The Main Issue

Leslie Diestelkamp
Aurora, Illinois

It seems to me that an unnecessary battle is beginning among good and faithful brethren today. Some say that we must emphasize opposition to unlimited benevolence by the churches. Others say we should get back to a discussion of support of human institutions. Strong words are being used and valuable space in the papers is being devoted to this quarrel. Of course we have long been known as a free people, always willing to discuss every issue. Even now free discussion must not be stifled.

However, it must be rather vain to discuss "which is the main issue" when both sides agree that all phases of the controversy deserve attention. I have often been asked, "Which is more important, repentance or baptism?" Of course the answer is that neither is more important than the other. The validity of each for salvation to the alien is dependent upon the other also. It seems to me the same is true in this case regarding the discussion of the "main issue."

But the point I want to emphasize in this brief consideration is that we ought not to divide over what the main issue is. Some 'may say there is no danger and that such discussions and attitudes could not lead to division. However, from a practical point of view we know that brethren can divide over such matters. Let us not make any creeds for other brethren to live by. Let us not try to tell another brother just how and where and when and in what regard he shall oppose the liberal forces. At the same time, let us all be careful that in our opposition we do not distort any true principle just for the sake of winning an argument.

TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 3, p. 6 December 1965