There are brethren who avoid controversial issues within the brotherhood like it was the seven-year itch. Figuratively, they do not want to rock the boat if it might disturb the peace and good wall among brethren. This is a noble endeavor as long as it does not involve compromising a “thus saith the Lord.”
Some of my fellow preachers in the church are little more than hirelings. Receiving a regular pay check may cause them to either blink their eyes to avoid being confronted with sinful conduct among brethren where they preach, or openly embracing teaching and/or practices contrary to the New Testament. The church at Corinth was guilty of tolerating a brother of that congregation who was committing fornication with his father’s wife. Instead of mourning because of that heinous sin they were puffed up about it. Puffed up comes from the Greek word physioo, which means to be proud, arrogant. It is hard to conceive that any brethren would be proud about such immorality of a brother in the church. This was not even known among the sinful society in which they lived. Corinth was a very immoral city. The apostle Paul commanded the Corinthian brethren to withdraw from that immoral brother (1 Cor. 5). I wonder how many local churches of Christ would look the other way under similar circumstances. The good news of the church at Corinth adhering to Paul’s command to withdraw from the brother was that it brought him to repentance. He then urged those brethren to receive the penitent brother back in loving fellowship.
Many congregations of today neglect to exercise discipline on erring brethren who refuse to repent. Those local churches of Christ sin by failing to do so. Of course, such a step should be the last resort after taking the Scriptural steps in a loving manner to bring them to repentance (Mat. 18:15-18). If such is consistently done in a loving manner then many erring brethren would be recovered. It certainly worked in the case of the brother at Corinth who was committing fornication.
Many church bulletins either never have doctrinal articles of much depth or seldom do. If there is an indication of the type of sermons their preacher preaches then it is not surprising why many local churches of Christ are drifting away from the practice and upholding of a “thus saith the Lord