Tom Roberts

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Associate Editorial

Brethren, It is Time to Take a Stand!

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore..." (Ephesians 6:10-14).

This admonition from the beloved apostle Paul should not be taken lightly.  He knew, because the Holy Spirit had told him "expressly" (pointedly, specifically) that some would "depart from the faith" (1 Timothy 4:1).  He also told the Ephesians that some would be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (4:14).  This warning by our brother Paul is not for his generation only, but will be as true for us as it was for them.  "Winds of doctrine" will blow across the brotherhood and we must "take a stand" or be swept away with them.  While there are those who are content to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the strange doctrines that are blowing in our day, those who pay attention to the word of God realize that winds are blowing as much today as they were in apostolic times.

As in ancient times, there are those who will scoff at the idea of apostasy, or error, or of blowing winds of doctrines that oppose the truth.  Jeremiah warned of those who cried "Peace, peace; where there is no peace" (6:14).  Such timid souls are either afraid to raise their voices against error or are willing to keep quiet to avoid controversy.  Today, churches are full of people who are unaware of swirling issues of apostasy because their preachers are unwilling to take a stand.  The fad of "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative" has robbed God's people of the truth when they need to hear it.  Paul warned that some members would want to have their "ears tickled" and would find teachers willing to do it (2 Timothy 4:1-4).  During the 50's, many churches were led blindly into institutionalism and modernism because preachers would not take a stand.  Members never heard the "issues" because some preachers didn't want to take the heat that comes with exposing error.  A generation grew up not knowing what was wrong with institutionalism, the missionary society or the social gospel.  The pressure to please the crowds led to gymnasiums, fellowship halls, youth programs, entertainment and recreation instead of solid gospel preaching.  Today, these people have been ripe plucking for Max Lucado, Rubel Shelly and others who have proudly led a host of brethren into denominationalism.  Few preachers would take a stand and the results were quite predictable.

But, brethren, what do you think is happening today?  Again, few preachers are willing to take a stand and those who do are ridiculed and demonized by every kind of sarcasm and slander.  Even while error is being trumpeted from the rooftops, too many elders and preachers sit back in complacency and allow error to encroach into congregations.  Efforts to alert brethren to the dangers of apostasy in our time, such as this magazine, are shunned, avoided, and ignored.  I never cease to be amazed at the venom that is directed toward faithful preachers who try to "teach the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) by calling us back to God's word.  While false teachers are applauded and encouraged, those who take a stand against error are treated with the utmost contempt.

Winds of Doctrine are Blowing Today

Are you aware that error is being widely taught today and that many are unwilling to acknowledge its existence?  Are you aware that issues of grave concern are facing God's people and that many preachers are too timid to deal with them?  Are you aware that many preachers in the Tampa Bay area are saying, "What difference does it make?"  Error is creeping in, winds of doctrine are blowing, and many are asleep at the helm.  Attacks are being made on the Bible itself and some are so complacent and pliable with it that they are not at all upset until a voice of objection is raised.  Then, their anger is stirred, not against those who teach error, but against those who object to the error!  Brethren, it is time to take a stand.

It is Time to Take a Stand Against Those Who Teach Error About Creation

Are you even aware of what has been taught about Genesis 1 and 2 and the six days of creation?  Has it been kept silent where you worship?  Has your preacher spoken clearly about the six days of creation or does he say, "What difference does it make?"  You see, Shane Scott, Hill Roberts and others have boldly stated that the six days of creation are not literal days, but eons of time and that creation was really started by the Big Bang and that billions of years later, man was created.  (You can read detailed reports of this controversy on Watchman Magazine: [click here] under "Open Letter.")  No matter that Moses wrote:  "and the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1:5), "...second day" (vs. 8), etc.  No matter that Moses also wrote in Exodus 20:  "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, and hallowed it" (vs. 11).  No matter that Jesus said, of the creation of man:  "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning..." (Matthew 19:4).  What difference does it make if Jesus told the truth when he taught that Adam and Eve were created "at the beginning" but Shane Scott and Hill Roberts teach that they were made billions of years after the beginning?  Do you care that many preachers are saying that they cannot be sure whether creation took place in six literal days or eons of time?  In the Tampa Bay area, those who have taken a stand for the truth about creation have been ridiculed and ostracized, slandered and mauled by those who are unwilling to take a stand.  It is time — and past time — that these matters be addressed and that brethren everywhere take a stand for the Bible account of creation.

Dear reader, we encourage you, also, to stand.  Be unyielding to error.  Have conviction about the word of God and what it teaches.  Don't give in to compromise and weak preaching.  Stand!

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