By F. David Moyer
It is interesting for me to note how quickly some grab at names and practices which they never take the time to analyze.
A few years ago, when I was in the Air Force, I was worshiping with a congregation of about eighty members that many brethren refer to as “liberal” (a name tossed about loosely!), which was practicing some things that could not be justified by Scripture (i.e., Herald of Truth support, contribution to church-sponsored orphan homes, etc.). I called these practices into question and also sought justification for the use of the building for recreational activities, such as teen parties, “fellowship dinners,” and the like.
For several months I asked, “Where does it say. . . ?” to every male member of the congregation several times, and, as you can imagine, I was never given a verse, although there were some arguments made about how “good” things were. After almost a whole year of this – there were no other congregation within 200 miles, “sound” (another name freely used) or otherwise – I felt I could no longer have fellowship with these “liberal” practices and decided to meet at home with my family and three other families who were of the same disposition. The next six months were so.
I had not lost contact with the “liberal” preacher in town JP – as we were having studies and discussions about once a month. During that time a “Joy Bus” program was in full swing, and there I was, the old “anti,” (an interesting name . . .) gumming up all the works by asking “Where?” all the time.
It’s kind of funny how that there was one young fellow in the congregation, recently converted from denominationalism, who was telling other people in the city, not even members of the church, that I was an “Anti-Christ”! When I confronted him with the fact that I had baptized twelve people in the past few months, and was constantly involved in preaching Christ, how was it that I was Anti-Christ? He simply said that he had heard that I was an “anti” and the only place he could find that term in the Bible was in connection with the “Anti-Christ.” (It seems funny to me that one converted by a “liberal” preacher [names again] could be so concerned with finding his terms in Scripture.) He had grabbed a name tossed out in a disgusting and slanderous manner and thought something else was meant by it.
I straightened him out and now he refers to me as just plain old “Anti.”
Then I asked him, “Anti what?”
A pause . . .
“Certainly not Christ,” I added.
“Well then, the church?”
“No, not that either.”
“What then, personal evangelism?”
“No. . .”
“Ah, then it must be caring for destitute saints!”
“Not that. . . “
“So, it must be opening my home to orphans?”
“Well. . .”
A long silence.
“I guess anti-SIN!”
“There you go! I am anti-sin in every way you could possibly imagine.” I guess he got the point because before long he was meeting with us. I guess a lot of people got the message. Within a year we were meeting back at the same church building minus Joy Bus, Herald of Truth, and institutionalism.
Oh, by the way, the preacher moved away and I preached there full-time for seven months before orders to move overseas. And still being called “anti,” we grew by thirty souls in those seven months.
I sure hope that next preacher they got was an “Anti,” . . . ah, “Anti-sin,” that is.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 10, p. 309
May 19, 1988