Vol. 1 - No. 11
by Robert L. McDonald
There are a number of doctrines which have caused no little problem in churches across the country. Most of these, in some instances, causing division, could have been avoided if brethren would have had the frame of mind to allow the Word of God to be the only rule of faith and practice. Instead of understanding the meaning attached to each "proof-text," an abundance of scriptures was introduced and brethren became confused without a real understanding of what the Bible teaches on the subject. Let me explain what I mean.
It has been, to a degree, difficult to get across to some of our writers that what we are anxious to receive are articles which exegete the scriptures. By this I mean to take a portion of the text of the Bible and expound its meaning. It is the feeling of this editor (and I am confident the same of many) that by an analysis of the Scriptures we will become more knowledgeable of God's Word and at the same time equip ourselves to meet erroneous teaching when it is propagated.
This editor feels the atmosphere of the paper has been excellent for one's study. Most of the articles have been as we have sought in addition to a few topical studies. Topical studies have their place but I feel in our day that we need to get back to basics in a study and understanding of those passages which give us the most trouble.
False doctrine is propagated by first assuming a position and then going to the Word of God to try to find something which will uphold the doctrine. False doctrine is of men, not God. If a man's doctrine is to be palatable to those who give ear, there must be some appeal to the Word of God or the auditors will reject it. This is the reason the heretic, after erecting his castle of sand, will turn to the Bible and remove a passage from its setting and place a construction upon it which was never intended by the Holy Spirit. But when a passage is critically analyzed in its context, no such idea can be drawn from it. This is the importance and value of expository teaching.
Someone, in the distant past, decided it was wrong to drink the fruit of the vine of the Lord's Supper out of more than one container. Of course, they couldn't find such an idea if their life depended on it because the Bible says nothing about the number of containers. So, some passages were introduced which mentions "one-cup" and the conclusion is drawn that "one container" is what it means. It would be interesting if some writer would give us an exegesis of Matthew 26:26-29 so as to clearly show that "one container" is what the Lord was teaching.
For the past few years there has arisen among members of the church a modified form of Calvinism. I say modified because it seems to me that those who have been doing some writing on the subject do not embrace all of the points of Calvin. There is one noticeable point on which all of them seem to agree, that is, the "righteousness of Christ is imputed to the Christian." That seems easy enough to understand, doesn't it? But the question is raised, does the Bible teach it? What I have seen from the pens of some is a position advanced and there follows a citation of a number of scriptures. As I have followed these articles in my quest to understand, I have also looked for the passage which teaches that "the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the Christian." It is true the word "impute" is mentioned in the New Testament. I know there are words of exhortation for Christians to live righteous in this world. But my search has been in vain to read the passage which teaches the very thing which these men are teaching. Another appropriate article which we need is for one to exegete the passage which teaches the Calvinistic view of imputed righteousness.
I have my own views as to the style of clothing to be worn by godly women. Whether or not women may wear slacks or pant suits has been a controversy among brethren, far and wide. I have known of some churches to withdraw from some of the sisters for wearing pant suits. Other congregations do not find this a point of issue among their members. This has been said to get to a passage which has been kicked around for some time, i.e., Deuteronomy 22:5. Did God mean that a woman, if she wore pant suits (or a like cut of clothing) would be doing something which is an abomination to the Lord?
The Bible is not private property 0 wrest as one sees fit. Convictions should be formed only after a diligent study of the scripture is made. Even then, we should move cautiously when adjusting our minds on a point of view. As a different position, from what we currently hold, is entertained, we are foolish indeed to walk headlong into questionable, untried realm without receiving all of the help that we can get. It is true that convictions are a very personal thing. But at the same time our convictions should be of such character that we count them worthy to be tried in the crucible of honest investigation.
THE EXPOSITORY REVIEW is a medium which allows brethren to have an open examination of scriptures as we increase our knowledge of truth. This is the course we have set for the paper and we believe it is a sound one for all of our good.