My Thoughts. . .
Being consistent is a losing game when played with inconsistent information. Man can be his own worst enemy. Truth must be sought. Truth misunderstood is skewed and harmful. Tradition is often accepted as truth until culture changes it. Then culture produces a “new” truth. Although he was standing before the personification of truth, Pilate foolishly asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Sadly, some cannot recognize it even when it is staring them in the face. Due to our inconsistencies, we all are infected by this sickness in one degree or another.
Assumptions are not deadly until one believes his are right and anyone who disagrees will lose his soul. For example, we preach “unity” but sadly practice division. Such practices are justified by each division believing it alone has the sacred truth and others do not. One preacher informed me over 30 years ago that there is “Non-Fatal Error” which will not condemn you and “Fatal Error” that will. I suggested he send me a list of those which would and would not condemn. I am a patient person, but the waiting for that list is going into its 37th year.
In 1974 Henry McCaghren was engaged in a public discussion with a United Pentecostal preacher in Gadsden, Alabama. Henry made the argument that Jesus is NEVER referred to in scripture in the neuter gender. His opponent, Tom Sharpe, produced a chart with the heading, “Ho . . . Ho . . . Ho!” on it. He informed the audience that this was the translation of the Greek in 1 John 1:1-3 where John was referring to Jesus. Each reference was in the neuter gender! Brethren had been making this argument for years which Henry had introduced. In prior discussions, Pentecostals did not give an answer to it, so Henry and I considered it to be a valid one. Henry did not answer Tom’s chart because he could not. The next morning, we called Freed-Hardeman College to speak to the Greek professor. He informed us that Tom Sharpe was correct. Henry and I were dumfounded. We later informed brethren that we were wrong concerning this “neuter gender” argument and we needed to drop it. Some informed us that they would continue using it because most Pentecostal preachers did not read the Greek New Testament. I was mystified by their response. Truth is truth regardless of who is presenting it. A false argument remains false even if the presenter believes it is truth. Truth is not truth if it is a lie. Lies can blind people who present them as truth! Those brethren thought the argument was true because well-known preachers had presented it as truth. Perhaps they thought that if they recognized the argument as false, it would convict those who originated it as false teachers? Years ago, Thomas Warren met an agnostic in a public discussion. The agnostic presented his assumption as an argument and wanted Warren and the audience to accept it as truth. Warren refused to do so and challenged him to prove his assumption was truth. He could not do so. When anyone attempts to prove truth through assumed positions, he destroys his foundation. The divisions existing among churches today are based upon certain doctrines being true. Yet, some are built upon assumed “truths” rather than the actual kind. Division is the results. Corinth was divided four ways. Assumption was their common enemy. They were the New Testament church in Corinth. The Holy Spirit referred to them as “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27). They were the “saved” in that city. Each of the four groups believed they were following the truth and the others were not. That was their assumption. Teaching partial truth does not equal perfection. That problem continues to prevail today! The only differences between the church in Corinth and churches today is that our divisions number more than four.