January 1, 1998 Issue
by Don McCord

    The Jewel of Consistency — One of the characteristics of truth - truth for all men, for all time, in all places - is consistency. Bible truth is never inconsistent because His word is never inconsistent (John 17:17). He is never inconsistent either. The practice of truth is therefore always consistent; when it is inconsistent, error enters, and I must look at my practice; consistency will never force us into a corner, take us down a blind alley. I have said that to kindly say this. Preaching brother, I do not understand your practice when you, for instance, because of a divorce-remarriage problem in a congregation near you, boycott a meeting on that basis, and then attend a meeting elsewhere with that same preacher, backing his meeting, and the congregation where he is preaching. Where is consistency in your practice? Again, preaching brother, I cannot understand your practice when because of a re-marriage question at one congregation, you refuse to preach there, but at an other congregation with the same exact problem, you will preach, hold meetings. I just do not understand your practice! Surely a sin, alleged, imagined or real, would not condemn the entire congregation. Even in Sardis, the many had not defiled the garments of the few (Rev 3:4); sin does not "rub off" unless we let it; the sins of the many do not condemn the few unless they allow it. The sins of one or a few defiling the entire congregation? Unthinkable!! -that is the way we act sometime in some places though. Anybody who ever bathed a baby knows you don't throw out the baby with the bath water. If we can listen to a faithful preacher anywhere, attend his meeting anywhere, we can listen to him everywhere, attend his meeting every where. If not, why not? Brother Homer Gay used to say, and lived by this practice, if a congregation of brethren worship right, scripturally, he could and would preach for them, meet with them, worship with them, so long as they allowed him to preach the gospel. This is a great philosophy, consistently right, too. Preaching brother, if we wait to preach for a congregation where there is no sin, we will wait from now on, and never preach again.

    Brethren, I cannot understand you either, or your practice, when by carloads, you attend a meeting by a preacher in digression, and not far from you, virtually to a man, boycott a meeting where the congregation worships just as you do, and the preacher is in full fellowship with preachers you use and adore. Consistent? Right? Hardly! Amen!! The reason for your boycotting is the sins, supposed or real, of one man. To be consistent you can never attend another meeting anywhere, anytime as long as you live. Let's strive for consistency in all we do in the Cause of the Lord. Oh, the games we play! Our Leader, Master, Savior, High Priest does not game-play!

    The King James Version — How distressing it is when we hold in disdain, disrespect, disregard the translation of the Scriptures that has been tried and true, stood the test, for nearly 400 years! The translation, the King James here, with the backing of the valid original text, held up for question, while more modern, more recent translations, with the backing of an altered sources are preferred. Follow me, please; I am not saying all other translations are bad, and should not be used, consulted, quoted, studied; we are not that naive. If the King James is so objectionable, why is that in God's providence, it has been around so long to guide the English-speaking world in its quest for truth? Its sustained tenure says something of its value. Please listen to this excerpt from "The Vindicator" by Bro. Brett Hickey: "This text (Westcott-Hort) has been championed as the cure for the ‘ills' of the KJB. It' is alarming to find the Westcott-Hort text alters nearly 10,000 of the 140,520 Greek words found in the Majority Text (which is behind the King James). A number of scholars cry ‘foul' on this point....". I applaud Bro. Brett Hickey for this, a young man, for young men and older men, in defense of the King James Version. Let us listen. An alarming statistic we have just read, indeed!!

    Washing the apostles' feet — Why do we try to put Christ's washing the apostles' feet on the same evening as the Lord's Supper? In reality, and truth, those two events did not happen at the same time, on the same evening. Look at John 13, any translation. The supper where Christ washed the apostles' feet was "before" the passover (v. 1); the Lord's Supper was after the Passover; cannot be the same occasion, the same time. Passover was still ahead (v. 29). Even the two "sop" incidents are different. The one when He washed the apostles' feet, Christ dipped and gave to Judas; at the other, they both dipped in the dish.

    "Groanings that can not be uttered" — Whose groanings, Rom 8:26? Answer, not the Holy Spirit's! — but groanings within us, look at Rom. 8:22, 23 — "whole creation groaneth," "even we ourselves groan within ourselves." I have lived long enough to know what that means. I have had and still have enough infirmities, weaknesses, to know firsthand what verse 26 means. I have had enough times I did not know what to pray for as I ought, to know what Paul means when he speaks of the Holy Spirit making intercessions. Along with those groanings within me, the Holy Spirit intercedes. This no more makes him any intercessor than it does the dear brother, my intercessor who makes intercession when he prays for me (I Tim 2:1). Yes, Christ is my Intercessor, your Intercessor (Heb. 7:25). Amen and amen!! Listen to Bro. Robertson Whiteside's comment in A New Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Saints at Rome, probably the best commentary on Romans written to date: "It is what Paul calls "unutterable groanings". It is the groaning within ourselves mentioned in verse 23. The groanings are silent groanings — unutterable feelings of need. The Spirit helps us in our groanings, for he understands our needs and longings and can make them known to God."

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