Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 19, 1956

"Assuming An Assumption"

Howard Sawyer, Apponaug, Rhode Island

Driving east on U.S. Highway 6 from Gary, Indiana there is a sign displayed, which reads "The Assumption Church." This is, of course, the name of the Catholic Church in that vicinity. Of all the names used by the Catholic Church this is the most fitting and most rightly named of any I have ever seen or heard. For out of all the names and claims of the Catholic Church she is the biggest assumption ever assumed. If assumption and presumption are twin sisters then surely the Catholic Church is their brother.

She presumes many doctrines and then assumes many arguments to support them. She assumes that Peter was the first Pope and that he was to have successors and that he was infallible. Then they presume that all the Popes were his successors and they too were infallible. They also assume that there is an imaginary place called Purgatory between heaven and hell. Then they presume that there are two kinds of sins, venial and mortal; and those who die with mortal sins go to Purgatory. After all this, they assume that a Priest can pray them out of this creative place into heaven. On top of all this, they presume that Mary was a virgin and remained a virgin until she was bodily assumed into heaven. They call this the assumption of Mary. So you can readily see that their whole system is assuming an assumption.

But let us not intrude on the good nature of the Catholics. What about the Protestant denominations that sprang from the Assumption Church? They too assume too much. They each assume that they are the true church when they are actually the daughters of the Assumption Church and borrow their presumptuous doctrines from her. Some of them assume that babies are born with the original or Adamic sin or what some call being "depraved." But Jesus said, Except you be converted and become as a little child ye will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. Did he want us to become "little depraved infants"? The Bible teaches us to be immersed or buried in baptism (Rom 6:3-4, Col. 2:12), but denominations assume that sprinkling and pouring are just as good. Where did they get it? From the Assumption Church. The scriptures teach for us to sing and make melody in our hearts (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16), but the modern assuming churches say it is all right to add mechanical music. If you are getting tired of these assumptions and presumptions, remember, I did not start them. They were assumed before I was. David said, Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me, Ps. 19:13. So let us be careful lest we assume too much and presume too little.

"A Most Dangerous Practice"

The "majority vote" might be a fairly good method of ruling the academic field or the political world, but such an expression or practice transferred into the church is a most dangerous practice. I feel it is common among us to 'side up' with the majority. Before some brethren will make up their minds on certain issues, they wait to see what the majority says. They use the 'counting noses' method. They read the Bible for themselves, but allow the majority to interpret it for them. We accuse the Catholic Church of not wanting the laymen to read the Bible (which is not true), she lets them read it, but does not want them to interpret it. She teaches that the clergy is to interpret it for them — and we laugh them to scorn for it. But is it any worse to let the minority interpret the Bible than it is to let the majority do so? The truth of God is not ascertained by how many accept it or how many reject it.

Then there is the other extreme. Some brethren think the fewer the numbers the greater the figures, which is sometimes true, but not always. The minority does not prove a thing right or wrong. There are some who place the utmost confidence in a certain preacher, or certain commentaries and accept them as final. But let it ever be remembered that Peter said, No prophecy of the scripture is of private interpretation, — but some think so. These practices lead to inevitable results. Let us notice a few: It causes some to wrest the scriptures to their own destruction; to seek to please men and not God; it helps us to believe in the infallibility of man; it causes us to rely on a human authority and not divine; it keeps us from studying with an open mind; it even keeps us from studying and it enthrones man and dethrones the word of God. They say to be forewarned is to be forearmed, so let us take the hint.