If It Is True . . .

By Larry Ray Hafley

(1) That tuning forks and pitch pipes are mechanical instruments of music, in the same sense that pianos and organs are, will someone please name a band, orchestra or musical group that features tuning fork and pitch pipe players?

(2) That militant, aggressive preaching does not manifest love or the spirit of Christ, what does militant, aggressive preaching against militant, aggressive preaching manifest?

(3) That “doctrine does not matter,” then the doctrine that says, “Doctrine does not matter,” does not matter. Does it?

(4) That any preaching which offends, insults, enrages or shames an audience is not preaching the truth in love, then what was Jesus doing when He offended (Matt. 15:12), enraged (Lk. 6:11), insulted (Lk. 11:45) and shamed (Lk. 13:17) some of His auditors?

(5) That Christians are in no sense under law, then in what sense is Christ our “lawgiver” (Jas. 4:12)?

(6) That being a gospel preacher is an easy living with good pay, can you name any other “easy job” with “good pay” which has as many open positions? And if the work is so simple and the salary so great, why do you not quit your hard, low-paying job and start preaching?

(7) That a man’s good reputation and high esteem establishes his teaching as unimpeachable, were the Jews justified when “the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city” took part in raising “persecution against Paul and Barnabas”? Did the apostle Peter’s life and loyalty to the Lord make him immune to Paul’s rebuke?

(8) That works or any act of obedience nullifies the grace of God in the salvation of the alien sinner, why is it that the Christian’s works of obedience do not nullify God’s grace and mercy?

(9) That papers like this one “air our dirty linen for all the world to see,” what do you do when the world wants to read 1 Corinthians, Galatians and Hebrews? And is it “dirty” or “clean” linen that you airing when you air out the complaint against airing out dirty linen?

(10) That “Alexander Campbell started the ‘Church of Christ,”‘ therefore, it is not the New Testament church, then will you also denounce the Lutheran Church (Martin Luther) and the Methodist Church (John Wesley) on the same basis? If not, why is a church started by Luther or Wesley better than one founded by Campbell?

(11) That the “Church of Christ is just another denomination,” why condemn its alleged errors (music question, baptism, etc.), while ignoring such monstrous errors as Popery, infant baptism and Sabbath keeping in the “other” denominations? Why exorcize “our demons” but not theirs?

(12) That, as some Baptists claim, the deeds of the body, the outer man, do not affect the salvation of the soul, the inner man, why did Peter say, “Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11)?

(13) That a person who falls away was never truly saved, why did Jude say, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not” (Jude 5)?

(14) That “residents have as much right to watch sexually explicit movies as they have to watch religious programming” (Cleveland City Council President, George L. Forbes, Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 16, 1985, p. 3-A), is it also true (a) that “residents have as much right to watch child pornography movies as they have to watch religious programming”? (b) That “residents have as much right to watch homosexually explicit movies as they have to watch religious programming”? Really, these questions are raised with fear and trembling. I fear what Mr. Forbes might say!

(15) That (again, according to President Forbes – see above) “It is not right for a certain segment of society to say, ‘We are not going to bring Playboy to a channel,”‘ is it also true (a) that “It is not right for a certain segment of society to say, ‘We are not going to bring Playgay to a channel . . . ? (b) “It is not right for a certain segment of society to say, ‘We are not going to bring Playchild (sex) to a channel”? If by chance, these would not be acceptable to Mr. Forbes, what standard would he use to deny and deprive us of the right to see these things?

Further, is it “right for a certain segment of society to say we are going to bring Playboy to a channel?”

(16) That Ronald Reagan’s efforts to repeal the right to abortion “is a continuation of the Reagan administration’s war on women” (Judy Goldsmith, President of National Organization for Women, Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 16, 1985, p. 6-A), would it be fair to characterize Ms. Goldsmith’s hard labor (pun intended) for abortion as “a continuation of her war on babies”?

(17) That salvation “by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8,9) means faith is essential to salvation, then why is it not also true, since the saved are “kept by the power of God through faith” (1 Pet. 1:5), that continuing in faith is necessary to continuing in salvation?

(18) That the Bible is full of fictions and fabrications and that infidel scholars must free us from its superstitious shackles, why do they not also feel compelled to debunk the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and “other” works of darkness? If the Bible is so transparently false and fallible and totally unreliable, why consume so much time and energy fighting it while leaving “other” religious myths and legends alone?

(19) That the present Pope’s teachings are alive and powerful, why is it not true that the doctrines of the “first Pope, the apostle Peter, are not also living and active? How can the words of a man twenty centuries from Christ be given more credence and credibility than the words of one who was a contemporary or our Lord, especially since that one was an “eye witness of His majesty”?

(20) That Jesus has not yet set up His kingdom, how can people be “born again,” since it is the new birth that allow some to enter the kingdom (Jn. 3:3,5)?

Guardian of Truth XXX: 19, pp. 582, 598
October 2, 1986