By Burl Young
Some months ago our President said that he was “drawing a line in the sand” as pertains to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and possible invasion of Saudi Arabia. Since the President was speaking metaphorically, we realize that he meant that no more aggression would be tolerated. Likewise, it is time that we who are endeavoring to continue in God’s word, also draw a line. It will be the purpose of this article to show that the continuing ingress of liberalism will not be tolerated. Many reasons could be given, but we shall limit our thoughts to the line that God has drawn between truth and error.
For some time now it has been evident that a great difference exists between brethren in the Lord’s church. Some wish to become more and more tolerant of denominationalism, institutionalism and worldliness. On the other hand, those who are standing for truth can and will not tolerate such wavering. If this tolerance continues, it will allow the social drinker, adulterous person and denominational errorist to feel at case in Zion. Let us examine the above errors and what our actions should be toward them.
Where Has God Drawn the Line?
This question is not a hard one to answer if we will only look to God’s word. For instance, where did God draw the line concerning denominationalism? Did God through the Holy Spirit vacillate saying it makes no difference how we worship, or did he give a specific way? God is very specific in the condemnation of denominationalism. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:13)
The above passage should put to rest forever the idea that just any way is acceptable unto God. It does not prove that you or I am right, but proves that both cannot be right at the same time if we teach different and conflicting doctrines. So, as for the idea of denominationalism, God has drawn the line, I don’t have to draw one, but merely accept the one he has drawn.
Institutionalism has been, is, and will continue to be a thorn in the side of Christ’s precious Church. Where has God drawn the line concerning institutionalism? Has he taught that both ways are correct? Has he taught that it can not be discerned, or that it doesn’t really matter? The answer to all these questions can be answered very easily. God has drawn the line. The line of demarcation is the plain teaching of the Bible concerning the sufficiency of the church. Since God has told us that he purposed the church before the foundation of the world, we surely do not think that we mere mortals can improve upon it (Eph. 3:9-11). Since God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, it seems plausible that we should be able to read his word and understand what he wishes us to do in these matters. For instance there are differences between brethren about the support of human institutions. Since they cannot be found in the Scripture by direct command, necessary inference or apostolic example, it is easy to see that God has drawn the line forbidding us to participate in such schemes of men. God has drawn the line in the sand concerning these matters.
The final matter we shall examine in this area, is the area of worldliness. It would take more space and time than I have in this article to say much about such a damnable doctrine, but I will say a few things and then show where God has drawn the line.
God has drawn the line against social drinking. Some are teaching that we may drink a little, as long as we don’t get drunk. How much is that? Is it one drink? Two? How many? God has commanded us to abstain from evil (1 Thess. 5:22). Can we not be content to leave such an evil alone? God has drawn the line, we dare not pass.
God has drawn the line against adultery. Contrary to what the modern prophets proclaim, the Son of God declared, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.” Is this not plain? God has drawn a line.
Finally, and most importantly, is the line of fellowship. After all, if the above teachings of the Bible are true and understandable (and they are), shall we continue to fellowship, endorse and hold in repute those who preach and teach things contrary to sound doctrine? The answer is an obvious and resounding no! God has drawn a line in his word, just as our President drew in the desert sands of the Mideast.
If brethren continue to demand respect for denominationalism, institutionalism and worldliness, there will be another split in the Lord’s Church. Let us pray that those who are advocating the placing of error under the guise of opinion, look once again to the line that God has drawn between truth and error and respect that line.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 15, p. 492
August 15, 1991