But Still They Stay

By Daniel H. King

There are a lot of people in the churches who, when they read our articles and hear our sermons on liberalism, social gospelism, and the issues presently confronting the church, will scoff and say, “Just more of the ravings of those crazy antis.” At the same time, though, there are sincere and well-intentioned brethren in a multitude of places who are caught up in personalities, family ties, friendships, and politics in local churches and hate to leave. And so they stay.

They have the wisdom to see the direction in which many of their friends and brethren are moving. And yet they stay. They have no words of derision. They want no part in slinging mud at the “antis” because they know that what they are saying and have been saying all along is true. Liberalism to them is not something one reads about in the papers and periodicals. It is present reality, very present reality. Indeed, it is moving in at such a rapid pace that it scares them to death. And, what scares them even more is the fact that they usually stand almost entirely alone in trying to stem the tide. Their plight is sad. But still they stay. We continue to hope and pray that soon they will see the hopelessness of their present condition and the futility of their task while they continue to fellowship this sin and contribute to its malignant growth in the churches by encouraging and financing it. But they know that if they take a strong stand for truth and sound doctrine they might be forced out like many of us were and like the early disciples were forced out of the synagogues (Jn. 16:2). And so, they stay.

All too many, however, think of this horrendous cancer as benign until it is far too late for the radical surgery that it requires to arrest it. After a time they awake to find that it has enlarged and has swallowed the whole church (1 Cor. 5:6), stolen their children’s hearts and affections, and entangled them in a web from which they feel powerless to escape. Their innocuous presence is no real threat to the eventual triumph of the malignancy. And so they stay. They fret and they fuss, they rant and they rave. But still they stay. They are frustrated and bewildered, incensed and infuriated. But they stay. They possess neither the intestinal fortitude nor the courage to defy the “powers that be” who “lord it over” the flock (1 Pet. 5:3) in the place of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 5:4) by leading the church into error (Acts 20:3). They have insight, hindsight and foresight, but they have no grit and they lack mettle. “And besides,” they say, “I like it here.”

Is there any wonder that they stayed? You know, unless they change, I hope they do stay.

Truth Magazine XXI: 50, pp. 787
December 22, 1977