Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 11, 1951

On Seeing Things Alike

John T. Overbey, Austin, Texas

The average man, when asked: why all the division in the religious world? will reply, "We just don't all see alike." Perhaps that is true, but why? Why is it that people do not all see alike? People do see alike that which is in the Bible. The things not in the Bible are the things we do not see alike.

But in religion, as in all other matters of life, we must have some standard of authority. Just suppose we had no standard of measurements: —why, two men could not "see alike" as to what constitutes a bushel of corn, or what constitutes a foot, or a yard, or a mile, etc. So, you see we must have standards, and those standards must be recognized by everyone. So it is in religion—we must have a standard, one that is accepted by everyone.

What is the standard in religion? Only two or three passages will be necessary to establish that. Paul said to Timothy, "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." (II Tim. 3:16, 17) Now, what has Paul said? "Man of God, the scripture that is given by inspiration of God is all you need—it will furnish you completely unto every good work." Therefore, all the information one needs to be completely furnished is that which is supplied by the inspiration of God. But someone says: "That does not, in so many words, prohibit the use of other information than that given by the inspiration of God." Very well, then, listen to the instruction of Moses given to the children of Israel, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I commanded you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I commanded you." (Deut. 4:2) Likewise by the Holy Spirit through the apostle John: "If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book." (Rev. 22:18, 19).

Now, let us note two things: (1) Whenever and wherever this divine rule is followed, the people do see alike and there is no division among them; (2) whenever and wherever this rule is not followed, they do not see alike and are divided.

The Bible says that an angel appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. (Ex. 3:2) Had you ever stopped to think what kind of a bush that was? The truth of the matter is, the Bible doesn't say, and if you should presume to say, likely we would not see alike —you might think it one kind of bush, and I another. But again—the Bible says that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. (John 3:1, 2) Had you ever thought why he came to Jesus by night? Well, the Bible doesn't say—and if you should presume to say, likely as not we would not see it alike. So you see, it is not the things that are in the Bible that we do not see alike, it is the things that are not in the Bible.

The religious world is divided over what God's people should be called, and rather than, try to get the matter straightened out, they will say, "0 well, we just don't all see it alike," and let it go at that. When the Bible calls the disciples "Christians", (Acts 11:26) we can all see that alike. It is when people insist on calling God's people other names than those found in the Bible that we do not see alike. When God commands us to sing in worship to Him, (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16) we can all see that alike; but when someone comes along and says that the use of mechanical instruments of music are. acceptable to God in our worship, we can not see alike. When the Bible teaches that the baptism of a penitent believer is for or in order to salvation, (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38) everyone can see that alike. It is when someone comes along and says that babies are fit subjects for scriptural baptism that we do not see alike.

People of all religious denominations who accept baptism at all will agree that when a proper subject goes down into the water and there is buried, and is raised up out of the water, he has been scripturally baptized. (Acts 8:38, Rom. 6:4) It is when one substitutes sprinkling or pouring that we do not see alike.

So, it is not—can we all see alike? but, will we all see alike? We can, but will we?