Vol.VI No.VII Pg.4
September 1969

Whittlin And Thinkin

Robert F. Turner

When does one become a Christian? When he conforms to the requirements that Christ has given. (Jn. 14:21-24)

Who determines (judges) this conformity; accepts one as Christian? God judges His servants, through Jesus Christ, in keeping with standards declared in His word. (Rom. 14:4,12; Jn. 12: 47-50) We answer to God.

When do I recognize another as a Christian? When, by my understanding of Gods word, I see one has done the bidding of Christ. Righteous judgement (Jn. 7:24) is the honest appraisal of mens fruits. (Matt. 7: 16-20)

Is not my recognition of one as a Christian related to my grasp of truth, hence relative? Certainly! Truth is not relative. God knows exactly when one is a Christian, but I know in keeping with the level of my understanding, this and all else.

Could I be mistaken, the level of my understanding inadequate? Yes! (Cf. Acts 26: 9-11) I do not consider MY level of understanding or MY practice the rule for divine approval or disapproval. (2 Cor. 10: 12-13)

Then how can I justify being positive about anything? My honest self is all I have to give to Christ. I MUST ACT consistent with my understanding, my honest conviction, to be true to myself and to Christ. (Acts 23:1 24:16) I believe Gods word is truth (Jn. 17:17); and I must be as positive to others, as God is real and positive to me. Any other course is less than honest, and discredits the positive nature of Gods truth.

But should I say that others are wrong? What else? I do not believe or say that MY judgement makes them wrong, but I can not be honest with myself and God, and say they are right. The same level of understanding that genders my faith, and gives me hope, tells me that contradicting doctrines and practices are wrong.

On such a basis, how can I ever expect men to be united in religion? This is the ONLY basis on which I can expect unity, and DO expect unity among honest truth-seekers. Continue your whittlin and thinkin with me.

1. AMONG IMPERFECT MEN UNITY MUST REMAIN A SEARCHING, SEEKING PROCESS. Remove pride and creedal bindings and honest truth-seekers will find God.

2. BASIS IS HUMILITY! We have real confidence in pressing rather than in the heady feeling of having already attained. (Phil. 3: 12-15; 2:27)

3. SHOWS FAITH IN GODS DESIRE AND PLAN FOR UNITY. Truth, and the truth-seeker, does not fear investigation. If we will do our part, rest assured God will do His. (Jn. 7:17)

4. NO HUMAN STANDARD OR PARTY LEVEL (CREED) IS ACCEPTED — to hamper further study. We remain open to question — anxious to grow in grace and knowledge. (2 Pet. 3:18)

5. CONSCIENCE AND HUMAN DIGNITY IS RESPECTED, not as the standard of truth, but with the deference accorded an honest truth-seeker. (Rom. 14:1-f)

When Unity Is Lost, Man Is The Loser!