Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 31, 1968
NUMBER 26, PAGE 8b-9a

Look Before You Leap

Jefferson David Tant

A few years ago one of the nation's automakers developed what it thought was a fool-proof safety device for its top luxury offering. This mechanical device was designed to lock all doors automatically as soon as the wheels of the auto reached a speed of some three to five miles per hour. Wonderful for keeping children in, doors secured, and hi-jackers out. But something went wrong. All the eventualities had not been considered. This was embarrassingly brought to light as irate owners stood locked out of their cars all over the country. It seems that many automatic carwash establishments had a device that spun the car's wheels rapidly in order to clean the whitewalls. Presto! Locked doors, with keys in the ignition. Humorous to some. Frustrating to others. And a lesson to us all.

No man has the wisdom to see to the end of a matter and foresee all possible outcomes of every situation. Only God has that power: "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, that there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand..." (Isa. 46:9-10). This is why we must be content to abide within the revelation that God had provided for us. He has foreseen every possibility, and has so arranged things that "...we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28) Therefore we do not need to rely on our own intellectual attainments when it comes to our service to God, if we love him! And what is it to love him? "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." I John 5:3 Has not God assured us that his revelation is complete? "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." (II Tim. 3:16-17)

Who could have foreseen 59 years ago that the establishment of an orphan asylum (Tennessee Orphan Home) supported by the church could have helped create the situation we have in the church today — hospitals, old folk's homes, orphan asylums, homes for unwed mothers, psychiatric clinics, "Cows for Korea", inner city missions teaching math and English, medical missionaries, furniture repairing centers, job placement agencies, etc., all operated by churches of Christ, with the resultant division, chaos: and alienation that has come?

Who could have foreseen 119 years ago that the establishment of a small-scale cooperative endeavor (American Christian Missionary Society) would have paved the way for complete rupture of the body of Christ, the establishment of a new denomination of men, and the complete surrender of the restoration principles which is now coming about in the restructure of the Disciples of Christ (Christian Churches) denomination?

No, man could not foresee these things, for man is a finite being, and cannot see the end from the beginning. This is why "we walk by faith, not by sight." This is why every step taken "on our own" is fraught with danger. God never intended for man to strike out and forge new paths, and Jeremiah declared as much in 10:23: "0 Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Therefore it behooves man to accept the wisdom and authority of God, as we are so plainly taught (Matt. 28:18, I Cor. 4:6; Col. 3:17; II John 9-11; etc.)

Brethren, "Look before you leap!" Look not to your own wisdom, but to the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. God will bless us for so doing. Let us, then, be content to abide in the doctrine of Christ, and leave the schemes and innovations for the denominations, who long ago gave up respect for the Word.

— 4011 Phyllis Place, Decatur, Georgia 30032