Caught In The Middle

By Earl E. Robertson

“Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth,” wrote Paul (Rom. 14:22). Liberals and perverters of truth, practicing some things “contrary to sound doctrine,” must exercise care that their inconsistencies are not too obvious to the public. Their preaching must be geared to their practice, not their practice to their preaching!

Recently such an one said he had never preached on instrumental music in the worship and would not. The reason being, he said, such practice is not mentioned in the Bible. Another preacher of the same persuasion concurred with this statement. They support religious activities for which there is not one verse of scripture to support them and they obviously know it; and, furthermore, they know instrumental music in worship parallels such practice. They believe in one church sponsoring a work for which all churches are equally responsible. But let them produce a scripture authorizing a sponsoring church! They believe that churches may monetarily subsidize human organizations to do the work of the church. But let them produce a passage of scripture to authorize churches of Christ to furnish with subsidy David Lipscomb College or Potter Home and School. They know the scripture makes the difference, and they also know their practice places them “in the middle”.

Any departure from the truth, though it may not be specifically named in the word of God, must be condemned. Paul shows the Ephesian elders that some from among themselves would arise “speaking perverse things” to draw away disciples (Acts 20:30). Do those “perverse” things have to be named before I can preach on them? There is only one gospel but many perverters of it (Gal. 1:6-12). The perversion of truth does not have to be specified in the scripture for one to preach against it! The gainsayers of truth must be stopped – they teach things which they ought not (Tit. 1:9-11). Paul told Timothy to charge some “that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:3). Does the doctrine have to be named in the scriptures before I can rightfully preach against it? There are some things “contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:10) which are not specifically named in the scriptures – instrumental music in worship being one of them! Sins in the “such like” category must be condemned as well as the ones specified (Gal. 5:21). False teachers (2 Pet. 2:1) lead men away with error (2 Pet. 3:17). Instrumental music in worship is unauthorized and must, therefore, be preached against inconsistent preachers to the contrary notwithstanding.

Truth Magazine XXIII: 6, p. 107
February 8, 1979