Diplomacy Or Warfare?

Jerry C Brewer

Compromise is a fundamental tenet of diplomacy. In compromise one sacrifices a formerly held position—or a part thereof—for the sake of peace and accepts a form of the opposition’s position to achieve a non-combative settlement of differences. While that is a fair assessment of political diplomacy, it also describes a philosophy that has arisen in the Lord’s church in the last few years.

The Lord does not call diplomats to His service—He calls soldiers. The imagery of battle is a repeated figure of the Christian’s relationship with the world, and when we lay aside the armor of God (Eph. 6:13) in the spirit of diplomacy, we compromise the truth and capitulate to the enemy.

“When Gideon answered the call of God to go in his might to deliver Israel from the hand of Midian, he built an altar at the scene of his call and named the place, Jehovah-shalom—’The Lord Send Peace.’ God did send peace. But it was peace through conflict, not compromise. We do not see Gideon calling a ‘unity meeting’ with the Midianites; he did not ascend a knoll, lift up benedictory hands, stretch out-spreading arms to Israel’s foes and say: ‘Let us have peace together.’ He drove the Midianites out by ‘the sword of the Lord and Gideon.’ There are some who seem to think that the Lord has dispensed with the sword, dismantled the armour, and resorted to diplomatic conferences with the powers that be” (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., “Jehovah-Nissi—The Lord My Banner,” The Present Truth, Foy E. Wallace, Jr. Publications, Ft. Worth, 1977, p. 463).

Brother Wallace wrote those lines in The Bible Banner in July 1938. He could well have penned them yesterday. They describe the current attitude of compromise among many in the church who formerly stood as a solid phalanx against error, but now practice diplomacy for a more “balanced” approach to preaching. That approach is antithetical to every principle of New Testament Christianity.

The ideal of modern diplomacy was described by Hans J. Morgenthau in Politics Among Nations, as cited in the Mindscape Complete Reference Library: “1) Diplomacy must be divested of its crusading spirit; 2) Diplomacy must look at the situation from the point of view of other nations; 3) Nations must be willing to compromise on all issues that aren’t vital to them.”

Divested of a crusading spirit and imbued with the spirit of compromise for the sake of political prestige and financial considerations, many among us today seem to believe things in the “faith once delivered” fit into the category of “issues that are not vital.” Among those are men like Garland Robinson, who once feared no one in exposing error within the church. His paper, Seek The Old Paths (S.T.O.P.), once sounded warnings against error in no uncertain terms, but has fallen silent in the face of Dave Miller’s elder reevaluation/reaffirmation error.

When this issue came to a head in 2005, I wrote an article exposing Miller and Apologetics Press and sent it to Garland. I had sent many articles to him over the years that were printed, and when he received them he always replied to let me know he had them in hand. My submission of that article brought only silence from S.T.O.P.  That was eight years ago, and I have never heard a word from him, nor did the article ever appear in S.T.O.P. Indeed, since 2005 S.T.O.P. and its editor have divested themselves of a crusading spirit and embraced diplomacy. Why? I do not know. Are there some things in Holy Writ that he no longer considers “vital”? Is he looking at “the situation from the point of view of other nations” (Miller and his apologists)? Only he can answer those questions.

From 2005 onward, Dave Miller’s apologists—among whom are Keith Mosher, Curtis Cates, Bobby Liddell, Robert Taylor, B. J. Clarke, Garland Elkins, and a host of others—have chosen diplomatic compromise by calling his clarification, “For Honorable Brethren Who Want To Know,” “a letter of repentance.” It matters not to them that repent or repentance is not found in it. It matters not to them that his statement that, “I do not believe that elders should be temporarily appointed and their ‘terms’ continued on the basis of an arbitrary vote of the membership” is not what faithful brethren accused him of advocating. Nothing matters to Miller’s apologists unless it affects interests—political or financial—that they deem “vital.” Since they do not deem it “vital” to oppose Miller’s errors, they have sheathed the sword of the Spirit, unbuckled their armor, laid aside the shield of faith, and slunk down to the Plains of Ono, to compromise with the enemies of Truth. They are divested of a crusading spirit, look at the situation from the point of view of others rather than God, and compromise on any and all issues that are not vital to their own interests.

In his “clarification letter,” Miller wrote, “It is astounding that an event that occurred 15 years ago—an event that I have neither repeated nor promoted since—should cause such a stir!” So, according to Miller, his participation in, and promotion of, false doctrine should not be held against him because so much time has passed since then. Agag could have said the same thing—and had a much stronger case—if the passage of time covers sin. More than 400 years passed from the time Amalek fought against Israel until Saul was sent to utterly destroy them (Exo. 17:8; 1 Sam. 15:3). Today’s former soldiers of the cross-turned-diplomats are willing to grant Miller absolution despite the fact that God does not forget sin, though a thousand years should intervene. Will they grant the same to Mac Deaver, Rubel Shelly, and Max Lucado without any repentance on their parts? To be consistent diplomats, they would have to answer, “yes.”

The church has been at war with the forces of Satan since the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and until the last trump sounds, God will never commission a “peace process” with her enemies. Jesus Christ calls soldiers to His cause, not diplomats (2 Tim. 2:3-4).
Source: Jerry C. Brewer. Defender. Vol. XLII, May 2013, Number 5. Editor, Michael Hatcher. http://www.bellviewcoc.com – Comments or Questions about this article may be addressed to the author at: txjch@att.net

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