Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 5, 1956

"... Not In Sympathy With Your Views"

Paul Brock, Dyersburg, Tennessee

Recently a letter came from a preacher friend who had two meetings cancelled. One was because of outside pressure exerted on the congregation. The other wrote, "We are not in sympathy with your views." I know how he feels because there are some "not in sympathy" with the way I preach either.

All of us recognize the right (though it be a poor practice) of a congregation to cancel a preacher's appointment, but this thing of doing so because he preaches his convictions is a sad commentary on any church. In Bradenton we have never asked a man, "What is your view of this or of that?" We invite a man to preach, expecting him to do his best to preach the truth as he believes God would have him do it. In the past four years we have had three men who uphold the institutional setups and one who is opposed, and another we don't know what he believes about such. With the exception of the one we knew where each stood when we invited him to come. Just one has touched on the institutional question in our meetings. You guessed wrong — IT WAS NOT THE MAN WHO OPPOSED THEM, but one who favored them.

This thing of cancelling a meeting when brethren learn that a preacher will not submit to their views or sacrifice his conviction is driving a wedge of division. I know of no church opposing these human institutions doing the work of the church, who has cancelled a man's meeting because of this. It is becoming crystal clear to thinking people who is responsible for the unrest and outright division that threatens us.

Division is sinful. (1 Cor. 1:10; 3:1-5; Prov. 6:19). Those who cause it are carnal. (1 Cor. 3:3) Those who cause it are as babes. (1 Cor. 3:1-2.) They serve not our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 16:18) They cause the house of the Lord to be weak and in danger of falling. (Matt. 12:25)

Truly when men are more concerned about "your views" than about the gospel, a man's ability to proclaim it, his love for the cause, sin is in the camp. The devil is made happy, souls will be lost, and our saviour grieved Brethren, if I am ever called by you for a meeting, don't write and inquire, "What are your views", just call yourself another man. I don't care about YOUR VIEWS. A preacher's obligation is not to some group's views but to the God of heaven and the gospel of Christ.