Vol.IV No.II Pg.2
April 1967

Oikophile (House-Lover)

Robert F. Turner

I have known for many years that some brethren thought more of the physical building in which they met, than they did of the "house of God," the spiritual temple built upon the true foundation, Christ. But it is not often that some one will come out with an argument (?) to that effect.

Now we have it. One brother, with apparently more zeal for union than knowledge concerning unity, declared that the long-time building in which brethren met came to stand for the Lord's church in that locality, and whoever stayed with that building was the true church. He even went so far as to say (and this was the supreme sacrifice) that if we (anti-s) stayed in the building, and the supporters of institutions left, he would stay with us. I guess that shows how much this brother loves the orphans, the Campaigns for Christ, Inc., etc. NOT AS MUCH AS HE LOVES THE BUILDING.

Personally, I doubt that this man really meant all he said along this line. I think he was just talking -and I say this to be charitable. If he really meant all he is reported to have said, he loves the building more than he loves the Lord. I hope not.

And yet, this is the test that a genuine scriptural issue places on us. Do we love truth more than we love the party with which we are aligned? In the past we have asked this of the denominations; hinting, if not saying, that if they loved truth they would make honest, objective investigation through God's word, and then stand fast for what they believed was God's truth, regardless of cost.

Are we, like the "house lover," just talking? If so, may God forgive us.

There are literally thousands of people who support and sanction practices they know to be wrong. Many admit as much, without hesitation, but they have been convinced they must "stay with the building" "do what the elders say, regardless" or "we must not divide the precious body of the Lord" -- and they have confused the "party" with the true body of Christ -- so they do nothing.

Had they lived several generations back, they would have stayed with the liberal brethren who brought in organs and missionary societies -- for it was their kind who made these innovations possible -- but they will not read their own history to see this. In fact, a few of them will REFUSE Plain Talk when they have read this far -- if they get this far -- for human nature hasn't changed much in the past hundred years. Lovers of truth will continue to be drawn together.