Many attempt to excuse religious division on the basis that “we cannot all understand the Bible alike.” For centuries, denominations have been arguing that we must be permitted the right to individual interpretation of the word of God since no two people can possibly agree on essential points of doctrine. The result has been the “chaos of the cults.” Each man and denomination does that which is right in his own eyes and there is no sure standard in their religion.
Currently, some gospel preachers, who have (in the past) had their feet securely fixed in the “faith once for all delivered” (Jude 3), are casting themselves into the sea of human speculation through a disavowal of Bible principles which establish Biblical authority. To put it concisely, some are turning away from the use of approved apostolic examples and necessary inferences to prove what is that “good and acceptable will of God” (1 Tim. 2:3). Not only so, but they are shaking the faith of many and unsettling churches as to the limits of fellowship. Having negated the use of these two principles of Bible study, they conclude that churches of Christ are too narrow-minded and legalistic in refusing to fellowship some who disagree with us only in matters regulated by examples and inferences. The truth regarding the Lord’s supper, sponsoring churches, benevolent works, the eldership, and other things cannot be clearly ascertained, it is opined, therefore we cannot withhold fellowship from those who disagree. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: The Use of Reason to Understand the Scriptures