Church of Christ
Mission USA

Mouths Must Be Stopped

by Perry Sexton

      Rather than just call this bulletin Sound Words, I wanted to use a scriptural statement that reminds us all of what we should always be doing, but I do refer to it as the Sound Words bulletin. Likewise my other bulletin, I refer to as the Word of Life bulletin, but print some context (see at bottom). The Sound Words bulletin is directed at the Christian whereas the Word of Life bulletin is more directed at the non-Christian.

      In this article I am focusing on the context of the Sound Words bulletin basis. Paul instructed the young preacher Timothy to: “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). Along the same lines please note what the old warrior said to all elders of the church: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:9-11).

      Mouths must be stopped for various reasons: Some preach for money, glory and prestige; some of these are out right false teachers (ibid, 2 Peter 2:1-3); others are liars for their own selfish reasons (cp. Acts 5:1-10, etc.); some are just plain gossipers (Rom. 1:29,30); others, well Paul said it far better than I could: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16); etc., etc. Brethren, if you think we have no such evils among us today you must have the ostrich complex and further, do not believe the Scriptures.

      How shall we stop these ungodly workers? Just like any other evil we cannot totally stop it, but we may stop it from being so rampant and stop it totally in some individuals. We, of course cannot use physical force in silencing these ungodly people. So let us learn from the Master Teacher; please read Matthew 22 of which the conclusion is: “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions” (Matt. 22:46, see also the context of Mark 12:34; Luke 20:40, etc.). How did Jesus do it? By simply stating the truth. Let us always hold onto the truth!

      Truth is very powerful in every way (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12, etc.). Truth will stop mouths. I am amazed at how many preaching brethren will NOT answer exactly what they believe on a matter whenever they are asked to sign their name to it. One brother, of the “higher order” (cp. Acts 5:17ff) nearly jumped out of his skin (so I perceived from what he wrote) because we were discussing his letters (doctrinal position) in Bible class.  This is a great character flaw when someone is afraid of his position being known!!! Out of five attempts (5 letters) he never did state plainly his position. I told him plainly and signed my name to it that he answered about as well as a denominational preacher would. No wonder the church is where it is today!!!

      When he falsely accused me of making his private letters public I stopped his mouth (at least his pen to me) by pointing out about five points in my previous letters showing that it was not private from the beginning. One of my points was “as vague” as stating we were discussing their (letters sent to two of the “upper class brethren”) answers in Bible class. I can see how he missed that, can you not??? Such brethren do what they can “behind the back” to harm brethren who question them on their doctrinal stand, but will not answer. This is certainly nothing new and no surprise if we believe the Bible. Every speaker of truth will have his enemies! Even our Lord did; are we better than Him (Matt. 10:24,25)? Asking people to sign their name to what they say and/or believe is a good way to at least subdue their poison somewhat. If they strike with their tongue what they will not sign their name to, you know what they are!!! Signing your name to a document is an excellent way to establish every word (cp. Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1).

      We all need to be very careful with our own mouths and motives (James 3 cp. Psalm 64:2,3; 140:3). And in all things follow the Word of God. For example: personal offences (Matt. 18:15-20); church matters (1 Cor. 5:1-6:8; Gal. 6:1ff; 2 Thess. 3:6ff, etc.). Yes, it is necessary to discuss church matters, problems, give warnings and even discuss brethren. But we must not be guilty of unrighteousness by making a decision based on one side and not giving the one spoken of a chance to defend himself, and for him to know the charges and from whence they came.

      We must be careful what we hear. When accusations are made we must be very careful to follow righteousness. Remember, there are always two sides to every story. And even when you hear both sides you still may not have the whole truth. ♥