Vol.XVIII No.V Pg.5
July 1981

"Me No Understand"

Curtis Wubbena

During the summer of 1805 a missionary was given the opportunity to speak to some principal Indian chiefs and warriors. "I am come, brethren," said the preacher, "to enlighten your minds, and to instruct you how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his will, and to preach to you the gospel of his Son, Jesus Christ. There is but one way to serve God, and if you do not embrace the right way, you cannot be happy hereafter." The chiefs replied to this with a message the religious world could use today. They said, "Brother, we understand your religion is written in a Book. You say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book! Brother, we do not understand these things..."

Now I don't know if that man ever did reply, but if he did I wonder what he said? How does a man justify division? I'll tell you how many try to justify it today. It usually goes something like this, "We're all or different roads going to the same place. We simply interpret the Bible differently." Yet, does this really answer the question, or is this an easy way out? Let's establish the facts. There is an all-powerful God, who inspired men to write His divine will so men may know how to please Him. Hmmm!

Somewhere there is a serious breakdown of logic. If God is all-powerful, He must be able to convey His Will to man. He breathed into the men what he wanted them to say. Thus, the humans involved could not have made a mistake. The only logical conclusion is that man has a message that tells how to please the Almighty.

Ideally, we should "...speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you" (1 Cor. 1:10). In the world today we find a much different picture. The solution is, in the word presented by the apostle Paul, to "learn not to go beyond the things which are written" (1 Cor. 4:6). If man is willing to stay with revealed truth there will be no problem in maintaining unity. After all, the Bible is the source of unity, not the cause of disunity.

But learning not to go beyond that which is written means learning to respect divine authority — a submission of our will to God's will. It does not mean finding a compromise acceptable to all parties. It does not mean using carnal pressures to fit others into "our" mould. The hard part about unity, is the same hard part in converting the world to the Lord: denying self, and taking up our cross, and following Him.

Let's not just leave this message at the doorsteps of the denominations. Many of our brethren desperately need to learn not to go beyond the things that God has told us. Innovations and institutions have never had it so good. "Thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?"

Let us, "hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 1:13).