Thou art so: kind; thine eyes art always open and thine ears art listening for the errors of thy dear brethren.
Too bad that some of dear ones have become so brazen as to use "you" instead of "thou" or "thee" in their prayers. Who would be so uncouthed as to question thy judgment? Thou art able to select the correct word. Thou knowest that the word "you" is not a good word .to use when thou talkest to thy God. "You" is too common and vulgar. Of this thou art sure. The "soft" and "affectionate" word "thou" is so much more appropriate. Its very sound carries with it an air of self-exaltation when used in prayer. This I know thou understandest very well.
Well do I remember Jesus said "thou" when "thou" prayest, etc; then add "when ye pray, use not vain repetitions etc." Then why should we use the harsh, rough, jarring and irritating "you" when we pray? I know Jesus used the words, "thou," "thee," "ye," etc, in referring to man many times, but that is within his prerogative. But as thou suggesteth, "thou" has an uplifting, a reverential meaning, while "you" is not only harsh and vulgar, but has a tendency to pull God down to the level and equality of man.
I never gave this "thee," "thou," "ye," "thy," and "thine," any special thought until I read what brother Robert Welch and thou hadst to say about it.
If thou thinkest to be crazy, then as a crazy brother I still beg for a place and a remembrance in thy prayers.
Thos. G. Fowler, San Antonio, Texas
Dear brother Tant:
I heard brother Gatewood speak in Shreveport... He told us how the churches in Germany disfellowship members who have quit the church. After several admonitions to change their ways, they are summoned before a "discipline committee." If the culprit still will not repent and change, the committee gives him his notice of being disfellowshipped and upon the strength of the committee's decision, the announcement is made to the congregation that a certain party is no longer a member. He recommended this system to the churches over here. He made no reservations in the statement; consequently, he meant "discipline committee" and all. To me Titus 1:9 would apply to the case.
These "centralized churches" have no command or example for existing as such. A "centralized church," with many of the powers of a secular missionary society, has many of the evils of the society. In more than one respect we can say that "things equal to the same thing are equal to one another."
Your brother in Christ Tom E. Wallace, Vivian, Louisiana
In The Pig Pen
I notice in the Guardian that a certain brother thinks you are in the pig pen. It always seemed to me that if there is a pig that needs catching, one must get into the pen to do so. You know pigs get to rooting sometimes where they have no business, and somebody has to put a ring in their noses to stop them. From the looks of things some of our larger churches are rooting where they have no business; they seem piggish and hoggish after other churches' support. And the caught pig will always squeal. Keep up the good work.
Sam D. Steward, Horse Cave, Kentucky
He Saw It Happen Before
My dear Roy:
I have just read your article in the Guardian ("A Missionary Rally"— November 16). To say that I approve it in content and spirit, does not fully express my sentiments. Your manner or spirit cannot be criticized. I know from many years of dealing with slippery error that the temptation is strong to "give a good skinning." But when we do, we injure the cause we plead for. Hit hard, but always with that respect and dignity that the gospel demands.
For many years I have been sure that "trends" were gradually leading away from the gospel. I saw it much sooner I think than any others, except J. D. Tant. He asserted often that we were "drifting" but seemed not able to put his finger on the things not just true to the Book.
This "movement" is moving rapidly, and gaining momentum. There are, and will be, many who love the truth in a measure, but who will go with the current. First, it is easy to drift with the current; hard to row against it. Second, some do not have the strong heart of courage to face opposition. They will remain silent, and, as always, think they are neutral. There is no neutrality between light and darkness, between truth and error. One must be for the truth or allow his influence to be against it. But perhaps greatest of all will be "salary." Take a young man with perhaps several children, and let him face taking a definite stand that will put him out on his own, and it requires the spirit of a real martyr to turn against his earthly interests. Salary caused multitudes in the last apostasy to go with the "movement." And it will be even harder now than then for one to go out without a "salary.
When a religious movement becomes numerous, wealthy, "cultured" according to worldly standards, and what is more serious, when many simply "join" the church because their parents were members, such a movement is the kind of soil in which innovations flourish. The second way in which the church apostatizes is by the introduction of humanism in the worship. Modern "recreation halls," with all that goes with such, are but to satisfy the desire for amusement and entertainment in religion. The worldly minded have no taste for the simple form of devotion and worship the Lord ordained. Hence other things are provided to please the fleshly mind for amusement and entertainment.
A fact that my mind has meditated on much in recent years is this: Every preacher and writer known to me (and I have known many) in their later years have become more "tolerant" of error than in their former years when in full vigor. Why, I do not know; but my opinion is that they have become weary of controversy, and desire rest. They do not become so deeply concerned about error creeping in. And I feel sure we have at least some now who do not enter the battle as formerly—men who in recent years have given the it strength to battling against error. For this reason, we should hold in highest esteem and regard all these noble soldiers of the cross who are now in advanced age and who have not boldly and strongly joined in the attack against the present drift. So long as they do not openly defend the present errors, we should honor them as worthy soldiers.
Pardon personal reference, but with me it is the contrary. I am more keenly grieved over the present movement than when I first began the work. Perhaps it may be that it was well on the way then. We had fewer than 300 gospel preachers fifty years ago. Such remarkable progress has been made that I have tried to believe that no departure would come while I am here to see it. And I have a feeling of satisfaction that I will not see many more years. But since the first "church" school was established (and all except Pepperdine are "church schools"), I have not had the least doubt that error would creep in, indoctrinate many preachers, and lead once again into humanisms.
I started out to write a short note, but it is always hard to find a stopping place. All I write, or have ever written, is public property. Not once in my life have suggested that anything I have written be kept secret. I have received letters with the request to burn them. I cannot conceive of such an attitude of mind.
In faith, hope, and love, W. W. Otey, Belle Plaine, Kansas