Vol.VI No.VII Pg.2
September 1969

Special Issue

Robert F. Turner

In this issue we have dropped our usual format to present a Special Issue on the subject of UNITY. All sorts of ideas about unity are making the papers today — with some loosely worded material that seems to offer a new definition for fellowship; and some attacks on efforts made to reach erring brethren with truth, that sound very far from the love and concern brethren should have for one-another. It is evident that a sectarian party spirit prevails among some, both among liberals and conservatives.

It is difficult to keep ones balance in such times. Differing sections of the country are at different stages of development. In one state the trend may be toward a com- promising spirit — and good men there see any effort to discuss differences as an invitation to seek peace at the price of truth. In another state the feelings may run so bitter that equally good men may see the need to recall brethren to sanity. Readers in either section are likely to read into the articles from the other area, something that was not meant.

I am reasonably certain that this issue will be differently interpreted by brethren; but I am equally certain that I must do what I can to teach what I believe to be the truth — and a two-sided, forked-tongue sort of middle of the road approach is an abdication of responsibility. My temperament will color how I say a thing, (as in all cases) but I must speak.

Before we get to print, a friend has suggested that our point on the relative nature of understanding (p.4) may cause some to think I am saying truth is relative. Well, I DID NOT say that — as this and many previous issues will testify. Nor am I saying that relative understanding removes assurance, or makes compliance with Gods truth impossible. Men have visited the moon, and hit Mars, with a relative knowledge of Gods physical laws. The humble acknowledgement that one may be wrong —-and the willingness to be questioned and tested — does not keep one from steadfast continuance in that which careful study has shown to be right.

Quarantine — of conservatives OR OF LIBERALS — is a carnal procedure. I have been the victim many times, as liberal brethren have falsely charged me, misrepresented what I teach, and refused me the opportunity of explanation and defense. But their conduct does not justify my acting that way. Nor can I conclude that all who differ with me are dishonest. SEEK THE TRUTH, AND GOD WILL JUDGE THE HEARTS.