Vol.IV No.X Pg.1
December 1967

"Sanctified Common Sense"

Robert F. Turner

Several years ago a professed gospel preacher told me he knew little about the scriptural arguments on a certain subject, but he could "kinda feel" the truth about such matters, and he "kinda felt" I was wrong.

This is no new idea -- that we can just "sense" right and wrong without too much investigation -- but it makes authority wholly subjective, and denies man's need for revelation of God.

In 1891 J. W. McGarvey wrote in reply to a liberal preacher whose kind are not all dead today -- and some are not even sick--:

"In defense of the proposed change it is said: "We allow some margin for sanctified human knowledge and experience in the matter of church organization." Well, I thought so. I was sure that in no other way could such conclusions have been reached as I am opposing. For myself, I prefer in all matters on which apostles have spoken, to follow their 'sanctified human knowledge' which I know to be sanctified; rather than to follow my own, which may turn out to be nothing but unsanctified human conceit. Human knowledge has nothing to do in such matters except to learn what the apostles have said, and apply it." Logic has come to a sorry end when a PhD. in one of "our" schools can write to "WE BRETHREN" a book which draws the "wavy line" between God's way and man's way on the basis of the man's "common sense." But logic is not the greatest casualty. It is here -- where the will of man and the will of God struggle -- that faith is put to the test. And if man's "common sense" draws a line that speaks where God has not spoken, faith has failed.

Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" (for all its fine American principles) led him to use the Bible as God's "direct and positive" protest against monarchical rule. Then his "Age of Reason" denied the written Word, accepting nature as "all that is necessary." "My own mind is my own church." Well, that figures. "Sanctified (?) common sense" has a way of accepting just enough Bible to justify "the way we have always done it." This way today's liberals can have their own church.