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 Vol. 8, No. 12 

December 2006

~ Page 10 ~

Image A Proper Balance

By Raymond Elliott

In many relationships in life, extremes can be detrimental to one's happiness. The writer of Proverbs petitioned God to prevent him from two opposites in life, riches and poverty. He knew that there were dangers involved in both extremes such as forgetting God and/or stealing and profaning the name of God (Proverbs 30:7-9). The homemaker has a very difficult task in planning and preparing a balanced diet of food for the family. She knows that such is needful for good health. Our public institutions of education emphasize the need of physical exercise along with the academics to meet the needs of both the mind and the body. In our Christian schools, the Word of God is taught in order that the young person may also become even better suited for life (1 Timothy 4:7-8). This type of instruction makes for a complete person, balanced in every respect (Luke 2:52).

I can remember very well a statement made by the late Rex A. Turner as he remarked to a class of young men "that preachers should retain a proper balance in their teaching of the Bible." He would also say that "every man needs a balance wheel." There is a tendency to overreact to the erroneous teachings and habits of others. There are many individuals and even congregations that seemingly cannot keep a good and proper balance in the teaching of doctrinal and moral matters. Some congregations are very strong in preaching against denominationalism but are lacking in love. But on the other hand there are congregations that excel in love and tenderness but compromise the truth with error. Then consider the ultra-conservative brother who winds up in the camp of the liberals and now believes there can be unity among believers even with a diversity of doctrines. I knew this brother, now deceased, who came out of religious error and was so zealous in 'going back to Jerusalem' that he wound up in 'Rome' and had to study his way back to a balanced understanding of New Testament Christianity. Some brethren claim that we have neglected teaching on the Holy Spirit that they now believe in the miraculous leading of the Holy Spirit. Others are teaching that we have emphasized obedience too much and they are presently propagating the doctrine that we are saved by grace alone or by faith only. Some brethren are declaring that we have placed too much emphasis on the fact a Christian can fall from grace that it is taught among some that the blood of Jesus covers our sins before we even commit them. In combating ritualism and traditions, some congregations conduct a loose, informal and spontaneous affair that they call worship. Others have come from not wanting to fellowship anyone to declaring that we should fellowship everybody regardless of their teaching and practices.

As you can readily see there is a dire need for a proper balance in our teaching and practice based squarely on the old paths and not turn to the right or to the left (Jeremiah 6:16). May we all, with God's help, strive to this end.Image

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