"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.III No.XI Pg.12,13
June 1941

In Cullings--Comments And Correspondence

The Babylonian Unity Meeting Edd Holt

The first of the "Unity Meetings W. C." (Note: "W. C." means "without Christ") was held in the plains of Shinar about the year 2247 B. C. "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it " came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." (Gen. 11:1-9).

There was unity among those who sought to build the tower of Babel. But God had not wanted them to build the tower. It is true that we do not read where He had told them not to build a tower whose top might reach unto heaven, but He did not want it done or He would have told them to build it. That He opposed it is shown in that He scattered the people who were "one." The "Christian Church" has been one in its purpose to build a tower of additions to God's word. It is our purpose to scatter every attempt to add to or take from the word of God. We are opposed to any unity that leaves God out. But we want the unity which He has commanded.

When we try to show our religious neighbors the difference between the doctrines of men and the doctrine of Christ, they often say, "Well, we are all going to the same place. If we do not meet again in this world, we will see you in the next world." They are accustomed to talking with others who are engaged in the same kind of religions—denominational religions—all of whom go beyond the doctrine of Christ. It really does not make any difference whether you are building a tower of Babel or drilling a well that God has not commanded, you are going to the same place. You can build a tower to hell or drill a well to hell!

God commanded that we "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." It is our prayer and purpose to accomplish that unity and to keep it. The church of Christ wanted the unity of the Spirit back there when the "Christian Church" wanted division and brought it about by their "towers of Babel." God wanted "that unity of the Spirit. But those who wanted the musical instruments and other additions to God's word "scattered" instead of gathering. Jesus said, "He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." (Matt. 12:30). As long as they make additions to the word of God, or retain the ones that they have made; they are engaged in scattering, not in gathering with Christ. The unity of the Spirit will scatter the scatterers. A unity with the "Christian Church" which is not brought about by their renouncing their additions to the New Testament, would be to scatter what Christ has gathered.

We want unity but not at just any price. We want no unity that will sacrifice the truth. Some read where we are justified by faith and then say justification is by "faith only." Others read that we are saved by grace and then preach that "salvation is wholly of grace." Still others read of the admonitions to "be at peace" and then advocate peace at any price. But the Bible says, "The wisdom from above is first pure then peaceable." Purity first then peace. Peace and unity go together. "Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." The peace of God rests on those who keep the unity of the Spirit—that unity taught by the Spirit. God scattered those who would build the tower of Babel. He is against that unity which adulterates His word.

"The wisdom from above is first pure then united." Unless the purity of the word teaches a "Christian Church" there should be none. Unless the New Testament, the purity, teaches that instruments of music should be used in the worship, then no unity of the Spirit is ever possible with those who use them until they are abandoned. If the "Christian Church" will let Jesus give them a "cleansing of the temple" and "take these things hence" He will come in. "He that goeth onward and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God." Unity alone is not enough. Purity first and then unity.

Unity alone would be as unwelcome as sacrifice alone. Is sacrifice a good thing? It all depends. Is unity a good thing? It all depends. What is its purpose? Who commanded it? Is it in obedience to God? If not "to obey is better than sacrifice" or unity. (1 Samuel 15:22). King Saul would have been glad to have had a unity meeting with Samuel that morning after he had disobeyed God. He claimed to have "performed the commandment" of the Lord, but the cattle and sheep told on him. Now, there could have been two kinds of unity between Saul and Samuel. If Samuel had disobeyed God and united with Saul in a forbidden sacrifice that would have been unity without God. It would have been the kind of unity now being advocated by the "Christian Church" and smiled upon by brother Witty and some others. But if Saul had obeyed God in all things he would have been united with Samuel in the kind of unity that is approved of God. Sacrifice is all right if it is in obedience to God, but if not, "though I give my body to be burned and have not love (do not keep God's commandments) it profits me nothing." You could give your body to be burned for unity that is not of the Spirit—that is not in obedience to God—and it would profit you nothing.

From all reports, those who attend the "unity meetings" do not discuss the differences that exist between the church of Christ and the "Christian Church." Maybe you wonder what goes on. I have never been to one of them, but I imagine they engage mostly in "Babel exercises."

Murch says, "Brother (winks at his brethren) Witty, spell unity." Now brother Witty has been keeping company with them a good deal lately and is just a little bit confused in his spelling—he is spell-bound maybe. But he does not remember whether unity begins with a "t" or not. And, if it does, he does not remember whether it is "two-pity" or "tun-ity." But the interrogative "progressive" offers a suggestion. He spells the word for brother Witty but puts the accent on the last syllable, so that it would be "u-nity"— pronounced "you-nitty." But that is the way they have always pronounced the church of Christ. But the Babel exercise continues. This time brother Witty asks Murch how to spell the word "fidelity." Now the "progressives" (I just cannot see how they are progressive, unless it is like that of the crab—backward) have always maintained that it does not make any difference what follows just so you start right—just so you believe, repent and are baptized, never mind how you worship So, Mr. Murch spells "fidelity" in their usual way, "fid-dle." They will do it every time! But now, brother Witty, what are you going to do with such ideas? What grade will you give them on such "Babel lessons?" You know the difference between "fiddle" and "fidelity," don't you? Now the church of Christ would have to give up fidelity to God to be united with Murch and his fiddle. Is that the Unity for which you are working? As I see it. Witty's pretty ditty is too much Murch!

I heard a story that pretty well illustrates what goes on at the meetings." A boy had been playing on a gully bank. He came in with holes in the knees of his pants. "What have you been doing" he was asked. "I have been, a-h, praying," he said. But when he turned to walk away, it was evident that he had been backsliding too. They may boast of praying a lot and talking much of unity at the "unity meetings," but it will take obedience to God to bring about the "unity of the Spirit." Wearing the knees of their pants out in prayer will never mend the backslidings of the "Christian Church."