"I Reject `ProofText Preaching' "!

Wallace H. Little
Marshall, Texas

So spake the denominational preacher to me. It was quite obvious why; he could not support his beliefs with "proof-text preaching," if his eternal destiny depended on it . . . and it does! Also, his approach to religion demanded only that he satisfy his wisdom (1 Cor. 2).

This attitude is increasing among our non-Christian friends. We expect it of them. They are so wedded to their idols, they are not about to jeopardize that association by permitting their beliefs to be examined in any fair way in terms of God's Word. This is sad indeed.

As sad as it is, how much more so when Christians adopt the same attitude? It may not be so candidly expressed, but the meaning is the same. When liberal brethren accuse us "Anti's" of "legalism," and when the "grace-fellowship brethren" refuse, as Brother Edward Fudge has done, to defend their beliefs where these may be publicaily contested in a fair way, what is the difference?

Editorial privilege, the refusal of response, has long been the hiding place of false teachers. These want the privilege of teaching their doctrine, from protective sanctuary, while refusing equal opportunity for others who disagree. Pretty nice! Also, highly unfair. Since it involves souls, including theirs, because of the attitude displayed even apart from the doctrinal error taught, this ought not to be. And crying "You're judging! You're acting as God"! changes nothing.

I may or may not like the manner Cecil Willis, James W. Adams, Ron Halbrook and others have done this exposing. If their attitude has been wrong, they will give account. But I am grateful to God, and to them, that they exposed this error among us. It needed to be done.

So, let us get back to "proof-text preaching." If we have not the proof-teat to support what we believe and teach, let us change. Life is too short and salvation too critical to play games by rejecting "proof-text preaching," whatever the guise.

Truth Magazine XIX: 21, p. 322
April 3, 1975