THE SILENT MAJORITY
By: G.L. Vittitow
* There has been much said about the position the United Pentecostal Church took at our General Conference last year. A
resolution was adopted by the organization reaffirming our allegiance to our fundamental doctrine and standards of holiness.
Each year a letter is sent to the ministers of the United Pentecostal Church asking them to affirm their commitment to our Articles of Faith before they are issued a current fellowship card. Several articles have appeared in major newspapers in our
state about this action. I feel everyone should be informed of our continued stand for the faith once delivered to the saints.
Several years ago, a world leader made an appeal to what he called the “Silent Majority” of his country. He pleaded for them to get
involved, to become vocal, to stand up and be counted. He asked them to speak to neighbors, fellow workers, family and any other
associates about what really matters. He wanted the “Silent Majority” to let their voices be heard from the North to the South
and from sea to sea. It was a time of apathy caused by prosperity when many were content to idly sit and enjoy their “good things”
and ignore the problems on the horizon. If the problems did not involve or affect them they ignored them. This world leader felt
the “Silent Majority” allowed vocal minorities to dictate their policies when those policies were not best for the country or what
the majority desired. However, if the majority would not speak, then the minority ruled.
I feel the United Pentecostal Church has come to such a place. I’m concerned that a majority is silent. This is an appeal to the
“Silent Majority” to stand up and be counted. What a tragedy if vocal minorities make the decisions that dictate the future of our
church. Our children and grandchildren will either be thankful for us or wonder about us, depending on the decisions we make now. The church you have given your life to now depends on you.
WHICH ARE YOU?
Our Articles of Faith are our declarations of our beliefs concerning what the Bible says on particular subjects. The Bible
is our final word of authority, but our Articles of Faith state in a simplified form our understanding of principles taught in the
Bible. Never should the articles of faith supersede the Bible and they should never be contrary to the Bible.
In interpreting the articles of faith there are at least two types of minorities in the United Pentecostal Church. To illustrate I
must label, which I find distasteful, but necessary for clarity. On the one side there is the liberal left. On the other side there
is the radical right. These two views flank the moderate, middle-of-the-road view that, I’m convinced, is the strong majority of
Those on the left intend to bend the Articles of Faith to fit a life style that leads away from the safety of the middle of the
road. I don’t believe they intended to go so far or let things get out of control. They simply lacked personal convictions the
majority of the UPCI held when the middle of the road was established. They felt it safe to let down in some areas of the
Pentecostal message of salvation, standards of dress and activities that are not conducive to spiritual growth. They feel
it is save to allow certain activities to take place that the majority feel are unsafe. The slow, casual bend toward the left
seems to be a comfortable and popular way to live. The danger is very often a person gets farther to the left than they intended
and find it difficult, and in some cases almost impossible, to get back to the safety of the middle.
As the drift continues they should notice a difference in the appearance and the activities of their congregations. A decline in
genuine commitment to the cause of Christ will usually appear and then often a decline in morals. The next step is usually a
congregation that is one in name only. A gathering without the genuine power of God moving in their midst. The services are
carried on the charisma of the minister and the abilities of the music and other departments of the congregation.
I do not feel that the majority of the UPCI preachers want their congregations to be worldly in looks or activities. I can’t believe the majority of our preachers want to turn over the results of their work to a preacher that would encourage a drift to the left and the undesirable, but inevitable, results that come with the drift.
I don’t believe one inhabitant of skid row ever intended to end up there, however, a little social drink early in life lead that poor
soul there. I’m not comparing the left to skid row, however, the drifting principle is common.
I am a pilot and use an airplane to help reach the vast areas of the Alaska-Yukon District. I have flown for hours over mountain
ranges outside the assistance of electronic navigation aids, having only the aid of aeronautical charts. With only a chart to
guide you over the uninhabited, hostile areas of the Yukon and Alaska you must carefully follow the charts. Your life and the
lives of your passengers depend on the accuracy of the charts and your ability to follow your course line. When navigating like this
only a slight drift off course will lead you to possible destruction unless corrected. In my opinion, a slight drift off our spiritual course of the new birth and our standards of separation, unless corrected, will lead to destruction or at least to circumstances that cause great fear and concern. A pilot off course is in serious trouble or heading for it. Likewise, a preacher off course is in serious trouble or heading for it.
Pastor, do you want to see your congregation, your children and grandchildren be influenced toward the left? Do you want to see
your work for the Lord led in this direction? If not, it is imperative that we of the majority stand and be heard. Our voices
must be heard and we must attend the conferences where decisions are made and be a part of the decision making.
The raging, radical right are those with the Pharisaic, holier-than-thou, attitude that are quick to make their presence known.
They say things that are abrasive and hide behind the cloak of “preserving the truth” while all the time doing much harm to the
body of Christ. Their circle of friendship is very small and they refuse to fellowship with those that may hold a little different
view on certain “non-essentials to salvation” views. They give the impression they would be “tainted” if they dined with a brother of a little different interrelation of the Scriptures or the Articles of Faith. They hide behind the pulpit and sling their rocks of
accusations towards those that dare to differ with them on any matter. They feel they are the only ones that can hear from God
and it is by their standards and word that all mankind will be judged. They snarl at the “liberals” and if they should pray for
them it would be for either their failure or destruction. It seems beyond them to pray for the “liberal” with any compassion. They
will not act gentlemanly toward any that does not think and act as they do because it may send a signal of “compromise” to their like minded buddies. They will impose their slanted and retarded views on listeners in a very harsh, crude and abusive way. The only ones that could say amen “or cheer” are those of kindred spirit. Everyone else is embarrassed and wish they were someplace else.
Dear United Pentecostal Church preacher, if you do not want the raging, radical right to direct the future of the UPCI, again I
encourage you to attend the conferences where the decisions for the future are made and be a part of the decision making process.
I do not believe the UPCI is a majority of preachers with the radical right or the liberal left views. I feel the vast majority
of our organization is a moderate middle of the road group of gospel preachers that have been so busy doing the work God called
them to do that they have failed to notice the difficulties that were on the horizon. It is no longer the horizon, it is upon us
and we are at a time of decision. We don’t have the luxury of silence any longer. We must rise and let our voices of moderate,
middle-of-the-road views be heard. If the loose, liberal left or the raging, radical right dictate the future of the UPCI, the
future of our families and congregations, it will be because the “Silent Majority” remained silent. It will not be because the
message or methods of the minorities are correct but only because of Silence of the Majority.
(The above material appeared in the March 1993 issue of Kentucky District News, originally appeared in The Canada Focus, by J.R. Blackshear.)
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