Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 16, 1959

Are We Making A Law?

Charles E Stovall

For some time now we have been discussing the "Orphans' Home" issue and related issues which involve the work of the church. We have witnessed horrible things before our eyes! We have seen hearts broken; friendships marred; influence destroyed; pulpits emptied and preachers turning to secular endeavor; churches divided; and souls soiled by discord. We have seen shame brought upon the church of our blessed Lord! We have done more! — we have shown the world that we are not as careful to practice the unity which we preach as we should be. We have shown that we do not seek for peace as we should, and that love as taught in the Word of God has not pervaded our lives as it should. No doubt many of us have been the occasion of stumbling to some outside of the kingdom of Christ. May God help us to see these wrongs!

Much has been said about "law-making." We have accused those who are opposed to such co-operative efforts as the Herald of Truth and Orphans' Homes as making laws where God has not made them. And I verily agree much of this has been done among those opposing such efforts. I personally believe that there is nothing wrong with such efforts as a co-operative radio program or caring for a child in an orphans' home owned and operated by our brethren. But brethren, I am very disturbed over the matter of "law-making." Frankly, it seems to me that some of that is being done on our part, too! Has it actually gotten to the point where one must believe that the Herald of Truth is the proper way to do radio work in order to enjoy fellowship among us? Have we let those who frown upon co-operative efforts like those mentioned above cause us to take wrong views ourselves — to bind where God has not bound? Are there not those of us who still can see that there are other ways in which radio work can be carried on and in which the orphans can be cared for? Do we have any right to 'brand" our brethren when they are using their judgment in doing the work in some other way? Of all things that I never want to be guilt of — I surely do not want to be guilty of falsely accusing my brethren or making a law for them which God has not made. Surely it is as sinful for us to bind others to follow our matters of judgment as for others to force us to follow their judgment. Such statements as "we don't care what he says, we know what he believes" are not the words which should be found upon the lips or in the hearts of Christians. We do not have the right, brethren, to judge men! The matter of judgment belongs to the Lord! It is our responsibility to "give diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). A sincere practice of this divine injunction would put a stop to the harsh judgment and the defamatory remarks which often obtain among brethren. Jesus said, "blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God" (Matt. 5:9). God wants us to be at peace with one another. No one can justify the "branding" spirit that seeks to condemn before seeking to agree. Peace is not accidental; it results from honest endeavor upon the part of both parties in disagreement.

I am not an "anti." But I am disturbed over this "lawmaking" brethren. Let us be careful not to legislate where God has not! The important thing should ever be to get the job which the Lord has required dose! Where he has left the "how" to human judgment, let us be willing to leave it there! May God bless us all to this end!