Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 7, 1958

Knot-Hole Religion

Chester Estes, Sheffield, Alabama

In the old days of camp meetings some fellow would spy a knot hole on a dead tree which had been worn slick by the advent and exit of the various animals of the primeval forest and get an inspiration or portent and declare to his ranting fellow mortals that he had gotten religion.

Here of late some brethren have found a knot hole in Tennessee, in a basin surrounded by the seven hills of the "Jerusalem of the South, U. S. A." and have slithered in and out and have made their confessions pro and con to the mighty pontiff who sits and rules over the churches by an ipsi dixit of power and authority, more powerful to excommunicate, boycott, inquisitate, bind and loose than the pontiff of Rome ever dreamed possible. The Christian Church stands aghast saying, "We never dreamed when we were on the march, in our heyday, it could be done. Conscientiously we could never go so far."

Some brethren seem to have been beaten over the North end by the "institutional, centralized-control, soup-in-the-kitchen, young - people's-chaperoned-skating-rink, squirrel-tail-parade" groups till they poked, for protection, that appendage into the knot hole and poured out their confessions of what they really meant all the time the brethren thought they were sound. Then when they were beaten over the South end they tried to exit with another confession that they did not mean to mean what they meant when they said what they meant, leaving the North end on one side and South end on the other of that great "middle wall of partition", set up recently by some brethren for the purpose of telling the world that we are much bigger than you thought. All reminds me of the poor squirrel that poked his head through the knot hole in the hollow tree to find himself attacked by the present tenants, who got there first, and by the sparrows and hawks and other vicious creatures on the outside. Poor creature!

This may not be the best for the printed page, but it is a good pen picture of some "'used to be" good gospel preachers.