After many prayers, much meditation, and several failed attempts, this is my offering as the curcular letter, for your consideration. Let us consider where we have been, where we are today and in which direction we intend to travel in the future.
The Holy Bible is the foundation of our beginning, from which the founding fathers established our Constitution, Articles of Faith, and Rules of Decorum. From these documents our doctrines were defined, our practices were established, we were given a direction in which to travel, and the old brothers were not moved from that foundation.
Our beginning has been reviewed and defined by our recently compiled book of operations. It is a very necessary, but imperfect representation intended as a guide for an imperfect people, Included in that book was a statement of our doctrines. We studied and restated those without compromising the principles of why we have each one. An agreement came into being, which evaluated the line of intended travel. The Constitution, Articles of Faith and Rules of Decorum are the platform of our foundation and these were considered to be sound.
The future of our doctrines, practices and direction seems to be of no concern to some. Others would have us believe the founding fathers built our foundation void of debate and continued questioning. From the beginning o ftime there have been challenges to rule and order. God forbid that we should want to omit order and discipline from our churches. Even by observing society we understand that a lack of order undermines discipline, thereby promoting chaos.
There are those among us who would remove the very foundation from which we were established, deleting any similarities brought from our past, the ancient landmarks.
I am dismayed and grievously concerned by what I have observed. Lined congregational singing is from our beginning, but it is gradually being replaced by men and women individually singing songs which do not praise, honor, or lift up Jesus. There is tolerance of behavior unbecoming a Christian, Preaching of unsound doctrines is not being challenged. Those individuals and the Moderators who allow such conduct and preaching should be called before the "Committee on Council" to explain why these are not dealt with, severely.
We are taught in Titus 2:6,7,8 and 11-15, "young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say to you. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
Jesus stated in Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
Paul wrote in Romans 10:9, 10 and 11, "That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus , and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Luke quoted Paul's preaching in Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized."
This is the example Jesus gave unto us, Matthew 3:13 and 15, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
Is it really as it appears? As though the worldly feeling of some members is; to dress as the world, talk as the world, and behave as the world, affects nobody, but me. Is there no thought for bringing reproach upon Jesus Christ and the church? Or is the challenge to see just how far one can stray from Christ like conduct?
Moderators and deacons remember your duties, as we are instructed in II Thessalonians 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother (and sister) that walketh disorderly." Is this an expected response? " I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I will surely be unpopular, now." Is this a popularity contest? It absolutely is not! Shall we ignore the very obvious? God is not mocked! How long will we sit idly by and do nothing?
The lottery and bingo are a hoax perpetrated upon our people by Satan and legislatures of this nation. Gambling is still a sin and God is not pleased.
These statements and questions are about godly and orderly conduct, and not being afraid to take proper corrective action. Let us behold our face in the mirror and know whom we see. God, please, help us to forget about numbers on our rolls, but bless us instead to be fervently an effectually aware of our need for orderliness, righteousness and godliness in your house. I pray we still have time to make amends to God.
Your Brother In Christ
Elder H.B. Reedy, Jr.
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