Vol.XX No.II Pg.1
April 1983

The Fight For Truth

Robert F. Turner

When two brothers, presumed to be saints, have differences in understanding concerning some scriptural matter, their sainthood prescribes their conduct. They love each other, have nothing but good will toward one another — which means each wishes the other to have truth and profit by it. "Self" has been pushed into the background, if not eliminated (Phil. 1:27--2:4). They stand fast in one (or, the same) spirit (attitude), with one (the same) mind (desire) as they strive together (mutually helpful) for the faith of the gospel.

Honest now — is that the impression you get when two brethren meet on platform or printed page to discuss religious differences? How come a large percentage of readers or hearers get the impression each is out to smear the other, tack on an uncomplimentary "label," and "finish" him? We frequently hear some paper is just promoting self with such "issues."

We know that such charges can be more of the very tactics they criticize; can be efforts to stop any exposure of error; and we do not suggest that brethren should allow false charges to stop legitimate discussion. On the other hand, the presentation of gospel truth does not justify unethical and ungodly treatment of our opponents. When great segments of our audience — folk who agree with our conclusions — turn away in disgust from our tactics, we should at least realize we are not "coming across" as saints, primarily interested in truth.

Aye, here is the true test! Are we teaching truth, or are we using carnal pressures to build up a "party," and keep the members in line? Do our pupils know which flag to follow, but do not know WHY? Do our tactics promote a fanaticism that cries "Communist," "Calvinist," or "Liberal" at everyone who differs with us; or are we really interested in facts, and in constructive presentation of truth in love that "suffereth long and is kind" (1 Cor. 13:4-f). The "party and prejudice" route is the easy one — if you want that kind of members; but truth properly taught will free the recipient from sin, and make true brothers. WE MUST LEARN TO STAND UP FOR TRUTH WITHOUT KNEELING TO THE DEVIL!!