Prophetic Words of Charls Porterfield Krauth
the leader of the old General Council of the Lutheran Church, written in
"When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions.
Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto nonessential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two coordinate powers, and the great secret of church statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and that only for a time.
Error claims a preference for its judgment on all disputed points. It
puts men into positions, not as at
first in spite of their departure from the Church's faith, but in
consequence of it. Their recommendation is that they repudiate that
faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and
to make them skillful in combating it."
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