Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 7, 1960

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, Box 80, Florence, Alabama

The Debate Is Over

The debate between Brother G. K. Wallace and myself went off according to schedule, December 8-11, in Florence, Alabama. The interest was very high and the attendance averaged about 1,000 per night. The first night there wasn't even any standing room available and many left.

Bro. Wallace refused to debate according to the rules and regulations drawn up by the elders of the two churches. The complete statement and set of rules were carried in this column recently. Wallace finally agreed to debate with Hedge's Rules and using moderators. However, he did not even follow these rules — he really conducted his part just as he wanted to do it without feeling any restraint of any kind. His whole effort was an attempt to discredit me, The CONTENDER (our monthly paper published by East Florence church), the GOSPEL GUARDIAN and all who stand in the way of these human arrangements and schemes. How well he succeeded even at this is perhaps a matter of opinion and only time will really tell.

This is not intended as a report of the debate. Perhaps others will give an account of the discussion itself. The GOSPEL ADVOCATE Company is supposed to publish the debate. If such is done, I will have the book for sale and will advertise it.

Suffice it to say now that the debate did much good. Already we are seeing the results of it and we expect to reap fruit from it for a long time. Two families joined our number last Sunday (Dec. 13) and three other families were present whom we expect to do likewise. We have been informed of at least six who have taken their stand in opposition to institutionalism as a result of the debate. Debates do good. We need more of them. It would be a wonderful thing if one defender of the "orphan homes" and the Herald of Truth arrangement could be found who would really debate the proposition, stick to the issue and leave out all the irrelevant matters. I have never heard one do it. Indeed they can't do it for what would they have to say? Without the attack upon the opponent, the Guardian and other such things, they would be speechless in fifteen minutes! Limited to a discussion of what the Bible teaches they would be hopeless and helpless and they know it better than anyone else. Gradually this fact is getting through to many of their number who have been deceived by all their irrelevant talk. People sooner or later begin to realize that their defense is not based on Bible teaching, but upon side-line, an if-you-can-do-that, we-can-do-this and this is as scriptural as that, sort of reasoning! Their safest and wisest course, as far as their cause is concerned, is to stay out of debates. And while I am not a prophet, I predict that they know this and that debates will be fewer and harder to get! They will follow the same course and make the same excuses along this line that the denominations have followed! And for the same reasons!

What's Wrong With Petting?

There is no such thing as love at first sight. Real love is not built upon mere sight. We may see one's talents and appearance, and these we may admire, but true love is a tender and strong attachment to the inward person. We love personality and personality must be learned, admired and respected before there can be love. We must mark the difference between love and lust.

We are living in a day of unbridled lust. The theater, the television, many magazines and others have formed a vile alliance to break down restraints of modesty and the Bible's standards of courtship and marriage. Because of dull, impersonal preaching, and careless, unspiritual parents, much of this influence has colored the conduct of "Christian" young people. Consequently, on front room sofas, in parked automobiles, in after-church walks, young people fondle one another's bodies, pervert their God-given desires and often take the next and natural step, fornication. They seem to think that such urges, aroused to the breaking point, are signs of true love. That is not so! My young brother, a hundred different women could arouse the same desires within you. Love is based upon who she is; lust is based upon what she is! Christian courtship is based upon Christian standards and petting among unmarried persons is not Christian!

1. Petting breaks down the will and destroys self control. It stirs a desire that petting itself cannot satisfy. Petting is not an end in itself but is preparatory. Normally the body prepares itself for its various functions. When a hungry person smells food it starts saliva flowing in his mouth and gastric juices in his stomach. Fear causes certain glands to secret extracts which prepare the body for violent action. So petting stimulates the body and prepares it for mating. This is the purpose of petting in God's plan. It will always fulfill its purpose, but outside of marriage it leads to sin.

"There can come a moment between a man and a woman when control and judgment are impossible, and self-respect can be eternally damaged. A woman's first protection against this betrayal is to appreciate that the speedup of his emotions is not only possible but natural and normal. Her best defense is to have no confidence at all in her ability to say nay at the appropriate moment. The belief that any woman can coolly halt love-making at some point before she is wholly committed is a tiger trap devised by romantics . . . not enough mothers warn their daughters that kissing is intended by nature to be an appetizer, not an entire meal," says Marion Hilliard, M.D., Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women's College Hospital, Tornoto.

Whenever a Christian is in a situation where he cannot trust himself to act according to reason and according to Christian standards, he is in the wrong place!

2. Petting stimulates "inordinate affections." "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection." (Col. 3:5.) Inordinate means not in order, out of place, not kept within bounds. God put petting in the bounds of marriage. He said that a woman's body belongs to her husband. "The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband." (1 Cor. 7:4.) If you are not her husband then you keep your hands off of her! Hundreds of couples will carry to their graves the tarnished memories of courtships that went beyond their proper bounds and broke over the limits of Christian and decent restraint. Let one's desires be aroused to the breaking point and often his will power will break down, and his passions will out-pull every religious and moral restraint and will not stop until gratified in fornication. The best Christian in the world, if he is not strong enough to keep from petting, may not be strong enough to keep from fornication!

3. Petting is lasciviousness. The works of the flesh will keep people out of heaven. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness . . . envyings, drunkenness, revelings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Lasciviousness is "wanton acts or manners, as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females." This describes petting. How many of you fathers have given your boys counsel of this kind? How many of you mothers have been outspoken on these matters to your girls? Why haven't you? Why do parents close their mouths because of a false modesty and let their own children burn their fingers, stain their consciences and break their hearts because of little or no teaching on these matters? Your children are going to learn the facts of their bodies and emotions. It is God's plan that they learn it from you over the open pages of God's book. If they don't learn from you they will from other children and often with a lot of gutter gossip, obscene suggestions, lewd stories, and distorted facts.

4. Petting prevents thinking that is pure and honorable. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Phil. 4:8.) In petting there is always the urge to go farther. It causes sin in the heart. It will do this to any normal person. Young people who cannot sit apart and talk about things near to their hearts and be happy in one another's presence probably do not have true love. They are only attracted sexually and physically to one another.

Courtship can be all that God wants it to be or it can be an unpleasant memory. Will you consecrate yours to God's honor and to your purity? When two are in love, each will want the best that God has for the other.

— Warren Bell, Via Gospel Digest

Don't Blame The Children

We read in the papers and hear on the air Of killing and stealing and crime everywhere.

We sigh and we say as we notice the trend,

"This young generation! Where will it end?"

But can we be sure that it's their fault alone, That maybe a part of it isn't our own?

Are we less guilty who place in their way Too many things that can lead them astray?

Too much to spend and too much idle time;

Too many movies of passion and crime, Too many books not fit to be read,

Too much of evil in what they hear said:

Too many juke-joints and too many bars, Too many hot-rods and rattletrap cars,

Too many reasons for children to roam, And too many parents who don't stay at home.

Kids don't make the movies, they don't write books That paint a gay picture of gangsters and crooks:

Kids don't make the liquor, they don't run the bars;

They don't make the laws, and they don't buy the cars They don't sell the reefers that addle their brain,

That's all done by older folks greedy for gain.

Delinquent teenagers! Oh, how we condemn, Decry and disparage and criticize them.

We're shocked at their morals, amazed at their crimes And grieve that we live in such perilous times.

By the Rule of the Blameless the Saviour made known.

Who is there among us to cast the first stone?

Remember this saying, for Oh, it's so true, The label "Delinquent" fits older ones, too!

— John Lair in Renfro Valley Bugle.