As we continue to read through Holdeman’s book we are at times rather bored by his dwelling on and on about the lineage, his details of which group broke from which group and the silly lineup of reasons for doing this. What about the scripture that admonishes us to “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” (Titus 3:9) There is no profit in this type of discussion. We are admonished to avoid it. It is nothing more than one man trying to lift himself up above others. This appeals mightily to the flesh, hence his loyal and faithful followers many generations down the road. The feeling of being right, in fact more right than anyone else, is a potent drug. It can mask a multitude of sins. It can distract from many other more disturbing shortcomings.
Consider this portion on page 114; “Whether the fornication and idolatry charged against the Churches of Asia was literal or not, it is certain that the church at Corinth suffered a literal fornicator in the church without excommunicating him, as also other abominable sins, for some time. I do not believe that the Old Mennonites suffered any fornicator in the church knowingly, without excommunication, for the same length of time as the Corinthians did. But though they should have done so, it would have in itself been no ground to condemn them as not being the true Church of God, if they would have been willing to amend the matter.”
Notice by what a slender thread the true lineage hangs. Examine it closely. Holdeman guesses, assumes, believes, purports or whatever else you might want to call it that in all of its existence, the Old Mennonite Church did not make an error that would have disqualified it from being a conduit of the true lineage. How does he know? Just because no report of it ever came to his ears? Because he wants to believe what he wants to believe? I am not saying that the Old Mennonite Church harbored fornicators. I don’t care if they did or not. To maintain their place in the line-up, Holdeman must fabricate a pure and holy history for them. He does make an allowance that this discrepancy might have occurred, but then he slaps a bandage over it by saying, well, even if it did happen, this still does not disqualify them of their place in the lineage.
Brothers and Sisters! Do you not see the foolishness of this? This has nothing to do with true salvation, with truth justice mercy and love! This has to do with vain striving.
On page 116 he goes on….”This church (one that he rejects and puts down) censures me exceedingly, that I did not unite with them, when I separated from the Old Mennonites. If it had been properly organized, and had been founded upon the true foundation, such would have been my highest duty, because God approves of but one organized visible church.” Take a minute to ponder on the arrogance of that statement. Who on earth was this man? Does anyone ever really stop to think?
“I cordially believe that if it had been the true organized church of God that God would have led me there (for I was willing to go anywhere, and suffer anything for the truth of God) but God led me to the contrary, as shall be shown hereafter.”
This logic persists in the Holdeman realm today. If the Holdeman church is right, God will lead all true seeking Christians to it. One man can divine the truth of God’s mind and thereby preach whatever he chooses based on what he believes God has told him. We are not denying that God leads men to preach the truth, but we do suggest that a man who wishes to have power and to amass followers might very well interpret the mind of God in whichever way best suits his purposes. A few sentences further on he lays out two reasons that the above mentioned church, which he declined to unite with (no doubt because they didn’t give him a position of importance) fail the test of being the one true church. The second reason he gives is that they refused instruction. Then by that very judgment let the Church of God in Christ Mennonite stand or fall today. Do they accept instruction? Ask the man who has suggested an idea to them that they were not keen on receiving. Did he remain in favor, or was perhaps an allegation cooked up against him? When Holdeman came to this church and offered to correct them, they declined his instruction and he went on his way, refusing to grant them a place in the lineage, because they would not hear from him. Subsequently, in defiance of the scripture that says a man must be ordained by laying on of hands, he went on to organize his own rogue body which exists in a very bizarre form to this day. People wake up…open your eyes!!
Later on we will discuss the scriptures that involve the laying on of hands. John Holdeman neatly sidestepped this requirement. His followers have no problem with it.
Prayers for your understanding,