Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 26, 1964

"Guilty, So What?"

James W. Adams

We recently read the following joke in Nuggets and chuckled. When it suddenly reminded us of an attitude among brethren, it ceased to be so funny.

"All right, I like to spend money," admitted the harrassed wife, "but can you name one other extravagance?"

The good brethren say, "So, we don't have any Scripture for what we are doing, but can you name one other thing that is wrong with our practices?"

Brother N. B. Hardeman used to say in illustration of some point, "I have fifty-two (or some other figure) reasons for not be buying a new car — the first being I don't have any money; there isn't any need to mention the others." Surely our apostatizing brethren ought to use the same kind of good common sense with reference to their digressive practices. If they do not have Scripture for them, that is sufficient; there is no need to mention other deficiencies even if they exist.

Sad days have fallen upon us when elders, preachers, and experienced brethren among professed churches of Christ do not regard a lack of Scripture for practice as being any argument against its acceptability. The distinguishing characteristic of the brethren has up until only a decade or so ago been their demand for a "thus saith the Lord". Now it is different. To demand a "thus saith the Lord" is to identify oneself among the majority of professed churches of Christ as a "legalist" or an "anti." This reminds us of an incident which was related to us some time ago. I think the preacher involved was Brother Cecil B. Douthitt. At some length, he had demonstrated to an individual that many of the practices of the brethren today are parallel to the missionary society. The individual to whom Brother Douthitt was talking said, in substance, "Well, I can see that all right, but I don't see anything wrong with the missionary society!" Everywhere we turn with the indictment, "But that is not Scriptural," we hear brethren in effect, say, "Guilty, so what?"

Henderson, Texas