Vol.VI No.II Pg.3
April 1969

An Old Green Parrot

Robert F. Turner

Many brethren view problems dividing disciples today and dismiss them with a shrug — Oh, there is really not much difference; they are not far apart. It sounds like wishful thinking to me. The same thing was said of the apostasy 100 years ago — a piano is the only difference. But more important than the distance separating us is the direction we are going.

This was emphasized to me recently in a preachers discussion about current problems. One preacher said, Give us the scripture authorizing the things you are doing and advocating; that is all we ask. A prominent preacher retorted, Give us scripture! Give us scripture! You can teach an old green parrot to say Give us scripture. That is all you fellows say. I was amazed! Little matter what short distance may now separate us, we are not going the same direction! Dont be surprised if our doctrine and practices become more and more different; we follow divergent principles. Such irritation and disgust with pleas for scripture point the opposite direction from the appeals for a thus saith the Lord in all we teach or do. (Col. 3:17)

A situation may arise where brethren have some grave differences. They both agree that we must speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. We may confidently make a prediction. IF — IF (1) they are honest men and (2) they seriously study their Bibles; the differences will work out. They will move closer and closer together as they move closer to their common standard of authority (scripture). Unity will eventually result; they follow converging courses. Some find it encouraging that fewer differences exist between some brethren and the 1st Christian Church today than 25 years ago. You will notice this comes at the same time the same brethren are moving farther from brethren who demand scripture for all things. Be assured this converging is not because the Christian Church people are returning to the biblical principles they left 100 years ago. They are becoming more liberal all the time. But we may well expect time to bring our liberal brethren and the 1st Christians together. They both refuse to be restrained by the silence of scripture; both accept and voice the very same principles — they follow converging courses.

Many people have not recently examined the course they follow. Ask yourself — Are you hearing fewer appeals from your preachers to return to the Bible in all things? Do you ever hear your own doctrine examined in the light of scripture? You see things done today that were condemned a few years ago, but do you hear an explanation for the change? Do you hear more poems and philosophy but less scripture in sermons? WHICH WAY ARE YOU HEADED? Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. (Ex. 23:2)

Some churches could surely use an old green parrot to cry out, Give us scripture! Give us scripture! Maybe he would awaken the people. Doubtless the plea must come from the old green parrot; few preachers are saying it. Joe Fitch