"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.XI No.II Pg.6,16b
February 1949

Sound Speech

Wright Randolph

San Bernadino, California

The second chapter of Titus records Pauls admonition to Titus. In this admonition we note that Paul is no little concerned about the way and manner in which one speaks and acts toward the doctrine of Christ. It is agreed that words are but the expression of ideas; "As a man thinketh so is he." The heart is the seat of ones thoughts. Words are the channel through which these thoughts are expressed. By what a man says we are able to know what he thinks concerning anything; provided, of course, he is an honest man. Sometimes when one finds himself in a hard place doctrinally he will complain that he is misunderstood. It still remains a fact though, that the only way we have of knowing what one thinks is by what he says. Surely we should be able to express ourselves and if our words do not correctly represent what we think, we should not use such words. However, I am convinced that it is not always a case of being misunderstood but rather of being understood, correctly. He is a noble soul who is willing, when having conveyed a wrong thought by what he says, to retract such a statement and make the correct one rather than accuse all others of being void of understanding.

I have before me an advertisement of "YOUTH INSTITUTE ON THE BIBLE" in which there appears a SPECIAL NOTE reading "Ministers and Sunday School Teachers are encouraged to publicize this meeting in THEIR LOCAL CHURCHES and to encourage their high school age young people to attend and to participate in the speech events.—(emp. mine)

When speaking concerning the doctrine of Christ, Paul would encourage sound speech. He further says; "showing uncorruptness". Corruption is a nasty thing and when speaking of that which has to do with the doctrine of Christ Paul does not want one to use words that smack of corruption or rottenness; but to use the opposite, "sound speech". The matter of ownership of the church is important and with respect to the doctrine of Christ holds a place of prime importance. We have labored, for though these many years, to get people to recognize that the church belongs to Christ. It is not ours in any sense. And yet the writer of this announcement would have the ministers and the Sunday School teachers (sounds rather official) to publicize this meeting in THEIR local churches. I am never alarmed when one of the denominational world uses such an expression; we rather expect it of them. But from preachers and teachers, and no doubt the one who wrote this was both, to use such an expression is inexcusable. What are they trying to do? Help the sects to win the fight and convince all that it is "your church", "my church", "our church" etc.?

What is this "YOUTH INSTITUTE ON THE BIBLE" anyway? I have read extensively in the Bible and never ran across such a thing to my knowledge. Maybe it is there wrapped up in some of the simplicity of the Bible and I just didnt show enough intelligence to recognize it. It is to be, I think, a discussion of the Bible. Most of the subjects announced seem to be vitally connected with the Bible. Perhaps there might be one exception "Bible Baseball Game". Im not so sure about this. Could be that the reign of the Cleveland Indians as champions of the baseball world is nearing an end; out of this might arise a new champion. I do know that a good many congregations have become baseball conscious and have provided a church team to compete with the denominations, another example of acting in a strange way toward the church and the doctrine of Christ. I know of at least one instance where certain members of a certain congregation could not remain for a night service because they just had to get back for the game in which THEIR team was playing; but with little chance of winning because the preacher wouldnt be there to play. I notice that in this "YOUTH INSTITUTE ON THE BIBLE" there is to be an awarding of prizes to winners in certain events. It is possible that this would not constitute gambling but it is far from "sound speech" when connected with the doctrine of Christ. However, this seems to be a function of a college and not of the church. I am most certain that the sponsors of same would so contend and that it was within their right to stage a "YOUTH INSTITUTE ON THE BIBLE" if they so desire. A college or any organization may have such right IF in so exercising such right they do not infringe on the doctrine of Christ or the church. Our criticism of such action is on the ground that almost without exception the church is involved. They say it is not a church affair nor a function of the church BUT they are always concerned about the church coming to their rescue in the matter of support. They want preachers to make strong announcements of their activities and encourage the youth to support them. So it is with Tanda Lodge and some other organizations. They tell us it is not a part of the church and they do not ask the church to take care of it; however, they do not hesitate to send out written requests to churches and members at large asking for liberal contributions. Not only do the outsiders get the idea that it is part of the church but worse the members of the churches in part get the same idea. Such implications are not in harmony with Pauls admonition to use sound speech and action.

Further: What about the actions of a gospel preacher when he engages in all kinds of union activities staged by the denominations? Allowing (perhaps I should say desiring) himself to be advertised as featured speaker in sunrise easter services and other denominational union activities. Is it again true that Gods people in part are desirous of being like the nations about them? Brethren, it is difficult enough at best to sell the world on the idea that we stand on New Testament principles and contend for the authority of Christ without the aid of preachers in the churches acting in such a way as to support the cause of the denominations. We need, once again to, "Seek for the old paths, and walk therein". It is no disgrace to be accused of being antiquated when such accusations come because of our stand for New Testament principles. We should rather glory in that we are a "peculiar people" and are known as people who stand for the ancient gospel "once delivered to the saints". Such activities as are herein described are neither good nor necessary. The church has grown and prospered for centuries without them. Congregations now are able to grow and do the bidding of the Lord without them. We still have many people who are willing to let the old Jerusalem Truth prevail; who want the church to stand for the truth as it is in Christ Jesus unmixed with denominational error; either in speech or action, Let it be so.