Vol.X No.II Pg.2
April 1973

Foolish Questions

Robert F. Turner

What is a foolish question? It is one which I can not answer; or, one which I have already answered to my own satisfaction, and therefore consider unworthy of further study. But our complacency may blind us to further objective study, or may keep us from reaching out for honest, sincere people who need our help. (Strange, how we may spend several years coming to a certain conclusion, and then expect others to reach that same conclusion the first time they meet the problem). Then, there are questions not difficult in themselves but which involve us in difficulties. The obvious answer may call for conclusions or actions we do not wish to take.

In the institution of the Lords Supper one need not know grammar to see that the fruit of the vine, not the container, is that which signifies the blood of our Lord. Divide this among you (Lu. 22:17) is taken by some to signify that the element must be undivided when thanks is given. Instead, it is but another way of saying that all should partake of the element, (see Mk. 14:23 Matt. 26:27). The element is one single element whether in one or many containers; and the basic fallacy here is attaching significance to incidentals. It is the partaking of bread and fruit of the vine that show the Lords death till he come. (1 Cor. 11:26) It is no problem for me to see this. But now and then I meet someone whose conscience is disturbed over such. Sometimes the problem is akin to that of the early Jewish Christian who could not bring himself to eat meat that had once been forbidden. We may find it difficult to realize that in a past generation the multi-container had been so associated with digression modernism and going off after the world that the children of that generation cringe at the multi-container, even when they know the truth concerning the matter.

I do not wish to be unkind; I know too well how this spirit can lay hold on any of us but when name calling and party affiliation (our brethren as opposed to those new-fangled kind) overweighs a fair, objective consideration of the Scriptures, we are trapped in sectarianism.

The fundamental issues of institutionalism are not difficult for many to understand (if we will but take an honest look at them), hut the hard part is bucking ridicule as we conform our practice to our convictions. Some ride out on foolish questions.

These foolish questions may well test both the querist and the hearer.