Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 28, 1960

We Have Had These Things Alway

Thornton Crews, Pensacola, Florida

One of the arguments that has fooled and mislead a lot of mighty good people is one referred to by the above expression. They will make various arguments and end up saying, "And beside we have always had these things in the church." With a lot of people, that settles it. They never seem to think of the question, "Where in the Bible do we find the 'authority' for the practice?" So members think anything that we practice is bound to be all right, because we are the church of Christ. The age of a thing does not determine the right or the wrong of it. A thing is not right because congregations in the Lord's Church practice it. Neither is it wrong because somebody else does it. Sin is almost as old as man, but it is still sin. Not only is this true, but the number of people that indulge in a thing does not change the character of it. It is either right or wrong. It is approved by the God of Heaven or it is not. Let us seek a thus saith the Lord for all that we do.

Let us carefully note the meaning of the title of this article. No doubt in my mind that the Jews often justified things because others had practiced these things before them. In all the days that passed by before Hezekiah's reign there were those who sacrificed on the "High places, and 'burned incense to the brazen serpent'." Someone could have truthfully said, we have had this serpent since our early days in the wilderness. They could have said, "We have had these high places since Joshua's day." This surely was true, but did not make their practice right. God commended Hezekiah for destroying them. (See 2 Kings 18:1-7.) In many places the non-class brethren have gotten a hold because of some practice that had been used from the beginning of the congregation. In the beginning of the church in my home county in Tennessee, they did well to find someone who could make an effort to teach one class. So they all were in one class. As they grew in number and ability, the need for classes presented itself but some good people said. "We have never had but ONE Class here." That settled it with some folk. Now some are saying "We have always had Orphan Homes." Suppose we have, that does not make them right. But we have not always had them. Put your hand on one that existed before the New Testament was finished. Find — our scripture for such. Any person having the right attitude toward God and His word will be willing to lay aside anything that is not clearly commanded. Some of my brethren have done more dodging in the last twenty years than any denomination that I know about. I believe I know of seven ways that Christians can take care of homeless children. But many are demanding that it be done one way. You must believe in my type of home and do it my way or else we will disfellowship you. BRETHREN DO YOU WANT UNITY IN GOD'S CHURCH? If so, let us find a thus saith the Lord for all that we do.