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Home The Light Articles from 2008 Neutrality Is a Tragedy

Neutrality Is a Tragedy

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by Luke Robertson - 1926-1997
Thespirit of excessive tolerance and an unsafe degree of broad-minded attitude exists in some of our brethren and in too many congregations. Con­cern and dismay is felt by men who have long "fought the good fight of faith." And well it might. Truth has been attacked, and the outcome de­pends on those who will stand in de­fense of it.
Issues once settled by those of strong faith have appeared again. Sin and di­gression once regarded as evils to be opposed are not accepted by leaders of God's dear people. A most serious indictment of the theology of the liberal churches is, with sincere intention, it has betrayed the cause of true religion. Why has this situation come about? Some have actively campaigned for it and others have passively allowed it. Both are at fault. There has been a decreasing emphasis on a "thus saith the Lord." The teaching, "if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God," is being ignored. There is more and more human reasoning and less and less respect for the Word of truth. We must realize that only the Bible can be our authority for or against anything. Loyalty to Christ is the first and basic law of life; "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17). Loyalty to men and to the church is usually good, but when we are loyal at the expense of being disloyal to Christ, it becomes extremely evil and dangerous. "The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free," is for the Christian a most prized possession. But we must remember our only freedom is in Christ. Our freedom ends when we are again yoked with sin.
The subject of fellowship should perhaps be dealt with at this point. I think it would be profitable to examine the Word of Truth and see what it has to teach us about this most important issue. First, let me offer a good defini­tion: "Fellowship is experienced by those who have things in common; who are congenial: who have the same views, feelings and intents, and who therefore delight each other's company." Paul mentions that we have "fellowship in the gospel" (Phil. 1:5) and in 1 John 1:7 we learn that only through fellowship with God is fellowship with the breth­ren possible. "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) is a question asked that contains its own answer.
It is impossible for one person to fellowship another, however hard he may try, if the other party doesn't recip­rocate in that desire. True fellowship can only be enjoyed when there is agreement between parties who hold the same view based on truth of the gospel.
There are three basic areas that should be recognized when searching the Bible for the truth on any subject; right, wrong and matters of indifference or of judgment. When the issue under consideration can be placed in the cate­gory of opinion or indifference, wisdom and prudence should guide us in taking our stand. Even a neutral position may be wise for a time. However, when the question of right or wrong is involved, our only choice is to accept God's teaching on the matter. We must accept it as it is. Fact is fact, truth is truth, and wrong is wrong. Christians must "stand fast" and "be strong"—be for or against!
Neutrality is a tragedy. One man wisely wrote, "The person who is neu­tral, when the question of right and wrong is involved, throws his weight to the wrong." The person who refuses to take a stand on any important issue, "who rides the fence," demands very little respect from anyone, even from himself. There are others too, who take a stand as the opportunity affords. To know how they stand, you just deter­mine who they are with at a given time; remembering, of course, that their posi­tion changes just as often as they change environment. Sad, isn't it?
Some preachers refuse to teach certain important subjects even though they claim to take a definite stand. They salve their conscience with the errone­ous belief they are acting on the princi­ple of love. I find it easier to respect the individual who is honest and sincere in his belief and earnestly contends for it, even though wrong, than he who be­lieves the truth and makes no effort to uphold it. Imagine a family, when the husband assumes no responsibility, or a church, when the preacher never warns of sin. The consequences would be tragic. Again, we state, neutrality is a tragedy. — The Light 4-73
 

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