Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 6, 1962
NUMBER 31, PAGE 6,10

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, 4882 University Dr. Wichita Falls, Texas

Notes Of Interest

Thomas C. Hickey, Jr. will be leaving the work with the Central church in Owensboro, Kentucky, this coming February, to move to Akron, Ohio, where he will labor with the Southeast church.... Tommy McClure, who has been working with the church in El Dorado, Arkansas, for the past two or three years, is soon to move to El Cajon, California, where he is to work with the Johnson Street church....It was my pleasure recently to be associated with the church (meeting in the Woman's Forum Building) in Denton, Texas, in a gospel meeting. We had a very fine meeting; and the interest and attendance were very good. Glenn L. Shaver is the preacher there. He has been pretty well tied down locally for the last year or so, but would like now to get out in more gospel meetings. His address is 1521 Greenlee St. He is also a very fine song leader and has often taught singing schools. If you need a preacher for a meeting, or a song leader, you might do well to contact Shaver...."I commend you highly for the work you did in contending for the truth in your debate with G. K. Wallace. I have just recently finished reading the book for the second time and I recommend It highly to anyone desirous of knowing the truth. It has been a great asset to me both in learning and in better understanding." — Donald M. Jones, San Bruno, Calif. I appreciate these words of commendation from bro. Jones. 'The "Wallace-Holt Debate" is still available, for $3.50 per copy. Order a copy for yourself and read it.... "Tract Of The Month." Have you seen any of the new tracts being published by the Gospel Guardian in the 'Tract Of The Month" arrangement? Well, they are worth reading and passing out to friends and neighbors. They are attractive and the ones I have seen are well-written. The tracts will all be uniform in size and excellent for use by churches. I urge churches to look into the use of these tracts I know of a sound and solid preacher who is interested in moving west — to Arizona, Colorado, etc., due to an aggravated sinus condition. He likely would move anytime now, but would especially be interested in such about the first of June. If any church is interested in such a man, I will be glad to put them in touch with him The "Miller-Lindsey Debate on Women Cutting Their Hair and Going Bareheaded" is now available: E. H. Miller and D. E. Lindsey, both of whom (I think Lindsey is) are affiliated with the non-class brethren. It is the only debate on this subject that is in print as far as I know. It is paper-bound and contains 114 pages. It sells for 80 per copy: I will be glad to send a copy to anyone desiring it. I think that one can find some interesting material in the book....This finds me in a meeting with the church in Dumas, Texas. It has been a very good one so far. This church has the potential for a really faithful and working church. Derrel Shaw is the preacher here now — he came about two months ago — and he is off to a good start in the work. This church is a tower of strength for truth up here on the high plains of the Texas Panhandle... Although this will appear after it is over, I do want to mention that I am scheduled to meet Vernon L. Barr, an able and experienced debater of the American Baptist Association group, in a debate in Borger, Texas, November 27-30. I have met Mr. Barr one time before. It has been about six years since I have met a sectarian — OUT OF THE CHURCH — in a debate. There are but very few denominational preachers left who will even try to honorably defend their teaching and practice in a public discussion; and the sectarians IN THE CHURCH are fast getting just like them. Debates are more and more getting to be a thing of the past. It is a pity and shame that such is true. A good debate with a sectarian (of any kind) will do a lot of good; even for the members of the church. We need to have more of them; but we are fast running out of opposition and the reason is not hard to determine.

Light Or Heat

Woodrow Wilson once said in a speech, "One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils. The thing to do is supply light and not heat." The sentiment of this statement is also expressed in the words of Solomon. "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out — so where there is no talebearer the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife." (Prov. 26:20, 21) Strife and anger thrive upon the unguarded words and hasty judgments that are set forth in the study of controversial issues. This applies to any issue of study.

The very intricate and delicate subject of "Marriage and Divorce" is controversial and attended by many difficulties. The Bible is precise and clear as to the cause for "putting away" an unfaithful wife or husband who has committed "fornication." (Matt. 5:32; 19:9) But the problem does not arise until the questions begin to be asked about some situations of people who are involved in unscriptural marriages. For instance, how can one who was divorced for some reason other than that given in the Bible and has remarried, ever solve the problem and be right in the sight of God? Some may emphatically state that 'repentance demands a separation and return to the first mate." This, however, is at times utterly impossible. Sometimes there are children who are involved as innocent bystanders and at other times the relation of the "first wife or husband" is also involved as to make it impossible to separate and return. Then, some say, "Well, they can separate and live alone for the rest of their lives." This may or may not be true and it is an area of study and "cool judgment" rather than "hasty councils" so badly needed. Brother Charles Holt, writing about this subject, raised the question as to whether or not we can be so absolutely certain and adamant in requiring the "separate and return to the first mate" as an absolute essential to repentance and acceptance in the sight of God and the church. I am not sure that I even agree with brother Holt's position, but the thing that bothers me is the result of his writing. Brethren who opposed his writings began attributing to him many positions he never advocated and accusing him of being "soft" on the question. Rather than make "cool judgments" they passed into a frenzy of "hasty words" which do nothing but "kindle strife." Here is the worst problem.

Those of us who have been opposing the liberalism in the church have borne the brunt of the very tactics used in this matter. We have been misrepresented, given positions that we never dreamed of taking and referred to by some very uncomplimentary names. I cannot help but feel that the most evident sign of the weakness of any position is the attitude that engages in this type of hasty council. We should be of the disposition of mind to study and meditate upon any subject that is brought to our attention. We should never sink into a moldy and stagnate catalepsy of pure orthodoxy. Our minds should be receptive and active to anything the Bible teaches. May God help us to maintain controversy and investigation — but may it be done with right attitudes.

Dudley R. Spears, The Blytheville (Ark.) Newsletter Fanaticism

(Editor's Note: No doubt the following article will likely appear again in this paper, but I want to offer it here to the readers of this column. it deals with a point that I personally think needs some serious attention. I have never been especially concerned about being CALLED a fanatic; but I have long been concerned with trying to keep from being one in reality. Perhaps all of us have, at one time or the other, or on one point or another, been in reality a fanatic. The holding of truth on any position does not in reality make one a fanatic, even though one may be CALLED such by those who oppose the position or view. We need badly to learn the difference between believing and accepting the truth on some matter and "fanatically pressing its tenets beyond the bounds of reason and right." Read the article carefully. — C.A.H)

Fanatics have been the curse of every worthwhile movement that the world has every known. The Jews of our Lord's day had their "Zealots." The early church had its Diotrephes. Every other cause, regardless of its merits, has had among its constituents those who have fanatically pressed its tenets beyond the bounds of reason and right. It is thought by some that, if a cause is basically right, those who embrace it and press its claims are per se right. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Some of the world's greatest fanatics have been found in the bosom of righteous causes. We think a statement once made by Thomas Henry Huxley, skeptic and evolutionist, is apropos of our point. He said, "Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors." This statement is no reflection on the value of truth in any field. A "reasoned error" will be moderately pressed, hence thereby limited in its scope of influence. A truth which is "irrationally held" will be erroneously applied with extreme vigor.

There is a real danger that conservative churches these days may be turned, as righteous causes have in the past, into a hot-bed of sectarian fanatics by "truth irrationally held." It seems to this writer that all elders, preachers, and teachers among conservative churches should give considerable thought and attention to this fact. The proclaimer and defender of truth occupies a position that is fraught with possibilities for good and for evil. Each person who occupies such a position should feel keenly the responsibility that is his. In all that he says and does, he should act with studied calm and deliberate judgment, carefully weighing the possible and probable consequence of every word and act. Self, ambition, personalities must be subordinated to the interest of the cause of truth. Not only so, but he must be intellectually responsible. No view should be advanced that has within it the possibility of confusion and strife, unless it be thoroughly tested in the crucible of truth then tried in the testing ground of judgment to determine its necessity and practicality. A thing may be true but irrationally applied in its practical manifestations. The cause of truth is invariably weakened by an irrational approach to its defense.

It seems to this writer that the worthy appeal which has been for "a thus saith the Lord" — authority — for all acts of Christian work and worship is being thus abused. This truth is being "irrationally held" by many. The practical result is division and strife.

— Jas. W. Adams, Gospel Visitor, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Rea Pennock, Box 173, West Bend, Wis. The church at Kirkland, Illinois, is presently in need of a man to work with them. This is a small rural congregation, but they are able to supply about $50 a week toward the preacher's support. They will have only a sound man who stands in opposition to the institutionalism and worldliness that is popular among us. Anyone who is interested should contact, Win. Beasley, Jr., Clare, Illinois.

John W. Wilson, Chico, Calif. Sunday, Nov. 18th, begins the first assembly date of a loyal congregation of the Lord's people in Chico, Calif. The meeting place is located on Chico's southside, E. 20th and Mulberry, just two blocks off 99-E. There is also now a small congregation of loyal brethren meeting in Oroville, Calif., in the Monday Club Building on Montgomery St. Brethren traveling this way or moving to this beautiful section of California are invited to stop and worship with these good brethren.