Are You Progressive ?
A preacher was asked about his attitude toward certain issues over which brethren have disagreed. His answer was, “Well, I guess I’m what would be called a ‘progressive.’ ” To be sure, such descriptive labels (“anti”, “liberal”, “conservative”, etc.) often mean very different things to different people. However, the term “progressive” is an interesting one to consider, especially when someone uses it to describe himself. Typically those who identify themselves in this way see themselves as independent souls who are not bound by old, traditional modes of thinking. Many times one who is slow to adopt new ideas is branded as a “non-progressive.”
In recent years, we have witnessed a movement within some churches of Christ to break away from what are perceived to be outdated and irrelevant (if not flawed) ideas and methods of the past. We are told that we must move forward or perish. As someone put it, “In their last annual meeting, the dinosaurs voted not to change.”
What about it? Are you “progressive,” or are you one of those tradition-bound “non-progressives”? Consider carefully 2 John 1:9: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” Of particular interest is the meaning of the word translated in the KJV as “transgresseth.” The original Greek word used by John is PROAGO. The basic meaning of this word is: to go forward, to proceed, to go before. When used in a bad sense (as it obviously is in 2 John 9) it means to go further than is right or proper. Other translations render it: “anyone who goes too far,” or “anyone who runs ahead.” It is interesting to notice that another English word that could aptly be used to express this idea is “progressive.” Any change, or “progress,” that fails to abide in the doctrine, or teaching of Christ, will lead one into a condition where he “has not God.” Is that a desirable state?
We should always be willing to reexamine what we believe and practice in the light of God’s word and make changes when necessary. However we must be careful to avoid being caught up in the mentality that is fascinated with novelty and quick to embrace anything that is new. It has correctly been said that in religion: “If it’s new it’s not true.”
Perhaps one other observation is in order. When only expediency and judgment (not some scriptural principle) is involved, we should not be so wedded to “the way we’ve always done it,” that we refuse to entertain the possibility that improvements are possible. God’s people were admonished by Jeremiah: “Thus saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls: but they said, ‘We will not walk therein.’ ” (6:16)
– Leonard White
How Committed Are You ?
A man was eating a steak in a fancy restaurant and suddenly choked. Panicked, his wife screamed, “Is there a doctor here?” Someone rushed over, identified himself as a doctor, and reassured the man that he was going to be all right. He then performed the Heimlich maneuver and the obstruction popped out. When he was finally able to speak the rescued man said, “You saved my life, how can I ever repay you?”
The doctor smiled and said, “I’ll settle for one-tenth of what you were willing to pay while you were choking.” That’s how we would all feel facing such a life-threatening emergency. We would give anything to get through it. Money would be no object. However, if the threat passes, that feeling goes with it. Do we ever act that way regarding spiritual things? How many times has someone facing a crisis prayed, “Lord, if you’ll just get me through this, I’ll serve you faithfully the rest of my life!” But what happens when the crisis passes? That sense of urgency about serving God often passes as well.
If we would commit ourselves throughout our lives to doing one-tenth of what we’re willing to do in those moments, most of us would ascend to a new level of devotion. We could then truthfully say with the apostle Paul, “To me, to live is Christ.” Philippians 1:21
- adapted from Thought-For-The-Day
Paying Too Much For Our Whistle
In his book, The Man Who Dared the Lightning, Thomas Fleming wrote:
“When Benjamin Franklin was seven years old, a visitor gave him some small change. Later, seeing another boy playing with a whistle, young Benjamin gave the boy all his money for it. He played the whistle all over the house, enjoying it until he discovered that he had given four times as much as the whistle was worth. Instantly, the whistle lost its charm. As he grew older, Franklin generalized this principle. When he saw a man neglecting his family or business for political popularity, or a miser giving up friendship for the sake of accumulating wealth, he would say, “He pays too much for his whistle.”
That is something we need to keep in mind when we establish priorities in our lives. Too often we pay too great a price for something that looks and sounds good and promises much, but in the grand scheme of things proves to be worth very little. Fish are hooked, because they are attracted to something that looks like food, only to become food themselves. Do not be fooled, the world offers you many whistles that are not worth the price!
“We do well to remember that the entire universe, with
one trifling exception, is composed of others.”
– John Andrew Holmes
To the godly, eternity is a day that has no sunset;
to the wicked it is a night that has no dawn.