Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 8, 1971

What Price Unity?

James B. Lusby

Many times when conscientious brethren question certain programs which they believe to be without scriptural authority, they are accused by some of sowing discord. The implication being that to call in question any practice is to disrupt the seeming unity that exists and is to be found guilty of the gravest sin — causing division. Usually the censure of Solomon is applied: "There are six things that Jehovah hateth . . . a false witness that uttereth lies and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Prov. 6:16, 19).

Is is true that in order to maintain peace and harmony one must never question that which is not according to truth? Must one continue to go along with that which is error because to practice truth will cause discord or even division? When one manifests a genuine love for Christ does that mean that he must break out in a "rash of lovey-dovey mushy-gushy, all-overishness" to the point that he will compromise the truth in an effort to have peace at any price?

Certainly the preceding is not what the scriptures teach. If it is, then we have been guilty of Solomon's charge lo these many years because of our refusal to accept and unify with the advocates of denominationalism. We should rather cease and desist from all opposition and run to embrace them with open arms. (The very thing some of my brethren want to do!). There would be unity but a unity at the expense of the truth. We have long recognized (at least we once did) that there is one thing worse than division, and that is unity in error.

Of course the Lord hates those who sow discord among brethren. But His hate is brought about because of those who sow discord by teaching false doctrines and by introducing innovations into His church. He does not hate those who preach the gospel and stand for the truth, even though division be the result. If so, He would have hated the apostles and even Himself: "Think ye that I am come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division; for there shall be from henceforth in one house divided, three against two, and two against three." (Lk. 12:51-52).

Jesus knew that when people placed their faith in Him there would be discord and division — division that comes from accepting the truth and contending for it — division that is justifiable and inevitable, as there can never be unity between truth and error. "What fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever", Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord." (2 Cor. 6:14-15, 17).

NO ONE is justified in refusing the truth, or even compromising the truth or any part of it in order to have unity and to maintain peace.

Beloved, let us all, when faced with the choice of peace at the expense of the faith, put on the resolve of Joshua: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE JEHOVAH." (Josh. 24:15).

718 Somerville, Pampa, Tex. 79065