Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 5, 1970


We Enlisted After Shiloh

Larry R. Devore

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most desperate battles of the Civil War. It took place on April 6-7, 1862; with 3,482 men killed, 16,420 wounded, and 3,842 missing. However, Many Civil War battles were fought after this, and many men enlisted after this battle.

I want to make an analogy of this to the present institutional controversy that has been fought among the brethren in the last two decades. In fact, an easy and fairly accurate way to date the joining of the battle is to look at the present volume number of the Gospel Guardian. It is Volume 22. For 22 years the fight to maintain the spiritual purity of the Lord's church has raged. (I do not imply that there were no problems in the church before 22 years ago. The church has faced problems since Acts, chapter 5. I am simply dating the present battle.)

There are many young preachers today (and I am one of them) who have been preaching less than 10 years. We enlisted after Shiloh! We have been involved in minor skirmishes with the enemy, but in most cases, few major ones. We were not on the front lines of battle in the years 1948-1960. This is not to suggest that younger preachers are not militant against error. We should all be strongly opposed to, and have a militant attitude against any false teaching. But we have, not had the hand-to-hand combat (or relatively little of it) that the battle-scarred veteran soldiers of the cross have faced and won! These preachers bear in their bodies "the marks of the Lord Jesus." Gal. 6:17.

We owe these faithful men (and I won't name any for fear of leaving out some who should be mentioned) our love and our deepest respect. Many of the congregations that are faithful today, are faithful because a faithful gospel preacher stood four-square and flat-footed for the truth of God! They were the faithful watchmen of Zion who sounded the call to arms and entered first into the battle. We owe them our heritage. Let us give "honor to whom honor." (Rom. 13:7)

And I also suggest there are things we still need from them. We younger preachers need the help, counsel, encouragement, and prayers of these veterans of the cross. We need their wisdom, insight, and mature judgment in battling against the forces of Satan.

Let us not be so naive as to think there are no more battles to be fought and won! The devil has not ceased his warfare against us! (I Peter 5:8-9) Young Soldier! Put on your armor that you might do battle for the Lord's cause! (Eph. 6:10-17)

As the years pass by; as our common enemy, death, overtakes us, the mantle will fall from the shoulders of these veterans. We must be prepared, through study and prayer, to take the mantle, and to pick up the sword of the Spirit and wield it accurately that the cause of Truth might go forward! Someone must stand in the breach! Let it be you and me, my brother!

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