Recently, I was contacted by a retiring minister. He said he had become an elder with the congregation and was given the job of seeking his replacement. We spoke for nearly an hour and things seemed ﬁne until he asked me about certain doctrines. He was specific about a few and I quoted the scripture pertaining to them. He then told me he had preached for over 50 years and in the last 20 or so he had “softened his stance” on these key doctrines we discussed. He admitted he had no scripture for his position, he just “felt” differently now. I told him that I wouldn’t be a good ﬁt and we parted ways.
Brethren, he unknowingly summed up one of the largest problems in the church. He and others would like to move God’s boundaries because of their unpopularity. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Solomon summed up God’s position on “softening” His doctrine. Jesus said in Matt. 7:21 that not everyone who called Him, Lord, would go to heaven but those who do His will. How can any serious-minded person not understand the severity of ignoring God’s commands or “softening” them? “Softer stances” are going to bring warmer climates on judgment day, if you know what I mean.
Of course, we all sin! Romans 3:23 reminds us that we all fall short of the glory of God. But, there is a difference in occasionally stumbling and intentionally being disobedient or willfully ignoring what God has said.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock, And the rain descended, the ﬂoods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:24-26). Jesus was preaching in this passage about standing on the “soft” ground or soft stances. It won’t hold up!
I pray that we would all seek to build on the “rock” or true foundation. We can’t change it, only live by it. In the end, the climate will be better too!
Clarendon (TX) church of Christ
Bulletin Digest (April 2012)