Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1960

"Little Things"

W. W. Otey, Winfield, Kansas

Our institutional brethren seem to reason from two erroneous fundamental points in seeking to defend their various organizations through which to perform the church's evangelistic and benevolent duties. First, "our organizations are so small that they are not displeasing to God," and secondly, "God will overlook any small deviation from the New Testament because of the tremendous amount of good we are accomplishing." One elder has expressed it like this: "I don't exactly approve of all the ways the brethren are getting the job done but look at the good we are doing!"

We do not need to speculate about how God regards even the slightest deviation from that which he has authorized. His word gives us an unmistakable view of his attitude in such matters. 'And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of him his censer, and put fire therein and incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord." (Lev. 10:1,2.) It would be difficult to conceive of a slighter and more insignificant "change" than that made by these two men. No doubt the fire they offered burned just as hotly and as surely as fire from the altar. But it was not the fire God had commanded, regardless of any other things to recommend it. And the men perished.

In Israel's traveling through the wilderness they came to Kadesh. There was no water either for the people or for their animals. The multitude began to murmur and chide Moses. God commanded that the people be gathered before the rock, and that Moses take the rod and "speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth water." Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses cried out, "Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?" And he smote the rock twice. In thus deviating from God's instruction, Moses exalted himself rather than God. And because of his disobedience he was barred from entering the Promised Land.

If brethren today organize an institution through which to do the work God has assigned the church to do, are they not in danger of making the same mistake Moses made? Think it over, dear reader and make your decision. Is any institution that man can make better than, or even equal to, the institution God set up to do his work, the church of our blessed Lord?