Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 13, 1966
NUMBER 23, PAGE 8-9a

"We Can't All Se It Alike

J. D. Tant

Or can we? In the examination of any subject, it may appear differently when approached from different angles. But when we get the whole picture, the differences may vanish.

Let four men look at a house. The first may swear that the house has two doors and two windows, and that these are the only openings in the house. The second man declares that he saw the house, and that it has three windows, but no door. The third man states that he saw the house, and it has two windows only. The fourth man may swear that the house has two windows and one chimney. These men would make fine denominational preachers; and would carry out the old sectarian idea that "we can't all see the Bible alike." Yet a fifth man might view the house and offer an explanation as to the differing views of the other four men. He might view the entire house, and swear that there are two doors and two windows on the front side; three windows and no door on the back side; two windows on the south side; and two windows and one chimney on the north side. Now, all the men may have told the truth as to what they saw; yet, if we take the testimony of these men as to the house the same way we take the testimony of sectarian preachers about the Bible, each man could have sworn that the other three lied as to what the house was like!

Here is one great trouble in the religious world. Many good people only look at one part of the Bible, drive down their stakes and cut the rope (or creed) just long enough to reach from that particular angle. They never try to go all the way around the house to see what may be on the other side. They take a part of the Bible, but refuse to accept other parts of it. But Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (Jno. 8:32. )

Moses, foretelling the coming of the Son of God, says that we must hear him in ALL things whatsoever he may command. (Deut. 18.) Much of the division of our day is caused by hearing the Son of God in some things, but not in all things. One man will look at the Bible and read, "Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God," (Rom. 5:1) Here he will drive down his stake, take his stake rope and cut off the measure of faith, never looking for anything else. Soon you will hear him arguing "salvation by faith only" just like the man who looked at only one side of the house.

Another man will read, "Why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." He will drive down his stake and cut his rope to the measure of baptism only. Then he will reason, we are all born under sin, hence children are sinners. And as baptism is to "wash away sins," the children need to be baptized. He begins to teach infant baptism. Thus it runs through all sectarianism; each man finds some part of the Bible which appeals to him, cuts his rope to fit that particular view, and declines to look at the rest of the Bible, or even to try to harmonize his view with other passages.

We find that Baptists, Methodists, Adventists, Presbyterians --- all have staked off their claims, written their creeds, and built their fences so high that none of their members are allowed to walk around the entire building (or apply the entire teaching of Christ) lest he be turned out for heresy!

I rejoice that I am a member of a church that has no creed with limitations, no creed that needs revising; but with perfect liberty a man can take ALL the Bible says on any subject. With this unbounded liberty a man can look at the word of God from every angle and say, "It is all mine." Then we turn and hear Jesus say, "I will build my church." The church is Christ's, not man's; Christ is its law-giver; his will is its rule of faith and practice.

I find this same church is called the church of God. I have no creed binding me to reject that. So I can conclude that Christ and God, His father, are working together; and whatsoever belongs to one belongs to both. I start walking still farther around this building. There is no rope (creed) to tie me down to one side of it. I can read about "the churches of Christ." I say, this is good; and as Christ taught that the Father had given him all authority, and as Paul taught that Christ was to have the preeminence in all things, I say, how grand and how glorious it is to know that this is the church of Christ. I continue to walk around this building, and I find that the members of this church were called "Christians" first in the city of Antioch. This leads me to realize that the word Christian is a derivative word, derived from "Christ", like the word woman is derived from man. When you say the word woman, man's name is always sounded; so when you sound the name Christian, Christ's name is sounded, And there is salvation in no other name under heaven. (Acts 4:12. )

As in the natural world, so in the spiritual world, we come into existence as babes, and not full grown men and women. As long as life lasts we should be willing to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn more of him and what he wants us to do and to be. Christ is my shepherd, and I follow him to find pasture for my soul.

While we are all members of the same great family, yet we are individuals, and as such we have our respective inclinations and appetites. Not all of us have the same appreciation for certain books; not all of us enjoy the same kind of work. But, because we differ as individuals, no one has the right to impose his particular tastes or ideas or opinions upon another.

Neither has he the right to forbid another holding his differing opinion. If I cannot lead as a captain, let me follow as a sheep. What kind of a church would we have if every member aspired to be an elder? Let each member find, and fill, the place to which God has adapted him.

We can grow up in love, speaking the same thing, living in the same family, fighting for the same cause; and finally all of us find rest in that home which God has prepared for those who love him. Insofar as our obedience to God is concerned, we not only can, but we MUST "see it alike". In matters of opinion or judgment we may vary; but in the service of God, the entire Bible is our creed and our guide.

-From "Gospel X-Ray"