By Ralph Edmunson
We are called “antis”; not by ourselves, but by those who are in opposition to us and can not find any Bible principle to uphold them in their digression from the scriptures.
Because we oppose any and all innovations to the Lord’s spiritually revealed plans; and because we oppose all departures from that plan, the devil’s disciples refer to us as “the againsters,”–“antis.”
Is it a crime to be “against” things that are wrong? Is it a sin to be “anti” evil? Surely those who shout “anti” the loudest are “anti” some things.
Those people and those churches today who are supporting the “Herald of Truth,” church supported “orphan homes,” and other centralized combines among the churches of Christ can be placed in one of two categories: either they do not know what is going on; or, knowing, they are the devil’s representatives attempting to draw away disciples after them in the fashion of Paul’s prediction in Acts 20:28.
The introduction of the Missionary Society in 1849 divided the churches of Christ and resulted in two groups-the so called “Christian Church” and churches of Christ. These churches of Christ were following the Bible before and after the division. They did not change. The churches of Christ that are opposing the “Herald of Truth” today are teaching the same that churches of Christ were teaching when they opposed the Missionary Society.
We still ask: Where is the Bible authority for centralization and church support of human organizations? The issues are the same whether the specific- digression is the Missionary Society or the “Herald of Truth.”
After this third (current) division has finally been forced on the churches by scheming brethren who are insistent on broadening the organization of the church, there will still be a host of faithful brethren who strive to speak where the Bible speaks and who try to remain silent where the Bible is silent–thus obeying 1 Pet. 4:11: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.
After the uproar caused by calling us “non-progressives,” “againsters,” “antis,” and many other uncomplimentary epithets has subsided to some extent, we will still be churches of Christ, concerned with following the simplicity of the Lord’s plan. We will still be calling for Bible authority for centralizing the resources of many congregations in the hands of one group of men, whether they be the elders of one church or the directors of some human organization. We will continue to ask for Bible authority for supporting human organizations, however worthy, out of the church treasury.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:42, p. 13
August 29, 1974