In the Defender, November 1986, the editor, Max R. Miller, writes under the above heading. In paragraph one he praises Logic as follows:
"In logic there is the syllogism. It is a device to test ideas, theories or propositions. A syllogism consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. If the major and minor premises are correct, the conclusion must be correct. If either of the premises is incorrect, the conclusion is invalid. The syllogism, as a tool of logic, is centuries old, tried, tested, reliable for testing of either ancient or modern argument or ideas."
There, dear reader, is your lesson on logic and the use of the syllogism as a tool of logic. After giving us the above, our brother tells us he is going to use the syllogism on "the idea that there is but one church through which the saved soul makes their way to heaven" This was very interesting to me since I am not familiar with "the idea" he mentions. I did not know that there was even "one church" much less more than one church, "through which the saved soul makes" its way to heaven! Did you know that is the way through which the saved soul makes its way to heaven? Well, Miller thinks that is "the way" it is done; and he is going to prove it by logic, using the syllogism. Of course, it would be easier and certainly have the Lord's approval if he would just give book, chapter and verse for proof of his assertion. But he resorts to the syllogism, which we will examine in a moment.
Actually, I thought that the "saved souls" made up or constituted the Lord's church (ecclesia) -- His redeemed people. I did not know that there was some "one church...through which the saved soul makes their way to heaven." Here our brother speaks of(l) "the saved soul" and (2) the "one church...through which" the saved soul makes his way to heaven. In his view, the saved soul is one thing, separate and distinct from the one church, another thing; "through which" the soul makes his way to heaven. Hence, according to Miller, the saved are not the church of the Lord. The church is that through which the saved make their way to heaven.
I actually believe that Jesus is "the way" to heaven and that "no man comes unto the Father [heaven] except by Me" (John 14:6). Christ, not the church, is the way to heaven. Miller proclaims the "one church" as the way to heaven, rather than Jesus Christ. Paul says, "for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 3:18).
In fact, there is no passage of scripture that even remotely suggests Miller's assertion that there is "one church through which the saved soul makes their way to heaven." No wonder he has to resort to human logic and a syllogism. Men turn to such when they have no word from the Lord that teaches the idea.
But let's look at Miller's proof, a syllogism, of course:
The house of God is the gate of heaven.
The house of God is the church of the living God.
(I Timothy 3:15).
God's church is the gate of heaven.
There you have it! Isn't that simple? Dear brothers and sisters, during more than forty years I have heard and read all kinds of arguments and human reasoning, but I have never heard or read anything more far-fetched and ridiculous than Miller's folly in his syllogism. Look at it. He goes back to Genesis and because he finds a statement from Jacob (who was speaking out of fear) saying, "This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven," Miller seizes on this to "syllogize" his doctrine! From that Old Testament passage he "proves" with a syllogism that there is "but one church through which the saved soul makes their way to heaven."
With that kind of handling (misuse and abuse) of God's word and a foolish use of a syllogistic form of logic, my brother sets forth his absurdity! One can prove anything by the Bible in this fashion.
Let me try some "logic" in syllogistic form and follow up on Miller's folly:
(1) Jacob said: "This is none other than the house of God."
(2) The house of God is the church of the living God (I Timothy 3:15)
(3) Therefore, the church of the living God was there in Jacob's day.
* * *
(1) The Lord is in this place - an awesome place (Genesis 28:16-17).
(2) This is none other than the house of God (Genesis 28:17).
(3) Therefore, "this place" and the house of God are the same.
* * *
(1) The house of God is the church.
(2) "This place" is the house of God.
(3) Therefore, the church was "this place" where Jacob was, which was called Bethel.
* * *
(1) Bethel was "this place" where Jacob was.
(2) "This place" was "the gateway to heaven."
(3) Therefore, Bethel was "the gateway to heaven."
* * *
(1) Bethel was "the house of God."
(2) The house of God is the church.
(3) Therefore, Bethel (where Jacob was) is the church of God.
* * *
(1) Bethel is "the house of God."
(2) Bethel was (is) a place in Haran.
(3) Therefore, the church of God is a place in Haran.
* * *
(1) The "house of God" existed in the day of Jacob.
(2) The "house of God" is the church of God.
(3) Therefore, the church of God was in existence in the day of Jacob.
* * *
(1) The church of God existed in the day of Jacob.
(2) The "day" of Jacob was many centuries before the day of Pentecost of Acts 2.
(3) Therefore, the church of God existed centuries before the day of Pentecost of Acts 2.
I could go on, but this is enough to show the error and absurdities logic/syllogisms can be used to prove.
Our brother is wrong in his assertion that "the Lord's church is the gateway to heaven." If the church is us --the saved or redeemed ones, are we the gateway to heaven? The gateway to heaven, to use Miller's figure of speech, is Jesus Christ who paid the price for our redemption; and it is "in Him" or "through Him" that we will reach heaven. Jesus put it plainly: "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except by Me."
Miller is a Church preacher, not a Christ preacher. He needs to learn to preach Christ and not himself or the church! -- CAH.