Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 2, 1967
NUMBER 38, PAGE 6c,11a

I Read The Book

Edgar Furr

When the first article appeared in the paper by Brother Robert Farish concerning the new book, Voices of Concern, I was eager to read it; so I ordered a copy immediately. The ones who contributed essays were not known to me personally, but I had heard of their departure from the truth and was anxious to know what their trouble was; so it was out of a desire to really know, that I read the entire book with care and observation.

The title chosen for the book is a misnomer. Those who contributed essays were not concerned about the church; they just wanted the easy way out and were not concerned about adhering to the truth. I think there are a great many who are concerned about these writers but these writers seem to be concerned about nothing. The reason they have given up the truth and forsaken the church is very easy to see; in fact, one would have to be as blind as a bull bat in a hail storm to fail to see what their trouble is. It's the same old story of those who line up with sectarianism after reading their books and attending their schools. They were so waterlogged with sectarian error they cannot see the truth. A large section of "our" preachers have their book shelves filled with old, sectarian books that are not worth hauling to the scrap heap, until it effects their preaching and their thinking. It would be most difficult to find any congregation today that does not contain members who are in deep sympathy with sectarianism. This is why many gospel preachers receive so much cheap criticism for condemning sectarianism. If these critical members are right in their contention, and we, as the church pleading for a "Thus sayeth the Lord," are so far wrong--why do not more of them go on over and line up with sectarianism? Personally, I think if these people do not change their thinking along these lines, the earlier they get out of the way the better off the church is. We have lost nothing to lose those who had rather promote error than to promote truth. Those who wrote essays in the book left because of a scriptural reason found in 1 John 2:19, "they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us." Each one testified that advanced education in the field of sectarian religion had caused them to fail to see the truth as it is in the New Testament. Those who have read the book will notice they said nothing about sin and its consequences, nor the wrath of God. It was all "love, mercy and weighty matters of the law" meaning accepting all sectarianism as Christians or "free-fellowship."

These writers relate how many have left the church of Christ, and how many more will. This is to be expected. 1 Cor. 15:33, "Be not deceived; evil companionships corrupt good morals." If sectarianism has anything to contribute to New Testament Christianity, why have they not adapted it to their own religion? What have we in common with these foreign religions? In this, or some of the other papers, I recently found this information concerning sectarianism! 13% reject the doctrine of the Trinity, 43% reject the scriptural account of creation, 33% reject the idea of full inspiration of the Bible, 43% reject the atonement of Christ, 24% reject the bodily resurrection of Christ, 74% reject the idea that Jesus promised eternal life. I rather expect these figures are very conservative. Be that as it may, what would it profit the church of our Lord to have "free fellowship" with infidels of this sort?

It is true that sectarian folk have a very polished, nice way and appearance; and it does seem hard to think that such nice folk will certainly be lost according to God's standards; but who is to set the standards? God has already done that, and regardless of culture, acquaintance and nicety, to fail to comply with the word of the Lord according to Paul in 2 Thess. 1, means eternal damnation. The desire of any Christian is that they might be saved; but for those who have not a love of the truth, 2 Thess. 2:10-12, nor a willingness to obey, 2 Pet. 2:20-22, a refusal to learn, or to those who once knew and turned away, the future is dark. If you are one who thinks that man made, sectarian religion has anything for you, the sooner you move out of the way will lessen your influence to take others down the same broad way.

The loss of any one member of the church is bad and regrettable; but there are entire large congregations that are going the way of modernism. I have attended some of our large congregations in the new, modern, very expensive church plants where the preaching was so poor that not one verse of scripture was used or referred to. There is a point of no return. This departure has happened before and it's on its way out again. The failure to learn from history is to reap the same consequences. Shall we have free fellowship with these who reject the word of God, or shall we "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints," Jude 3.

Paul admonished us, "Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you." 2 Cor. 6:17. "Handle not, nor taste, nor touch (all which things are to perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men." Col. 2:21-22.

I think all should read the book, Voices of Concern to see what the future holds for those who depend on sectarian educators instead of the Word of the Lord. All who have any judgment at all believe in education; but we do not believe in letting education make a fool out of us.

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San Angelo, Texas