Vol.VI No.XI Pg.2
January 1970

Meeting The Issues

Robert F. Turner

During the past two years I have conducted gospel meetings with 53 conservative churches. Single service appointments bring the number of contacts to 58 — New Jersey to California, Oregon, Iowa to Florida, and even lovely Texas. I think I have some conception of the issues which face such churches.

I do not refer to institutionalism; although I believe the truth concerning congregational independence and support of human institutions should be kept before brethren. A better grasp of the principles involved is needed by old and new converts alike. But the many new churches scattered throughout our land have other problems. I can but briefly sketch some issues here, but these and others deserve our detailed and careful attention.

There are many small churches, subjected to bitter attacks from liberal brethren, where slow growth breeds discouragement. This issue (discouragement) must be faced realistically, with positive steps taken to overcome it. Internal personal conflicts are high on my list of current issues. In times of unrest and division, malcontents often go with the smaller group, to have a small pond for their croaking.

Lack of leadership is a challenging issue of our day. It is encouraging to remember that the courage which brought these saints to take a stand for truth, will be useful in developing bishop material, but sober judgement and experience is a scarce and precious commodity in any day.

Many small churches (and some BIG ones) seem to lack ambition, or push. It is almost as if they were afraid to grow, or tackle anything of size. This may be a sad trauma, received in their struggle with digression in the big church; but it is an issue we must meet and overcome if we are to please Jesus Christ, who sent His messengers into all nations.

Crack pot ideas are sure to come from self-appointed free-thinkers among us. Some seem to love the role of issue maker. We must be neither bound to traditional ideas, nor loosed from Gods Holy Word. And worldliness, (in attitude and practice) is always with us.

Many of our problems stem from zealous but inexperienced members who are as ready to bind where God has not bound as their counterparts in more liberal churches are to loose where God has not loosed. We sorely need an honest look at ourselves, and determination to MEET OUR ISSUES.