Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 18, 1952
NUMBER 20, PAGE 1,13b

"Keepers Of Orthodoxy"

Cecil B. Douthitt, Brownwood, Texas

"He is a keeper of orthodoxy" — the orthodoxy of God's word. What greater compliment could be paid to a servant of the gospel?

Faithful men of God always have been keepers of orthodoxy. "Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and them that followed after, as many as have spoken" have been keepers of orthodoxy.

King Saul, fearing that God's method was a failure, would not wait for Samuel to come and offer the sacrifice according to the orthodoxy of God's word, but he threw orthodoxy to the wind and offered the sacrifice himself. (1 Samuel 13:8-15) Samuel, a keeper of orthodoxy, told Saul "what was wrong with his method," rebuked him soundly, and informed him that God would give his kingdom to "a man after his own heart," who would have more respect for the orthodoxy of his word.

Saul's sympathizers could have insultingly reported that Samuel had "been too busy telling these few what is wrong with their methods and efforts to lead in anything constructive," but the accusation would not have been true, nor would it have made Saul's ill-advised sacrifice orthodox.

The apostle Paul was a keeper of orthodoxy. He warned the elders at Ephesus that men among them would arise, speak perverse things and draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:30) Paul lived to see the day when the hand of him who cared not for the orthodoxy of God's word was already at work, and he warned the brethren of how far that man of sin, that son of perdition would go, when the restraining influence of orthodoxy "be taken out of the way." (2 Thess. 2:3-8) And though ten thousand devotees of that son of perdition devote their lives "to the study of the Navajo language, translating it into English, and translating certain religious teachings from the English into that tongue," they can never atone for the damage they have done the true keepers of orthodoxy during the past one thousand years, and the damage they are doing yet.

Yes, Paul was such a keeper of Orthodoxy that he did not hesitate to find fault with a man who offered "to go into a foreign country to work," if he thought the fault was there. John Mark offered "to go into a foreign country to work, and immediately" Paul found "fault with him."

A few years ago when many foreign workers," and many who offered "to go into a foreign country to work," were permeated with the baneful influence of Premillennialism, the true keepers of orthodoxy found fault with many of them. These keepers of orthodoxy were charged then with finding fault with every one who offered "to go into a foreign country to work." The original advocates of the missionary societies made the same charges against the true keepers of orthodoxy.

No, Paul did not plant or organize "the Salvation Amy," local welfare association, and various denominations," or anything else except churches of Christ, to take care of babies that "have been born out of wedlock" "as an aftermath of the war," but he did infinitely more; he traveled widely preaching the gospel of Christ and trying to save the souls of all "unfortunate victims of sins, who are in the world and on the mercy of the world." He knew that the gospel he preached would not only save the souls of "unfortunate victims of sin," but that it would also prevent the sin which causes babies to be "born out of wedlock"; he knew the gospel, if believed and obeyed, would prevent the wars of which babies "born out of wedlock" are "an aftermath." When did the building of institutions unknown to the word of God become a greater blessing to the "unfortunate victims of sin" than the preaching of the gospel and the planting of churches of Christ?

Keepers of orthodoxy have been insulted and slandered in almost every possible way. They have been compared to the rich man at whose gate Lazarus lay, while they were feeding thousands at their own tables or privately from their meager earnings. They have been charged with passing by the unfortunate, like the priest and Levity who passed by the man who had fallen victim to robbers, while they were paying the hospitals bills and buying medicine for many. They have been accused of caring nothing and doing nothing for orphans, while they were taking many orphans into their own homes or providing for them in some other family. One great keeper of orthodoxy, who never "stopped over in Honolulu for a few hours" in his life and who never "by passed Honolulu" in his life, but who stayed at home and preached the gospel and tried to check a rapidly growing apostasy, was caricatured as an old woman trying to sweep back the ocean waves with a broom.

May God give us more keepers of orthodoxy! Not the kind that wants to organize a Ku Klux Klan or a Vigilante to do the work of civil government, but the kind that believes the institution that God ordained to protect the innocent and punish the guilty is the one that ought to do it. (Rom. 13:1-7)

May God give us more keepers of orthodoxy! Not the kind that wants to organize a missionary society through which to convert the world, but the kind that believes the institution that God ordained to make known his manifold wisdom is the one that ought to do it. (Eph. 3:10)

May God give us more keepers of orthodoxy! Not the kind that want to organize a benevolent society through which to take care of the orphan and the aged; but the kind that believes the family, the institution that God ordained for the care of all indigent, both young and old, and to which Jesus committed the care of his mother (John 19:26,27), is the institution through which it ought to be done.

Has any man ever formed anything better through which law and order might be maintained, than civil government which God ordained for that work?

Has man ever formed anything better through which the gospel might be preached in all the world, than the family which God ordained for that work?

God forbid that I should ever become so unorthodox as to lose faith in God's system and conclude that man can form institutions that will do the work better than the institutions that God ordained for that work. If I can so live that when my "summons comes to join

The innumerable caravan, that moves To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take His chamber in the silent hall of death,"

that I can approach my grave,

"Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams,"

and those who are left behind and who love me best can truthfully say, "He was a keeper of orthodoxy," then the one great hope of my life will have ended in fruition, and I believe the Lord will be pleased.