Vol.V No.II Pg.1
April 1968

"Resist The Beginnings"

Robert F. Turner

The Latins had a proverb or adage; an "Ol' Edderd's Sayin'" that could serve well today. "Obsta Principlis" - "Resist the Beginnings!" It is not a popular philosophy, and I suppose someone in the objective mood and the kickative case could use it to slow or stop genuine progress. But ignoring its warning has produced chaos.

Sometime in the middle 40-s I was planning a "lecture" program for the Westside church, Phoenix; and called on Foy E. Wallace, Jr. to take part. He refused, saying that such meetings served as a "beginning" for preacher conclaves, that produced much harm. I felt, then and now, that this was an unwarranted conclusion, but this cautious "looking ahead" impressed me.

No man, no church is free of error. The "early" errors of individuals and churches are usually "small" with little indication of their potential power and trouble. With zeal to "do some good" "help the young people" "increase attendance" etc., we have an "area-wide rally", support some "benevolent project" or serve a few doughnuts and coffee. In the beginning we certainly do not intend to organize an inter-church executive committee, build a brotherhood benevolent society, or promote a social gospel.

It is understandable that we might disagree with some who warn that we violated Bible principles. Experience, depth of understanding, even historic knowledge make for differing powers of evaluation.

But ATTITUDE is the most valuable, and dangerous element of all. If we look to "brotherhood practices" for our authority, or allow self-justification to sway us; these "beginnings" take root, and become so "status quo" that we look upon those who reject our digressions as "Anti's" who have "left the church."

Nothing is scriptural because "we do something like it", or "it is no worse than" something else. A thing is scriptural only if authorized in God's word, specifically or in principle. We need not expect the beginning to appear a glaring sin, but unless we RESIST THE BEGINNINGS that are questionable, the glare will come.