Exposing Digression

Charles Gibson

When liberal-minded brethren indict lovers of the truth for exposing digressions, I am reminded of the German officer who declared that the British are gentlemen but the French are not. Asked what he meant, he explained: "During the military occupation of Germany, some soldiers led by a British and a French officer came to the barracks of which I had charge. They said they had reason to believe that I had violated the terms of the Peace Treaty by concealing some rifles behind a brick wall. I denied this, saying: "I give you my word of honor as a German officer that there are no rifles concealed here." The British officer was a gentleman. He accepted my word and went away. But the French officer was not a gentleman. He would not accept my word of honor. He pulled down the wall and took away my rifles."

Some brethren become incensed because others will not accept their "work of honor" for the scripturalness of their practices. When the practices are examined and exposed as digressions, the lovers of truth are accused of jealousy, viciousness, meddling, and, to say the very least, of not being gentlemen. Some have been deterred from contending for the faith by these tactics. However, we need to be more concerned with the welfare of the church and pleasing God than we are with our reputation among those who "go onward and abide not in the teaching of Christ".


March 19, 1970