Soul Drift 2005
by Douglas Hoff
For years now the brightly colored
and professionally laid out fliers have come to the church building. Every year I have put them into a file. This year’s advertised event is now
history. Soul Lift St. Louis was conducted
Sunday July 31 through
Perhaps you are not familiar with
this annual time of fun and games for young people. Starting in 1987
There is certainly nothing wrong with people having fun. God wants mankind to enjoy the many blessings he has given (1 Timothy ; Ecclesiastes -26). Time off for rest, relaxation and recreation is part of God’s plan (Exodus 20:8-11; Ecclesiastes 4:6; Mark -32).
However, when entertainment and not the gospel becomes the drawing power, the Lord’s church is in serious trouble (cf. John , 33). Other happenings at Soul Lift should also give faithful Christians reasons to be concerned for the souls of impressionable young people. It would be great for teenaged Christians to get together, enjoy some fellowship and fortify their faith as they learn more about God’s will (Jude 17-21). I do not think anyone would argue that those who attended were entertained. Sadly, they are also being exposed to teaching and practices that will cause their souls to drift away from the truth. Long ago Christians were warned, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (Hebrews 2:1; NKJV). The Christian’s focus needs to be on the word of God, not entertainment (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-5; esp. v.4).
Evidence that entertainment is a
major emphasis of Soul Lift can be gleaned from their advertisements. Back in 2001 Grant Knisley was quoted as saying,
“Soul Lift is full of fun and excitement, plus it’s a great way to introduce
your friends to Christ” (www.harding.edu/soullift;
Soul Lift began on the Lord’s
day. Interestingly, the youth rally
An interesting note on Sunday’s schedule states that “Communion kits will be provided at the conclusion of the rally for groups requesting them.” Since everyone had gathered at the Convention Center why would “communion kits” be supplied to various groups? Communion is to be observed when the church has come together in one place (1 Corinthians ).
The New Testament is clear regarding what should be done about those who would corrupt the purity of the Lord’s body. Paul commanded, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans , 18). Sadly, instead of marking and avoiding false teachers, some willingly embrace them. In so doing they endorse their error (2 John 9-11). According to the web page, the following churches have supported Soul Lift St. Louis: Florissant Church of Christ, Fairview Heights Church of Christ, Lafayette Church of Christ and McKnight Road Church of Christ.(2)
Years ago at least one gospel preacher was well known for warning the church about the spread of liberalism. He used to express it thus: “Brethren, we’re drifting!” In some places they are no longer drifting — they have departed from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1). No Christian should send precious souls to the wolves (Acts , 30). Perhaps only Judgment Day will reveal the damage wrought by this tragic soul drift.
(1) For example, see Goebel Music, “Strange And Uncertain Sounds From Jeff Walling,” in Behold the Pattern (Colleyville, TX: Goebel Music Publications, 1991), 198-223.