Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 29, 1962
NUMBER 46, PAGE 4,13b

"Ye Shall Know The Truth"


Elsewhere in this issue we carry the first in a series of articles by brother Robert H. Farish under the title "A Basic Religious Reference Library." This article deals only with Bibles. Others in succeeding issues will deal with dictionaries, concordances, church histories, religious debates, encyclopedias, and the whole range of "religious literature." We urge upon all our readers a careful weighing of matters presented by brother Farish, followed by a prudent and selective buying of those books which are most helpful in developing an informed and knowledgeable body of Christians.

Modernism, secularism, compromise, and the "social gospel" are increasing dangers which will seriously challenge the Lord's people within the years immediately ahead of us. Already the voice of such ideologies is being heard from pulpits which in years gone by sounded forth a firm and unwavering note of truth. Compromise in matters of church organization and congregational work will inevitably breed (if it does not accompany) compromise in doctrine. For example, it is widely known that the Riverside Church in Wichita, Kansas, was the founding congregation for the "Maude Carpenter Children's Home" — a project at first under the eldership of that congregation, then expanded into a "brotherhood project" under that local eldership; then promoted into a "brotherhood organization under a general board of directors"; and more lately metamorphosed into a "brotherhood work under a local eldership" — the Cleveland Avenue elders this time instead of the Riverside elders. (Someone has aptly suggested that while all the changes are in the air it would be quite appropriate also to change the name of the institution to — "Maude Chameleon Children's Home.")

The Riverside Church carries an advertisement in the Wichita newspapers from week to week; and here is a quotation from a recent article, written by Robert R. Meyers, preacher for that congregation:

"There will never be unity among believers if it is to be based on complete accord in interpretation of the Bible. History has shown this so often, and so long, that unless we are blind and stubborn we know it now. God has more people than exist within the walls of an organization calling itself 'Church of Christ.' Some of them may be confused, from our point of view, and we may with sweet reasonableness present our own interpretations. But to deny that they are God's people is to breed an ugly and hideous spirit among men — the party spirit.

"We shall not do this at Riverside. We invite you to worship and study with us."

This is the sort of doctrine that is making headway rapidly among our more liberal brethren — the institutional churches. It is quite to be expected that such utterances will be more and more found among those congregations which are wedded to human institutions. They have abandoned the concept of "Bible authority" for justification of their institutions; and it is but a step (and a short one) to the abandonment of "Bible authority" for the things necessary to constitute one a child of God. This discarding of the Biblical standard of "truth" and substituting the human standard of "honesty" or "sincerity" is a natural (and perhaps inevitable) fruit of the humanistic standards which brethren are using in their efforts to justify church benevolence societies and evangelistic cooperatives. If "God's people" are to be found in the Catholic, Adventist, Baptist, and Pentecostal churches as well as in the church of Christ, then why in God's name spend the time and money and effort necessary to try to get them to change from one to the other?

The Catholic Church has for generations denied that the common man can understand the Bible. Denominational churches have all along minimized the necessity and importance of understanding Biblical truth, contending that "one church is as good as another." In more recent years some of our own brethren have begun to suggest that doctrinal questions be settled by the "trained thinkers" and school-men among us. (Some of them are even now putting out a journal, "The Restoration Quarterly" which they modestly admit is the ultimate in scholarship. They declare without even a trace of a blush that, "Its contributors are the leading scholars of the church of Christ" ....God save the church!) And the "all men of good spirit are my brothers in Christ" philosophy of W. Carl Ketcherside finds more than a faint echo in the hearts and minds of many disciples.

All of which leads us to emphasize that the Bible is truth; it was given to be understood; and God holds men responsible for their acceptance or rejection of its teachings. Brother Meyers opines that "There will never be unity among believers if it is to be based on complete accord in interpretation of the Bible." We declare that that is the only kind of unity God has any interest in — unity in the TRUTH. That is the kind of unity Paul enjoined, "Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment." That is the kind of unity Christ prayed for: "Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me."

Gospel preachers for generations have pleaded with honest people to "Come, let us reason together." There has been an unswerving conviction that "we can see the Bible alike" if men with honest hearts and a sincere desire to do God's will simply open up the sacred Book and study it! That such a conviction was soundly based is attested by the fact that through the years multiplied thousands have forsaken the tenets of denominationalism to become and remain simple Christians — followers of the TRUTH as it is set forth in God's holy word.

We ask our readers to follow brother Farish's articles with earnest and careful thought. Use your time, and your money, to the very best advantage possible. Put a premium on TRUTH; buy those books and those only which are helpful to you in enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the truth! Buy regularly, systematically, and thoughtfully, not from impulse or whimsy. A titanic battle looms in the offing. Every disciple needs to be armed with the truth — the ultimate truth of God's word. The 'basic religious reference library" which brother Farish will set forth in these articles will be of genuine help to the dedicated student in arming himself with that truth. (See back page of this issue for suggestions concerning the best Bibles now in print.)