Marvin L. Weir
There is no end today to what is done and said in the name of religion. Sad as that is, it is even sadder that multitudes believe anything they hear if it comes from a religious group. Does it matter? Christ knew it mattered and admonished His disciples, “Take heed therefore how ye hear…” (Luke 8:18).
The mindset of the religious majority is that there are many different ways to get to Heaven. This is the reason for the popular plea to “attend the church of your choice.” Everyone realizes that there are different churches that believe different doctrines but this doesn’t matter to most because they believe that there are many different ways to Heaven. Yet, Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Does it matter or not whether one follows the way or just any way devised by man?
The following advertisement is typical of the emphasis and appeal most religious groups are using to lure people to their services. A specific church is mentioned and the ad says: “So come as you are and enjoy our mix (emph. MLW) of upbeat worship and relevant teaching. (Name of church)—where the coffee is hot, the people are warm, and the donuts are, well, cold. (But still yummy!)”
I know that someone is thinking, “Does it matter? What is wrong with hot coffee and donuts being made available to the congregation?” It is the attitude that is manifested towards things spiritual that is cause for alarm. There is nothing wrong with peanuts, popcorn, cokes, candy and coffee at a movie theatre. People attend the movies to be entertained and to view a film that is appealing to them. Thus it may be that this explains why coffee and donuts are so popular in today’s assemblies — everything is geared towards entertainment and what is appealing to the audience!
It is God who is to be worshiped and not man or his “felt needs.” Acceptable worship must come from a heart filled with reverence, respect and awe for the Almighty. If the food, fun and games were no longer available in many churches the members would cease to attend. Is our assembling together on the Lord’s Day for the purpose of pleasing ourselves or pleasing God? Does it matter?
The March 23, 2002 Dallas Morning News carried the story of the new “all-female ministerial team” for the Woodhaven Presbyterian Church in Irving, Texas. The headline said, “Women Take Helm At Irving Church.” The newspaper stated a truth that they probably did not intend to state. These women took these positions of leadership—the Lord did not give it to them! Neither does the Savior give the right to be a member of some man-made religious body (Matt. 16:18). Does it matter?
The Bible teaches that men are to assume the leadership role in the church. This is affirmed by Paul: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). The apostle taught that women were to “keep silence in the churches” (1 Cor. 14:34). To Timothy Paul said, “Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness” (1 Tim. 2:11-12). One will search the Bible in vain for examples of apostles, preachers or elders who were women! Does it matter?
Many people who are not faithful in their “church attendance” put forth every effort to attend on two occasions. Much is made by the religious world over “Christmas” because it is alleged to be the birthday of Christ. Many folks attend some special “Christmas service” to honor the Lord they refuse to honor throughout the year. Where in the Bible are we told that Christ’s birthday is December 25th? Where does the Bible authorize us to celebrate the birthday of Christ? The Bible is silent in regard to these matters.
God’s Word does authorize members of His body to remember His death every week as they observe the memorial called the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20-26). But man’s religion has decided that celebrating what has not been commanded is more important than obeying what has been commanded. Does it matter?
The word pascha is found 29 times in the New Testament and 28 times it is translated passover. The one exception is the unfortunate King James Version rendering of “Easter” in Acts 12:4. The Lord’s Supper was instituted to remember Christ’s death, but nothing was instituted to remember his resurrection. Does it matter? Yes!