Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 4, 1954

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

"Sponsoring Church" - 1954 Style

In a historic old town in southern Texas is one of the well known "sponsoring churches" of the day. Last year this congregation decided to "sponsor" a new congregation clear across town from them, and not so very far from another, fine growing, and faithful congregation. So the "sponsoring" church got a list of the members in the other church, and wrote urgent, begging letters to them, pleading that they send their contributions to the "sponsoring" church so she might establish a congregation in their part of the city! Incidentally, this "sponsoring" church claims she has the same right to exercise authority over a work in Europe that she has in her own building.

Roosevelt And Tiner

To date we have received clippings from something like fifteen or twenty papers from all over the nation showing that famous picture of a grinning James Roosevelt and a surprisingly "porky" Dr. Hugh Tiner getting palsy walsy at a March of Dimes event. The thing that made it interesting was that the picture was snapped right after the sensational divorce complaint had been filed by Mrs. Roosevelt in which she alleged her husband had committed adultery with no less than twelve different women. Most of the folks sending us the clippings added their own captions, running all the way from "Anything For A Picture In the Papers" to "Moral and Spiritual Adulterers Shake Hands."

Demon Rum And Tennessee Preachers

In the February issue of Harpers there is a well written story by Marshall Morgan, under the above title, in which he relates the history of the bitter fight in the Williamson County referendum election last fall. Morgan was one of the men who sued Brother Kenneth Fielder, the faithful gospel preacher who fought the rum inter-Oats, and later withdrew the suit. Far from sharing the stated ideas of some brethren that Fielder's fight "hurt" the dry cause, Morgan clearly shows that he recognized Fielder as the strongest antagonist the whiskey interests had. Read the article; it is entertaining; cleverly written, and typical of the attitude of those who try to make whiskey respectable.

No Improvement

The preacher's resignation from a large city church had been read at the morning service. As he spoke to those leaving the auditorium, one lady was openly shedding tears; she declared her great sorrow at hearing the resignation. The preacher, seeking to be comforting, said, "Don't you worry, sister; the church will probably get a much better preacher." "Oh, no," the weeping lady replied. "I used to think that, too, but for the last several years each time we have changed preachers we have gone from bad to worse." — Exchange.

A Worthy Subject

Before this issue is in the mails our Brother G. C. Brewer will have delivered his lecture at David Lipscomb College on "What Is Wrong With the Missionary Society." We sincerely approve and commend that topic. It is high time gospel preachers started preaching on it again. The relative silence on the subject for the past forty years has brought us to a truly dangerous precipice.

"Just Want The Facts, Ma'am"

We don't know who to credit this to, as it has been in several bulletins, but we saw it first in the very interesting "Reminder" published by Paul Brock of Bradenton, Florida. "We just want the facts, Ma'am. Where were you and your family last Sunday evening? Just the facts, ma'am; no excuses. We are interested in your soul, ma'am. Where was your husband, ma'am? Did he cause you to miss worship, or did you cause him to miss, ma'am? Just the facts, ma'am. That's all we want."

The Line Grows Tighter

"I feel that in all fairness to myself and to you the reason (for my resignation) should be made known. As you know, I have only been here five months. I am leaving because the elders of this congregation have forbidden me the right to preach as I believe the Bible to teach, especially as it pertains to individual and cooperative responsibility . . .." (From a Texas church bulletin.) This preacher thought the Herald of Truth and the "institutional orphan homes" and church support of Christian colleges were all violations of scripture teaching — and wanted to say so. He got fired.

.. And Tighter

"Since the church here supports (certain orphan homes) and the Herald of Truth radio and Television broadcast, our brethren are not disposed to open the pulpit to anyone who might, by the airing of his personal opinions in opposition to these works, create some local difficulty." (From a letter by a Texas church to a preacher whom they had invited to a lectureship, cancelling the invitation unless he would promise to make "absolutely no reference whatever to these controversial matters.")

We Suggest A Compromise

Anent the above items we suggest: Let the preacher come and preach exactly what the Bible says about caring for the poor and preaching the gospel. Then let the nervous brethren in that church do exactly what the Bible says about these matters — and there won't be any "controversy" over Herald of Truth, institutional orphan homes, sprinkling, instrumental music, or the baptizing of babies.

An Oft-Told Story

This reminds us of the oft told story of J. D. Tant's participation in a Union Meeting. He was invited to preach in the series one night provided he would promise not even to utter the word "baptize." He agreed. And when the appointed hour came for his sermon, he arose and said, "I am glad to participate in this meeting; but as most of you know I have agreed to do so on the provision that I will not mention a certain word that is the occasion of much controversy. I will keep my promise, but for my sermon tonight I am simply going to read a few passages from the Bible. I begin with Mark 16:15, 16, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth — and doeth that which I've promised not to mention — shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.' I go next to Acts 2:38 ...." And then Tant proceeded to read every passage in the Bible where the word "baptize" or "baptism" occurs, and never once spoke the word! That's been fifty years ago, and the old-timers in that community still remember that sermon.