Churches of Christ are often accused of majoring in minors. This accusation comes because we think that things make a difference while many, within the denominational world, do not think there is any difference to be made. We speak considerably about authority for our actions while they do not. We are concerned about what is written in the Scriptures while they are often not. The question we want to address in this article is does it really matter what we believe and practice? I affirm that it does, and will present several reasons from God’s Word as to why I am convinced of this.

OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES:

Cain would be our first example to consider. He decided to offer from the field (Genesis 4:3) while Abel brought a sacrifice from the flock (Genesis 4:4a). Abel’s offering was accepted while Cain’s was rejected (Genesis 4:4b-5). Why was this the case? The answer is simple, Abel’s offering was offered by faith (Hebrews 11:4; Romans 10:17) while Cain’s was not.

The tower of Babel would be our second example. As seen from the Scriptures, the people decided to build a tower and become a great nation in the land of Shinar (Genesis 11:1-4). Yet, the Lord confounded their plans (Genesis 11:5-9). Why was this so? Again, the answer is simple, God said to “fill the earth,” not the plain of Shinar (Genesis 9:1). The problem was, the men at Shinar were not planning what the Lord wanted.

Our third example is that of Nadab and Abihu who decided to use “strange” or unauthorized fire to burn incense (Leviticus 10:1). Because of their actions, the Lord caused them to die (Leviticus 10:2). Why was this so? God had explained that the fire for incense was to come from the “altar before the Lord” as seen in Leviticus 16:12. Nadab and Abihu did not use what the Lord wanted used.

Our fourth example is that of Moses. From Numbers 20:2 we see that there was no water for the people. God’s response to this was to tell Moses to speak to the rock from which water would come (Numbers 20:8). Rather than following through with what God said, Moses spoke to the people and struck the rock (Numbers 20:10, 11). Because of this “small act” Moses was not allowed to take the people into the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12). Why was this so? Because the end did not justify the means. Moses did not do what God instructed him to do and suffered the consequences.

We could go on and speak of Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:1-7), Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:25-33) and Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16-22). However, from the above examples we ought to be able to see that all of these seemingly “minor” differences made a “major” difference to God. The truth is, it did matter! The fact is God wants it done the way He has said to do it and a failure to do so will bring the condemnation of God upon those who reject His command.

 NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES:

The first New Testament example we note is that of the Athenians and the idolatry that had come to the point of the extreme (Acts 17:16). In their attempt to “cover all bases” (Acts 17:23a) they hoped that by default they would worship the one true God. In the end, they worshipped “ignorantly” (Acts 17:23b). Ignorance is no longer an excuse, as God now (and then) expected men to repent (Acts 17:30).

The second New Testament example we take note of is the church at Corinth. For whatever reason, we see that they were tolerating the sin of fornication (1 Corinthians 5:1, 2) which was clearly unacceptable (1 Corinthians 5:6, 9-11). They, further, were guilty of turning the spiritual into the carnal by an abuse of Lord’s Supper. The true intention of the memorial feast was gone (1 Corinthians 11:20) and it was turned into a drunken bash (1 Corinthians 11:21). Their actions showed a hatred of the church (1 Corinthians 11:22).

EXAMPLES OF THE PRESENT DAY:

We see many examples when it comes to the time. Some allege that salvation is “by faith only.” Although we acknowledge that faith is necessary for salvation (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6), there is nothing in the New Testament that teaches that man is saved by faith alone. Actually, just the opposite is true. The New Testament teaches that one is saved by a combination of baptism (1 Peter 3:21); repentance (Acts 17:30) in association with faith.

Many religious institutions use mechanical instrumental music in worship with no New Testament authority. Historical usage confirmed its first use in 606 A. D., which is far too late for the New Testament. The New Testament commands us to “sing,” not play (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Many similar doctrines are seen in the religious teachings of men today that contradict the Lord’s will for man.

DOES IT MATTER?

Indeed it does, as can be affirmed by a careful study of the following Scriptures – Colossians 3:17; Matthew 7:21; 28:20; Revelation 22:14. Let us continue to demand “book, chapter, and verse” for all that we practice.

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