by James W. Reapsome
A LETTER arrived at our publisher’s the other day that really hurt. It hurt us, it weakened the Body of Christ, it diminished our knowledge of the truth.
A letter arrived at our publisher’s the other day that really hurt. It hurt us, it weakened the Body of Christ, it diminished our knowledge of the truth.
It came from the general director of a mission to explain what he called his board’s "negative action" toward our program. It said in part: "… several articles in the EMQ were received by a number of people on our staff with serious reservations."
Why did it hurt? Because we didn’t get some support we needed? No, not really. It hurt because it showed how easily we in the Body of Christ can neglect to use the powers of self-correction our Head has given us.
The human body corrects and helps itself. When there’s a wound in one place, aid is rushed there to fight infection. Soon the wound is healed; the body has the power within itself to help weaker, exposed areas.
Why doesn’t the Body of Christ act that way? Isn’t it supposed to? Why have evangelicals, many of them steeped in independency, failed to carry out self-corrective "body action" in the Body of Christ?
What does that mean in our case? It means, first, that no one here claims to speak ex cathedra, as though we had final, infallible truth on matters we publish articles about.
It means, second, that we trust others in the Body of Christ to apply corrective action, so that our viewpoints and those of our writers can be sharpened and refined. Only then can we and our readers grow in maturity and insight.
Quite possibly — more likely actually — we have published things that have wounded the Body. But if the wound is to be healed, if the Body — that’s you and me — is to be stronger and truer, we must have the corrective insights of our fellow members.
We are confident that when error is published here, the Body will correct itself and truth will come out-but only if our brothers respond, not with letters about general "serious reservations," but with first aid, with bandages and antiseptic if you please, to help us close the wound and fight the infection of error.
When you have reservations, when you think we are wrong, tell us so –that’s the way the Body of Christ is supposed to correct itself. Anything less makes for a distorted Body, a weaker Body; the truth we so ardently seek will elude us. Don’t hurt the Body, don’t hurt the Head of the Body, by keeping your reservations to yourself and letting our wounds go untended.
So, brothers, write us point by point. List our errors and correct them. That’s the thrilling thing about publishing for the Body of Christ. You can trust the "body action" of your fellow members to keep you on course. This will not necessarily produce unanimity of opinion, but it will produce something much closer to the truth; it will produce stronger members, and in the end, a stronger Body, which after all should be one of our aims for the sake of the Lord Jesus.
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