Examine Yourself

By Irven Lee

There are many people who do not agree with you on some of the questions that are discussed today. This is true no matter who you are or what views you hold. In the first place, there are very many questions about which there are differing judgments.

Are all those who question some of your views fanatics and trouble makers? Are they at least second rate citizens, if not fools? It may be that some of these who do not agree with you are very devout gospel preachers who have worked unselfishly and successfully in building up worthy churches. They may not have been involved in as many serious conflicts where they preach as you have in your work. Even with these facts in mind, would you still advise people not to attend where they preach, even if attending where you preach would require more driving?

We are not writing about the plan of salvation, the work or organization of the church, the deity of Christ, or the inspiration of the word. This article refers to many questions that involve the individual Christian and not the whole congregation as a collectively. Some of the questions have been around for a long time, and some have been asked, it seems, first in the last few years. The apostles died several hundred years too early to get in on some of these questions.

You are right, of course on all these ideas, but some near you are not. Do you associate with these people who sincerely think they are right on some problems that are being tossed about but, according to your judgment, are wrong? Remember, we are not talking about how to become a Christian, how to worship, or how to carry on the work of the -church. This article is about things that you call foolish questions. Some of the questions may be foolish. Who is to judge?

We are talking about weaker and stronger brethren who will give an account to God for their own deeds (Rom. 14). We are not talking of the factious people who should be marked, avoided, and rejected (Rom. 16:17,18; Tit. 3:9-11). This latter group are grievous wolves who draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:29; 2 Pet. 2:1-3). These people will be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9).

This article is about people who may have more patience, humility, or Bible knowledge than you have. They may work with more zeal and success in converting sinners to Christ than you do. This may sound a little blunt, but you need some one to talk to you frankly. The church is suffering from men like you who are so right on everything and could not be wrong.

If this offends you, do not raise your hand or speak up because I have not called your name or mentioned the community where you live. Even your correct views have not been identified. If you do not turn red or speak up, people may not recognize you. You will have time to repent and develop the mind of Christ before they even think about you being the guilty one under discussion (Phil. 2:1-11). You wear many names, but your real name is Legion because there are many of you. We are telling you that you condemn in others the very spirit which is in you. Examine yourself.

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 9, p. 276
May 3, 1984