Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 27, 1952

"A Class Of Critics"

Thomas B. Warren, Galena Park, Texas

I have not the least disposition to defend anyone in any error whatsoever. Should there be those among us who have fallen into the habit of criticizing just for the sake of criticizing (as I have heard some brethren accuse other brethren of doing) I would not defend, for even a minute, their doing so. Let that be clearly understood from the very outset of this article. Personally, I have not encountered anyone that I felt came under that category, although there may have been a tinge of such in those who were accusing others of it. But be that as it may — the point I am driving toward is this: are we "drifting" to the point that we no longer understand what the "spirit of Christ" involves?

Some have come to feel that anything that has the least criticism in it cannot be of Christ. Yet, would those same men accuse Christ of failing to have the proper spirit when He cast His withering "woes" on the hypocritical Jews? Surely not. Then why not be more objective in our approach to issues of the day. Why fall into the attitude manifested by the sectarians when they seek to rid themselves of embarrassing facts of scriptures by merely saying: "Oh, that's just those Campbellites again!" We all recognize that such is such a poor "answer" to the truth that it is no answer at all. Yet it seems to me that many of us are falling into that same sort of an attitude with their brethren. Just let an argument come from certain quarters and those among us who "have the spirit of Christ" pay no attention to the meat of the discussion, but merely shrug and say: "Oh, that's just that bunch of critics again." Is a thing wrong or right just because certain men did or did not say it? Not long ago, I heard some brethren criticizing a certain argument upon no other ground, so far as I could ascertain from the conversation, than the fact that a certain man had advanced it. The fact that he stood for the position seemed to be sufficient ground for them to be against it. When I mentioned the fact that a certain gospel preacher, who was not classed by these brethren in the "critic class," stood for the same position, or at least had warned against the same thing, the whole complex of the argument seemed to be changed.

We need, as a primary thing, constructive work. This none can deny. But surely we are not going to let ourselves be deluded into the devil's position of refusing to study out the issues before with an honest search for truth, without regard as to who espoused a certain position or who did not. When my plans, schemes, and ideas get too big for investigation and sincere study as to whether or not they are pleasing in the sight of God, then my plans are TOO BIG! Let us all truly strive to manifest the spirit of Christ. When we do, we will ever be striving for truth to manifest itself alongside of error with the resultant opportunity of urging men to choose the way of truth. Truth will never suffer from a sincere investigation. Why should anyone with the truth fear investigation? Brethren, are we beginning to need urging to do things because God said to do it and not because certain preachers did or did not say to do it?