The Blind Diving Approach To Finding A Sound Congregation
By: Brian A. Yeager
Let me paint you a picture and then ask you a question. Two friends really like high diving. They both have taken jumps into different pools of water from very high heights. These two friends are vacationing together. They hope to accomplish a high dive while on this trip. One of them has read of a high diving location nearby that would be amazing to dive at. This happens to be at an old swimming pool. The only problem is that this swimming pool only has water in it two days out of every ten years. The one friend makes arrangements to go and see the pool. The other friend knows that it is unlikely they’ll be able to dive because the odds of there being water in that pool are very slim. Once the friends arrive they notice only one car in the parking lot. They soon find it is the maintenance man’s car as no one else is there. All signs point to there being no chance of diving today.
They walk into the dark building. There are no lights on. There is no one at the counter. The one friend, who arranged to see the pool, says that from here the only way to know if there is water in the pool is to blindfold yourself, walk through that door ahead of them, and then walk off the edge of the diving board. It is a 50-foot dive into a 25-foot deep pool (if there is water in it). Now here is the question… Would it be wise to walk blindfolded, off of the diving board, into a likely empty pool?
The word of God shows us that there are very few real Christians (Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 22:1-14, and Luke 13:23-24). Out of seven congregations listed in the book of Revelation, only two were faithful (Revelation 2:1-3:22). Jesus questioned whether or not He would find faith on earth at His return (Luke 18:8). How is it that you can read those Scriptures and think finding a faithful congregation is likely today? In our present day, the truth is, it is more likely that there would be water in the pool of the scenario above than it is finding a faithful congregation to worship with.
I have been teaching this truth for almost sixteen years. Rarely, and I mean rarely, have I been fully believed. I say that because, despite my best efforts, people still try to find faithful congregations elsewhere for trips and moves. I know some consider me “nuts” and others have charged that I think I am the only sound preacher in the church today. You can charge or deny anything. That does not change the facts! How many congregations have a make-up serving of the Lord’s Supper? How many congregations have ties to human institutions (Florida College, Guardian of Truth Foundation, etc.)? How many congregations sing unscriptural songs? How many congregations use pitch pipes? How many congregations fail to discipline disorderly members? How many congregations have prayer lists that urge members to pray for miraculous healings? How many congregations have false teachers in their “tract racks; bulletins”? This is not to mention many errors like divorce and remarriage, unity in diversity, modern perversions of the Bible, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the social Gospel, etc. How many of those require you to blind dive to know if they are present?
The Dive First Mentality
How long does it take to know if someone is faithful? How about a whole congregation? We are required to know that we are in fellowship with those walking aright (I John 1:3-7). We sin if we are in fellowship with those in error (Ephesians 5:6-11). However, at least it seems to me, that people think if they do not see the errors openly that makes them less present. How does that make sense? Is the blind dive into an empty pool less stupid because you cannot see that the pool is empty? Then you have those who think as long as the errors are not great, while they ignore James 2:10, that one Sunday is okay? That infers that a little bit of truth makes an error go away. So, does the blind dive into an empty pool have a better result if there are drops of water in that pool? I suppose you could argue it wasn’t empty. Right??? Come on! What’s worse about the choice to dive first into an erring worship is that there are signs posted warning you not to.
In an article on September 21st, 2014 titled “Is Finding The Best Congregation Acceptable To God? (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol15/wotbulletin09212014.html)” I provided these Scriptures proving that worship with those in error is sinful (Psalms 26:4-5, Psalms 119:115, Proverbs 13:20, Jeremiah 15:16-17, John 2:13-17, Romans 16:17-18, Ephesians 5:11, I Timothy 5:22, I Timothy 6:3-5, and Revelation 2:14-16).
Now, where is the authority for a person to travel and worship with a congregation to “find out” if they’re sound (Colossians 3:17)? The fact is, God expects us to know whether someone is faithful or not BEFORE joining in with them (II John 1:9-11). How can you find out if a congregation is sound just by looking at a website, talking to a preacher, or listening to an audio sermon? Isn’t error often hidden (Galatians 2:4 and Jude 1:3-4)? Don’t you have to have time to know fruit because false brethren are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-20)? How can that be accomplished by a conversation without knowing anyone?
Our culture is one that suggests travel and being transient is good. The word of God doesn’t teach that. In El Paso you know what you have. You know if someone errs it will be dealt with Scripturally whether personal (Matthew 18:15-17) or otherwise (Luke 17:3-4, Galatians 2:11-17, Galatians 6:1, II Thessalonians 3:6, II Thessalonians 3:14-15, James 5:19-20, etc.). Many trips can be made within the framework of 6 ½ days. Is it really worth your soul to put on the blindfold and dive into the unknown just to take a trip or move somewhere that you’d rather be carnally?
I fear deeply that many souls I have come to know will be lost over this matter. It is no good to be part of a sound congregation if you’ll surrender that for a week a year to vacation. When brethren ask me about congregations in an area I always say, “I don’t know”. Even when I have a hunch that good may be there, I often don’t know. I have taught this subject many ways over the years (i.e. http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol15/wotbulletin09212014.html). Much, to little avail. Brethren, I’d drop it if it didn’t matter. Yet, it does matter. God does not want His faithful people among those whom are not spiritually faithful (II Corinthians 6:14-18). You cannot hide behind ignorance on this matter. If you jump, you know the pool is likely empty!
Volume 15 – Issue 37 - May 31st, 2015