Jerry C. Brewer
If you should be suddenly awakened in the night by a neighbor who told you your house was burning, you would be grateful. I know, I would. It’s doubtful that we would tell the neighbor to “mind his own business.” But there are lots of people in the world who do that very thing when concern is expressed for their spiritual welfare.
Whenever viewpoints oppose each other, both cannot be right—they may both be wrong but cannot both be right. The point of this is that the more than 400 religious bodies in this country cannot all be right. In fact, the division that exists in the religious world is one of the greatest sources of infidelity and unbelief in America.
When we in the church of Christ point out the sin and danger of denominationalism, we are often told to mind our own business. But that’s all right. We love the souls of men, and if we did not point out error, we would have their blood on our hands.
Even a cursory examination of the divided religious world ought to convince anyone that something is wrong. Methodists, Catholics, and Lutherans say a man can have water sprinkled on him and that is baptism. The Bible says baptism is immersion (Rom. 6:3-4). Which one is right?
Catholicism says the pope is the head of the church. The Bible says Christ is the head (Eph. 1:22-23). Which is right?
Baptists say one is saved before and without baptism. The Bible says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16). Which one is right? See the great division and confusion on points of doctrine? Are all these divergent views right? Does God accept them all?
A western Oklahoma farmer hired cotton choppers in the days when cotton was chopped, and men were glad to work for a living.
“Chop the weeds from this 40 acres,” he told the crew.
Two of the hands found a stand of trees and proceeded to build a campfire and fry bacon. Two others found a shade tree, under which they reposed and took a nap. Others went to the neighbor’s field and began to chop his cotton, and still others began to pick tomatoes from the farmer’s garden.
During this time, there were two workers who chopped the weeds from the cotton as they had been instructed. Noticing their coworkers were failing to do the bidding of the farmer who hired them, they called that to their attention. “Mind your own business,” they were told. “Everybody has a right to his own opinion.”
At the end of the day, the farmer came to the field, paid the crew, and commended them on their work. “I know,” said he, “that the instructions I gave were probably too hard to understand. I also know that each of you had a right to your own interpretation of my instructions and that those who reminded you of my instructions were meddling in your affairs.”
He then paid everyone—even those who labored in a neighbor’s field, those who slept, and those who picked tomatoes. After all, they were sincere, and all were hired by the same man.
It should be obvious to anyone with a bit of mass between his ears that this farmer was either ignorant or stupid. Wouldn’t you like to work for a man who would pay you for doing your own thing? Would you pay field hands who worked that way? If so, I would like a job working for you.
Yet, the religious world believes God is such a dunce! They believe he tolerates any and all behavior and will save all men regardless of whether they obey him or not.
Christians who know what the Bible teaches are manifesting concern for your soul when they warn that God is not such a person. There is only one way (John 14:6). Denominations are false ways to God, and he neither approves of them nor will he save them. They do not constitute the church and are doomed to be rooted up (Matt. 15:13).
Our warnings are not motivated by arrogance or a superior attitude. Rather, they come from hearts which want all men to be saved. We implore our religious neighbors: Do not be angry when we speak the word of God. “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16).
I would rather have you angry with me now because I spoke the word of God than to have you point an accusing finger at me in the judgment and say, “You never told me.”
Our plea is simple. You can have the hope of heaven by believing in God and his Son Jesus Christ (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24), repenting of your sins, (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30), confessing your faith in Christ, (Acts 8:37) and being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16).
When you do these things, the Lord will add you to his church. Neither I nor any of my brethren have a right to vote on your membership. It isn’t “our church.” It belongs to Christ, and He will decide who to add to it. You will not be a member of a denomination. You will be a member of the church of Christ which he built, (Matt. 16:18), and purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Remain faithful unto death and a crown of life will be yours (Rev. 2:10).