"His wonders to perform"
It happened at one of the big promotional meetings of one of the institutional orphan homes. One of the directors was showing how "the hand of God" was revealed in the operation of the Home. Said he, "The Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform." Then he related the circumstances: A great opportunity had arisen to expand the Home and to purchase a fine tract of land. They needed money to close the deal, but had it not. But just at the critical hour, when it seemed they had reached the last sad limit of all human resources, a benefactor providentially died leaving them $13,000 inheritance. It was the hand of God, no less! Blessed be His name!
Moral of the story
Moral of the above story: Be cautious in willing your property to these institutions. If they get in a tight and need the money badly enough, God is liable to send you a germ or something and remove you from the scene of action. He works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
Itinerary for the editor for the next few weeks is as follows: Garden Oaks Church, Houston, Texas, March 4-11; Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, March 25 - April 8; Beamsville, Ontario, April 15-22; Lufkin, Texas, April 29; Brazoria, Texas April 30-May 6; Richmond, Virginia, May 13-20.
"All total situations the constituent elements of which are scriptural are total situations which are scriptural." (Tom Warren's major premise.) Instead of "scriptural," let us use the word "true." And try this for size: (1) It is a true situation that sodium is destructive of human life — poisonous; (2) it is a truesituation that chlorine gas is poisonous. The "total situation" resulting from the combination of sodium and chlorine would, therefore, result in a super poison, extremely deadly in its effects . . . (a la the Warren argument). But freshmen chemistry students recognize sodium chloride astable salt (NaCI).
The missing factor
The missing factor in both Warren's argument and in the above comparison is the relation of the "component parts" to one another and to the whole. The fatal weakness of this "constituent elements" argument is that all who have publicly made it thus far (Tom Warren, E. R. Harper, and Guy N. Woods) have omitted the very thing that is absolutely vital to the "total situation," namely, the arrangement of the component parts, their relationship to one another and to the whole. In church affairs we call that the "organization."
If these brethren gave physical things the same treatment they give metaphysical, we would all soon be singing this dirge over them:
"Johnny used to live here,
But he doesn't any more.
What he thought was H2O
Detroit has a fabulous negro "prophet" who has convinced many of the superstitious folk of that area that he is divine. He calls himself "The Right Reverend Dr. James F. Jones, D.D., H.D.R., Dominion Ruler of the Church of the Universal Triumph, the Dominion of God, Inc." Well, give us time, maybe some of our "doctors of the law" will achieve an eminence on that plateau.
"We must not try to humiliate our opponents, nor make it difficult for them to agree with us without a loss of face. We must remember some basic psychology. Remember the three "A"s are better than the three "c"s. Acceptance of the other fellow as an individual with rights and opinions of his own, and also with imperfections, is the first "A." Approval (when possible) and affectionate regard are the other two. Cuss, Condemn, and Criticize rarely make a convert." — Adapted from "Natural Food and Farming".
For quite a while now the Gospel Guardian subscription list has shown a steady and consistent increase, month by month. Percentage of renewals is the highest it has been since the paper went on a weekly basis nearly seven years ago. Many, many subscribers are sending in from two to a dozen subscriptions which they pay for themselves; others work up clubs among members of the congregations where they attend. For all of this we are thankful. Keep it up!
We got one!
A few weeks ago we stated that of all the scores of bulletins we had received which referred to the Tant-Harper debate, we had yet to get one which said that Brother Harper had presented scriptural evidence for his contention. We asked our readers to send us any such bulletin they might have. Finally, we got one! It is put out by Brother Wallace Riffle of San Angelo, Texas, and here is what it says, "The debate between Brother E. R. Harper and Brother Yater Tant which was conducted in Abilene this week was a good example of truth prevailing over error. Brother Harper affirmed that congregational cooperation such as that of the Herald of Truth radio work is scriptural. He was champion of the debate all the way through. We are glad these men exhibited a spirit of Christian love toward one another and the cause of their convictions."
The debate between Charles A. Holt and James Walter Nichols will be held in Franklin, Tennessee, March 12-16. The Herald of Truth type of congregational cooperation will be the subject of discussion.