Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 10, 1954

The Search For Truth


In every realm of human endeavor the search for truth is one of the most fascinating, as well as rewarding, of all pursuits. It is right and proper that in the scientific realm — whether medicine, history, archaeology, agriculture, astronomy, or what-not — this search be continuous, aggressive, and painstaking. Once certain truths have been established, these facts can be used as steppingstones to explore still further into the hitherto unknown. For example, once the rotundity of the earth had been demonstrated, it were sheer folly to spend years of research trying to establish whether the earth is, or is not, spherical.

In the realm of religion the same principle prevails. There are many truths that are certain, demonstrated, and undeniable to the true student. The divinity of Christ might be cited as an example. Nearly a hundred years ago the great Canon Liddon in the preface to his Bampton Lectures of 1866 wrote:

"There are those who, by God's mercy, have no doubt on the subject of Our Lord's Godhead. To mere dialecticians their case may appear to be one of sheer intellectual stagnation. But the fact is, that they possess, or at least they have altogether within their reach, a far higher measure of real 'life' than is even suspected by their critics. They are not seeking truth; they are enjoying it. They are not like Alpine climbers still making their way up the mountain side; they have gained the summit, and are gazing on the panorama which is spread around and beneath them. It is even painful to them to think of 'proving' a truth which is now the very life of their souls. In their whole spiritual activity, in their prayers, in their regular meditations, in their study of Holy Scripture, in their habitual thoughts respecting the Future, they take Christ's Divinity for granted; and it never occurs to them to question a reality from which they know themselves to be continually gaining new streams of light and warmth and power."

While the true Christian has infinite patience with the seeker who is still struggling up the mountain side, he does not for one moment admit that he is still wrestling with such problems, that he is undecided and uncertain as to the truth he has learned.

In an article written in another gospel journal a few weeks ago we found this startling statement:

"We need to emphasize anew that we who can scripturally call ourselves members of the Church of Christ have a desire to be 'Christians Only.' But at the same time, we must not become so biased and narrow as to think we are `The Only Christians' ....

"Who are we to judge the heart of another who has in all sincerity rendered obedience unto the Lord? We may have some truth that one does not have but conversely we ought to realize that they may have some that we do not have."

Thus our editor friend would put all of us on the same basis — as seekers after truth. And we who have found the truth as respects the one church (or think we have found it) are not to press such claims against the sincere man who is convinced there are many churches. He may be right, and we may be wrong! And those who have found the true Bible teaching on the subject of baptism (or think they have) are not to insist that ONLY those who obey such teaching are Christians. While those obeying are indeed Christians, they are not 'The Only Christians'! There may be others who have found a different way by which to become Christians! They have a "truth" we have not yet learned!

All of this serves but to emphasize how important and how vital is our recognition of truth once we find it. Fortunately, the word of God is not obscure or difficult on such elementary matters. Its language is simple, and too plain to be misunderstood. And once a man has read and BELIEVED what the Bible says concerning the one church, he is no longer a "seeker after truth" on that subject; he has found the truth, and will bring and keep his life in harmony with it. Once a man has found and BELIEVED what the Bible teaches on the necessity of baptism, he ceases to be a "seeker after truth" on that subject. Why should he "seek" that which he already has? He now enjoys the truth and seeks to teach it to others.

There are many, many in the land who go through life never certain of anything. They have confused an open mind with a state of perpetual uncertainty and vacillation. Attempting to keep an open mind, they never settle on anything. There are no convictions in their heart; no anchors to their restless, tossing ship. They live in a state of suspended animation both spiritually and intellectually. And stagnation is inevitable. The way to avoid that, of course, is for each man to act on the truth he discovers when he learns it. Put that truth into effect, into action, in daily life; let it become a part of the normal pattern of living. Once one is convinced that the Bible teaches baptism for the remission of sins, for example, let him be baptized at once. Once he realizes the Bible teaches there is but one church, let him work and live and serve God as a member of that body. He will no longer need to "seek" for truth in that field; he can enjoy it and live it.

— F.Y.T.