What It Leads To
by Robert F. Turner
via Gospel Power, Vol. 14, No. 44, Nov. 4, 2007
I hate to admit this, but a man once told me he did not like my sermons, and wanted me to change the subject and content of my preaching. I asked him to identify my errors, and he said I was preaching the truth but he was afraid of "what it might lead to." (I was preaching on the work of the church, and congregational independence.) I replied that I realized one might make a "hobby" of truth and "beat to death" a subject (he did not accuse me of this), but that I could not see how TRUTH, properly balanced, could lead to anything but that for which it was given, viz, to make men free from error and sin (John 8:31,32).
On the other side of the coin, we frequently find timid souls who hibernate in inactivity, and equate doing nothing with soundness in the faith. They may acknowledge that the work proposed is in keeping with the Scriptures, but if it calls for some unaccustomed activity -- a change from the status quo -- they fear "what it might lead to."
Life itself is a movement -- we exist in a state of flux -- and direction is influenced by every facet of life. Change (even in that which is good) will affect attitudes and viewpoints, and could evolve new temptations. But remaining at rest also affects attitudes and viewpoints, and could involve new temptations. The monastic life is no guarantee of sinlessness. It may BE sin in itself.
No man steps twice in the same flowing stream. The stream is moving, and his second step is into water that was yet above him when the first step was taken. We may begin to do something in good faith, and with ample authority; and find later that circumstances are now such as to make the continuation of our work wrong. It takes a good man to face this, adn let divine authority, rather than his own traditions, guide his life. Many will let tradition overrule the application of God's Word to his life. But fear of what may happen (when no Scriptural principle is violated, nor Scriptural warning ignored) Makes for "False Soundness."
Truth never "leads to" error, and right is not the father of wrong. This is the point of James 1:13-18 and I John 3:6ff. We sin when we quit following God and follow Satan.
Although "times change" and new circumstances constantly arise, we have an unchanging standard, suited to all ages. We are faithful only when we ACT upon its teachings. The church is the "pillar," not the "pillow" of God's truth (I Timothy 3: 15).