As a child, I naively thought that the particular subgroup of the non-instrument Churches of Christ into which I was born had discovered “the truth” and that all other Christian groups were either ignorant or dishonest because they differed from us. By the grace of God, when I became a man, I put away those childish ideas.
I gradually realized that almost all the hymns we sang were written by Christians from other denominations, as were nearly all the biblical commentaries our preachers studied in preparing their lessons. That didn’t mesh with the notion that of all God’s people, we were the most informed. As I came to know other Christians personally, I quickly discovered that they were not dishonest at all — their piety and commitment to Christ often dwarfed mine, and what I usually saw within my own religious movement
Over the years, there gradually emerged in my mind a picture of the wholeness God desires for his church universal. The fact is that every orthodox Christian group has important truth to share. Each such denomination, fellowship or Christian tradition began by a move of God’s Spirit to recover, renew or restore some element of Christian teaching, activity or experience then dormant, lagging or lacking in the church at large. All of us believers in Jesus need all the truth — and we dare not fail to receive it just because someone else found it first.
In this quest, we all must learn to eat the meat and throw away the bones. The danger is that we misuse the truth we do discover, or get it out of balance. Every part of the Church — including our own — has abuses and extremes, confusions and errors, which we do well to reject and to avoid. The point is not who said something first, but whether it came from the Word of God. If it came from God, it is for all his people. I want all the truth anyone else has found. I also want to share any truth that I might find with others who also love and follow Jesus Christ.