Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 8, 1952

Warning From God

H. Osby Weaver, Greenville, Texas

The above is the caption of an article that appeared in the February issue of the California Christian which is published by brother Jimmie Lovell. What I am saying about the article is not motivated by any personal animosity, for I have never met brother Lovell, but I have been reading his articles for a number of years. His interest and zeal is beyond question, and I really believe he thinks he loves the Lord but after analyzing some of his statements, I believe his affections are often misplaced.

Being interested in all that God has to say, the article headed "Warning from God" challenged my attention. This outstanding revelation (?) began: "We should stop teaching that doing what the Bible says do is all there is to Christianity." My first impression was that brother Lovell must have some connections with God that I do not have, in order to get such a warning as that. For a number of years, I have been preaching that "his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3) I have always been under the impression that "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." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) It had never occurred to me that one needed anything more than enough to make him complete and furnish him completely unto every good work. It has always been my belief that when a thing was complete, to change it in any manner by additions, subtractions, or perversions would render it incomplete. I just didn't know that something complete was subject to improvement, but now brother Lovell comes along with a "Warning from God" that " we should stop teaching that doing what the Bible says do is all there is to Christianity." I am just wondering where the brother was when he received this warning? Could it be that in his effort to be broad enough to fellowship everybody that he wound up in some Mormon Temple and there received a latter day revelation which he calls a "Warning from God"? The taint looks familiar.

An honest mistake is no less harmful in its effect than an intentional one but any punishment due is subject to mitigation; however, what brother Lovell said was intentional, and he offers to "back up every word" he says or "make a statement correcting it." We shall see. He knew he was standing on a wobbly foundation when he said, "We should stop teaching that doing what the Bible says do is all there is to Christianity," and attempts to brace himself for a fall by saying, "Some of you will naturally misquote me, that is, take what I'm saying here out of its context while others will call it one of Lovell's 'wild' statements." He knew himself that it wouldn't stand much criticism, but what a sweet opinion he has of his brethren to accuse them of "naturally misquoting" him. I imagine he knew that he was due to get slapped around a bit for being so careless in his thinking as well as his writing.

He further adds, "I believe that a person can do everything the Bible says to do and be lost." Somehow, even after reading that, I am not inclined to throw up my hands and conclude that salvation is a hopeless situation. Since one can "do everything the Bible says to do and be lost," I am wondering if he can leave undone anything the Bible says to do and be saved? After one does all the Bible says to do, just where is he then to turn to get this additional information that he must have in order to be saved? Brother Lovell points to the CALIFORNIA CHRISTIAN. He concludes his "Warning from God" with this statement: "Please subscribe for the CC and I'll try to help you some more." surely brother Lovell doesn't think he is inspired and the CC equal to the Bible! But what other conclusion shall we reach, when he makes a bare-faced assumption and calls it a "Warning from God"? There is enough infidelity in the world today without brother Lovell inciting it with such rash statements.

Listen to his effort to explain what he meant when he said a person can do everything the Bible says do and still be lost: "What I mean is you do not do faith, you do not do love, and so on." Then we are going to have to stop asking a person who desires to be baptized, "Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God?" He might think he did and say, "I do," and run afoul of this "Warning from God" which brother Lovell has received and which declares that faith isn't something you do, and love isn't something you do. However, before he finished the article, he said, "If God tells you, and he does, to give as you are prospered and to love your neighbor as yourself and you know you are not DOING it ... (emphasis mine -HOW) his grace will no more touch you than Jesus touched the graveclothes of Lazarus." Why, brother Lovell, you said in paragraph two of your article that love isn't something you do and in next to the last paragraph you said, "if God tells you to love your neighbor and you know you are not doing it..." How can you do it if love isn't something you do? God tells us to do a thing, then warns brother Lovell to pass the word along that it can't be done, yet brother Lovell says if we do not do it, God's grace will no more touch us than Jesus touched the grave clothes of Lazarus. God says to do it, then warns brother Lovell that it can't be done, that it isn't something that you do, but if you don't do it, His grace will never touch you. "Amoosin' but confoosin'." I doubt very much, however, if God is the one that's confused. When brother Jimmie wrote the article I am sure that he was never conscious that he had contradicted himself, yet if you will "please subscribe for the CC he will try to help you some more." If this is the kind of help one wants, he knows where to go to get it. This is not an effort to stop people from reading the CC but a warning (not from God even though it is a good one) not to take its contents too seriously until you have had time to check its conclusions with the Bible. If you don't have time to check all that is in the CALIFORNIA CHRISTIAN, and very few people will, just forget about it and use your Bible. Despite all the CC's "Warnings from God," I expect you can go right on to heaven without it.