Recently, a congregation in the city where I preach decided to start using instruments in their worship assembly. Apparently, even the community realizes that among churches of Christ, this is a big deal because the local news and newspaper have done stories on it. Obviously, I love my brothers and sisters in congregations that make this decision, but the question I have is, “Why must you use instruments to worship?” You see, the burden of proof is not on me to prove why I don’t believe in using instruments in worship; the burden of proof is on them to prove why they feel it is necessary to use instruments.

Here’s why I don’t think any congregation’s arguments for using instruments hold water.

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I want to make a confession to you, I have always been judgmental toward those who lift their hands during worship. It isn’t so much the practice itself that I have judged, but the motives behind the practice. I have thought to myself, “How selfish. She is obviously just trying to draw attention to herself.” Or, when an entire congregation seems to participate, I’ve thought, “This group has gone off the deep end.” But I am wrong on this, friends. I have absolutely no right to judge someone for the position of their hands during a song or a prayer; and neither do you. Here’s why…

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One of the greatest problems we have in the church is an epidemic of apathy. Christians have a greater passion for professional sports, reality television shows, politics, and the release of newest iPhone than they do for God. What a shame! So how do we stem this lukewarm tide? How do we light a fire in the hearts of Christians? I believe this Bible class material may be a great first step in doing just that.

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With all the problems technology presents, there are lots of benefits as well. I love the information my iPhone puts at my fingertips. I also love how it helps me remember things that need to be done. One thing my phone helps me do is pray. I recently found an app that’s really helped my prayer life. It’s called, “Echo” and I would encourage you to check it out.

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Three times this week I’ve had the same conversation with various Christians. The conversation has revolved around the fact that we all know sincere people who are admittedly smarter and more educated than us, but seem to be overlooking a very obvious truth that we see and they don’t. For instance, I listen to many denominational preachers who are brilliant, but when they talk about subjects like baptism, I think, “As smart as you are, how could you possibly miss that?” Which leads me to wonder, what am I missing?

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly something can go from being an expedient method of accomplishing God’s will to being seen as the only method by which God’s will can be done? These methods quickly become tradition and – if we’re not careful – these traditions can become indistinguishable from doctrine. Sunday evening service has become one of these traditions that – to many Christians – has become indistinguishable from doctrine.

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Fear of those who follow the Islamic faith is not a completely irrational fear. It is natural to be afraid of those whose religion teaches them to kill infidels who will not convert to Islam. It is natural to fear those whose religion has motivated suicide bombings, plane hijackings, and all matter of atrocities all over the world. However, while fearing Muslims might be natural, it is certainly not Christian. It is not “of Christ” to fear “those who kill the body” (Matthew 10:28). Nor is it “of Christ” to hate them.

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It seems there are a lot of people who wonder, “Am I good enough to go to heaven?” They wonder if they’ve done enough good, if they’ve helped enough people, if they attended worship services enough times, if they have taught enough people about Jesus. And then, on the other hand, they wonder if they’ve been too bad to go to heaven. I want to attempt to answer some of these questions.

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My last post addressing the question, “Is it Time for Churches of Christ to Fellowship Other Groups?” has sparked a great deal of discussion concerning the issue of unity. I would like to share with you a thought about why I believe the church struggles so much with this issue of unity.

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This is a hard post to write. I realize what I’m about to say may be misunderstood or misconstrued. But as difficult as it is to find the right words, this is something that must be said. In fact, I believe there is no greater issue facing the church today.

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