I felt deeply grieved when I read the letter from R.R.B. in the May edition of Food for the Flock.
How much better it would have been, if our brother, being so advanced in experience and learning, had been more like Nehemiah when he heard of the sad condition of the people of God. He sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven, confessing his sin and the sins of the people, The result was the Lord heard his prayer, and he had the joy of being used of God for the revival and the restoration of testimony for a period of time.
These are the last days of the testimony of the Church of God, and there are plenty who can pull down, but may we all seek to build up, that the name of the Lord may not be dishonoured in the local assemblies. His word to us is, “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Sincerely in His precious name,
—E. B. G.
I too was quite puzzled by the general indictments against the assemblies in the letter by R.R.B. in the May issue of Food For The Flock in the “Forum” section. As one read and re-read the letter it was searched in vain for a note of mourning such as would be expected from an experienced and matured brother.
As for his reference to “Unmoveable” on page 29 (February issue Food For The Flock), that it might mean not to be motionless is without warrant. As pointed out in the February issue, the word means or suggests “adherence to the faith, as against forces that would turn them aside from it and so from allegiance to Christ.” Not to be motionless as far as giving out tracts, speaking to a person about his soul, subscribing to Christian magazines, is concerned has nothing to do with the word at all. It literally means, not-to-be-moved from the faith. In its primary association “Steadfast” (1 Cor. 15:58) means, “not turning away from the faith of the resurrection through inward doubt; unmoveable, i.e., not turning aside from that doctrine by the reasonings of others.”
The statement that non-assembly magazines are much more for practicality than ours cannot go unchallenged. As one who subscribes to more than 13 magazines, I must say without prejudice that our assembly magazines are far more for practicality than others. In fact they are very well-balanced, speaking generally. As for the ministry of Food For The Flock I believe it is Scriptural, i.e. unto edification, exhortation and consolation. Are not the Epistles of the New Testament first doctrinal, then practical?
The Editor did well to point out that recovery for Israel began with Daniel upon his knees in prayer before the Word of God; RECOVERY FOR US DOES NOT LIE IN INDICTMENTS, BUT IN CONFESSION AND PRAYER. This is the position every God-given elder will take before God if he cares anything for the flock of God. We may surely learn a deep lesson in Daniel falling upon his knees in confession and prayer. We might safely say that not a single captive Israelite was less guilty than was Daniel, and yet in the spirit of Christ he identifies himself with the sin and failure of the nation. Our blessed Lord and Saviour identified Himself truly with our sin after a manner that no other could. Spotless Himself, He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. In redeeming love He identified Himself with His people’s sins in such a way that He bowed His head beneath the judgment of a holy God on their account. “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled,” says Daniel, confessing the sin of the nation as his own. “Neither have WE hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, etc.” (Dan. 9:5,6).
As to being divided into two camps we must remember that when God speaks He speaks to all. God sent His message not only to young or old but to all the people of the land. When God speaks, every soul of man is responsible to listen and obey. May it be so for His Name’s sake.
His grace be with you,
Yours in our exalted Lord,