Changing, to Avoid Change
The B-58 super-sonic bomber is equipped with a tracking device which is "locked on" two stars, a warning is sounded if the plane wanders as much as 1 10th of a degree off course; and on a long journey the pilot may make many corrections--- CHANGES-- in ORDER TO KEEP FROM CHANGING the destination of the plane.
This process is routine, and the pilot welcomes the warnings because he is intent upon completing his mission. It is hard to imagine a pilot who would resent such assistance, for he knows that "drift" is difficult to detect without reference to some fixed and constant point.
Of course some of my brethren would "take a reading" on the other planes in the formation, and "stay with the brotherhood" regardless of the result. Paul calls this "measuring themselves by themselves," and says those who do so are not wise. (2 Cor. 10:12)
We, who believe the scriptures to be divine, and all-sufficient, accept them as our fixed, infallible guide. Here the "Way" of Christ is made known. It is our intention to keep unswervingly to this course--in fact we hold that our very identity as the church Of Christ depends upon our adherence to this route. We do not claim to be perfect--but we do claim to be striving for perfection.
Such striving necessitates change. We would be blind indeed not to recognize that at times we stray from the course. Theories and or practices may be accepted for times that seem harmless -- even beneficial. When we are warned of our "drift" our reaction may show our true allegiance.
If we have "joined a church" we wait to see what others will do. If we have been joined unto Christ, we compare our course with His word, and move accordingly. Our fundamental and all-absorbing aim is to follow Him. We change our teaching and practice readily, to avoid changing this most basic principle.
Since Christ is the only "creed" accepted by the true church, we have not changed--"left the church"-- until we no longer make necessary corrections. Then, we have CHANGED INDEED, and journey without hope.
TRUTH MAGAZNE XIV: 4, pp. 8-9
November 27, 1969