Vol.IX No.II Pg.2
April 1972

On Saving

Robert F. Turner


Opinionated brethren are split into splinter groups. There are legalist among us. Many church members are hypocrites. Well, do not expect me to deny these charges, nor to rush to the defense of opinionated brethren, legalist or hypocrites. If I take the announcements a bit more calmly than some of our angry young men expect, it is not because I am unconcerned. It is just that these same problems were found in the first century church, and faithful brethren have been working on the problems for many years; and I am more concerned with assisting brethren to better un­derstand and practice the way of the Lord than I am in protest slogans.

Radical propaganda relies heavily upon the word Hypocrisy and Tradi­tional to leave the impression that any facet of society which has weath­ered the years, and whose continued success is a standing rebuttal to revolution, must be bad. Such an unrealistic spirit may have been un­wittingly adopted by critics of the church. But a catalogue of errors and divisions, however lengthy, does not justify another party, based upon an erroneous concept of fellowship— even if it flies a flag called UNITY.

Ive done my share of combating a sectarian spirit among brethren, and plan to continue such. But oftimes brethren are unaware that they have drifted into a sectarian concept of church; and they are worshipping God in the only way they have been taught, and-as sincerely as their ca­pacity allows. If we see faults, we will not help them by rash charges. Instead, we might work up sermons to explain more clearly the true meaning of worship. We might lead them to a better understanding of church, but could never drive them there.

Teaching must proceed from the known to the unknown; the familiar to the unfamiliar. One may reach people with familiar terminology—even that of the King James version—who would be alienated by other words. Is ones pride of scholarship (?) more important than saving souls?

People often respond to what we expect of them. If I approach a study convinced that what I. say will make people angry, I may have a fight on my hands before I can get away. But if I assume that they want the truth, and concentrate on giving them a fair demonstration, I may reach some. My attitude will greatly affect theirs.

Put briefly, we must demonstrate respect for divine authority, and the love for God and brethren we would like to see in others.