Vol.I No.I Pg.6
January 1964

On Being Neutral

Robert F. Turner

"You are on the right road, and whatever you do, don't let anyone persuade you that you can successfully combat error by fellowshipping it and going along with it.

I have tried. I believed at the start that was the only way to do it. I've never held membership in a congregation that uses instrumental music. I have, however, accepted invitations to preach without distinction between churches that used it and churches that didn't.

I've gone along with their papers and magazines and things of that sort. During all these years I have taught the truth as the New Testament teaches it to every young preacher who has passed through the college of the Bible. Yet I do not know of more than six of them who are preaching the truth today.

It won't work."

Brother J. W. McGarvey gave this advice to bro. J. P. Sewell in 1902, when brother Sewell was preaching for the Pearl and Bryan Streets church in Dallas. It is taken from brother Sewell's lecture, "Biographical Sketches of Restoration Preachers" given at Harding College in 1950. Referring to this advice, brother Sewell closed his lecture with the following words: "This experience has been an inspiration to me, when I was ever tempted to turn aside and go along with error, to remember the warning of this great old man."

From an article by

James E. Cooper,

The Proclaimer, San Antonio, Dec. '63. Established -- (from pg. 4)

this, they are denied the fellowship of Christians. (1 Cor. 5:) A congregation of Christians who, collectively, no longer act in keeping with God's will is unworthy of a name and place among the churches of Christ. (Rev. 2) The Lord's church consists of people identified with the truth -- not just a people identified with a party.

God's Establishment Unchanged

What God established -- truth -- the New Covenant -- never changes. (1 Pet. 1:23-f) But the party -- the people could fall away. (1 Tim. 4:1-f) First their attitude toward divine authority is altered, then their practices, then, usually many years later, their terminology. Because the rule is one thing, and the people who supposedly follow the rule is another, Paul said we must not measure ourselves by our selves. (2 Cor. 10:12-f)

One may "stay with the building" "stay with the preacher" "stay with the elders" "stay with 90% of the people" -- and yet leave the church which God established. In fact, this is precisely the history of denominationalism with its creed-bound people.

Christians today need to restudy their conception of Christ's church. We must rededicate ourselves, not to some "party" but to the Christ, and to His cause. I must know the truth, and obey it, regardless of the action of others---"in the church" or out of it. I must remember that it is the purified and cleansed church-- not the "party"-- that Christ promises to save eternally. (Eph. 5:26-27) What God really established is firm and sure, and cannot be shaken. Heb. 10:28