I told you last week I would tell you about the latest book...so here goes. But before you read this, remember, you know me. You know I love people and I want unity and am willing to work and make the effort for it to exist...anything short of compromising my beliefs.
There have been many struggles that the Lord's church has faced. A mighty blow was dealt her in the years before and after the turn of the 20th century. The division that shook our core was brought about by a few brethren who insisted on doing mission work through a society (instead of through the church) and who seemed to love instrumental music in worship more than the scriptures or their brethren. It was fostered by a spirit of division and feuding that permeated that time period.
It was a sad time. Buildings were stolen, unChristlike spirits seemed to prevail (sometimes on both sides) and the church was in no way the happier.
The division happened over several years but was first officially recognized by the Federal Government in 1906. Fast forward 100 years. Today there are brethren who are once again trying to dismantle the church. They are pleading for union with the instrument and are belittling those who so respected the scriptures as to stand against it 100 years ago. They are calling for us to apologize. It is affecting the church everywhere, in some places dramatically. These fellows are producing books full of historical inaccuracies and scriptural error. But it is often going unchecked.
Back in the spring a group of seven was put together who determined to try to inform and to counter some of this often unchecked error. We thought (and still think) that one of the best approaches would be a class workbook that investigates in as positive a manner as possible the situation. All seven of us deeply desire unity, but know that it takes more than just saying we are united to be united.
Some will think we are "crying wolf" but here's an alarming snapshot of what happened the last time faithful brethren stood by and waited too long for liberalism to sink its teeth into our fellowship: "When the dishonest, cruel and unChristlike work was done the churches of Christ had lost most of our buildings (retained 2,649 and lost 8,576), all of our colleges and greater than 90% of our members (kept 159,123 and lost 1,330,379) and most all of the enthusiasm that had made the church a national power and influencein ourr then young country."
This book is needed. I have become increasingly excited about this project they asked me to edit. It looks like we are going to end up with a high quality product. Generous brethren have made it possible for us to sell the books at a very VERY inexpensive rate. We hope many churches will study this five lesson book in all of their adult classes. The writers are Mike Baker, Mike Green, Phil Sanders, Steve Higginbotham and Jeff Jenkins.
The book will (Lord willing) go to the printers this week. We hope it will be available by the middle of the month. The cost will be $4.00 per book (64 pages) and cheaper if ordered in bulk.
Not because I had anything to do with it. In fact, I'm quite certain others could have done it better, but this material needs to be in the churches hands. I hope you will do all you can to help us. Let me know if you want to know more.