Vol.VII No.I Pg.6
March 1970

Mainstream Theology

Robert F. Turner

In the Dec. 16' 69 Firm Foundation. Johnny Ramsey wrote, it is altogether possible that some men are considered heretics just because they have the quiet, reserved courage to buck the tide of apostasy while those leading us into apostasy are being praised for their sense of timing in public relations! A man is not a heretic when he differs with the mainstream of the restoration movement. He is a heretic if he opposes New Testament Christianity. (emph, rt)

Then, in a Jan. 6,70 editorial, bro. Lemmons says, The Restoration movement is still in adolescense, but it is showing some signs of maturity. We have all confidence in the sound and Biblical stance the mainstream of the movement has assumed and we believe that its very growth and developing influence is a lesson to elements both to the right and to the left worth consideration. (emph, rt)

The mainstream of the movement needs quotes, in bro. Ramseys judgement, and is a standard for nothing. Bro. Lemmons thinks it is maturing (with a Biblical stance), and that its size and influence should be a lesson to those who are not in the mainstream. I vote for Johnny! And I like my lessons from the word of God, before they are filtered through the majority opinion of a movement.

There is no surer sign of sectarianism than an appeal to the faith and practice of a majority of the Churches of Christ in Texas or the mainstream of the movement — and I am keeping in mind the fact that bro. Lemmons has confidence in its sound and Biblical stance. Trouble is, the mainstream of the movement is the {one} or more steps removed from the true basis of authority.

This is the open Sesame to partyism; and when mainstream churches begin to function collectively, it is the grist of denominationalism. It narrows N.T. brotherhood to party fellowship, and soon its followers begin to think that TRUTH flows in the channel cut by this mainstream. The fact is, TRUTH cuts its own channel and IS the mainstream which all faithful Christians follow.

God is the source of truth, and by this standard we are constantly challenged to climb upward. But mainstreams of ANY movement (majority opinion, or bulk of adherents) have a human source. The movement begins with zeal, dedication and strong conviction — but always with something less than the perfect truth of Gods word. AND — the testimony of history is that it almost invariably degenerates — majorities tend to accept less and less truth as a sufficient standard. Of course, differing with the mainstream doesnt prove one right. Why go to either majority or minority for lessons when Gods word is available? (2 Cor. 10:12-f)

I have written, and will continue to write against the iconoclastic spirit that delights in attacking old established positions — ego that feeds itself on novelty — but this is not to enthrone mainstream creeds. Genuine truth seekers are uninhibited — allowing neither our nor their doctrine to replace the truth of God.