Newsletter August 2003
man is an island unto himself." An old saying with biblical
roots, agreeing with Paul who said, "For none of us lives to
himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone"(Rom. 14:7,
NIV). He went on to explain how the relational aspect of Christian
living has Christ Jesus as its hub(verse 8): "If we live, we
live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether
we live or die, we belong to the Lord."
has no place in the human family, let alone in the Christian family.
(The technical definition of isolationism is "a policy of remaining
apart from the political affairs of other countries" I'm taking
the liberty of using the word as "a policy of remaining apart
from others in a social and cultural sense.) We should be relating
to other people. In the church, we need the fellowship and camaraderie.
This is also affirmed in the Scripture: "And let us consider
how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us
not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one anotherñ and all the more as you
see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).
isolationism isn't the same as individuality. Number four of the
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the latter as "the
quality or state of existing as an individual; . . . distinct existence"
Also: "the tendency to pursue one's course with marked independence
or self-reliance" I would add: it is the quality of being your
own person, your own individualñin the sense of being a person
"who thinks for himself" (as the 50's Viceroy ad line
went). To have one's own originality and identity. Fine tuning it
even more: to take individual, independent responsibility for oneself.
In this sense, the words of Paul to the church at Philippi come
to mind: Philippians 2:12c (KJV), "work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling" Of course, the context needs to be
studied to get the whole picture, but the gist of the point is that
one's conversion should result in the believer having a sense of
obligation to obey Jesus as Lord. Hence, working out salvation does
not mean working for salvation, but making their individual salvation
operational. Not only that, they were not to depend totally on Paul,
nor we on spiritual leaders, but each must work out their own spiritual
of this is intended to undermine or diminish spiritual leaders and
leadership. God gave such to the church for its overall growth in
the faith (Eph. 4). Most people need teaching and training in spiritual
matters. But personal responsibility is intrinsic to this teaching.
In Luke's writings he tells us how "the Bereans were of more
noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message
with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see
if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11, NIV) Three facts stand
out here: (1) They were being taught by a minister of the Gospel;
(2) they were eager for the teaching; (3) they took individual responsibility
for checking out what they were taught. That verse is still a pivotal
principle for today.
Let's face it: most of us are opinionated to the point that when
we ask for someone else's opinion we probably just want to know
if they are in our camp. One reason for this closed-mind approach
is that we have had bad experiences of being conned, of having leaders
of strong personality persuade us and manipulate us. This is especially
unsettling in the area of church and spiritual matters. "Once
burned, twice shy."
is for this reason that Jesus, through the pen of the Apostle John,
would spike this warning within one of his exhortations to the seven
churches of Asia. "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which
thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11, KJV) Yes,
unscrupulous men can "take your crown" At least they can
be instrumental in your failure. How did Jesus put it to the Pharisees?
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do
not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to
you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel
over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one,
you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are" (Matt.
to your individuality when it comes to taking a stand in matters
of principle, in points of truth. Be willing to re-examine teachings,
but don't ever be a pushover. A few principles:
God for wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask
God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will
be given to him." (James 1:5, NIV)
judgement until you examine the matter: "Do not put out the
Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything.
Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil" (I Thess. 5:19-22)
tolerant, yet be firm, after you have analyzed the teaching thoroughly.
If you disagree, don't show "contempt" for the source,
just follow your conscience and "Hold on to the good"
(Ibid) In the context of our earlier reference from Romans 14, especially
verses 10-23, Paul gives this advice: "You, then, why do you
judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For
we will all stand before God's judgment seat. . . . each of us will
give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing
judgment on one another. . . . Let us therefore make every effort
to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. . . "
times, when you have a different opinion, you might keep it to yourself.
Also from the Romans 14 passage: "So whatever you believe about
these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who
does not condemn himself by what he approves. . . "
on the matters that are conducive to unity: continuing in Romans,
chapter 15:1-7 with this principle of tolerance and love: ".
. . May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a
spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so
that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ
accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."
are times, however, when destructive doctrines have to be dealt
with. The problem is that sometimes we don't know whether a strong
opinion proffered is heresy or not. The Apostle Peter gave this
advice to the early church: "But there were also false prophets
among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.
They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying
the sovereign Lord who bought themñbringing swift destruction
on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring
the way of truth into disrepute" (2 Peter 2:1-2).
way of truth" The criteria must always be based on Truth. The
aging Apostle John was focused on truth after the early church had
been in existence for approximately sixty years. Here are a few
of his thoughts excerpted from 2 & 3 John: "It has given
me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth,
just as the Father commanded us. . . . Many deceivers, who do not
acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into
the world. . . . Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked
for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and
does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever
continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. . . .
It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your
faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking
in the truth"
McClenagan, Elder / Editor
"Happy is the man
who does not lose faith in Me" (Matthew 11:6).
As John the Baptist traversed
Jordan proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, the people asked him
for direction: "What must we do then?" (Lk. 3:10).
That question was not
just for the first century. It is timeless and ever relevant. Is
it not true that each of us wants to know all there is to know about
who we are, where we're going, what we ought to be doing with our
James points out that
faith is a lifestyle, not a feeling: if good works do not spring
from it, it is dead and useless. (James 2:14-17.) He goes even further
by declaring, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest
well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). James
seems to be saying that if we claim to have faith, we can't expect
anyone to believe us without proof or evidenceñevidence that
comes by demonstrating our faith through the life we live. In other
words, not by our words but through our works of sharing and healing
The Apostle Paul speaks
of the "Koinonia" in his epistles and John. In his first
letter, he uses the word "Koinonia" four times (I Jn 1:3-7).
John addresses sharing the Love of God with others through this
life-sharing "Koinonia" or "Community of Unselfish
Love," a theme that runs throughout the New Testament. What
exactly is "Koinonia"? The literal translation is "fellowship"
Interestingly enough, the Greek word for fellowship is "generosity."
Paul wrote that being
part of the "Koinonia" or "Fellowship" is like
being a member of a body. When one part hurts, the whole body suffers.
When that part is feeling better, the whole body feels better. "Koinonia"
is a fellowship of Christ-like love motivated only by a desire for
the good of the beloved. [Note sermon tape of 7/26/03 by J. Mc.:
"The Power of Koinonia"]
To demonstrate that we
hold faith, we must be active sharers in the Christian "Fellowship
of Generosity. Otherwise, it is hypocrisy to say to another, "Be
warmed and filled, my needy friend," and then not help that
person. Here is the entire statement from James 2:13-18: "For
he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy;
and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. What doth it profit, my brethren,
though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save
him? If a brother or sister be naked,and destitute of daily food,
and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and
filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are
needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath
not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith,
and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will
shew thee my faith by my works."
So let us never forget
our calling into Christ's community of selfless love, a fellowship
of self-transcendence that reflects our God in whose image we were
created. We are a part of the Body of Christ; when one of us hurts,
let us comfort her with the balm of love; when one of us suffers,
let us bring the solace of soothing comfort; when one of us is discouraged,
let us bring the cheer of Christian camaraderie; when one of us
is lonely, let us walk in, embrace him and remind him that he is
never truly alone. We must never turn away from a brother or sister
Our God and our brethren
are with us always. Praise be to God!
service of our Lord,
- Ken Hamilton 8/09
- Reba Bailey 8/10
- Candace & James
- Ken & Patricia
- Joe & Jody Kirkpatrick
- Jerry & Martha
James 5:15 And
the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise
him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
- Vickie Crevoi of Santa
Fe, New Mexico, sister of Linda Booth, has Chronic Progressive
- Fern Rankin had kidney
and malignant tumor removed and is presently in BSA Hospice undergoing
- Carrie McLenan has
kidney failure that requires her to have weekly dialysis.
- Cindy Hogman has been
diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer and her chances for survival
are very slim.
- Robin Logar has cancer
and requests your prayers.
- Sam Kiser, friend
of Jeff & Linda Booth, has terminal multiple myloma cancer.
- Dollie Meil asks for
continued prayer to be healed of cerebral palsy. tc "Dollie
Meil asks for continued prayer to be healed of cerebral palsy.
- Kenny Crooks, from
Trout Run, PA has inoperable pancreatic cancer; undergoing chemotherapy.
- Charlie Khoeler (request
by John Stickel) suffered stroke.
- Hank Unruh (request
by John Stickel) battling cancer.
If you are on the prayer
list or know anyone on our prayer list, please notify Jeff Booth
of any changes or healings so we can update all those praying for
the above individuals.
- Feast of TrumpetsOctober
- Day of AtonementOctober
- Pikes Peak
Festival of Tabernacles
Time is running out . . .
Need to register before September 10th to get special rate. So
make your Festival reservations now at the Wyndham at 719-260-1800.
Be sure to ask for the Christian Church of God's Festival rate.
Jeff Booth via this web site.
A pat on the back to
numerous members reaching out in the community, providing some sunshine
to those in need, serving in Christ's name in various ways: VA Hospital,
Rotary programs, Friends of the Library, Food Bank, nursing home
music, etc.. . . "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do
all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the
Father by him" (Col. 3:17, KJV)
for our Tape Outreach
Jeff & gang!
really appreciate the tapes of the weekly services. Usually six
are in each package. I listen to them while commuting one hour each
way, so the tapes last about three days. I'm sorry for not having
written a proper thank you to you and Jerry and Joe, but I receive
the tapes because of your commitment to continue to share God's
Word openly with all that desire to follow after sound doctrine
know at times it may seem a thankless task and one does tire of
volunteering so much effort to . . . so few. But, Jeff, you and
Linda do know it is a pleasure to God to receive such a gift of
your time and energy. Itís also a pleasure to us as well.
thank you to all involved.
Christ and brotherly love,
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