Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 17, 1958
NUMBER 49, PAGE 4-5a

Welcome Back, Brother Tant


With the May 1 issue, which will be the beginning of Volume 10, Brother Tant will be back at the helm as editor of this paper. For nearly four months I have done my best to "sit in" for him while he took time out to write his father's biography. He has now practically finished this work and he will no doubt be telling us more about it. All of us are vitally interested in seeing the biography of the late J. D. Tant, one of the most able and colorful preachers of the last generation, put in print. Certainly there is no one better qualified to write it than his own son. Anxiously we await the chance to read it. No doubt it will be one of the most interesting and inspiring books of this generation.

I am sure that all the readers of this journal join me in saying: "Welcome back, Brother Tant. You have really been missed." For nine years he has served faithfully and ably as editor of this paper, and he has done a wonderful job. Only eternity will reveal the good that he has accomplished in this capacity. As Volume nine ends and another year begins, we can all be glad to see the journal continue under his able leadership. May God richly bless his labors as he continues to fight for and uphold "the ancient order of things" as set forth in God's word. It has been an honor for me to be able to "fill in" for this period and I hope that the standard has not fallen too much below the usual high quality.

A Reminder: The next issue will be the special dealing with The Beatitudes. It will bring to a close Volume nine and my work as "Substitute Editor."

— Charles A. Holt If Division Comes

There are many able brethren who think that the church is headed for another major division such as took place about 50-75 years ago over the missionary societies and instrumental music. It does seem that such is very, very likely and fast shaping up. There are evidences of this on every hand. This is a serious matter and should be of grave concern to all those who love the Cause of Christ. We should all determine to learn the facts involved and do all in our power that is right and in harmony with the scriptures to avoid such. It is a problem for all of us — as much yours as it is mine! Some have assumed a very flippant attitude toward this matter and would seek to ignore the possibility of such and the unmistakeable evidences of it. This will certainly never solve the problem.

Responsibility For Division

The question of responsibility for such a state of affairs is paramount. Who is really to blame for it? What has brought it about? Those who are pushing all the big, centralized, promotional schemes of one kind or another, are quick to charge that those who object to these things are the ones who are causing the division. Those who oppose benevolent societies, erroneously called "orphan homes," are causing the trouble so it is being vociferously proclaimed. The ones who object to such co-operative arrangements as The Herald of Truth are dividing the church and creating all the disturbance! Those who speak out against churches becoming recreational and entertainment centers are agitating the division! This is the "song" of those who are leading the churches along such lines. Many people have been taken in by this specious plea. Is it true? There is a desperate attempt being made to "saddle" on others the responsibility for the trouble and division that their human creations have caused.

Shifting Responsibility

Effort to shift responsibility in such a fashion is the invariable rule of innovationists in the church. The innovations themselves never cause the division — it is always the opposition to the projects! It is an old story. The introducers of instrumental music never caused the division — it was the opposition to it! In this same fashion also would the innovationists of our day — the promoters and sponsors of all the human creations now disturbing the peace of the church — try to escape their just responsibility for causing the division. But in the words of another, "They shall not pass." If it is unopposed, no doctrine or ism, from sprinkling to speculation, would ever cause division. The cause of the division is the teaching or practice; opposition is the effect; and division is the inevitable result. Acquiescence to error and innovations is neither the price nor the basis of unity which God will approve. The doctrinal purity of the church lies in the defense of the truth. The stock argument of the innovators and digressives of every generation has been that their teaching or practice should not be made the grounds of disfellowship. The digressives of former days wore this alibi out trying to justify instrumental music and the missionary society. Such things, they argued, were of too little consequence to have trouble over. Yet they held to the teaching and practice and let the church divide; and, of course, when division occurs, disfellowship is automatic. They tried desperately, but in vain, to place all the blame for the trouble and division at the feet of those who opposed their unscriptural practices.

Same Tactics Today

In almost identical fashion do the innovators and digressives of today seek to force their innovations upon the church. They argue that it is those of us who oppose such things who are causing the trouble which has resulted. If we would but cease our objections and "let them alone" to do as they please along these lines, then all would be peaceful and division would not threaten. Their idea of having peace and stopping division is for all who may object to their projects to either (1) let them alone and not oppose such or (2) to join them and help them promote their ideas. They will not consider any other possible solution. Faithful Christians cannot accept either of these solutions. They can not "hold their peace" concerning that which they sincerely believe to be contrary to God's word. They must "cry aloud and spare not." And we intend for the truth to be made known concerning the ones who are really responsible for "troubling Zion." Those who have introduced all these things are causing the trouble. Back yonder twenty years ago, before these human creations were really started, the church was at peace and we were marching steadily forward in every good way. Not until men became "wise above what is written" and started these projects and arrangements for which there is no scriptural authority, did any trouble come. Under the leadership of the "progressives" among us the churches have been led into such endeavors under the pretense that they are "churches on the march." The wooing of these "progressives" has led the church, as a gadding bride, to go after the ways of men and the world.

Who is to blame? Who are the "troublers of Israel" today? Not those who demand a "thus saith the Lord" for every teaching and practice; but it is those who have forsaken this ground and are running after the ways of men and the world.

We love and desire peace, but not peace at any price. We want peace that is from above, which is first pure. Unholy peace, made by compromise or by going along with modern innovations and human institutions is really not peace at all. We refuse to be a party to such. War has ever been, and is today, the price of peace. This unending conflict and struggle against sin and error will last as long as God has any faithful left. Whether men arise from among ourselves speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them, or whether they be foes from without, we must ever press the battle for the right and never entertain the thought of selling out or quitting for any price. "Soldier of Christ, be stedfast, this is an evil day." "Arouse then, soldiers, rally to the standard."

Those who have invented and are promoting all the human projects and innovations, which are disturbing thechurch today, are to blame for whatever trouble their creations may cause and for the ultimate division that may result. What an awful price to pay for human opinions and the ways of men!

— C. A. H.