Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 31, 1962

Are You Afraid To Think?

Jack L. Holt

One of the greatest benefits of a free society is that of an individual to study, think for himself and make up his own mind on various issues. This is beneficial because it develops the individual, and promotes individual freedom of thought and action. Too many live on a physical and mental dole. They live in a physical and mental welfare state. Others think for them and provide for them. The responsibility of the individual to work and think for himself to the limits of his ability is plainly set forth in the word of God. (Matt. 22:42; 2 Thess. 3:10) The Bereans "searched the scriptures, to see if these things were so." Hence, they were willing to think for themselves.

One who fails to think and study for himself will never develop his potential. He will never know the freedom that comes from thinking for himself for he never uses it. And having never used it, he fails to appreciate it, and failing to appreciate it, he is not concerned about losing it.

Many today decry the deterioration of individual strength in the political world. Much is said about blindly following a party line, and weakly conforming to mass thinking. But strange as it may seem, many of those who champion the right of the individual to think and act for himself in the political affairs, seldom think for themselves in religion. Here they follow a party line, conform to mass thinking and blindly follow the majority. Is it not strange how one can be a conservative and plead for adherence to the constitution in the political world and be such a liberal toward God's constitution?

Any preacher or teacher, or group of elders who pressures, or who in any way hinders the right of an individual to think for himself is the enemy of souls. Faith in God is an individual work. Faith is based on hearing the Word of God. Hence, faith must be based on what we know the Bible teaches and not in believing what some man says it teaches. If we believe what some man says is in the Word of God merely because he says it, then our faith does not stand in God, but in man. There is upon every person the obligation to study God's Word and thus to know what it teaches. If you cannot find it in the Word of God, it should not be believed.

How long has it been since you studied the Bible and in the light of God's Word made up your own mind concerning conflicting religious teachings" Are you afraid to study and think for yourself? Have you turned this God given right over to another, and thus let some man dole out to you what you are to believe so that you can be acceptable to some sect or party? The Bible says: "Come let us reason together." (Isa. 1:18) And further, "debate thy cause with thy neighbor." (Prov. 25:9) And again, "....earnestly contend for the faith..." (Jude 3) This implies individual thinking and application. For one cannot contend for that which he neither knows nor understands. And certainly one who is wise will not debate his cause unless he knows his cause.

Do we think for ourselves? Or do we allow some religious censor, be it an arrogant board of elders who assume to be God handing down doctrines that their sheep must believe, or be it the pope of Rome, or some preacher to tell us what to believe, and what we must practice to be acceptable to God. The right to direct man in religion, to tell man what to believe and what to do to be acceptable to Him is the right of God alone. He has revealed what man it to believe in His word. Hence, man is to study and know God's Word. Are we unwilling to study and honestly examine religious questions in the light of God's Word? Remember, the Bible is right.

The plan of salvation is clearly set forth in the Bible. We must believe in Christ. (John 3:16) But if we believe Him we will obey His Word. (Luke 6:46) Jesus commands us to repent. (Acts 17:30) Baptism is also essential for Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved...." (Mk. 16:16) Let us therefore, study for ourselves and resolve to believe God. We must give an account individually. (Rom 14:12) The same Bible that teaches so plainly the plan of salvation also teaches that God is to be glorified in the church. (Eph. 3:21) We cannot believe God and reject either teaching.

— Box 545, Longview Texas