More often than not today, when a faithful preacher of the Gospel seeks to warn people of the dangers of false teaching and false teachers he is called a “brotherhood watchdog.” Isn’t it interesting that the “loving” liberal religionists use the term “dog” when they attack one who faithfully holds to God’s truth? I see a contradiction here. I see hypocrisy here. Do you?
The old prophet Ezekiel writes concerning his charge from God: “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them” (Ezek. 2:3-5).
Besides this, Ezekiel was told in Ezekiel 33:7: “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” Please note that Ezekiel was called a “watchman unto the house of Israel” by Jehovah God! This was not an unpleasant appellation. It was a wonderful charge that God gave to his prophet! At that time Israel was apostate. The prophet was to preach the message of repentance to sinful Israel. Though most of Israel did not think the situation merited having a “watchman” who would powerfully reprove and call for repentance, God did think so! And Ezekiel, the prophet, was obligated to the charge to do just that.
There must be watchmen over spiritual Israel today. Spiritual Israel, today, is the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. The men who watch over the church today must be men who heed the word of Jehovah (the Bible). They must sound the warning to an apostate church!
But, are we assuming that the church of Christ is apostate today—that each congregation is, or that each member is apostate? Certainly not. In fact, some of Israel in Ezekiel’s day were not apostate—but many were. The charge was given to bring back to God those who would listen and to allow those who so chose to judge themselves unworthy of God’s blessings and worthy of God’s condemnation. A similar situation exists today in the church of Christ. While there are many who are faithful to God’s charge and serve Him with their entire being, it is a sad fact that many are indifferent toward the whole of Christianity. These are ignorant, for the most part, of God’s Word, unwilling to submit to the authority of the Bible and, in general, so materialistic that they can only think about the pleasantries of this life. Everything that many do in the name of religion must be viewed against the pragmatic background of how this will enhance their position with the material world! Thus in the view of these religionists, if the truth does not enhance one’s position or the position of the church in the worldly community, that truth must be avoided at all costs, if not rejected!
Where are the watchmen? Who is sounding the trumpet? Ezekiel was told that a failure to sound the warning would result in the blood of all guilty ones being upon the hands of the watchman. Where are the preachers that are willing to be so “opinionated,” “narrow,” and “dogmatic” that they will stand and preach the Word with the reproving, rebuking and exhorting that will make the difference in the world today? (See II Timothy 4:1-4.)
Today many preachers and elders of the churches of Christ when asked what they are doing relative to many important matters of faith and doctrine that are being compromised and in some cases directly violated respond, “We do not know of such things! Why should we care about such since these things do not affect us and our congregation?” This indifference causes the watchmen to fail to watch. It keeps the trumpeters from sounding the alarm. Where are the watchmen? Do you hear the trumpet?
-Glenn B. Ramsey