Category Archives: Article

What We Believe and Why

Two Letters by Lynn F. Martin

In April 2006, Shippensburg Christian Fellowship suffered the tragic loss of Lynn F. Martin, who died unexpectedly of an aneurysm. Brother Lynn had served as bishop of the congregation since its founding in November 1986.

The brethren who founded our congregation came out of a setting, where “hatred among brethren and open carnality had long gone undisciplined.” Troubled by this situation, they met together to study the Bible. The following truths emerged from their study:

  1. Jesus saves only those who surrender absolutely to his Lordship.
  2. Faith means following Christ, no matter what.
  3. The Church is the physical body of Christ—called to do explicitly what Christ would do if he was walking on this earth.
  4. The Church should not include any member whose life tangibly denies Christ’s Lordship.
  5. The Church should function as a living body, with each member actively contributing according to his gifts.
  6. The responsibility of church leaders is to coordinate the church’s discernment of the will of Christ.
  7. Jesus taught the renunciation of accumulated wealth and a sacrificial sharing of resources, resulting in an actual equality in the brotherhood.

When circumstances compelled these brothers to leave their former setting, these principles guided their thinking and actions as they founded a new fellowship. Continue reading What We Believe and Why

Notes on Materialism

Craig Martin

What does Matthew 6:19-21 mean? “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

I picture two piles of treasure, one of this worlds goods and one of heavenly goods. The pile we accumulate in heaven is as big as what we invest there. It is not proportionate to the amount we give but to the amount we have left over for ourselves. If we give everything we have then all the riches of heaven will be ours. Whatever we accumulate for ourselves on earth will be held against us on the day of judgment. Our treasure will be wherever we have our pile. And our pile is our investment, be it a big bank account, money we have spent on other people, money we have spent serving ourselves, time we have invested in other people, or time we have spent serving our own selfish interest. Our small family businesses and money that we use to support our families is a part of that heavenly investment. Continue reading Notes on Materialism