Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 24, 1959
NUMBER 33, PAGE 1,10-14a

Legalism -- A Review Of "We Be Brethren"

Roy E. Cogdill

(This is the eleventh article in review of the book, "We Be Brethren" written by J. D. Thomas, Professor of Bible, Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas.)

In continuation of the review of what our brother J. D. Thomas has written in his book, "We Be Brethren", we consider some of the things he has said concerning "Legalists" and "Liberalists". He evidently does not think he is a "Liberalist" and wrote a chapter trying to prove that he is not. But he does think that all who oppose the benevolent societies which the brethren have built to do the work of the church, and the arrangement whereby one congregation has the oversight of the funds of many churches and directs their use in doing the work of those churches, are "Legalists". We want to examine what he has had to say and see how accurate he is in his definitions of these terms and how fair he is in their usage.

It needs first to be recognized that these expressions are not used in the scriptures and there is therefore no Bible definition for them. To define them we must turn to some human authority or allow their usage to determine their meaning. I know of no congress in the religious world that has the authority to fix the standard of either term and classify any individual or group arbitrarily as belonging in either class. Neither does Brother Thomas have such arbitrary authority. He employs these terms in his book, however, in the same way he uses his "Diagram Of Authority" to distinguish between generic and specific matters, and his so-called principle or rule by which he undertakes to determine for all of us when an example is binding and when it is not binding. He uses them to suit his own purposes, by his own will and wisdom, standards and prejudices, and classifies his "BRETHREN", as he always refers to them in his book, without straining himself any as to charity or kindness. This we shall be able to see from the very statements we shall quote from his book on these terms.

There are some other things, however, concerning the teaching of the Word of God on a proper attitude toward that Word that we want to notice first. We need to ascertain what proper respect for the Word of God requires in order that we may see if this is what our brother means by a "Legalist".

1. It is not "legalism" to recognize and subscribe to the absolute and exclusive authority of Christ as King of the Kingdom and Head of the Body for the teaching of New Testament scriptures requires that!

Consider and read these passages on this point: Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 1:20-23. They teach that "all authority" belongs to Christ in this dispensation and that he is the "head over all things to the church". His authority in the church and over it is absolute and exclusive. This is a matter of faith.

2. It is not "legalistic" to recognize and subscribe to the fact that the Holy Spirit — solely and alone — can reveal the mind of God about anything and therefore, if the Holy Spirit has not revealed a thing, it is not God's will.

On this point Paul declares in I Cor. 2:10-11:

"But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God".

This also is not "legalism" but simply a matter of faith.

3. It is not being a "legalist" to recognize and subscribe to the authority of the Apostles of Christ — alone and solely — in "binding and loosing" matters pertaining to the will of God today.

Jesus specifically gave such authority to the apostles alone and they alone exercised it in the early church directed by the Holy Spirit. Matt. 16:19; Matt. 18:18; Acts 15:23-29; 16:4. This is likewise a matter of faith.

4. It is not being a "legalist" to recognize and subscribe to the scriptures as the sole and exclusive medium through which apostolic authority is exercised in divine affairs today.

The Apostle said,

"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the

excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the 'holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed., as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." II Pet. 1:16-20.

Again Paul said,

"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit". Eph. 3:2-5.

This is, then, the means by which God has made known unto us the Gospel of Christ today. The apostles were eyewitnesses and by the power of the Holy Spirit they were caused to remember all they had seen and heard and were guided into all the truth, even those things which Jesus had not disclosed to them concerning the will of heaven. These things thus revealed they declared in words of the Spirit's choosing. I Cor. 2:12-13. These scriptures thus spoken and now written are a divinely recorded deposition of the testimony of the eye and ear witnesses of the Lord under the prompting and direction of the Holy Spirit, a proper representative of Heaven's court, giving us the will of the Lord in His own Words. This is the source of all we know about Heaven's will and it cannot be augmented by all that might be learned in Chicago University or anywhere else in the world. The New Testament Scriptures are our only source of authority. Whatever is God's will must be found therein and no one has the right to go beyond. This too, then, is a matter of faith.

This applies both positively and negatively. 1) We are necessarily bound by what the scriptures teach and only by what they teach. No man has any right to bind anything in the Church of our Lord today except it be found in the teaching of Christ and the apostles in the pages of the New Testament. 2) It is just as true that no man has any right to loose or release any Christian from any duty, obligation, or truth that is taught to be the will of Christ in the pages of New Testament scriptures. No man can exercise proper faith in the word of the Lord who is not willing for the scriptures alone to "bind and loose".

If refusing to accept and practice anything that cannot be found taught in the New Testament in language that anyone of ordinary intelligence can understand without the aid of a PH. D. is "legalism", then simple faith and so-called "legalism" must be identical.

Right Attitude Toward Divine Will

In order to see just how much reverence and respect a man must have toward the will and word of God, let us look at some recorded facts:

1. When Jesus came into the world he was God's prophet to mankind yet he was bound and restricted by the message he received from the Father and could only "speak where the father had spoken". He had no message of his own for the world but delivered only the message received from the Father. John 8:26-29. John 12:44-50. John 17:1-8.

Jesus taught that the commandments of God must be kept in order for men to inherit eternal life and that they must not be broken. Matt. 19:16-17. Luke 10:25-28. John 10:35. He declared that all which had been written of him in the law, prophets and the Psalms must needs be fulfilled. Luke 24:44. When the Jews thought that his teaching would destroy the law, he promised that not one "jot or tittle" of the law would be done away until all was fulfilled. Matt. 5:17-19. According to our brother Thomas, Jesus was an extreme "legalist" unless he was laboring under a misapprehension and of course, he wasn't.

2. In the work which the Holy Spirit came into the world to do He was limited to the word received from the Father. He was not free to testify of himself or deliver a message of his own but could only "speak — whatsoever he shall hear". John 16:13-15.

3. When the apostles were sent out to make known the Gospel they were forbidden to go beyond the message given them by the authority of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Gal. 1:6-11. Even an angel from heaven stands condemned if he should preach any other message than that preached by the apostles of our Lord. Is this "legalism"?

4. Men today are condemned if they go beyond and teach anything which is not taught in the word of the Lord. Gal. 1:6-11. II Cor. 4:13. I Cor. 4:6. Phil. 4:9. II John 9-11. Rev. 22:18-19.

If this kind of reverence for the word of the Lord, because it is the word of the Lord, is "legalism", then God is pleased with "legalism" and it is simple faith. But it is self evident that if such a regard and respect for the word of God should be stigmatized as "legalistic" it could only be done by one who does not have such regard for God's word in his heart. Will brother Thomas plead guilty to this?

Brother Thomas' Conception Of "Legalism"

In order to see what our brother regards as a "Legalist" we need only to look at some of the definitions by which he designates what he calls a "Legalist". Since "legalist" and "liberalist" are opposite terms, it is especially interesting to note that the converse of everything which he condemns as "legalism" determines what it takes to make a "Liberalist".

1. A "Legalist" is "sometimes designated as an anti'," (page 29) our brother tells us and in the "Glossary" (page 249) he defines "Anti" as "A term sometimes applied to some types of Legalism". This is not merely a comment on how the term is generally used but the inference our brother wants left. He wants to leave the impression that one who opposes institutionalism — (anti-institutionalism) is a "legalist" because he is opposed (anti) something in his attitude and activity. If you're wondering what a "Glossary" is, it is written by a "Glossarist" and the purpose of it is evidently to "gloss" over some of the subtlety used in getting across what he wants to say by defining in his own way the terms he uses. Of course the definitions are no more reliable than the use of the terms which are being' "glossed" in the "glossary". On this point it is interested to note that one of the meanings of the term "gloss" is to "palliate by specious explanation". Maybe this is what our brother meant by this section of his book.

If being an "anti" (opposed to) anything makes a man a "legalist" then our brother would become one with the rest of us if he is opposed to anything. If he is "anti" anything at all, then to that extent he is a "legalist" by his own "glossary". Or is it just those who are opposed to human institutions and arrangements built by the churches to do their work, when there is no scriptural authority for them, who are "anti"?

Opposition to anything unscriptural and unrighteous would make a man an "anti" and being an "anti" he would be a "legalist" by such a ridiculous definition and usage of the term as our brother makes. But one cannot be a Christian without being opposed (anti) to those things which are contrary to the will of God for this is the obligation of every child of God. "Abhor that which is evil." "Fight the good fight of faith". "Contend earnestly for the faith". These are common exhortations to Christian duty. If this is "Legalism", then one cannot be a Christian without being a "legalist"! What a predicament our brother gets into! Does he favor compromising with sin and error or opposing it? Is he "anti" anything?

But if being an "anti" makes one a "legalist" and our brother is "anti" anything, he is a "legalist" himself and it would be a case of the "pot and the kettle". But if he is not opposed to anything, (not "anti" anything) then he cannot escape being a "liberal". His own rules always get him into trouble as this one demonstrates. Sophistry will work on either side of the tongue, Brother Thomas. It is sauce for both the goose and the gander.

In view of all the piety and brotherly love and praying for unity among "BRETHREN" which our brother professes, we would have thought that he would have avoided the use of such terms and epithets as "anti". It is simply a means used by many of the "institutional advocates" to discredit, arouse prejudice, and curry favor.

2. A "Legalist" is one who "makes laws where God did not". (page 29) When a man makes a law where God did not, he insults heaven for he undertakes to make himself equal with the authority of heaven in legislative right. There is no justification for such. God has especially condemned this sin. Jesus refused to bow to the laws which men had made to govern righteousness and religion and refused to require his disciples to keep these human laws. Matt. 15:1-14. He taught that human traditions make void the word of God and make our religion vain. Mat. 15:6-9. We shall discuss this matter of making laws where God has not made them a little more fully later in this article when we study Matt. 15. Exercising authority that belongs only to God has a dual application which our brother fails to recognize. But if a "legalist" is one who "makes laws where God did not", then the converse of that rule would determine what a "Liberalist" is and a "Liberalist" would be one who "makes void by his traditions" laws that God has made. This is our brother's tragic sin. He would by his own authority, wisdom, and decree relax the organization ordained by God for his church, its form specified in the scriptures (the local church) pervert its function, substitute human organizations built by the brethren to function in its stead, and ignore the divine arrangement. Nowhere in his book does he honor and plead for its scriptural form. He seems to think that the only prerequisite of a scriptural organization is that it shall have "local autonomy" and he doesn't seem to know what that means. A purely human organization can have that characteristic, brother Thomas!

3. A "Legalist", according to our brother, is one who "does not appreciate being guided by 'principles' — (important generic truths that may cover many matters)" (Page 29)

We have wondered if this is a reference to brother Harper's "Principle Eternal" which he tried to substitute for Bible authority. It covered many matters not covered by the Bible nor authorized therein. It sounds vague enough to be what our author has in mind. Webster defines the word "principle" as having these meanings:

"1. A source or cause from which a thing proceeds. 2. That which is inherent in anything, determining its nature; character; essence. 3. A general truth or proposition. 4. A settled law or rule of action, especially of right action, conscientiously adopted."

As the use of the word concerns "divine principles" the source is the will of God which determines what is right and that, of course, is settled in heaven. Psalms 119:89. The inherent nature of divine principles is the "righteousness of God". Psalms 119:137,144. That righteousness is revealed in the Gospel of Christ. Rom. 1:17. A general truth or proposition which constitutes a divine principle setting forth the righteousness of God must be taught or affirmed in the scriptures. If it isn't revealed in the Gospel, taught therein, found expressed in the revelation of God's will, then it is not a "divine principle" and could not therefore be "eternal". There is no "principle of truth", general or otherwise which the Bible does not teach. It classifies as human philosophy if it is not taught in plain language in the Bible. It is human wisdom and righteousness when it is not expressed in the word of God. A rule of "right action conscientiously adopted means respect enough for what God has revealed to make it our course of conduct. We would like to ask brother Thomas to give us a "principle" that is not taught in plain language in the word of God. When it is, it becomes divine law! Whether general or specific, that does not matter, if God said it.

As in all of his definitions, this one, too, rebounds and lodges in our brother's own lap. If a "Legalist" doesn't like principles to guide him but likes "nice little cut and dried laws", then a "Liberalist" is one who wants "principles eternal" and rejects the authority of "cut and dried laws" as "little" and not "nice". God ordained government for his church — the congregation — and its form — divinely specified — (Phil. 1:1) is "a nice little cut and dried law" to our brother and he would like to swap it off for a luscious, broad, fat, general principle that would permit what he prefers. He designates his own party clearly enough by his own definitions!

4. A "Legalist" (Page 30) is one who "binds optional matters". This sounds like an indictment of himself and the whole crowd of "institutional advocates" among the brethren. They say the support of these human arrangements is "an optional matter". Brother Thomas labors throughout his book to try to prove that they belong in the "optional" classification and the best evidence he can produce is his own "ipse dixit".

If this is so, then why do they draw the line against those of us who, because we believe they are "matters of faith", cannot "conscientiously" go along in these areas of so-called "human judgment" (according to their proponents and advocates)? We regard them as violations of the divine will and disrespectful of the authority of Christ. They will not use us, fellowship us, or cooperate with any effort we make. They black-ball, quarantine, castigate, abuse, and seek to destroy any influence we might have — all over what they consider an "optional matter".

Goodpasture, who is the "vicar of Christ" to a lot of these institutional idolaters, says he believes there is more than one way to take care of orphans and the chief lieutenant and "bouncer" for the "Institutional Advocate", Guy N. Woods, tells his readers that we misrepresented him. We alleged that he said that the church cannot do it and there is no other way to do it but through these "benevolent organizations" which have been built to "restore the home" which the orphans have lost. Of course, the best way to provoke brother Woods to hurl the charge of "misrepresentation" is just to quote something he has said somewhere at some other time that doesn't serve his purpose now. He has no objection to accusing "out of one side of his mouth" what he has said out of the "other side of his mouth" of misrepresenting him. He has misrepresented himself more than any one we know unless it is Reuel Lemmons.

If they believe there is more than the one way — the "institutional home" way — they are inexcusable for being so self-willed and idolatrous as to want and demand their way of doing it to the disruption of the fellowship of brethren and the peace of the whole family of God. This would be sinful to the ultimate degree. They would be in far better shape if their contention was a "matter of faith" with them rather than something which is not essential but "optional". Actually they are trying to bind on us what they say is not bound by the Lord but which is, in their own understanding and judgment, an "optional matter". Brother Thomas is not justified in the supreme effort he makes in his book to defend and justify these "human efforts", if they are purely "optional". More especially should he take a different attitude if he is pleading only for his own wisdom and not for the word of God.

But to apply his own rule, if a man is a "Legalist" who binds "optional matters", then one is a "Liberalist" who makes optional or looses a matter that is "bound". This is exactly what our brother does with the form of church government the Lord has ordained to accomplish the mission of his church — the local church — and with the equality of congregations also. Again he writes his own indictment!

5. A "Legalist", according to our brother, is "the man who says that generic authority is not adequate authority". (Page 30) Now we do not know who this could possibly be unless our brother has in mind the idea that the Bible must "specifically exclude" a thing in order for it to be wrong. It would certainly be no more incorrect to say that the Bible must specifically authorize a thing in order for it to be right than it is to say that the Bible must specifically exclude a thing in order for it to be wrong. We had as soon belong to one class as the other.

As in the other cases, the rule he gives us to try to get his indictment across is his own accuser. If a man is a "Legalist" who requires "specific" authority for what is right, then one must be a "Liberalist" when he thinks he is at liberty to do anything that is not "specifically excluded" or condemned. This is the kind of liberty our brother claims as we have proven in former articles. Review Article three of this series. (See pages 268-269ff — Gospel Guardian, Vol. 11) He has contended that "unless the 'sponsoring church' type of cooperation can be proven to classify clearly on the Diagram of Authority as an excluded specific (emphasis mine, R.E.C.) it's clear and obvious classification as an optional expedient to the generic requirement, `Go, Preach', makes it unquestionably scriptural" (Page 46). There it is! It must be specifically excluded or it is unquestionably scriptural! J. D. Thomas said so! Thus by his own standard he has proven himself a "Liberalist".

We charge him with complete misrepresentation of this point. We will deal particularly with it in another article but want to say in this connection that we know of no one who has said or written anything of the kind who stands or has stood within recent years with the "Brethren." We do not believe brother Thomas can produce from such a person the contention which he credits us with. His charge is born either of ignorance of the contentions we make or it is wilfull misrepresentation. He can take his choice. We have never said anything or written anything that even begins to contend that "generic authority" is not sufficient to warrant whatever action it includes. We have always contended for exactly the opposite to that.

While he is working on this, we call again upon him to produce any statement, or example, or inference. in the Word of God which "generically" includes what he tries to justify. If he will produce even "generic authority" for his contentions, we will accept it without question. We believe and contend that God has specified the form of organization for his church through which to do its work. It is the local church. We know of no authority either generic or specific that gives the churches of Christ the right to build anything else. If our brother does, then he should get the passage out before us.

6. A "Legalist", according to our brother again, is "one who says that pattern authority exists in the teaching of certain examples which really do not bind". (Page 30)

We have already, in previous articles, seen that our brother thinks he is capable of classifying the examples of the New Testament for us and designating which are binding and which are not binding. He makes them serve his own arbitrary purpose allowing those which will not prohibit what he wants to do and rejecting those which would prohibit actions in which he wants to engage. As we have abundantly shown, he thinks the examples of the New Testament must be understood by an entirely different system of "interpretation" to other New Testament teaching and after much hard labor came up with the profound pronouncement that if an example in the New Testament was a required action of the principals involved, and they so understood it, then it would be required of us now and if it was not binding action then, it would not be binding action now. Our brother thinks this is a great contribution to the solution of our problems. Who did not know it?

The real question is how do we determine whether or not the action exemplified is binding or not. The only answer is that we must determine the nature of the thing done from what else the New Testament teaches. We can not allow our brother because of the wisdom which he thinks he possesses to arbitrarily sit in judgment on these Bible examples any more than we can allow him to classify the facts and commandments of the Bible for us. If a man made a mistake and followed a New Testament example because he thought it was binding when it really was not, would he be in as much error as the man who disregarded a New Testament example because he thought it was not binding when it really was?

Moreover, if it is "Legalism" to mistake, for ignorance or any other reason that is honest, concerning an example and regard it as binding when it is not, then wouldn't it be "liberalism" to fail to follow an example that is binding? The same rule would work both ways and on the same ground, we can charge Brother Thomas with being a "Liberalist" because he disregards New Testament examples which are binding and which concern "required matters".

7. A "Legalist" according to our brother's definition is one who "insists that an optional expedient is not scriptural, unless an example (of the same type of expedient) can be found in the New Testament itself". (Page 30)

We call upon our brother to point out who has done this. It becomes more apparent all the time why he did not cite the quotations and references in his book and identify them. Some of them would be too easily exposed. Who, in all of his life, has ever heard anyone take the position that the New Testament teaches and authorizes by examples alone? ? ? Who is it Brother Thomas? We dare you to produce your witness! No respectable and respected man among us has ever taken such a foolish position. But our brother had to have something that he could make look ridiculous so he built himself a straw man. It is a complete misrepresentation of the position of that great body of preachers and Christians that stand opposed to what our brother is trying to promote. He will meet it in the judgment if he does not retract and apologize for it. Think about a "BROTHER" so falsely accusing his "BRETHREN" when he professes such love and piety and to "BE ON HIS KNEES PRAYING FOR UNITY". His ignorance is either appalling or his hypocrisy astounding.

But to take his own definition, if a "legalist" is one who requires an example of an "optional thing" before he will recognize its authority, then a "Liberalist" is bound to be one who rejects the binding force and authority of all examples or least of those that he wants to get rid of because they would restrict his activity. Page G. K. Wallace for the first and our brother Thomas would at least fall in the last category. In fact, of course, his position in the book as we have shown in former articles is that an example is not binding unless other passages make it so. He so deals with Acts 20:7. Thus either way he goes he must classify, according to his own definition, as a "Liberalist".

Matt. 15:1-14. Mark 7:1-13.

In Mat. 15 and in Mark 7 we have the interesting incident of the pharisees and certain of the scribes condemning Jesus and his disciples because they did not keep the "tradition of the elders". The discussion which followed could serve to enlighten many of us considerably about the place of authority and law in God's plan.

When Jesus came into the world the law which God had given was almost literally covered up with Jewish traditions. Law has always had three sources among men. They are: 1) statutory, 2) judicial decision, 3) traditional practice which according to the rule (in the absence of either of the other two sources) must have continued so long that the "memory of man runneth not to the contrary". But with God there is but one source of law. That is His Word. Christ has all authority of every kind in the Christian dispensation. Human tradition can have but one effect upon the law of God and that is to make it void and our religion vain. This is the lesson Jesus taught the Jews in this passage.

Human tradition, when we make it law rather than custom and give it place with the Will of God, operates both positively and negatively. It will bind upon us things which God's Word no where binds and hence claims the same force as the Word of God and equal respect from those who are willing to observe it. This is doing violence to the Word of God, disrespecting it, and it means that man has undertaken to exercise authority equal with Heaven. This is sinful and severely condemned in the scriptures. Even in the scriptures of the New Testament it is severely condemned. Gal. 1:6-11. II Cor. 4:13. I Cor. 4:6. II John 9-11. Rev. 22:18-19. It rests upon the same disrespect in New Testament times as in the Old Testament day. It is disrespect now as it was then and accursed now as it was then.

Negatively the recognition of human tradition simply releases men from that which God has bound. This is just as great a sin as to bind where God has not bound. The Pharisees bound the "washing of hands before eating" as a religious law upon men and yet they recognized that it came from the traditions of the elders and made no claim of divine origin for it. On the other hand, they taught men that they could substitute their own practice for that which God ordained and be released from the necessity of doing that which God had commanded. God had commanded, "Honor thy Father and thy Mother". This included providing for them the necessaries of life. The Pharisees taught that when a man used his resources for some other good purpose he could say to his parents, "What I might have given to you I have spent in another good cause", and thus he would be released from the necessity of providing for them.

Jesus taught that whether it was in their binding where God had not bound or in loosing where God had bound, their human traditions made void the commandments of God.

"And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9

"Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do." Mark. 1:13.

"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain

they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of man." Matt. 15:7-9.

What our brother Thomas calls "Legalism" Jesus called binding human traditions or teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. Not all of it was laying down rules or requiring action where God had not. Some of those human traditions loosed and exempted men from God's commandments by offering them a substitute for what God had said do. To do either is to stand condemned and under God's anathema. For that great number of gospel preachers and simple Christians who oppose the churches building human organizations to do the work which God gave a divine organization, the congregation, to do, and for those who resent and oppose making a "brotherhood agency" out of a local church we want to positively enter the denial of "binding where God has not bound". Brother Thomas and other institutional advocates charge us with binding as to method. This is maliciously false. We have insisted on no method or particular means and Brother Thomas cannot establish such a charge. It is not so and we shall show that in another article dealing with some of his misrepresentations of our contention. What we do insist upon is that God has bound the organization through which the work of the church is to be done — not the means or methods particularly to be used by that organization in doing its work. We need to get the issue straight. It is not one of "means and methods" but which organization will do the work God has assigned for the church to do in this world? Human or divine? Brother Thomas needs to deal fairly and honestly with the issue as well as with the "BRETHREN" and he will not be so much concerned with trying to designate them by some epithet or with name calling.

Wearing a little skin off knuckles on the doors of prospects may not be the thing a preacher likes to do best, but no man's work is without less pleasant responsibilities. If everyone did only what is liked best, and is done best, what sort of congregation would we have? The test of maturity and bigness is seen in part in the way a man reacts and handles responsibilities which are not as enjoyable as others. Those preachers who like to preach but dislike "personal work" need to make some important changes and sacrifices in this "present distress".

The formula for successful church growth will always include the preacher's activity outside the pulpit. There are many discouraging factors in this generation and in order for the future to have encouraging successes we must lay the foundations now. If growth and soundness are to be the lot of the next generation we must have some of both in this generation.