Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 16, 1950

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

Sunday Evening Bible Classes

We rejoice that many congregations are growing into the practice of a Sunday evening Bible study, supplementary and similar to the usual Sunday morning classes. Why should it not be? Will two lessons on Sunday be any burden? Those same students have five or six lessons a day in the public schools. At first the progress may be slow. But by patience and persistence the Sunday evening classes can be built up in a very fine way. Old Hickory (Tennessee) church, for example, began such classes just five years ago with an initial enrollment of 65; they are now having nearly 450 for their night classes, a figure well over half their average attendance for the Sunday morning classes.


"Chloroform In Print"

We've recently been trying to read Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health With Key To The Scriptures." We can find no words to describe its contents quite equal to the disgusted snort with which Mark Twain dismissed the "Book of Mormon." He said that book was nothing on this earth save "chloroform in print!"


That Rock Fight In Italy

Seems Brother Cled really stirred up a hornet's nest with his article the other day on "that rock fight in Italy." We're real thankful we were not close when some of our letter-writing brethren took pen in hand to express themselves. Because from the tone of their letters, we judge some of them would not have been at all averse to heaving a boulder or two (just medium-sized ones) in our direction. Ah me, ah me—isn't it strange how the sweetest brethren among us can become the most bellicose on occasion?

When our progenitors in the faith went forth to preach the gospel, they expected persecution; it was the normal and usual accompaniment of their preaching. We might as well make up our minds today, brethren; if the gospel of Christ is to be preached in all the earth, stonings, beatings, and in all probability killings will be the price that must be paid. If we are going to have a half-million people screaming themselves hoarse in protest and working themselves into a veritable frenzy of hysterical excitement at the very first indication of persecution, how shall we endure the real "blood-bath" which will certainly break out against the church if either Rome or Moscow ever thinks she can get away with it?

Brother Cled's article was intended as a caution against the hysterical excitement on this side of the water rather than indicating any lack of sympathy for any good work being done on that side. That such counsel is needed, and that such moderation is really lacking is very evident in the letters we have received. The Vatican certainly has no monopoly on abusive, vicious, and unrestrained speech. If our brethren in Italy had acted with one-half as much heat as some of their supporters over here have displayed in their letters to us, we'd already be in a shooting war with the Vatican! "Let your moderation be known unto all men." Encourage and support every good work, both at home and abroad to the absolute limit of your ability—but keep your head when opposition arises!


VI.sible Results—and How!

Some of the preachers bemoan the fact that they have no "visible results" from their preaching. Well, if "visible results" are what they want, maybe they ought to take a leaf from the preaching note-book of R. R. Price, who works with the church in Richmond, California. Not long ago Brother Price preached a sermon on "Gossip;" and at the singing of the invitation song, every elder in the church, every elder's wife, and the preacher's own wife came forward to confess guilt! This is the same Price who recently announced that there was an adulterer in his audience, and that if that person did not come forward at the invitation song, he was going to call his name and have the elders of the church take action against him. Seventeen people came forward at the invitation to confess guilt!


To Each His Own Place

"While we are all members of the same great family, yet we are individuals, and as such have our respective inclinations. If I cannot lead as a captain, let me follow as a private. If I cannot work as a shepherd, let me follow as a sheep. Thus each becomes a helper and a companion to all the rest. Each fits the place to which God has adapted him."

—J. D. Tant


The "Doctors" Among Us

We'd like to emphasize and underscore the sentiments of Brother G. K. Wallace as expressed in a recent article in some of our sister papers. He said, "When the word 'doctor' is used in a Christian college not to describe the profession of the one who is called doctor, but to indicate his rank above others, it is a violation of the simple principles of humility taught by Jesus and his apostles." And we'd not confine the matter to Christian colleges. This seeking after titles, rank, position, is very evident in certain circles of the brotherhood. "Doctor" may be a good word to describe a man's profession; it may be entirely in place in certain circumstances in academic and educational circles; but when it is used by a Christian in addressing another Christian under ordinary circumstances, and when it is used by a simple gospel preacher under any circumstances, it smacks too much of a sectarian pride for our taste. We are "brethren" in Christ; no higher title is permissible or desirable.


Now We've Heard Everything

Comes now word from Santa Rosa, California, that a certain good sister there is having fits because the preacher wears rubber boots when he baptizes. She is certain that he does not "go down into the water like the Bible says!"


Concerning A Discussion

Brother Floyd Thompson of Santa Ana, California, (where the editor is now engaged in a meeting) has shown us an aged and yellowing booklet entitled "A Discussion of the Question About Valid Baptism." Quite apart from the merits of the discussion, the thing that impressed us was that both disputants remained anonymous, each of them using a pseudonym in the discussion. One signed himself "A Disciple" and the other was "Another Disciple." We appreciate that. These brethren were studiously avoiding any chance at all of building up a personal following, or of rallying one single soul to their respective positions because of personal esteem or regard for the disputant. They were discussing the question, not seeking to build a party or inspire a sectarian spirit.


Refreshing Reversal

We go many places where churches are almost frantic in their efforts to move a preacher. Hence it is real heartening to find one of the other sort. A few weeks ago we said both churches in Vernon, Texas, were looking for a preacher. Now we have word that the Pease and Houston Church where John G. Reese preaches, simply refused to accept his decision to leave. A wise refusal! we say; and we congratulate both the church and the preacher. Now only one church in Vernon is looking for a man.