by David Padfield
Welcome to the first issue of Reflections On Truth, a monthly teaching bulletin published by the Lord’s people who meet in Zion, Illinois. This paper is mailed free to all who request it. Recipients will never be asked for a donation of any kind. This bulletin is paid for by a group of non-denominational Christians who are interested in your soul, not your wallet.
You are on our mailing list for one of the following reasons:
1) A member of this congregation was interested in your soul and requested that we send this bulletin to you. You might be one of their relatives, fellow-workers or neighbors. Hopefully, they have informed you that this bulletin was going to be mailed to you. If you would rather not receive this paper, just drop us a note and we will take your name off our list.
2) Many of the people on our mailing list have been receiving Reflections On Truth for the past five years, when it was published by the Eastside Church Of Christ in Evansville, Indiana. We spent over twelve years in Evansville, and a monthly teaching bulletin was one of the ways we used to get people interested in the Scriptures. Our family moved to Zion in March of 1993, and the brethren here have agreed to continue publishing this bulletin. Our desire is the same as it has always been, i.e., to preach the word as plainly as possible. The larger format of this bulletin will enable us to consider our subject matter in more detail.
3) About 150 denominational churches in the Zion area have been placed on our mailing list. I hope this does not sound too brazen, but I want to teach you the truth of God’s word. Denominationalism is wrong! It is contrary to the prayer of Christ for unity (John 17:20, 21). The apostle Paul condemned religious division (1 Cor. 1:10-13). We are not teaching the same thing, and thus one of us has to be wrong. Hell is going to be full of sincere religious people who thought they were obeying God (Matthew 7:13, 14). I do not want to be among that number.
We have no intention of hiding in our building and mailing out this bulletin without giving you a chance to respond. I am more than willing to engage in a public debate on the issues which divide us. If I am wrong in what I teach, I pray you will have enough love for my soul to show me my error.
It is easy for preachers to hide behind a pulpit and condemn other the doctrinal beliefs of others. It is an entirely different matter to face the opposition in a public forum. There was a time when Baptists, Methodists and Pentecostals were eager to challenge my brethren to engage in a public examination of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, very few denominational preachers today have the ability or fortitude to defend their teachings on the polemic platform. Many of them are too busy planning the next ladies tea party or trip to the zoo with their youth group.
Like the apostle Paul, I am set “for the defense of the gospel” (Phil. 1:17).