Vol. 11 No. 3 March 2009
T. Pierce Brown
I continue to get bulletins regularly from those who apparently are not opposed to anything except those who are opposed to something. There are many things I do not understand about that position, but one thing is especially puzzling to me that I hope someone will take the time and trouble to explain. For example, I have a bulletin in front of me with an article in it upholding the importance of baptism—immersion. At the same time, the author (editor, who claims membership in the Lord’s family) takes the position that the “pious unimmersed” will also be saved. Why would a person take the time and spend the money (even if most of it is some other person’s money) to write about a thing that makes no difference whether or not you understood it, believed it or did it?
Much of his writing leaves the impression that even the “impious unimmersed” are about as well off as any of the rest of us, for we are all sinners, and almost everyone can expect to be saved by the unlimited grace of God. In all probability, according to his thinking, the impious person is not really responsible for his attitude, for he was made that way by some legalist in the “non-instrumental church of Christ” (that apparently is where all the legalists are, according to him), who thought truth was important enough to uphold.
It has never been very clear to me why a person who belonged to a denomination whose name, doctrine and practice he admits is not found in the Bible, who admits his denomination is not important in the first place, certainly has nothing to do with salvation in the second place, and is no better than any other denomination in the third place, would bother to support it with either his time or money.
It is not hard to understand that some persons seem to feel that every opinion they may have about anything makes all the difference in the world. So they will “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). They will contend just as earnestly for their opinions many times delivered to almost anyone. However, at least that makes sense, provided they really think their opinions are important, and are really matters of faith. Yet, what kind of sense or reason can there possibly be in a person who not only admits that his opinion has nothing to do with the destiny of anyone, but that even a proper understanding of God’s Word is not really important, yet contends for either of them?
There seems to be more and more preachers among us, or at least loosely connected to us, who teach that doctrine does not make any difference. If not, why do they not quit teaching it? Why write at all if it is not important? If someone can enlighten me about what difference anything makes, if it does not make any difference, I will appreciate it—even if it does not matter.
[Editor’s Note: Some things do matter (especially if God through His Word says that they matter), and some things don’t matter. As mortals, it is our job to discern the difference and order our lives accordingly. As Christians, it is our job (especially if teachers), to teach divine truths from the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 2:24; James 3:1). Conviction is not a bad word as long as and to the degree to which it is based on God’s Word (Romans 10:17).]