“Sniper Fire”

By John McCort

I am at the same time saddened, sickened, and angered at a brand of journalism which has cropped up among brethren the last few years. Several “reactionary” journals and bulletins have been started which major in taking potshots at the rest of the brotherhood, especially at fellow gospel preachers. They will not come out in the open and name who they are talking about specifically so the issue can be dealt with in the open. Instead, they are content to play the part of the sniper hidden in the bushes.

I read references to alleged power combines between major journals and even Florida College. I read where editors or certain journals are trying to take over the brotherhood. These editors are constantly being assailed as brotherhood popes with evil motives. In some circles it has become fashionable to take unwarranted potshots at the “powers-that-be” (as they put it).

I recognize the danger inherent in large journals and foundations but I do not approve of the constant motive judging which has been going on. I know many of the editors personally and most of them are honest, godly, upright, and very humble Christians. It is unfair and ungodly to assail the motives of godly men without sufficient proof. Judging a man to be power hungry just because he edits a large journal or holds a lot of meetings is downright sinful. If there are men like this in the brotherhood, then name them by name then present the facts. If you do not have the facts then hush!

We all need to realize that some evangelists are going to exercise more influence than others. We need to recognize that some brethren have more ability than others. Some have more experience and have worked harder to develop their talents. Men of ability do not have to seek influence; influence seeks them. Men of ability do not seek to hold meetings; the brethren seek them. Men with good writing talents will be asked to write articles for the benefit of brethren. There might be a few that play “brotherhood politics” but I have more confidence in the good intentions and motives of brethren than to make a nearly blanket condemnation of all editors and influential preachers.

We all need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. That does not mean that we overlook sin in each others lives but it does mean that we are obligated to put a good construction on the actions and motives of others until facts force me to do otherwise. I think it is arrogant and egotistical for anyone to mount an ivory tower and pretend to be able to read the minds and motives of other preachers. I know that we are all to be constantly on guard against evil men but some have made nearly all of us evil. Let us all be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.

Truth Magazine XXIII: 47, p. 758
November 29, 1979