Holding Fast To Our Conservative Apostolic Position
By Charles R. Grisham
“Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the tradition which ye have been taught whether by word or our epistle.” II Thess. 2:1
Are you aware of what is happening all around us? Have you seen the effects of the changing winds and shifting sands of time! The church is experiencing pressures like never before.
We are living in one of the great days of opportunity while witnessing the “perilous times” foretold in our Bible. It’s time to check our spiritual compass and see in which direction we are headed if we are allowed to drift with our times.
It has been my happy privilege to be reared at a point in time among those who loved, lived and preached a Biblical and conservative position on holiness and the Christian style of life.
But now, as the end draws near and the pressures mount, there are those who are falling by the wayside. I am well aware of the danger of typecasting a minister or a church by the labels “conservative” or “liberal.” However, I am persuaded that we must remain conservative in our position while exercising a humble, kind spirit toward the unsaved of our generation.
Some would have you believe that to be conservative is to border on fanaticism or going off the deep end. But, strangely there is little concern about falling off the back end.
The history of God’s people throughout the centuries is the record of those devout and faithful souls who championed the conservative cause. Although their story contains some chapters that are less than glorious, and the torch of truth at times seems to have been almost extinguished, God has always preserved for Himself a people – a faithful remnant.
On the other hand, down through the years of time to our present day, those who have chosen to reject the Biblical conservative position of obedience in favor of supposedly enlightened causes have gradually disappeared into the maze of religious apostasy-taking their posterity with them!
I have been looking into God’s word afresh and observing the repeated warnings to “contend,” “hold fast,” “be strong” etc., that still leap from the pages of our Bible. There must be a reason!
In all this I see how important it is to teach these things in our homes. The home is the most responsible and effective place in molding the appreciation of the rising generation. When parents understand and embrace conservative values, children are provided with a frame of reference which becomes a lifetime asset. If there is evidence of youthful disregard for the conservative position, we do well to evaluate the influence of our homes.
We should always seek to promote the spirit of the church discipline in our homes. Our church standards are considered minimum. Some people view these standards as maximum. These will not go any further than absolutely necessary. This attitude is particularly noticeable in the areas of dress standards, hair, jewelry, dating, competitive sports and refraining from the ungodly influence of television in the home.
Children soon sense the reservation of their parents, and may become quite adept at testing the “lower limits” of church regulations. The result is the destruction of spiritual vitality and commitment.
Parents reveal their true appreciation for the church standards by the way they dress their children who are not directly controlled by the church–also by the healthy guidelines they establish for their family. If their children are allowed to dress in a worldly fashion and engage in worldly activities, it is almost automatic for them to develop and appreciate the worldly rather than the conservative Apostolic standard of life.
You cannot stand bark and allow others to set the tone for your family. You cannot simply let peer pressure dictate the conscience of your family.
Let me remind you, the selection of friends for ourselves and for our children is one of the most crucial elements in being identified with our treasured Apostolic conservative tradition. It’s a vital part of preserving the cause that we have embraced since coming out of the world.
We lie in such a busy society that our priorities are constantly under attack. The enemy and the world around us seems to “press us” into a mold. For this cause there are so many who are slipping in the area of commitment and personal devotion. The human tendency is to emphasize doing and being. Martha had this problem. Jesus explained to her that devotion must have priority over service (See Luke 10:40-42). Devotion provides the valid foundation and inspiration for outward conformity. To insist on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of the Christian life, without the primary emphasis of knowing God is detrimental.
When our youth are prospering in their personal relationship to God, they are open and submissive to the commandments of God’s word. There will be a healthy response to the applications of truth as taught by the church and by our consistent personal example.
Let me remind you that if you are finding it difficult to take a stand and hold fast, it is obvious your faith and commitment are being eroded. If you do not take a stand now, you will eventually fall for anything.
Be reminded that we have something to protect, cherish and preserve. Contrary to the liberal voices around us, it is very fulfilling and satisfying. It is the safe position for the happy Christian life.
Look around you and see how those who have supposedly escaped from what they refer to as “legalism” and “bondage” are faring. They are living proof that digression from Biblical obedience is not safe. Look closely at what happens to those individuals or groups. As they give in to the modern pressures we see a trail of tragedy.
They begin to digress and we often see the so-called escape is costly. A goodbye to godly holiness standard and life style ushers in a “Pandora’s box” of resulting effects—divorce, re-marriage, worldliness, etc.
The so-called easier road always takes the same direction–disobedience, breakdown of the home, and moral degeneracy.
Play it safe! Check your attitude often and see where your treasure is.
A youthful church worker once told his aged minister, “If you don’t catch up to the spirit of the age, you’ll be an antique.” The older man wisely replied “I’m not here to catch up to the spirit of the age. My responsibility is to correct it.”
(The above material was published by the Louisiana Challenger)
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