The below article is an illustration of what is right, in contrast to what is actually being practiced among close associates who differ in doctrine. I have added a few words of my own in blue. – Jeff
STS, [Volume XIV Number 7, Editorial, (July, 1973) p. 3]
WHEN SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN
By Connie W. Adams
Silence is not always golden. Sometimes it is cowardly. Surely, there are times when one should “hold his peace.” If one has nothing to say then it is far better to remain silent. If what is said is harmful, then it ought not to be said. “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach of the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4). One is not obligated to speak out on every subject. To speak rashly, attack positions which we do not fully understand, or impute sinister motives to others in the absence of evidence is surely to speak inadvisedly.
But there are times when conviction of truth demands that we speak out in plain terms that admit of no misunderstanding. “Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech” (2 Cor. 3:12). “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (2 Cor. 4:13).
Our speech pertaining to divine service must be sound. “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine…sound speech, that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:1, 8). “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). We draw our vocabulary from that upon which our spirit feeds. When men cannot write articles or preach sermons without cluttering what they have to say with the theological terminology of the day, then this is a dead give-away that they are more conversant with what men have said about the Bible than they are with what the Bible says. Sound doctrine has its own vocabulary and that is not learned from such sources as Christianity Today, Mission, Mission Messenger and other such journals which are couched in the language of denominational seminaries.
There are times when the kingdom is on fire. Surging issues swirl about us and some know not which way to turn. When such times arise and storm clouds begin to gather, it is time for every faithful servant of Christ to get down The Book and decide what the truth of God is on that subject and then face up to the problem, whatever it is. Then when error begins to spread to first one congregation and then another, everybody with a water bucket needs to use it and help put out the flame. It will not do then to sit around and “preach the principles” or philosophize on the correct movement of the arms and body in applying the water. Everyone who truly loves the kingdom has one objective in mind and that is to put out the fire.
During the 1950’s and early 60’s when the institutional virus was spreading throughout the nation and the world, there were some who said they agreed with principles of truth, but they settled themselves definitely a-stradle the fence and dangled their feet on both sides. They were above the battle and from their dignified vantage point were thus able to tell all concerned how they really should conduct the battle. Others elected to get in the middle of the road and play in the traffic. Some languished in the valley of indecision and claimed they were “studying the issues” when in reality they were simply stalling and trying to keep from really studying. The truth was not that hard to discover. Now we have some who are conducting post mortems and trying to say that we bungled the job and that if we had manned our buckets with greater finesse, then things would have turned out better.
We are faced today with that problem and many others besides, not the least of which is the Ketcherside unity faction (Cp. w. the Halbrook unity faction – See: The MDR Creed:) which is appealing to a number of younger men and which has some admirers which are not quite so young. It is not a time for silence, but for “sound speech.” The names of some brethren, prominently known, have been linked with these views. Concerned brethren have asked questions imploring these men to declare themselves. If they are being misrepresented or misunderstood, then what is the harm in saying so, once and for all? When writers attempt two or three times to clear the air, or set the record straight, and still leave the air fogged and the record crooked, then the reason for concern becomes all the more apparent. If brethren were using my name as the advocate of a view which is as compromising and devastating to the truth as is the Ketcherside fallacy (Cp. w. the Halbrook fallacy – See: The MDR Creed:) then it would not take me long to decide to set the record straight with all deliberate speed. The sooner brethren are alerted to this rising threat to the truth and speak out clearly, in language everyone will understand, then the sooner this false teaching and its proponents can be isolated. Then we can get on with the work at hand.
We long for unity among believers as fervently as anyone. We are for peace, but not at any price. We love our brethren and would like to see every preacher salvaged and standing in the way and asking for the old paths. But we are not going to keep silent while a corps of intellectual elites subvert whole houses and / or whole congregations by quiet maneuvers to capture the minds of the young and impressionable with doctrines of devils. It is unthinkable that men who love the truth could, like Edom of old when Judah was aflame with destruction, stand by on the other side. “In the day that thou stoodest on the other side. in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them” (Obadiah 11). Get your bucket, brother, and help put out the fire!
See: It is Easier