By Fred Holthouser
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:6-7, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” We should underline these points and then no false teacher can lead us astray. All sin must be put away that we may love all of the truth of God revealed in His word.
A Time for Change
It took me a long time and much prayer, heartache, and trouble with the Society to be able to break away from them completely. Even now, eight years since I obeyed the gospel, I still have to watch myself that I do not lapse back into the language of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Jesus tells us about these kind of people in Matthew 15:8-9, where He warns us that the doctrines of men are not to be followed by any of us. Paul was a persecutor of the Lord’s church, but after he found out that he was wrong he changed and became one of the strongest workers for the Lord. There is only one thing worse than being wrong. The greater sin is that, after you find out you are wrong, you will do nothing about making the proper change to make it right with the Lord. I do know that some people are more hard-headed than are others and it takes them a lot longer to make up their minds that they are wrong; I fall into that class. But finally I did change with God’s help through his Word and so can you if you seek the truth of God rather than theories of men.
In all good conscience, I could no longer teach the things that the Society said I had to teach or else face the consequences for not doing as I was told. The congregation overseer told me to believe whatever I wanted to believe, but to keep it to myself and just do as I was told to do by the Society headquarters without any questions. I never was that type of person, as any of the members in the body of Christ that know me will tell you. I question everyone on what they teach and they had better be able to show me Book, Chapter and Verse for what they teach. I will not take just their word for it, as brother Ron Halbrook can testify from our conversation when he held a gospel meeting here in Leitchfield, Kentucky during 1979. [Yes, when I was in the meeting at the Mill Street church, brother Holthouser manifested the spirit of Acts 17:11. He was ready to investigate by searching the Scriptures. Ron Halbrook]
Counted As An Enemy
Most Witnesses have become my enemies, but I feel as did Paul when he wrote the letter to the Galatians (in 4:16), “Have I made you my enemy because I have told you the truth?” After I had started reading and questioning myself out of the New World Society, a dear brother and sister in Christ started talking to me about going to church with them and I made every excuse that I could think of not to go. That did not stop them from asking me to go with them to investigate a church which I could read about in the Bible. So I went and started questioning the preacher about what he had said. This started him to coming over to my house and we had some pretty good discussions on the Bible. Many times he stayed there all night and as he went home I washed my face and combed my hair and went to work. After having all my big guns knocked out by the word of God, I obeyed the gospel and have been preaching off and on as my health will let me ever since. I wonder how many others would be willing to spend as much time in teaching someone the errors of their ways as this person was. I thank God every day for these three brethren that cared enough about my soul to help me come out of this false religious organization and into the light of the truth of God’s word.
After this all happened, the Witness congregation committee met and said that they were going to make an example out of me and that would stop anyone else from questioning the doctrines of the Society. This would teach others to do as they were told and not cause any trouble. They disfellowshipped me, so now no Witness is supposed to talk to me, not even members of my own family unless they are under my roof and care. To a Witness, anyone that has been disfellowshipped is dead to all other Witnesses. As one told me one time, you cannot talk to a dead person. This is also against the teaching of the word of God in 2 Thessalonians 3:15, which says, “Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
I know that I must accept blame for some things that I said to the congregation committee that should not have been said. But I give thanks to God that he has forgiven me of those things as I have repented of them. In fact, all my sins were forgiven through the blood of Christ when I obeyed the gospel. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” and Peter commanded, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38).
Will You Answer the Gospel Call?
Before closing this article, let me say as did Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:8, the Lord will return “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. ” Do you get the message that is being sent to you by the Holy Spirit through Paul? Let me beg everyone that reads this article to study your Bible and learn the truth of God’s word. Then obey it and hang on to it like you never held on to anything else in your life. You soul’s salvation depends on your disobedience to the word of God. In John 12:48 Jesus said that if you reject him and receive not His word, there is one that will judge you in that day. The words that Jesus spoke will judge us all. Now the only thing that you and I have to worry about is to stay in obedience to that word and let no man or organization take us away from that obedience.
My earnest desire is that everyone who comes in contact with this article will obey the gospel and leave all false religious organizations while there is still time enough to do so. We are not given any guarantees of how long we will be in this life. After we die it will be too late for any changing then. Our position in eternity will be fixed and certain. So do what you are supposed to do in obedience to God now!
Truth Magazine XXIV: 47, pp. 760-761
November 27, 1980