Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 11, 1968
NUMBER 48, PAGE 5b-6a

Overseen & Overheard

Jefferson David Tant

SEX ET SACRAMENT. The Lord's Supper or communion, referred to in the denominational world as the Sacrament, etc., must be rather stolid and uninteresting to some moderns, so why not dress it up a bit and give it more life and color? This was, evidently, somebody's thinking, for the Atlanta Constitution of February 3, 1968, carried the following on the religious page:

"May our hearts be as big as our garbage cans..." will pray the congregation of Decatur First Christian Church Sunday in two unusual youth led services.

"The elders will look a bit younger — Hi-school age, in fact, and communion will be administered by the young people also.

"As the Rev. Ralph L. Smith, Associate Minister, put it: 'The girls will be administering communion in their usual short skirts."

The article does continue, but that's enough to catch your eye, isn't it? If the "short skirts" bit isn't an obvious appeal to the carnally-minded, then why bother to mention it? Someone finally put "sex appeal" in toothpaste, so I guess the Lord's Supper had to get it, too. Did someone mention garbage?

THE WAR DEPARTMENT. Many are aware that the music department of many denominations is referred to as the "War Department." More friction than harmony seems to arise from the choir in some places. The Associated Press, writing from Miami, reported one of these "wars" thusly:

"The Greeks of Miami, whose ancestors fought at Troy, Thermopylae, and the Hellespont, have found a new battleground: the choir loft at St. Sophia's Orthodox Church.

"The fight began when a new church council, elected in December and backed by a circuit court order, tried to fire choir leader Helen Kontzamanys. Mrs. K, as she is called, refused to be fired."

The report goes on to relate the court battles, and the ultimate defeat of the appointment of Mrs. K's successor, George Margaris, following clashes between the two and their followers. Oddly enough, Margaris is the father of Mrs. K.

I am aware of the fact that Christ prophesied in Matthew 10 that "A man's foes shall be they of his own household" as the result of children turning against their parents, but I hardly think this Miami Fiasco is what the Lord had in mind.

How nice it would be if men were content to do what the early Christians did under the guidance of inspired men — have congregational singing without the troublesome choirs and instruments.

WHENCE COMETH UNBELIEF? While driving from Texas to Georgia recently, I had an interesting conversation with a Unitarian. He was a college boy, thumbing a ride home for the weekend, and we soon were engaged in conversation about religious matters. As a Unitarian, he believes in everything and nothing. Being interpreted, that means that there seemed to be no limit to what he would believe, save that if the Bible said it, he would probably not believe it. He did not consider himself a Christian (oddly enough, some Unitarians, do, even though not believing in Christ), but his denominational background as a Baptist has acquainted him with the more "orthodox" religious groups. He also has an aunt that is a preacher, or preacheress, for the Church of God.

One of the things that stood out in his comments was his rejection of the confusion, division, and differing "interpretations" of the Bible so identified with denominationalism. He could not accept it as being right. God does not accept it, either, as he is not the author of confusion, but of peace (I Cor. 14:33). The Bible still teaches that there is one body of church (Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:18; Matt. 16:18) and still records Christ's prayer for unity in John 17.

But, tragically, this young man, in rejecting the sin of denominationalism, did not seek the truth, but rather turned to unbelief — a victim of the doctrines of men. Whence cometh unbelief? Read John 17:20-21.

"DO SOMETHING RELIGIOUS." Recreation and entertainment have become such a great part of many modern denominations that I sometimes wonder if church-goers don't look upon the church as a sort of glorified and sanctified country club. Which reminds me of the story told about the man flying on a business trip.

The airplane developed engine trouble in flight, and the stewardess came around asking the passengers to pray. Upon making the request to this particular gentleman, she received the reply, "But I don't know how." She then suggested to him, "Well, do something religious." Whereupon he started a bingo game.

4011 Phyllis Place, Decatur, Ga. 30032