Andrew M. Connally
The hue and cry throughout many pulpits is to “develop personal relationships” and to have a “personal encounter with Jesus.” This sounds lofty and noble, but what it often boils down to is simply to de-emphasize the Bible and elevate man. The idea of teaching and accepting propositional truths from God’s Word is ignored for the sake of relationships. That is the reason so many brethren would rather attend a “fellowship dinner” than a Gospel meeting or lectureship. The idea of studying to refute religious error is unthinkable in most city churches.
More of us who know the truth would not disparage good influence or proper relationships, yet this can never replace helping men to see the truth as taught by Jesus in the Bible, or making them aware of the error they have espoused.
We all should be as kind and personable as upholding the truth will allow, but this is a far cry from what is being advocated. Truth is being put down and neglected by many who advocate friendship, people, and relationships above the Lord. It is still “the truth” that makes man free (John 8:32), and all personal relationships must be subjugated to the Lord and His truth (Mat. 10:34-37).
This very attitude concerning “personal relationships” has destroyed controversy and the desire to defend the faith (Jude 3; 1 Pet. 3:15). We become such loving people we cannot chance hurting our relationships by exposing people’s sins or errors. Neighbor, that is not true, biblical love. This religious philosophy is humanism, pure and simple, rather than a love for truth and Christ. Brethren, we need to wake up and see this as yet another ploy of Satan in our congregations today.