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THE CHURCH IN TRANSITION

The Church in Transition
By Adron Doran
 

Many of our brethren are speaking and writing about making changes in the church to make a transition into the coming twenty­first century. They justify their claim that the church must affect changes in certain areas because society is in the process of change so as to meet the challenge of the next century. The social order has changed throughout the ages and will continue to change in response to the will of men. However, the church is neither a social institution nor the creature of society. The church is a divine institution purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ whom God made head of the body, the church, therefore, is subject to the stipulations which God places upon it.

The role of woman has changed in the social fields of education, government, business and professions. This is no reason or excuse, though, to advocate and instigate changes in the role of women in the church. The social order has renounced the authority of the Scriptures but this is no reason for the church to propose and adapt a new theology that changes the interpretation of the Bible. The church is supposed to be the agent to change society and not one that reacts in accordance to societal influences.

The apostle announced to the church in Rome the criteria by which we should pursue spiritual matters:

Do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2).

The Holy Spirit claims that the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was in the eternal purpose of God the Father (Eph. 3:7­12). The ancient prophets pointed to the time and place for the establishment of the kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44; Isa. 2:1­4). The Son of God himself promised that He would build the church (Matt. 16:13­19).

In due season the purpose of God was realized, the prophesies were fulfilled the promises were kept on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem in the year A D. 33. The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles after they had been endued with power from on high to execute the Great Commission (Mark 16:15; Acts 2). The power of God was wrought in Christ whom he raised from the dead and gave him to be head of the church (Eph.. 1:18­23).

Following the sermon delivered by the apostle Simon Peter, three thousand gladly received his word, were baptized, and in the same day were added unto them (Acts 2:41). Dr. Luke adds the observation that "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). The ancient order of things was set forth by the apostles doctrine in which the early saints continued steadfastly (Acts 2:42). That order has obtained throughout the centuries and men should not tinker with that system in the close of the present century.

Transition to Christianity

God intended for the Jews, Gentiles and heathens of the first century to make a transition from their foreign state to Christianity. God mandated this difficult transition from Judaism and false gods to a new system. The apostle Paul told the Colossians that God blotted "out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross" (Col. 2:14). This was a well­planned transition into a state where salvation was brought to all men in the church through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other period in human history comparable.

Transition to Catholicism

In spite of the warnings by the apostles to the church against aposta


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