Dehoff’s Rules for Living
- I try never to say anything behind a man’s back that would give embarrassment to say to his face (Psalm 5:6–9; Proverbs 11:3; 17:9; James 3:13; 1 Peter 1:15).
- I try never to speak to personal critics; they would not believe the truth and my friends do not have to hear the defense (Psalm 31:13–18; Luke 6:27–28).
- Every day, I greet every person with a smile and make a special effort to do so if the person is poor or in unfortunate circumstances (Proverbs 15:15; Luke 14:13–14).
- The first thing in the morning, I plan my duty for the day and try to go beyond it (Ecclesiastes 9:10; 12:13).
- Every day, I read from the Bible and other good books; feeding the mind and soul is more important than feeding the body (Proverbs 15:28; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:15).
- I try to pay every debt I owe on time and always save something from every paycheck, however small (Romans 13:8; Ephesians 4:28).
- I like people and never harbor malice toward any person. I like various places and have yet to be anywhere that I do not like. I go there with the intention of liking the place (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31; Hebrews 13:5).
- I am a confirmed optimist, believing that even in this life, evil men will be punished by their own unhappiness, and good men will be rewarded. “It’s better farther on” (Luke 6:22–23; Galatians 6:9–10).
- I try to close each day as if it were the last day I’d be on earth, closing the books on all regrets, worries, and annoyances (Psalm 55:22; Matthew 6:25–31; Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7).
- The last thing I do at night is count the day’s blessings. This makes me so thankful that I soon drift into pleasant sleep. In this spirit, I hope to close life’s journey and drift into eternity (Ecclesiastes 5:12; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1; 4:4–5; Revelation 2:10). —George DeHoff, deceased
Is All Divorce Condemned?
Although a few within the brotherhood of Christ have attempted to argue the no-divorce-and-remarriage position, the effort is futile. When Jesus forbade divorce and remarriage, “except for fornication,” he clearly implied that a scriptural divorce and subsequent remarriage for the innocent victim could be obtained on the ground of spousal infidelity. The remarriage privilege for the victim of a sexually violated marriage is a solid logical inference drawn from Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. Lenski observed that this “implication” is “too plain” to miss. “[O]nly the Roman Catholic Church and a few others deny remarriage to the innocent party” (1943, 734). —Wayne Jackson, excerpted from longer article on Christiancourier.com
“I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9)
Four Reasons People Pervert the Gospel
- Profit (Titus 1:10–11; 2 Peter 2:3).
- Popularity (Acts 20:29–30; 2 Timothy 4:3–4).
- Pleasure (Jude 1:4).
- Persecution (Galatians 6:12; Matthew 5:10–12). —Chance Hicks, Jacksonville, Alabama
Meeting the Needs of Newcomers
It has been said that visitors make up their mind about a church in the first ten minutes of their visit. Before they’ll even discern the doctrine we teach or form an impression about the distinctiveness of our worship, they’ve already decided. If you will walk through the first ten minutes of each time you come to services, you can discern the needs visitors have when they enter our midst (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:23–24). Consider these needs.
Where to park. Designating visitor parking and having members park far from the main entrance is thoughtfulness. Having a greeter or greeters in the parking lot who can make contact quickly and facilitate with friendliness makes a positive impression.
Where the rest rooms and nursery are. Good hospitality ought to drive us to be thoughtful and proactive (i.e., when greeting, point out the nearest facilities). Show them where the nursery is, if they have infants, toddlers, or small children.
Where to sit. A practical help is not to crowd the seats at the rear of the auditorium. It’s less awkward to sit without parading past rows of people. If there’s a full crowd, have designated pleasant, friendly, and considerate members to help them find a seat. Never have a “designated pew” for yourself. “Pew-itis” should be eradicated from every congregation.
What to expect. Worship leaders can explain periodically why we do what we do in a “user-friendly” (as opposed to browbeating) way. Door greeters and those at a welcome center can give visitor packets that further explain things such as Sunday activities and a map of where we do them.
How to find out more. Have a Church 101 class (new member orientation) available for those who are “seeking.” It can include an annual church calendar of events, ministries, church leadership (complete with pictures and bios), ways to be involved, and the like to orient newcomers.
At first, it may seem hard to identify book, chapter, and verse for the foregoing suggestions. But consider these principles. There’s the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). There’s the principle of the Law of Moses, which says, “The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). Colossians 4:5 urges wisdom with outsiders, redeeming the time. Being Christians, we should be ever increasing in the mentality that puts others before self (Philippians 2:3–4).
How do we best serve Jesus? By serving others, including our visitors and newcomers. —Neal Pollard, Denver, Colorado