By Eugene Crawley
Some time ago this statement was made to in e in a conversation with a young man who was attending one of the “Christian Colleges” preparing to preach, and who had already been very active in the “Campaigns for Christ” and “Youth Rallies” which have become so prevalent. His description of these endeavors included such words as “tremendous,” “fabulous,” and “wonderful,” but not once did he use the term “scriptural.” Indeed these and many other things are “new to the brotherhood,” and are being readily accepted and promoted by not a few, especially those associated with the “Christian Colleges.”
It is my judgement that some, like this young man, are accepting these without ever stopping to consider whether or not they are in keeping with God’s will. They get so “carried away” with what they term “tremendous success,” “fabulous results,” and “wonderful response” that they conclude there has never been anything that has accomplished as much. Thus, they lose sight of the need for Scriptural authority. I am persuaded that some have no idea of how to go about determining whether or not a belief or practice is Scriptural. How pathetic for them to become so confused over seeming success; it cannot be true success because it is not based upon a “thus saith the Lord.” Just where has the Lord authorized such arrangements which bind together a number of local churches, and a multitude of workers from them in a combined drive like the “Campaigns for Christ” and “Youth Rallies”?
Certainly I agree that it. is “something new to the brotherhood.” It is also something new to God’s arrangement; but it is not new to the world; denominations have been having such for a number of years. The gospel needed as badly to be preached in the days of the apostles, but where do we have any record of their directing that such be formed to accomplish God’s purpose in proclaiming the gospel? Had such been needed, don’t you know that the apostles, directed by the Holy Spirit, could have, and would have, arranged for it?
God arranged for the local church to be the organization in and through which the gospel was to be preached (1 Tim. 3:15; Acts 14:23; 1 Pet. 5:1-3), and early churches accepted and faithfully discharged this responsibility, and every other work He gave it to do (1 Thess. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15, 16). Faithful churches are content with God’s arrangement, and continue to do the same today.
Opposition to such unscriptural arrangements does not mean that one is opposed to preaching the gospel, edifying the church, or caring for the needy ones; but rather manifests love for the truth, respect for Scriptural authority, and the desire to see souls saved.
We need to recognize that things like these which are “new to the brotherhood” are indeed too new to be right. A thing must be as old as the New Testament, that message proclaimed by the inspired apostles. May we all take a more discerning look at that which is being done, and resolve to stand firmly for the “faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
Such endeavors are “tremendous” departures from the New Testament, “wonderful” displays of ignorance of God’s word, and “fabulous” disrespect for Scriptural authority. Brethren, think!
Truth Magazine XXIV: 29, p. 466
July 24, 1980