Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 25, 1956


James R. Wilburn, Appleton, Wisconsin

Truth is always truth. It changes not its clothing with the ebb of seasons. Its countenance is eternally the same no matter who teaches it. No person nor group owns its copyright. It is consistent, beautiful, and powerful.

A truly Christ-like man is interested in truth rather than personalities. My brethren today would do well to read a statement, which as I recall, hangs above the desk of Brother W. R. Smith: "Little minds talk about people, Average minds talk about events, Big minds talk about ideas." Christ said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Truth is in the realm of ideas and ideals. Truth-seekers do not huddle in caucuses where personalities are wounded and the latest dirt is bought and sold. Sermons on gossip are too much in need at lectureships and preacher's meetings, as well as in sewing circles.

An unalloyed love for truth would at once banish from our range those whose actions, words, and writings aim at placing every man in some big preacher's camp in regard to current issues troubling the Lord's body. We would ask, "Which ideal or principle is right?" rather than, "Whose side are you on?" Little men talk about people.

We must love truth, not because we agree with it; nor because we have always before believed it; nor because of who else believes it; nor yet because it is advantageous to us. We must believe and teach it because it is truth. All other motives are but satellites to this brightest of assets in the real man.

If I have this godly infatuation and passion for truth, I will be deeply impressed with the reverent example of my Catholic friends in their worship, with the enthusiasm and zeal of the Southern Baptists, and with the purity of life exhibited by my Adventist and Pentecostal neighbors. I will love the truth wherever it is found and give it due praise at every opportunity.

The man who does not know what it means to battle with his own personal bias and self-colored approach, needs to be blessed by such a grueling but humbling experience. Until he does, he is in bondage to a monster. Thank God for men who can say, "I was wrong"!

God has obligated the individual to religiously seek truth; to pledge his life to its promulgation no matter in what area of activity and thought it is revealed to him — no matter what earthly consequences may be the fruits of such a course. He who has not come to regard truth as impersonal and above petty personalities, is a slave to be pitied and prayed for. "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:32 RSV.)