Cast Out for the Cross of Christ by Albion Ballenger

Chapter 1 - Introductory

No one who has not experienced it can realize the soul anguish that overwhelms one, who, in the study of the Word finds truth which does not harmonize with that which he has believed and taught during a whole lifetime to be vital to the salvation of the soul. This is the position to which I have been brought by a most earnest and prayerful study of the Word, and I am stating my difficulties in this pamphlet, praying that, if there is light that will harmonize the old position with the new, or show the new position to be unscriptural, the reader may be able to make it plain to me. I appeal by this to those in places of greatest responsibility down to the humblest believer in present truth. I care not through whom the help may come, only so it come. I fear not the valley of humility, for those who have read the little book "Power for Witnessing," know that in my Christian experience there set forth, my greatest victories were gained through humbling myself under the mighty hand of God. I plead with my brethren and sisters not to condemn me suddenly, but to examine carefully the scriptures which have led me to take the position I have, and if possible, see wherein I have missed the path of truth.

From a child I have been taught to demand a "Thus saith the Lord" in proof of every doctrine, and I have looked forward to the time when the great controversy should reach its crisis, and we would be called upon to stand for our lives, at which time, we have been taught that we should say, when the powers of earth demand submission to the laws of men in opposition to the law of God, "Show us from the Word our error." I repeat, all my life long I have been taught that "before accepting any doctrine or precept we should demand a plain 'Thus saith the Lord' in its support;" that "God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines, and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the decrees or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, and the voices of the majority, - not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain 'Thus saith the Lord' in its support... Though the Reformation gave the Scriptures to all, yet the selfsame principle which was maintained by Rome prevents multitudes in Protestant churches from searching the Bible for themselves. They are taught to accept its teachings as interpreted by the Church, and there are thousands who dare receive nothing, however plainly revealed in the Scriptures, that is contrary to their creed or the established teaching of their church. There are today, thousands of professors of religion who can give no other reason for points of faith which they hold than that they were so taught by their religious leaders. They pass by the Savior's teachings almost unnoticed, and place implicit confidence in the words of the ministers.

But are ministers infallible? How can we trust our souls to their guidance, unless we know from God's Word that they are light-bearers?

"A lack of moral courage to step aside from the beaten track of the world leads many to follow in the steps of learned men and by their reluctance to investigate for themselves, they are becoming hopelessly fastened in the chains of error."

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