Vol.VIII No.V Pg.3
July 1971

Saving The Church, Ii

Robert F. Turner

I wrote an article on this subject several years ago, but some must have failed to read it —, otherwise, why would these foolish notions continue to circulate? Hmmmm!!

One fellow said Foy once saved the church from premillennialism, but now his influence has waned, and he cant save the church from institutionalism He thought it was a pity we didnt have someone whose influence was such that he could save the church now. I said (hours later, when I usually think of my best replies) Yeah, what a pity that Jesus Christ didnt have enough influence to save the church in both cases.

Of course, the truth of the matter is that Jesus DID and DOES have that kind of influence, with HIS church. All who look to Him for guidance are content to be citizens in His spiritual kingdom; and have been saved from institutionalism by a close adherence to His pattern of church government. Their salvation involved come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, etc., (2 Cor. 6:17-18) but then this has ever been so. Jesus saved HIS church in earlier times by influencing them to obey God rather than men — even unto death. (Acts 5:29-f) Christ influenced HIS followers to worship in small groups, in halls and private homes, rather than continue in unauthorized worship practices in large, impressive buildings, with the party. How is that for influence?

I have no desire to depreciate the great work done by preachers and others; but no man has ever saved the Lords church. At best, a man may urge people to cleave unto the Lord (Acts 11:23) so that HE may save them individually and severally. (That is the way the Lord saves — as each bows self-will to the Lords will.) When mans influence is such that people follow the man instead of the Lord — even when the mans lead coincides with the Lords way — the good done is ephemeral. Here today, and gone tomorrow — when imperfect man goes astray, Except Jehovah build the house, they labor in vain that build it. (Psm. 127:1)

Middle-of-the-roaders are trying to save the mainstream of the movement, and having a hard time of it. They lack the gall and abandon to out-promote the promoters. And, if they succeeded, they would only have preserved a party whose chief characteristic is nothingness. Why work up an ulcer to save a union of people while the true Saviour is dividing people in order to preserve true unity in the faith? (Matt. 10: 32-39; 1 Cor. 5:1-8; 2 Jn. 9-11)

We are not insensitive to the need for fellowship among saints — to an obligation to work together in Gods congregational arrangement — but this too must be saved in response to the influence of Christ upon the individual saint. When Christ is served, and only then, is there unity that is acceptable in His sight.

There are many would-be Don Quixotes, charging up and down the land, ready to save the church which really doesnt want to be saved — but only one Jesus Christ, who will indeed save His church in eternity.