Vol.XIII No.XII Pg.2
February 1977

Our Awful Articles

Robert F. Turner

Our December, 76 issue carried an article headed, THOSE AWFUL BAPTISTS. Reference was made to historic developments of the restoration period, and to prejudices that hinder objective consideration of differences now. My wife told me people would misunderstand the heading — but what does she know about such things?

I received a call from one Baptist who had talked with another, and they agreed this was a fair and informative article. Other Baptists have indicated a willingness to study — and none have kicked about the heading. None of the Baptist, that is. But we have had five or six cancellations from brethren. One was apparently embarrassed by the directness (poor taste) of the article. Another, who didnt cancel, thought the article favored the Baptists, of all things. I figured the Baptists would recognize the tongue-in-cheek nature of the heading, and apparently they did. The rub came as brethren proved they also could be awful or prejudiced. Yes, dear, I should listen to you!

All front page articles are aimed at developing better attitudes. This one, if it did nothing else, demonstrated the need for such an effort. I have never understood why use of a name which the owner accepts and applies to himself, is poor taste. If we fairly and accurately state a historic fact concerning a doctrine, or the denomination holding it, who has been wronged? Is not this better than opposition on a party basis or poorly defined differences? When a good attitude is nothing more than an unwillingness to stand up for the truth and refute error (2 Tim. 4:2-5), it begins to look like poor knowledge and/or a weak conviction.

Brethren, we need not fight doctrinal error on a prejudicial basis. The more fairly and clearly we understand and state anothers case, the better truth will shine and error be defeated. If, in the process, we find error in our own position, thank God for the discovery, and correct it.

The Dec. 76 article suggested the presence of Calvinistic error among brethren — and maybe this is what caused the cancellations. So be it! We regret poorly written articles, or poor judgment in subject matter; but know these are likely to reoccur. While PLAIN TALK lasts, we can only try to write plainly and directly about those things we believe to be helpful to those who would serve God. Of one thing we are certain, God is the Master to whom we stand or fall. He is the final judge! (Rom. 14:4-12)