By Larry Ray Hafley
Christians always seem to be on the defensive. “Why doesn’t your church have a piano or an organ?” “Why do you all have communion every Sunday?” “I know you’re a Christian, but what kind?” “You mean your church doesn’t have fund raising sales?” “While being baptized, you have to be dunked?” These and other statements have been uttered countless times, and they probably always will be. As members of the body of Christ, we are made to feel that our position is on trial, that we forever must “explain” what we believe. We are the “odd balls” who appear weird and strange with our “funny” beliefs. While it is true that we must prepare to give an answer (1 Pet. 3:15), it is not true that we must feel like we are the religious freaks of the day. Actually and factually, the reverse is true. Relax. Christians are the only ones who truly contend for views that no one denies. Our position is unassailable. In the majority of cases, no one doubts that what we do is right.
For example, consider:
(1) Immersion. Ask a Catholic priest, a Methodist minister, or a Presbyterian preacher if it is wrong to immerse adult believers. He will agree it is not sinful to do so. You see, there are discussions about sprinkling infants, but no one says that immersion is a sin in and of itself.
(2) Singing. Ask a Baptist preacher or a Pentecostal pastor if it is a sin for a congregation to come together and sing. He admits it is not wrong to do so. Even those in the Christian Church will not say that congregational singing is contrary to the doctrine of Christ.
(3) Weekly Lord’s Supper. Do you know a denominational preacher who will argue that it is a sin for disciples to break bread upon the first day of the week? Most, of course, do not do it, but they do not believe it is contrary to the Scriptures to do so.
(4) Weekly Giving. It is for certain that no preacher will say it is a sin to give of your means upon the first day of every week! Do you know of a church that teaches that a weekly collection is against the doctrine of Christ? Me neither.
(5) Christian. Is there an Episcopalian or Lutheran anywhere who would argue that it is wrong for a child of God to be referred to as a Christian? No. Many sectarian names are dearly held by their devotees, but no one says that being called a Christian is an error.
The points that Christians are most often questioned about really are not items of dispute. So, my brother, do not feel like you are a persecuted soul who is always on the defensive. Everyone believes that adult believers may be immersed, congregations may sing, take communion and give of their means each Lord’s day, and one may wear the name Christian. Your position is not debatable. Now, if they want to do something else, that is their problem. They must defend their doctrine. They are on the defensive. The ball is in their court. The proverbial monkey is not on your back; it is on theirs. You relax.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 16, p. 491
August 16, 1984