by Darwin Hunter


Yes, change is “in.” “Out with the old and in with the new” seems to be the familiar refrain of the day.  And, by the way, there is nothing new about that either.  The philosophers of Athens during Paul’s day met at the Areopagus and “spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to bear some new thing” (Acts 17:21, emphasis mine, dh).  These men did not put their trust in divine revelation, but in the latest philosophical viewpoint that was advanced.  So, their lives had no solid foundation like that provided by the word of God (Matthew 7:24-27), but were subject to being blown about in the winds of changing human thought (Ephesians 4:14).

You would expect such a problem to be associated with pagans. Unfortunately, the Lord’s church is plagued with the same circumstance.  The current liberal trends in the church can be traced to the same root cause. Brethren either have no high regard for the scripture (Isaiah 66:2), or they have not been grounded in its truth by thorough teaching (Acts 20:26-27).  As a result, the change trend promoted by the change agents among us takes root in many congregations of the Lord.

It is not that all change is bad.  In fact, many things about the church need changing.  The lack of zeal, the immorality practiced by many saints, the failure to discipline the unfaithful, the woeful lack of evangelism, the non-attendance at worship assemblies by too many, the characteristic low work-ethic of so many in the body of Christ all need to change NOW!  But, you will notice that each of those items listed has to do with human failings.  Repentance in the ranks of the saints is sorely needed in all of these areas.  But, the change agents desire to tinker with the divine side of the church.  They are dissatisfied with the plan of salvation taught in scripture, the organizational structure God has authored, and the plan of worship which Christ gave us.  They find God’s plan for an exclusive body and an exclusive fellowship to be too restrictive and narrow, so they change to accommodate modem ecumenical views (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:4; 2 John 9-11).  These things cannot be changed with God’s approval (Revelation 22:18-19).  When these things are changed, the church ceases to be the church of the Lord, and has become a new denomination of our own devising.  The scriptural designation “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) is only fitting for a body of believers who desire to faithfully adhere to Heaven’s pattern for the church found in the Gospel.  Those who forsake that way have given up the right to call themselves by that designation and should remove that name from their sign right away!  What really needs changing about the church is found in our own mirrors.