By Earl E. Robertson
Without fear of successful contradiction we affirm that we live in a permissive society. Frequently we observe permissive actions stemming from what religious guides identify as sufferance conditions. This behavior is situational and these people know it. They allow a situation to determine whether God’s word is standard or not; that is, whether the word of God will apply to one and all alike under all circumstances and conditions. To illustrate the point: men who are convinced that the New Testament word “baptism” means a “burial” (Rom. 6:3, 4; Col. 2:12), will grant, under certain situations, a substitute-pouring or sprinkling. Some allege to believe the sufficiency and independency of churches of Christ in their government, work, and worship. But through efforts of the churches in subsidizing human organizations, and the hierarchical arrangements called sponsoring churches, they belie this allegation.
Some refuse to accept the truth because they believe they already have it. One’s honesty is not attacked in this statement. We only say he is honestly mistaken in his religious thinking and convictions. The Eunuch in Acts 8 well illustrates this point. This man was deeply religious. He had gone to Jerusalem “for to worship” and was returning home. This distance was about 1500 miles. He was a Bible reader! He was honest. But he was wrong! When Philip the evangelist taught him the truth, he not only believed it but obeyed it before he got home. He told no experience of grace and no church voted as to whether he might obey Christ in baptism for the remission of his sins. Up to the time of Philip instructing him correctly, this man thought he had the truth.
Others are prejudiced. They have already made up their minds and quickly tell you they are satisfied and do not care to be bothered. Like Nathanael, when first approached, these quickly declare their minds are made up and closed. Nathanael was told by Philip, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” But this man replies, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:45-51). Prejudice is one of the world’s greatest robbers! Let it not rob you of what Jesus came to give: truth and life!
Truth Magazine XXIII: 4, p. 76
January 25, 1979