The Agora
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News flash: IC gets wiser...


"The Samaritans were neighbours in the most literal sense, but as for loving them, that seemed impossible. Christ loved them and caused his disciples to marvel at the manner in which he spake to the woman at Jacob's well and afterwards to others who came out to hear him. The Jews as a whole almost made it a part of their religion to hate the Samaritans, and if they were able to analyze their own feelings they would probably have to admit that the hatred was directly traceable to the fact of their being such near neighbours. This is a common weakness of poor human nature. Those who are near but not quite with us arouse more bitterness of feelings than complete strangers. Then when such an evil feeling has been once started, the deceitful heart begins to build up fancies to justify the hatred, thus further traducing those who have already been wronged" (Islip Collyer, "The Guiding Light" 66).
I can remember reading Islip Collyer as a young man (no, I was the young man; he was the old man -- even then!), and thinking -- in something that passed, I suppose, for "youthful zeal" -- that he was the most "wishy-washy" of writers. Why? Because no matter how "serious" the matter upon which he was commenting, including the history of Christadelphian controversies and divisions, he always managed to soften the blow, to try to see the other side, to be fair, to be kind, to be scrupulously honest (or so it seemed) in presenting a point of view other than his own.

And I kept muttering to myself, 'With an attitude like that, he'll never get anywhere... in standing up for the Truth, or in rebuking errorists, or in cutting off sinners.'

Funny thing: After 30 years (during which he has been dead the whole time!), he has gotten a lot wiser!


I have a suggestion, for all and sundry (maybe especially for the "sundry"): The next time you feel tempted to indulge in harsh criticism of any brother or sister, in front of others... read Islip Collyer's "The Scriptural Principles Governing Controversy". You'll find it in his book, "Principles and Proverbs". If you don't have a copy, go look for it.

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