Vol.III No.VIII Pg.7
September 1966

This Rash Of "Hobbies"

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Please comment on the rash of wild "hobbies" that seem to prevail among brethren today. JA


I accept this suggestion because I get my share of such questions regularly. "Wild hobby" is, however, fit designation only when coming from the opponent. Those who teach the matter do not consider it a "wild hobby."

PIAIN TALK makes a special point of Congregational Independence. This may be considered our "hobby" by some who advocate collective action on the part of many churches. Of course we see this only as a subject that needs special emphasis at this time; and we try to balance our menu with a wide variety of other "needs.

The evils of party line thinking -- "church authority" -- are seen from Catholicism right on through our own liberal sponsoring-church system. We urge individuals to study God's word and think for themselves, as the only cure for domination. Now I do not believe every Christian is equally brilliant, trailed in interpretation, or experienced. I know that some will be greatly confused, and some egocentrics (fatheads) will decide they have found a "NEW" truth, and will ride it to destruction. But most of those who follow will be folk who refuse to study and think for themselves; and that kind will not be with truth for very long anyhow. We end up with a lot of little groups in error - but party-line creedalism takes the WHOLE BROTHERHOOD into ONE BIG ERROR and don't forget that.

I do not believe I have a perfect understanding of all Bible subjects -- for I have discovered myself wrong in the past, and it is logical to expect such discoveries in the future. I DO believe I am as right in faith and practice as I CAN be with my present knowledge, and I intend to continue this course until I learn differently. If someone wants to show me a "new" truth I'll listen; but I will have to prove the matter for myself. I want to make my own mistakes,

thank you.

Fresh, objective thinking in Bible study and analysis of issues must be coupled with humility. I question any man's ability and qualifications to point out "new" issues, who has not the judgement nor self-control to "hasten leisurely" in such explosive matters. Although I detest creed-bound thinking, as detrimental to genuine Bible study; some of our "freethinkers" are "discovering" age-old problems about like an early teenager discovers the opposite sex. A girl is something new, he reasons; or he would have noticed her long ago.

Loyal brethren are grouped in smaller congregations now; and there is more opportunity, and need, for participation in public service. The pulpit has a "heady" effect on many; and after a few "sermons" dutifully "bragged on" by the hearers, some are ready to launch their bizarre notions. If these are questioned the speaker's pride is hurt, and he'll prove his point or alienate brethren while trying. And watch out for older preachers -- especially those who are not getting attention they think they merit. GOD'S TRUTH SHOULD BE OUR "HOBBY"!