Vol.I No.III Pg.2
March 1964

If We Had Been There --

Robert F. Turner

If we had been with Moses, we would have been faithful. If we had been with Christ, we would not have forsaken Him. If we had been with the Apostles, we would have suffered persecutions gladly in order to proclaim the gospel message. This old, old refrain is heard in every generation, and is repeated by people who believe every word they say. There is seldom a word of truth in it.

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites' because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.'" (Matt. 23:29-32)

Yesterday's battles can not be fought today; and if they could, the blood and thunder would be as frightening to the fearful hypocrites of today, as it was to those of yesteryear. Past wars are glamorous; today's war is just what Sherman said it was.

Would you have opposed that elder of the second century who first "presided"? It seemed such a little thing at the time but it

was the beginning of the Papal system. The unknown soldiers of the cross who gave battle then did not fight in vain. Their names are written in the Lamb's book.

But their names were likely removed from the "church" books, if such were kept; for the majority of the brethren "went along" with the Metropolitan system, remember. If you had been there, would you have stood with the minority, fighting for truth?

In the past century, would you have fought bravely for congregational independence? Would you have opposed the Missionary Society, and later the use of mechanical instruments in the worship? Some few did, but they had to leave church buildings and popular esteem, and start anew. Too bad you were not there to help them. YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A HERO ---- YESTERDAY!!!

But alas, we live today! And today's battles are not pretty. The persecutions of history, which stir our hearts with admiration, are the jeers - or silent treatments - of today, which affect our social and business affairs. Like the Baptist Manual says, "Now, it is different."

"Fill ye up then the measure your fathers." Do what you must!!