Vol.VIII No.I Pg.4
March 1971

By Truth Or Trivials?

Dan S. Shipley

Many Christians faced with the problem of choosing a congregation with which to identify themselves. Regrettably, this important choice is sometimes determined more by trivials than truth. With some, the location and appearance of the church building become influencing factors; with others, the size and friendliness of a congregation are more persuasive. Still others are swayed by little more than preacher personality. In many cases, little, if any, effort is made to determine whether a church is teaching, practicing and standing for gospel truth. That Christians would allow such trifles to determine so serious a matter is almost unthinkable.

The role of the individual Christian in the local congregation is not one to be assumed or considered lightly. This together arrangement is ordained of God and its activities are governed by His word. Individual responsibilities are not diminished in this union, no matter how large it may become. The Christian is no less amenable to Gods truth in this collective arrangement than as an individual. Any truth - determined obligation in reference to the local church or its elders is best understood as being an obligation unto God Himself. Therefore, it is not a matter of being faithful to the church or to its elders, but to God and His truth! In view of this principle, one can easily understand how that members of churches who are led into unscriptural practices by the elders are no less guilty than the elders themselves. Every Christian owes primary allegiance to the great Shepherd and Bishop of his soul (1 Pet. 2:25). Truth is degraded to trivials in con- gregations where error is condoned or tolerated. Whether it be in the counten- ancing of false teachers or ungodly members, truth suffers when sin is allowed. Neither God nor His truth are honored in churches where unqualified men are allowed to continue as elders. Churches do not support human institutions from their treasuries in response to Divine truth. Instead, such truth is being ignored in favor of expedients, human reasoning, sentiment and other such trifles. If God can be honored by individuals in authorized collective efforts, then He certainly can be dishonored in the unauthorized! Every Christian in every congregation sustains a personal obligation to Divine truth for which an account will be given.

The spiritual strength of individuals and churches is reflected in their regard for gospel truth. The Christian who truly loves and respects this truth should seek to join himself with like-minded brethren. Their meeting place may be remote and modest; the members may be few and plain, but such things are mere trifles compared to the precious truth to which they are dedicated and by which they are bound together — an saved.

Submission to only some of Gods truth is not enough. It must be allowed to determine every decision an every duty. The individual who doe not submit to ALL truth doesnt submit to truth at all!