Vol.IV No.X Pg.6
December 1967

Peace In The Truth

Robert F. Turner

"I plead not for peace except as it comes in the wake of truth. I am reminded of Bro. McGarvy's plea for peace -- his five propositions recently published in the ADVOCATE. The learned and good brother is, to my mind, unfortunate in his propositions and conclusions, in this: In each of these five propositions he speaks of brethren and churches one or both having the right of "banding themselves together," combining as individuals, combining as churches, etc., for missionary work; whereas the truth when properly considered and weighed, develops the fact that the grandest and most effective "banding" and "combining" of church members, and churches adheres to and is inherent in her constitution.

When they vowed allegiance to Christ as their king and entered into covenant relation with God to honor his institution -- the church -- they thereby and therein banded and combined to do all the missionary work in their power collectively and individually. If I am mistaken in this I am now ready and willing to be corrected. If, however, I am correct then any further banding and combining is superfluous and derogatory of the institution of Christ.

Can you put a "band" around his institutions more effective for good, or stronger than that forged by the divine hand? Is it to be strengthened by a human vow or covenant? May God help us to remember his institutions, and come squarely up to the full measure of our duties and responsibilities -- to the vow we made when we entered into covenant relationship with him; and no longer waste our time, confusing and distracting the religious community, by pleading and apologizing for other combines which ignore the church. Let us remember that in Christ "dwelleth all the fullness of the God-head bodily" and not forget that the church by divine enactment is constituted "his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." I plead for the truth, and for your inspection put in juxtaposition to Bro. McGarvey's five propositions, a single proposition, which I insist comprehends all that there is of good in his, and that too, without ignoring the church which is the combine of God for the amelioration of our race and sanctification of the world. I invite close and critical attention to my plea. Here it is: There is not a single good benevolent, moral or philanthropic deed, or missionary or Christian action, that may not be performed alone or conjointly by one or more church members, or one or more churches in their church capacity without the aid of any of the combines or institutions christened at the font of popular expediency."


The above, and more, was written by W. H. Timmons, in the Gospel Advocate of Mar. 25, 1891. In his day brethren were combining funds of many churches under executive "boards" for "missionary" and benevolent work. He pled for the sufficiency of God's local independent church. Today, when multi-church benevolent societies and "Campaigns --, Inc." again divide brethren, we believe his plea appropriate.