or later you’re going to get tired of that; then what are you going to do with them?”  The boy responded, “I have cats at home.  They like birds.  I’ll feed ’em to my cats.”  The compassionate Dr. Gordon asked, “Son, how much do you want for these birds?”  Surprised, the boy said, “Mister, you don’t want these birds.  They’re just plain old field birds.  They can’t sing.  They’re ugly.”  “Just tell me how much you want,” said Gordon.  The boy thought…squinted…hesitated…calculated and finally said, “two dollars?”  To his surprise, Dr. Gordon reached into his pocket and handed him two crisp dollar bills.  The preacher took the cage, in a flash the boy had disappeared down the alley.  In a sheltered crevice between the buildings Dr. Gordon opened the door of the cage and, tapping on the rusty exterior, encouraged the birds to find their way to the door and fly away.  Having accounted for the empty cage beside the pulpit, the preacher went on to tell what seemed like an unconnected story – about how one day long ago Jesus and the devil were involved in negotiations.  Satan boasted about how he had baited the trap in the garden of Eden and caught a world full of people.  Jesus asked, “What are you going to do with all those people?”  “I’m going to play with them, tease them, make them marry and divorce and fight and kill one another.  I’m going to teach then to throw bombs at each other.  I’m going to have fun with them.”  Jesus said, “You can’t have fun with them forever.  When you get tired of playing with them, then what will you do with them?” Satan said, “Damn them.  They’re no good anyway.  I’ll damn them.  Kill them.”  Christ asked, “How much do you want for them?”  Satan said, “You can’t be serious.  If I sell them to you they’ll hate you.  They’ll hit you and hammer nails into you.  They’re no good!”  “How much?” demanded Jesus.  “All your tears and your blood; that’s the price,” Satan growled.  And Jesus paid the price and opened the door.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, this truth was revealed by the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before Christ was born.  In the words of Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him striken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  The question is: What is our response to Christ’s suffering and sacrifice on our behalf?

WHAT MUST I DO . . . ?

Every accountable person living should ask the very personal and practical question: “What must I do to be saved?”  Each of us must check the Scriptures to make sure that we have submitted our lives Jesus’ way.  In doing so, we are assured that we have not simply followed the traditions of men, but the will of God.

Now let us not what is involved in having the assurance of forgiveness from God (sometimes referred to as being “born again”).  The New Testament gives certain steps taken by people to become Christians.

First, we must believe what we have heard about Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ emphasized the significance of believing that He was able to save mankind of their sins in John 8:24: “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”  This is the confession that we must make.  Romans 10:9, 10 says: That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”  I have never seen Jesus Christ.  All I know about him is what is revealed in the Scriptures.  Based on this information, I have a personal faith that He is who He claims to be.  Another reason I believe is that I have witnessed the difference it makes in a person.  I know the difference he has made in my life and many others.  A story is told about a father and daughter during World War II, living in London.  During an air raid, they ran to a bomb shelter.  This particular one was just a hole in the ground to a tunnel.  The father jumped in first, and the daughter was afraid because she could not see her father in this hold.  But the father yelled, “Come darling I’ll catch you!”  But his daughter said, “I’m afraid, I can’t see you!”  On the basis of the voice of her father she jumped into the dark into her father’s arms.  My point is we might not have all the answers about life and God, but we do have His word and I encourage you to accept what it says about Jesus Christ.

Secondly, we must repent.  Jesus said in Luke 13:3: “. . . unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  Essentially this means that we need to change our mind about sin.  It’s talking about a disposition that says “no” to sin and “yes” to righteousness.  We need to hate and put away from our lives the things that Jesus had to die for.  This involves some behavior modification.  This basis for this change should be the cross and the acknowledgement of the holiness of God.  In addition, repentance needs to be stressed.  Some people fail to become Christians not because of intellectual issues but because of moral rebellion!  What is right or wrong is not defined by man’s changing attitudes and social customs.  It’s determined by the God of the universe.  We can’t approach God any way that we please.  Our knowledge of God is not simply to be theoretical, but it must be practical.  It must touch our lives!  We must bring our stubborn will under control and give our love and allegiance to God.

Thirdly, we must be baptized.  Consider the words of Jesus in Mark 16:15, 16: “He said to them, go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”  Jesus said it was necessary to be baptized in order to be saved.  The early church believed this as well.  Please consider the following passages of Scripture – Acts 2:36-41; 8:26-39; 16:25-34; 22:6-16.  Romans 6:3, 4 is also helpful in pointing out the reason why God would ask his people to be baptized.  This passage is also helpful in establishing the link between baptism and the redeeming blood of Christ.  “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into his death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  Baptism is an expression of our faith in two of the most important events in history, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

When a person is buried in water and raised it symbolizes Jesus’ death and his resurrection.  This passage also helps us to see that the ‘Mode” of baptism was immersion and not sprinkling or pouring water over someone.  The passages we looked at previously indicated that those who were baptized were people who could believe and repent.  Therefore, infants and very young children would not be eligible to follow these commands.

The Holy Spirit is also vital to renewal.  Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5 that: “Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  The Apostle Paul in Romans 8:1 reveals that if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.  Acts 2:38 is clear as to when a person receives the Holy Spirit: “Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  According to the Apostle Peter, the Holy Spirit was promised to all those who repented of their sins and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit then guarantees our inheritance. (See Ephesians 1:13, 14).

You might have noticed that several passages were used to prove what people were told to do to accept the grace of God offered in Jesus Christ.  It is important to understand that the Bible was written in such a way that it is cumulative in its’ teaching.  A doctrine should not be based on just one passage.  We must look throughout the Scriptures to find out what the Bible says on a particular subject.  Let me give you an illustration.  You have to read Mark 14:47, Matthew 26:51, Luke 22:50, 51 and John 18:10, to learn that Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, drew his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest on the night that Jesus was arrested.  You would not know all of this information by looking at just one passage.  The same is true on what the Bible teaches concerning what one must do to be saved.  We must make sure we have considered all that the Bible says on the subject.  These commands should not be viewed as “multiple choice”.  It’s not up to us to say: I’ll select one but leave out the rest.

When a person responds in the same way as the people did in the New Testament they simply become Christians.  They were not Catholic or Protestant Christians – they were not hyphenated Christians, they were simply – Christians!  The Lord adds people to his body, which consists of people from all walks of life throughout the world.  It is my prayer that these Scriptures may guide you to the forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ.

Written by: Jim Cris


Pro-choice or Pro-life Essay

An estimated 1.3 million American Women have abortions each year according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention data. That is why abortion is the second leading surgical procedure done in this country. Since the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade (1973) there have been over 30 million abortions performed in the United States. That’s more than 20 times the number of Americans who died in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam combined. Who are getting abortions?  Back in 1996 most of the women who had abortions were white and middle class. 64% were never married. Only 18.6 % of abortions involved married women. Among the survey given to 11,288 women who had abortions during 1994-95, (Guttmacher survey) Catholic women (31%) were as likely as women of the general population to have an abortion, while Protestants were 69% as likely and Evangelical or “born again” Christians were 39% as likely to have abortions. In the United States it is statistically confirmed that the most dangerous place for any one to be, with regard to the preservation of life, is in the womb of one’s mother. About 3,600 abortions occur over day in this country. They are not killed by accident. They are deliberately killed.

There are euphemisms used to describe where people stand on this issue such as “pro life” and “pro choice.”

Those who hold to the pro choice stand make these arguments.

First, they advocate that a woman has a right to control her own body. Some contend that that abortion is an effective birth control device. According to another argument, unwanted children will not receive loving care. Others believe that if it can be determined that the fetus has some abnormality that justifies an abortion. Some argue that legalizing abortions reduces the mortality rate of women having abortions. Some pro-choice advocates argue that personhood is based upon consciousness of internal and external things to oneself, especially the ability to feel pain; reasoning, self motivated activity, and the ability to communicate. Furthermore, these criteria must be possessed, not merely potential. It is clear that a fetus does not and cannot meet these criteria. Hence, the fetus can not be considered a person. Another case is made for abortion when conception is the result of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is threatened. However, many surveys reveal that conception due to rape or incest is extremely rare, especially when the victim goes immediately to the hospital. However, even in these cases, from an ethical point of view, the baby remains an innocent human being.

Let’s look at some arguments made by some pro life advocates.

It violates God’s law. The Bible describes the fetus as a human being. In Psalm 139:13-16, in beautiful language, David talks about life.  He says three things, three truths about every one of us before we were born: 1. God created me.  That’s true of David, me, you, and everybody. 2.  God saw me.  “Your eyes saw my unformed substance.”  Your eyes saw what was happening. 3.  God planned my days.

Furthermore, the unborn are called “babies” in the Bible. Luke 1:41 – She heard the greeting of Mary and the baby (John the Baptist) leaped for joy in the womb. Luke 2:12 “This will be a sign to you.  You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.”  This baby was Jesus.  The baby Jesus and the baby still in the womb, the same Greek word is used.  It’s not one called “some unformed substance” and the other called a baby.  The words in God’s word are important.  He chose these words carefully.  The Holy Spirit inspired these words. In a practical way, we barely have to look at the Bible for this one.  Every pregnant woman refers to her unformed, unborn baby as a baby.  I’ve never heard a pregnant woman say, “I’m carrying a product of conception in my stomach…  I’m carrying a mass of cells in my stomach.”  It’s a baby not a tissue mass.  That’s somewhat obvious.

The unborn are created of God.

The life of the unborn is protected by the same punishment for death as a child or an adult. (Exodus 21:22-25) There’s two words in the Hebrew language – one for miscarriage and one for early birth.  Guess which word is used here?  The word here in the Hebrew language is the word for an early birth.  There is a separate Hebrew word for miscarriage. If the baby dies, life is to be taken for life.  The Bible’s saying that the same punishment as would come upon somebody who killed an adult would come upon somebody who killed a child.

In the Bible it says that even unborn children possess distinctive human traits.

In the womb, like in Elizabeth’s case, there was a sense of joy in the child.  This leaping in the womb.  So in the womb there is joy.  Every mom understands this.  They’ve felt the kicks.  The Bible says in Psalm 139 that the unborn are said to be known intimately and personally by God, just as He would know any other person.

The unborn are called by God, even before birth.

(Genesis 25:21-26)  “Two babies jostled within her and she said, `Why is this happening to me?’ and she went to inquire of the Lord.”  The two babies were Jacob and Esau, fighting it out.  When she asked what was going on, God didn’t say, “Two tissue masses are having something going on, sort of a medical thing.”  “The Lord said to her, `Two nations are in your womb and two peoples from within you will be separated.  One people will be stronger than the other and the older will serve the younger.’”  That’s pretty personal, human, that’s going on in that womb.

In Isaiah 49:1-5, Isaiah says about himself, that he was formed in the womb of his mother for God’s purpose.  This is simply what the Bible says about when life begins.  Paul has a similar thought in Galatians 1:15.  I don’t think it’s just a verse about Paul.  I think it’s a verse about you and me too.

There’s not one verse in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt not abort a baby.”  But when you begin to add up these things we’ve just looked at, it’s pretty clear from God’s word that there is life there.  If the unborn child is not a living person, then no excuse for abortion is necessary.  If the unborn child is a living person, no excuse for abortion is acceptable.  If it’s a baby and not a tissue mass it’s everything because it’s life, because life is life whether it’s just conceived or one day old or just born or one year old.    When we talk about this issue of when does life begin, I believe God’s word has some incredible things to say.  But one of the reasons why the debate about abortion is intensifying so much is that it’s not just Christians – believers – who are saying this, who are looking to God’s word, because obviously those who don’t know Christ yet don’t accept the authority of His word.  But more and more science is showing us what scripture has told us all along.  Increasingly, science is giving us this window on life. Pro-life advocates argue that personhood begins at conception. That is, if the newly fertilized egg is examined under a microscope, one can determine that the DNA strands are those of human beings. Before fertilization, both egg and sperm can be said to belong to mother and father. However, after conception a new cell exists. It is not identical to either parent. Genetically, mother and baby are separate individuals from conception. This view can be called the biological or genetic view of personhood. Therefore, to take a life deliberately is to say “No” to a unique and unrepeatable human being.

Interestingly, Roe-v-Wade and the ultrasound came in about the same time in America.  When you could start to look in and see this picture of what was going on in the womb, it was an incredible thing.  An ultrasound is black and white and not the clearest thing in the world, but you have the hands moving, the heart beating.  It’s very difficult when I see it to say, “That’s just a product of conception.”  This window on life has increasingly brought this issue to a head.  Some one said, if wombs had windows the abortion debate would be over. By the second month – 8 weeks – brain waves are detected in a baby.  At 40-42 days, a nose and eyes, ears, toes appear.  The heart beats; its own blood starts to flow.  A skeleton develops and it has its own unique fingerprints.  By the third month it swallows, it swims. It can suck its thumb.  It can feel pain between the 8th and the 13th week.


I think we have been drenched with the message of having enjoyment and pleasure without being held accountable for our own personal decisions, a guilt free society. Abortion is often the result of an irresponsible free sexual society. People need to accept and face their responsibilities in life, even their mistakes.

Adolph Hitler had a Hegelian line of utilitarianism, by killing the Jews would release vast amounts of money they controlled to Germany’s economy. The principle established was: “Whoever is not wanted must die.” In 1939 patients who were called “mentally defective”, psychotics, epileptics, and patients suffering from infirmities of old age, and from polio were killed. Our judicial system and the media are leaning as well towards a Hegelian ethic concerning abortion and euthanasia. Our Government has been wrong on moral decisions before this one. The erroneous Dred Scott Decision of the Supreme Court (1857) has long been corrected. It held that Negroes were not persons, hence had no right to vote, or receive citizenship, and could be legally owned and bought, and sold as slaves. Moreover, the new ethic assumes that lives are not worthy to be lived and these persons ought to be put to death before or after birth; their deaths would relieve others of financial and emotional burdens. The new ethic judges each life by its quality and meaningfulness and put to death those whose lives did not meet those standards.

Women are told that abortion is a safe procedure. However, research has proven that this is not always true. Doctor Catherine Speckhard, of the University of Minnesota did a study on women who had abortions five to ten years earlier. She reports that even though the women had widely divergent backgrounds, their reactions were similar. 81% reported preoccupation with the aborted child. 73% reported flashbacks to the abortion experience. 54% recalled nightmares related to the abortion. 35% perceived visitations from the aborted child, and 96% reported that they had come to believe that abortion was the taking of life or as murder. This backs up the idea that today’s experiences are tomorrow’s memories.

Conversely, the old traditional pro-life ethic views every human being as valuable in itself. It offers loving acceptance to every human being regardless of size, shape, skin color, or self sufficiency. This ethic allows and cares for the Helen Keller’s of society. It also offers special programs like the Special Olympics for “exceptional children.” Any one who has seen the film “The Elephant Man” will never forget the portrayal of John Merrick. It was discovered that he was a warm, compassionate, and very special individual. His is a story of how poorly we misjudge the quality of human life. There is also sympathetic care and treatment of the aged and the senile. It is, indeed, a time for national clarification of values. God no doubt looks upon his child with a delighted smile (Isaiah 49:15-16). There is something about human life that cannot be matched by other creatures, in some unique way it is like God (Genesis 1:26, 27). Therefore, God’s people should take a stand against the terrible destruction of human life by abortion.


I am so amazed at how God has been keeping us in fellowship with one another, regardless of the fact that we cannot see each other face to face. I am so thankful for our leadership during this time and all the work they have been doing to make sure we maintain our unity as a Church using different technological platform. We, as a Church, will get through this and let us faithfully praise God for what He is about to do in this unfortunate situation.

Join us for worship this Sunday morning online at 10:30 AM, Several of us enjoyed an excellent time studying the bible this past Wednesday night online, and this Sunday morning we are going to worship our creator and talk about “7 promises to believe in.” The Bible is filled with powerful promises that God made to us, and many of them are conditional. In Psalm 91, there are 7 important promises we need to be reminded of in order to bolster our faith and eradicate all fear and anxiety. Remember the words of Christ to his disciples who were fearful during the storm on the Sea of Galilee, “Why are you so afraid, do you still have no faith” (Mark 4: 39).

See you all Online Sunday morning, Lord Willing
Grace, Peace, and Love
Donny Pierre

Worship Updates for Sunday, March 22, 2020

Church Family, here’s an update for our weekend services.  There’s a lot of information in this email, and here are the highlights…
  • Services will be held online ONLY this Sunday at 10:30am.
  • Connect to the Church website to see the service
  • A phone-based audio-only option will be available
  • A new online giving page has been setup on the church website
  • Adult Classes will be held on Wednesday (Men) and Thursday (Ladies)
  • Get connected to RightNow Media for great in-home christian content
  • Stay connected with each other…let’s get on the phones, text, and video
  • It’ll be different, but we’ll do our best to honor God on the first day of the week

Online Services
We’ll be using the regular Sunday morning stream from the Church’s website streamed from the church building.  We will have prayers, songs, and preaching. Each of you should gather your families and worship with us.  Even though we may not be in the same place, we can all be together in our worship and praise.
From your computer or smartphone, go to on Sunday morning and you’ll be able to access the stream.

Phone-Only Option
If you know someone who doesn’t have a smart-phone, tablet, or computer to connect with, we’re going to do our best to provide a phone-only option for them to at least listen in to the service.  To get connected, follow the instructions below:
  1. Dial  +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
  2. Enter the Meeting ID: 974 789 9358
  3. Don’t worry if it asks you for a Participant ID…you can skip that.
When you join, you’ll be muted so we won’t be able to hear you.

Communion Service
As we announced in previous emails, the church purchased a box of pre-filled communion kits for our members.  Some came by to get them from the Church building.  You can also get unleavened bread and grape juice from the local grocery stores.  If you didn’t get them and still need it, contact Jim Sanzone at 203.910.5675 and we’ll work something out.

Online Giving
While we can’t get together in the same place and the church building is closed, we still have bills to pay.  The church has commitments to honor and as members of his church, we have a commandment to give to support the Lord’s church.  To get with the times, we’ve created a way for members to contribute online.  Go to the church website and click on the “Giving” link on the top menu, or go to

Prayer Requests
Taking prayer requests is a big part of our Sunday services.  If you have a prayer request, email it to and it will get to the Elders. Your requests will be taken up and prayed on and also added to our electronic bulletin for the rest of the church to consider.

Adult Classes Online
We had a good turnout for our Wednesday evening bible class online.  Even Ruth Plumb was able to join and be a part of the class!  It worked out well and even though we weren’t in the same place, the technology allowed us to interact in real time.  We’ll resume our Men’s class online on Wednesday at 7pm and the Ladies will meet online at 7pm on Thursday.  Watch for an email with all the info for the classes in the next few days.

Keeping the kids engaged
While the kids are all stuck and home and parents are looking for engaging things for them to do, why not check out the great content available on our RightNow Media.  if you aren’t already using it, this is like “Netflix for Church”.  There’s a dedicated Kids section with content for all ages.  If you don’t have a login for the site, or need something reset, email to get setup.

Staying Connected to the family
This is a extraordinary time in our history.  Being shut-in like this and “distanced” from each other isn’t good for us, and we need to do what we can to adapt.  Let’s stay connected.  Pick up the phone and call each other.  If you know how, jump on a video call so you can see each other.  Send Texts.  Emails.  Remember that others need contact, don’t always wait for YOUR phone to ring…it works both ways.

Keep Praying
Don’t stop praying.  Pray for the health and safety of our families, church families, and our communities.  Pray for our Leaders to make wise decisions.  Pray for God’s plan to be revealed in the middle of all this chaos.