Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 31, 1961

The Bush On The Mountain Side

C. R. McRay, Decatur, Texas

If you have never been to that large hole in the ground out Arizona way, you ought to go some time. We understand that while a man was visiting there, and making his way toward the edge so he could see better, he crossed the line marked for his safety, and kept creeping toward the edge....until he fell off! But, he did not fall all the way. He caught on a bush not far from the top. As he was hanging there, he prayed, "Lord, I surely do need you now. I have never been in such a predicament in my life; I will surely be killed if you do not help me." A voice responded from above, "George? George, is that you?" George returned a startled, "Yes, Lord, it is. Will you help me?" The Lord said, "Do you really want me to help you, George?" George was very insistant in his reply and the Lord then asked, "George, do you really believe I can help you?" Of course, the reply was, "Yes, Lord, I believe you can help me. I know you can help me. Just tell me what to do and I will do it." ...."All right, George, I will help you. Now you do just as I tell you to do. Turn loose from the bush!"

This story may be far-fetched, but it does vividly portray something which is characteristic of many today. God has spoken and we should obey. Even though what the Lord has said seems the wrong way, or to say the least not the best way, it should be obeyed without question. What bush are you hanging on to by your religious ideas?

God has said that one is to be "buried in baptism." (Rom. 6:4) Some men think it would be better to have some water sprinkled or poured upon them. They are hanging on to the "effusion" bush, not obeying God by faith. They need to turn loose the bush.

It is written that the church as a collectivity is to relieve the saints. (Acts 2:41-45; 4:32-37; 6:1-6; 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:4, 14; 9:1, 12; 1 Tim. 5:16) Some think and believe that the church has the right render this relief to those out of Christ. No doubt, to them it seems just as logical as the man holding the bush for dear life! BUT.... God does not expect us to use our wisdom, but to obey the truth. Believe it and obey it with-out putting God on trial. (Acts 15:10) These surely are holding to the "relief" bush, but it is not obeying God by faith. Yes, it is true brethren, you must turn loose of the bush.

By inspiration, God has recorded the word "Christian" only three times in the entire Bible. (1 Pet. 4:16; Acts 11:26; 26:28) It is used only as a noun, a name, if you please, of the chosen ones of God. However, men are not content to use it. We have come to use it lightly and therefore to look lightly upon this word, using it as a descriptive term in such ways as "Christian College," "Christian family," "Christian home," "Christian Orphan Home," and many, many others. We are instructed to speak as the oracles of God. (1 Pet. 4:11) May I simply ask the defenders of such for the oracle of God that authorizes such use of the word? (If you do not defend it, why do you practice it?) Even in our sincerity can we afford to hang on to the "Christian" bush and disobey God? Really now, do you think it is right to use the word? Then why not quit it right now? Come on now....turn loose of that bush!