Vol.XV No.XI Pg.1
January 1979

Better Attitudes

Robert F. Turner

What is most needed in the church today? Many concerned brethren reply, "Better Attitudes!" It is a bitter, bickering attitude that has driven some to embrace the grace-fellowship" syrup; the dictatorial or "pontifical" attitude that has turned off many readers of religious papers. Many of those "turned off" or dripping in syrup have sometime developed a "flower-child' attitude that is deeply offended at honest efforts to keep them in the way of truth. I hasten to say, I am finding a goodly number of saints and congregations that are going an independent way, unmoved by (if indeed they even know of) the "current wars or defections."

Better attitudes necessitate love for our brethren — to deny it is like denying motherhood. But we must distinguish the sacrificing, God-directed "agape" of the Bible from emotional sop offered in its place. We must remember, "God is love" — NOT "If we love it, God must accept it.'

The popular solution for improving attitudes is more social events. On the surface this is appealing, but it often leaves God out of the picture, resulting in a socially unified group merrily eating and playing games regardless of God's instructions. Some of the bitterest attacks I have received for preaching truth have come from brethren who treated me great socially — as long as I was silent!!

Ugly retorts, personal recriminations, etc., often come as a cover-up for lack of knowledge or confidence in one's position. One of the best preventives for an ugly spirit is the positiveness that comes with careful study of God's word. When we love the truth more than we love some party doctrine, we will not mind assistance from others in coming to a better understanding of God's way.

It is not enough to know, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matt. 7: 12). We must TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, and PUT IT INTO PRACTICE.

Better attitudes are not gendered wholesale, as a brotherhood miracle. They are developed in the individual, and they must begin with me!