THE WORST ATTITUDE

I FINALLY UNDERSTAND

About thirty five years ago when I spoke out for the truth on MDR I encountered some pretty bad attitudes in an element within churches of Christ. It was not the brotherhood over all but one element of legalists. But those men were nowhere near as unfair and dictatorial as the liberal element we are encountering today. These guys have taken intolerance to a new level. Yes, the traditionalists prejudged me and condemned my views before hearing all the facts and were less than fair in treating the evidences. But the fact is they did face me in man to man discus- sions of the issues and situations were created in which I was challenged to prove my position by the scriptures. We had ten public debates, six of which were later printed in book form. Bad attitudes or not this procedure put the facts into the open and the result was that truth prevailed.

I have finally realized that this is not the way today’s liberals do things at all. In fact they are insulted if you suggest that we “prove all things and hold fast to what is good.” They have declared war on that as an “attitude problem.” Those of you who have tried to reason with them know that I speak the truth. They have indeed taken intolerance to a new level. It took a while for me to realize that this is their way but I now see that it is a total waste of time and energy to try to reason with them as you would a normal adult Christian.

They say a lot about love but I have rarely seen such animosity and hatred. The liberal believes that he can pat you on the head and say, “I love you” three times and sell you the Brooklyn bridge. “Love” to them is a mechanical means to get their way. For several years I tried to communicate with individuals among them whom I thought were my friends and exchange viewpoints on a mature level. But I found it is like trying to discuss with a child of about 8 or 9 years old. If you don’t accept their views they throw a tantrum, hurl accusations, and cease communicating with you. The scripture passages I cited meant nothing. I told one of them he was contradicting express Bible statements and he asked me to cite one. I gave six of them. He completely ignored them and continued saying the opposite of those Bible statements.

Yes, they are educated so they have an impressive vocabulary. In fact some of them are ex- tremely wordy. But the thinking behind their avalanche of words is that of an immature child. What they demand is that they will preach and you will listen submissively. What they say is “right” because it is the way they want it to be. You must not have a differing opinion. If you do you must not state it. If you state it they will see that as “a vicious attack” and write you off as a “legalistic patternist” who is persecuting them. They seem not to realize there are any con- sequences if mistakes are made. They remind me of the person who bought a blood pressure monitor and when he checked his blood pressure it did not give him the numbers he wanted. So he decided to throw it away and get another one that would give him the numbers he wanted.

You want an example or two? (1) They say “God’s covenant is a covenant of grace, not a cov- enant of laws.” (Verbatum quotation) Try citing Hebrews 8:10 where God said His covenant will consist of laws. They will simply call that a vicious attack by church of Christ opinions. (2) They say salvation comes before obedience. Try citing Hebrews 5:9, “He became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey him.” On this verse they say, “It is appropriate that those whom He saves should also obey Him.” (Verbatum quotation) (3) They say “He who believes is saved and will be baptized.” Try gettng them to read Mark 16:16 accurately.

The truth is they are not negotiating with the church nor offering some kind of corrective teach- ing that appeals to the Biblical standard. They are simply ordering churches of Christ to aban- don all of the fundamental Biblical premises embraced in the restoration movement. It is not a suggestion, it is an order and if you don’t do it you will be condemned and disowned by them.

The church does not need to be under the dominance of men with that kind of mentality and with that kind of agenda. What can we do? I would say don’t waste time and energy trying to show them anything. What we can do is continue to proclaim the truth and apply the scriptures to Bible questions. This will be helpful to people everywhere who care what God’s will is.

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