Writing under the above title, Andrew M. Connally, preacher in Fort Worth, writes as follows:
"Men are forever seeking to find 'loop-holes' in the Truth of God to justify their liberal, ungodly, God-denying ways and doctrine. Multiplied thousands exist who want this looseness in life and such liberty in doctrine. Most of the largest churches in our brotherhood have been built on such a platform and philosophy."--Thrust, Vol. V, Issue III 1986. (Emphasis mine, CAH)
Then he asserts: "Many, Many Large Churches Are Liberal." He re-emphasizes this by claiming: "Yes, it is true, that most of the large congregations in our present brotherhood are wedded to the principles of liberalism." That is a rather sweeping, strong, severe judgement of these churches.
Let me quote other statements from our brother:
"So are most of the biggest named churches in our brotherhood today [he is saying that they are "dead" even though like Sardis they have a name that they "live" -- CAH]. By their doctrinal error they have filled the church with impenitent fornicators and the doctrines of men rather than the purity of God. They are not guiltless."
"Liberalism in Doctrine: The Continuing Road To Apostacy. Our brotherhood reeks of apostacy in doctrine... Bible professors in colleges and named preachers over the brotherhood have filled Zion with heresy. Most of them are too cowardly to debate their positions or defend their doctrines."
Our brother charges that for churches
"to be able to build multi-million dollar complexes to house thousands ..we must ignore specific sins on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, yet constantly talk about 'the family' and major, in emphasis, on the 'home.'"
In his view the only reason that churches can grow to large numbers and get the millions of $$$'s to build these large, elaborate buildings is by compromising the truth of God or selling out to the world and the devil. He claims to know that "the devil is pleased with these efforts."
He is fearful of the great emphasis now being given to efforts toward "Unity." In this connection, he claims that "Love is not, and cannot be, the basis for unity.'' This is an interesting position. Somehow I thought that love is indeed "the perfect bond of unity" (or, "the uniting bond of perfectness") as the apostle Paul put it in Col. 3:14 (NASV). I guess Paul got it all wrong since he had not heard Andrew set forth his declaration of the matter.
Andrew claims that "only truth, as God reveals it can be the foundation of our efforts" to unite and all be one. He even claims that "Agreement and oneness are dependent upon a proper realization and acceptance of truth." Apparently he does not mean just some essential parts of truth, but any and all the truth that God has revealed in His word. I hope he is wrong about that. If he is right then that pushes our being united way out beyond the realm of human possibility. Probably only Andrew and a few more of the preachers aligned with him in his sect of "our brotherhood" have a proper realization and understanding of all matters in God's revelation! Indeed, there are but few who will be saved!
Let's look at his assertions on this matter. First, Andrew asserts that before there can be unity or oneness among God's children, we must all, from newborn babes to the mature, have "a proper realization" or understanding of truth God's word. As I have indicated, no doubt Andrew believes that he and the minority group of preachers who are aligned with him in the new "anti" sect have a complete understanding of truth. If they don't have such then they can't have "agreement and oneness," according to him. Isn't this sad?
Hear Andrew further: "Life forces lots of unions with sinners of all kinds, but we dare not be ONE with them, otherwise we will partake of their sins!" He just can't be, he dare not be, one with any sinner! Such holiness and righteousness, as he and his group of preachers possess, just can't be contaminated by any oneness association with any sinners. He is no sinner; a sinless man he is, I suppose. Jesus was a friend of sinners and associated with them; but Andrew can't do that. Without question Jesus did not participate in their sins; and neither should we be a partaker of other men's sins.
I am so thankful that my Lord is not so "righteous" and condemning as Andrew or I would be in a hopeless condition. I am a sinner! My sins are ever before me, even as David declared of himself! Weak, ignorant and sinful though I be, I came to Him for pardon and redemption. He claimed me for His own. No man can pluck me out of His hand and care. "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling." He loves me and has united me to Him as a member of His body. Oh! I thank God, my Father, that He loves me, accepts me, and His grace included me, and we have agreement and oneness!
I must extend the same acceptance to others of His children that He has so graciously extended to me. I am thankful I don't have to fully or perfectly understand all the divine revelation to man to be united with My God and My Lord; or, to be in fellowship with His children
But according to Andrew, "an acceptance of truth" is necessary to our having unity or fellowship with one another. I can't accept truth I don't know or understand. What does he mean? Does he mean that we must accept "truth" as Andrew determines it to be? That seems to be his position on every subject. Must we all agree with his position on every subject in order to have an "acceptance of truth? In order to accept one another, to receive a "little child" in His name? .
Furthermore, just what is his idea of "a proper realization.., of truth?" Did the 3000 people on Pentecost have a "proper realization of truth?" Did they all "realize" that premillenialism is wrong; that instrumental music in worship is sinful; that there is just one true church institution and that it is named the Church of Christ? Of course, they did not.
Unity or oneness is what we have as a result of the work of the Spirit. We are one, united, together in Christ because we are all God's children. Our responsibility is not to establish or set up some basis for our being one in Christ. Our obligation is to recognize, accept, and keep or preserve the unity or oneness the Spirit gives when we are born into God's family. I am God's child. Andrew is God's child. We are brethren with a oneness or unity or bond of the Spirit whether he accepts me or not. He may reject something I believe or teach, but he better not reject one of God's children, however weak and sinful.
Jesus said. I am...the truth. If one accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of God and obeys Him as the 3000 did on Pentecost, will Andrew accept him in "the perfect
bond of unity--love?" I have obeyed the gospel and am a child of God, but Andrew won't accept me in unity or oneness because I am not in alignment with him on all points of doctrine; and with his exclusive, restricted, hard-core new "anti" sect of the Church of Christ Church. How sad!
All of our "sects" (local church institutions) are wrong and spawn evil in many ways. Denominationalism--the institutionalizing of the disciples of Jesus--is sinful, regardless of the Church name by which it is called.
The disciples of Jesus were not "church members," they did not belong to any church institution; they belonged to the Lord who purchased them with His own blood. There were no "churches in our brotherhood" in the days of the apostles. The "brotherhood" then consisted of redeemed individuals, not church organizations.
If we did not have these creations of men--churches--we would not be troubled with "radical liberalism in the church today," which concerns Andrew so much. It can be said in truth and reality: As go the Church institutions so goes the membership thereof. Capture the church institution, "the local churches," and you capture and control the member/slaves. As goes the corporate church so goes the people. Example: As goes the Roman Catholic Church so goes the member/slaves thereof!
The people of God have been victimized by Churches, the institutions built and structured by men.
Dear brother and sister, for your own sake, please open the eyes of your understanding and examine these things carefully in the light of God's word.
Disciples of Christ, Yes! Churches (institutions) of Christ, NO!! Can't you see the difference? - CAH