Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 24, 1962

"Wounded By Friends"

Buford E. Davidson

Zech. 13:6: "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds between thine Arms? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."

Christianity has had a rock path these two thousand years it has been in the land. Since Jesus of Nazareth tread its soil, Satan has cast his fiery darts at Christianity almost from its inception and before. The Jews cast their anathema upon it, and imperial Rome closed its tentacles upon it many, many times until Rome declined and fell. Then, the man of sin arose to draw the shades of intellectual and spiritual ignorance of God's divine truth. Though Christianity has suffered much, and has been wounded often by persecution of its enemies, I am convinced the greatest wounds have been those of its supposed friends. Many in the centuries gone by have supposedly embraced, Christianity and have done more destructive things than its avowed enemies have been able to do.

The idea of destroying those who oppose certain beliefs and practices originated with the Jews that were filled with envy against Christ and consequently, His church. The Romans and Greeks worshipped idols and considered the worship of Jehovah as heresy. Jews persecuted Christians because they taught that Moses' law as abrogated. The first innovators anathematized and persecuted by force when possible those who dared object. Queen Isabella of Spain once said, "In the love of Christ and his maid mother, I have caused great misery and have depopulated towns and districts, provinces and kingdoms." One need only read the historians' account of the inquisition to tremble in his soul. These were supposedly friends of Jesus of Nazareth.

Since the restoration movement in our country, we have heard and read the history of those who did great damage to the cause while ignorantly thinking they were doing Christ a service. (John 161) Many have introduced innovations which have caused untold heartaches, divisions, evil-speakings, alienation and castigation between the professed followers of the lowly Jesus. I weep and my heart aches and cries because brethren would engage in these things. Still, there are those who would wound their friends in the body of Christ by sins of the flesh. There are untold hundreds, yea even possibly thousands, who would revolt at the idea of murder, of outright wickedness, but on the other hand commit transgressions just as bad and just as condemned. What about the tongue9 James had much in his epistle to say of this little member of our body. Havoc has materialized many times by common slander, by back-biting, by evil-speakings, etc. Imagination is an unruly creature of mind, and methinks many times the regulator of the tongue. The dictionary says of this word, "an irrational notion or belief, planning, plotting or scheming, as involving mental construction." Many times imagination runs wild so to speak. Then through its instrument, the tongue, bitter fruit is borne. It seems Satan never misses a trick. Alienation and separation of close friends is a result many times of a word ill-spoken." (Prov. 25:11) Sometimes the wrong construction is put on another's words. We read "between the lines" so to speak and imagine the person is trying to inflict a sinister meaning in the words, which in reality is not there. We can imagine hatred, ill-will, and sinister motives if we are not careful. Actions sometimes cause us to imagine wrong things. Jesus taught us to forgive others, even our enemies. No man can please God and hate his brother, love for God and Christ and his Church will cause such things to cease between brethren. We must forgive one another. There is no alternative. (Eph 4:32) The scriptures are filled with commands that condemn us for misuse of the tongue and especially our relationship one with another. Brethren, is it worth it to destroy the body of Christ simply to avenge ourselves for some imaginary wrong? Or, even for some who have despitefully used us and mistreated us even? Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me." (Matt. 25:40) God help us to apply ourselves to knowledge that we might not so wound Christ by and with our tongue and actions. Sometimes we make and bind a law of pure opinion on others to the destruction of the body of Christ. It can and has been done. Many of these 'lawmakers' engage in that for which they forbid, and further violate a host of plain commands in doing so. I sometimes wonder after these things are done, and perhaps the destruction of the local congregation is a result and it ceases to exist and those which were once trying to serve God and forward His cause are lost as a result, are those which caused it happy? Is it worth the price? I would to God that we all would realize our sins and acknowledge them and pray God to forgive us, and do all things possible to right wrongs with brethren that they would forgive also. May God help us all to do so.

— 501 3rd Street, Levelland, Texas