Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 2, 1961

The Seat Of The Scornful

Jerry F. Bassett, Antioch, California

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." (Psa. 1:1) The Psalmist describes the man who is blessed of God in negative terms; that is, he tells what the man whom God blesses is not. He states that this man walks not in the counsel of the ungodly (gives no heed to their teaching), stands not in the way of sinners (does not practice those things advocated by the ungodly), and sits not in the seat of the scornful. Having rejected the counsel of the ungodly and therefore standing not in their ways, he does not love sinful things and will not come to the place of heaping scorn upon God's word which opposes sin, nor upon those who contend for it.

Brethren now are often asking, "Why are so many of the churches bogged down in the mire of liberalism? Why is it that the conduct of elders, the preaching of preachers, and the attitude of members is indistinguishable from the denominations round about?" Basically, the answer is simple. The plight of liberal congregations is the inevitable result of the threefold process outlined by David in Psalms 1:1.

In the years past the love of brethren for doctrinal soundness has given way to a love of worldly bigness — big programs, big buildings, big membership lists. However, such bigness demands popularity among the people of the world, and the truth of the gospel has never enjoyed that kind of popularity. Consequently, brethren have surrendered the truth and have listened to the counsel of liberalism (the ungodly) in order to compete with the denominations for community popularity.

That brethren have listened well to the counsel of these sinners is evident by the fact that they are now standing in their ways. Name anything you can that the denominations are doing to compete for the favor of the worldly minded and liberal brethren either are doing it themselves or will do it when they can dupe enough of the gullible into swallowing the idea. The Catholics have their Knights of Columbus propaganda organization and liberal churches have their Gospel Press. The Lutherans have their Lutheran Hour, and liberal churches have their Herald of Truth; denominations have their seminaries, and liberal churches are warming up to the idea of supporting the "Christian" colleges. Denominations have their "youth churches," social welfare, recreational, and athletic programs; and liberal churches are doing the same things. Indeed, "monkey see, monkey do I"

Not only have brethren walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and have come to stand in the way of sinners, but many of them have now occupied the seat of the scornful. Denominational preachers learned long ago that they cannot defend their practices so they have stopped trying, but they have not stopped the sinful practices. Knowing that the Bible will not uphold them, and having no desire to cease from sin they have denied the completeness of the Bible have rejected its authority. They now have only scorn for those who would measure their practices by that holy book. Liberal brethren are doing the same thing. Suddenly they do not believe in debating anymore, and have neither time nor disposition to discuss the Bible with those who oppose them. Rather, they choose to malign and abuse the opposition with such epithets as "orphan hater," and "anti-missionary" while hiding in pulpits where they know that no one will be permitted to answer them and to expose their lies. Unable to defend their practices, and being unwilling to abandon them, they have instead abandoned the Bible. They have taken their seat with those who have only scorn for those who hold the Bible and who contend for its authority.

This, basically, is why so many of the congregations are lost in the mire of denominationalism. And it all began because brethren opened their hearts to the counsel of the ungodly. Brethren, let us avoid such calamities in the future by conforming ourselves to David's positive description of the man blessed of God that "his delight in the law of the Lord: and in his law doth he meditate day and night." (Psa. 1:2) Indeed, as such a man is, let each of us strive to be.