Vol.VI No.IV Pg.5
June 1969

Of Paper Clips & Faith

Robert F. Turner

Jeremiah said, "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (JER.10:23). Not "in man"? Then directions must come from an external source. But the subjectivity of modernism (and of cults which rely upon "feelings") has made rapid strides among supposed fundamentalists. Some of "our brethren" contend that truth is "relative", and in the final analysis depends upon the subject (man) for "reality".

I hold something in my hand — but since you have no means of "knowing" what it is, you can only have your opinion, an educated guess at best. You may say, "I believe it is a pencil," but this "faith" is purely subjective. You look within yourself and your own experiences, for the answer. Now I tell you I hold a paper clip, and my words become external evidence which you may either accept or reject. I am in a position to know — my words come from the source of truth in this matter. Your faith may now become objective: based upon the revelation of truth, resting upon the integrity of my words; or, you may continue to rely upon your "feelings" about the pencil. The fact remains, I hold a paper clip. You may honestly "misunderstand" my words, or misconstrue them in your subconscious effort to justify that hunch about the pencil — but I continue to hold a paper clip.

The "things of God" are known only to God (1CO.2:11-13) and are available to man only through the inspired message. God's word is truth; regardless of man's acceptance or rejection of it (JOH.17:17). The faith that can save is objective faith; honest, submissive acceptance of the evidence which God provides (ROM.10:17)

When man presumes to judge God's revelation, accepting or rejecting as human wisdom or experience dictates, man elevates himself above his Maker. He transgresses "law" (abstractly, article) denying the authority of God to regulate His creatures (JAM. 2:10-f). But we are to speak and do as they who shall be judged by law (vs. 12). The legislative, executive, and judicial branches of divine government are summed in one, even God (JAM. 4:12). Paul insisted that his message was that which God had revealed unto him. He said, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1CO. 2:4). It is not in man, nor from among men, but from a source external of man that divine truths are revealed. This means we either accept a verbally inspired revelation from God, or stand without certainty of any truth. We have faith (true, objective faith) or wallow miserably in the conflicting philosophies of men.

True objective faith is under fire today from "brethren" who make light of verbal inspiration — openly, or by advocating modern "versions" that do not respect God's words. Such faith is smothered by the "relativists" who ridicule the "certainty" of truth. We are taught relative or subjective faith "for the sake of unity" — and how long will "one God" tolerate us?