By Larry Ray Hafley
Football teams succeed with a “balanced attack,” i.e., a coordinated combination of rushing and passing on offense and an equally strong defense against the run and the pass. This prime principle prevails in “the good fight of faith.” The Guardian of Truth endeavors to adhere to “a balanced attack.” We seek to maintain a level approach in the material printed and presented. This is not always easy. It requires editorial skill. But an editor’s artfulness is limited by the material he receives.
One Issue Paper
There is a time and place for a “one issue paper.” When a formidable foe looms, an imbalance may occur as resources and reinforcements are sent to repel the arsenal and assault of the enemy. Even a balanced football team may spend a whole quarter running the ball as the situation dictates, but it has the ability to pass as the conditions of the opponent adjust. So, for a time it may appear out of balance. The same is true with this paper. Circumstances may demand strong emphasis on one particular problem, but the overall balance is there, ready to parry and thrust at all the fierce and fiery darts of the wicked.
The apostle Paul wrote Galatians because the trend and tenor of the times called for it. Should we charge him with being a “one issue” writer since he fought for the faith as opposed to the law for justification? Nay, verily. Should we cite and indict him for being “personally defensive” due to the tone of 2 Corinthians? Paul was as even-handed as the conditions required – see the variety of 1 Corinthians, for example. Just so Guardian of Truth strives for a variety of teaching material, though certain fields may necessitate greater stress at specific moments (cf. Jude 3, 4).
“Preach The Word”
No preacher or publisher can improve upon the counsel of 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” All Scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). These passages represent the purposes and ideals of the articles appearing in this magazine. Errors within and without the church must be examined and exercised.
(1) The nature, work, worship and organization of the church, so often perverted and so frequently the subverted symbols of apostasy, must be constantly considered.
(2) Heresies regarding the freedom of the gospel of grace and the bondage of the law, historically the fountain from which has gushed ignorance of the nature of saving faith and the work of the Holy Spirit, are concepts which cannot be ignored.
(3) Sects and factions, the result of the divisive spirit of partyism, breed on base pride and feed on embittered desire for vain glory. These attitudes must be exposed from without and expelled from within.
(4) Impurity and immorality, the children of the lusts of worldliness, “war against the soul,” and, as such, must be defied and denied by daily, personal buffeting (1 Cor. 9:27; Titus 2:12).
(5) The home and family unit, the bastion and bulwark of personal, social and civil growth and stability, is under incessant, insidious attack by the liberal forces of self-indulgence and ungodliness. The structure and discipline of the marriage relationship must be taught to the lisping child, the blushing bride, the nervous groom and unto all.
Summary and Conclusion
Balance has been stressed, but do not forget the term, “attack.” Be balanced, but attack! Christians are in a fight, a war, a wrestling match (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:12). Self-control, not wild, blind swinging, is needed. Fights and wars require calculating strategy, equanimity of spirit (2 Tim. 1:7). Let cranks and critics gripe and grumble; let them twitter in bitter railing accusations – sores must ooze their pus. Thus, be not distracted by foamy-mouthed madness; rather, press the attack with poise, not poison, with truth, not trifles.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 4, p. 97
February 16, 1984