Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 1, 1960
NUMBER 30, PAGE 10,14c

From A Preacher's Note-Book

James W. Adams, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Brethren, It's A Bee!

The following story has a "point" that we should like much for the brethren generally to "get," and we do not mean that we wish they were stung by bees! Hear the story:

A philosophy professor urged his students to be tranquil and at ease always. He explained that the secret lay in not letting little things bother one. While he was talking an insect began buzzing around his head and some of the students tittered.

"This fly buzzing around me illustrates my point," said the professor. "It bothers some of you, but it does not disturb me. I am not flailing my arms around in the air trying to get rid of it. I simply ignore it and know it will go away soon."

About this time the insect settled down on the professor's nose. This was a little too much even for him, and he made the slight concession of trying to brush it away with one finger.

Suddenly he leaped to his feet and clutched his nose, "Why didn't one of you tell me it was a bee?" he shouted. (Nuggets, October, 1960).

Certain brethren over the country, especially in the vicinity of Fort Worth and Dallas and in the columns of the Firm Foundation, including her vocal editor, have begun recently to shout and do a little arm waving over the general move to put schools and colleges in the budgets of the churches. To us this is most amusing. These same brethren have with staid dignity, unruffled aplomb, and benign serenity tolerated the buzzing of "institutionalism" about them for the past decade and more. They have with professional austerity philosophically castigated those of us who have cried out against the malevolent pest. To them our efforts have been the antics of "tittering" tyros and agitated "antis."

Ah! but now the pest has come to rest upon the tip of their elevated noses. Whereas, they have serenely ignored its presence in the past with dignity befitting men of such supreme stability, now they must acknowledge its reality. Like the professor of our story, they have made the concession of trying to brush the pest away with the tip of the finger — ever so gently, mind you, that their equilibrium might be securely maintained. To their chagrin and surprise it has turned out to be, not a fly, but a BEE! And how they are shouting, and with what freedom their crocodile tears do flow! Unlike the professor, they cannot cry, "Why didn't you tell us?" because we've been telling them, "BRETHREN, IT'S A BEE!" — (J.W.A.)

* * *

A WISH H. H. Barston To face each day of life,

Nor flinch from any task;

To front the moment's strife And only courage ask;

To be a man unawed By aught but Heaven's command;

Though men revile or plaud, To take a stand — and stand.

To fill my life with toil, With God's free air and light;

To shun the things that spoil, That hasten age and night;

To sweat beneath my hod, Nor ask a better gift

From self or man or God Than will and strength to lift.

To keep my spirit sweet Though head and hand be tired;

Each brother man to greet, Nor leave him uninspired.

To keep my spirit fed On God unceasingly,

That none may lack his bread Who walks this way with me.

* * *

"Say It With Flowers"

This is the slogan of the florists of the country. As a lover of flowers, we endorse the idea that many beautiful sentiments can be very adequately expressed with a gift of flowers. However, we are not so enthusiastic over a figurative use of this expression. A great many brethren subscribe to the idea that, in religion, everything should be "said with flowers." It is their idea that the public teacher of the Word must never offend. Browsing through the current issue of Nuggets, we ran across the following in a department called "Screenings:" "Some things can't be said with flowers; they have to said with conviction, courage, and determination."

Truer Words Were Never Spoken. It Should Never Be The Purpose Of The Teacher Of The Word Of God To Offend. Yet, Truth Is Unpleasant To Him Who Needs To Hear It Most. Flowers, Though Cheering To The Sick, Will Not Take The Place Of Surgery. A Bouquet Would Hardly Be A Fitting Substitute For Legal Prosecution Of The Criminal. Ignorance Is Not Relieved By A Gift Of Flowers, But By The Impartation Of Instruction. Correction Is The Fruit Of The Rod Not The Rose. God's Word Should Be Taught With "Conviction, Courage, And Determination" For It Contains Truth That Cannot Be "Said With Flowers."

— (J.W.A.)

* * *

"The Sluggard"

Perhaps the greatest foe, at the present time, of the churches which are trying to stand for truth in the midst of almost universal apostasy is an internal one, the apathy and lethargy of those who constitute them. In many quarters, a spirit of defeatism prevails. Ardor has cooled, enthusiasm has languished, and activity has declined. The Psalmist aptly describes the sluggard by saying, "As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him." (Psalms 10:26) Vinegar puts the teeth on edge and makes other eating unpleasant. Smoke burns the eyes and makes the tears flow dimming vision. So is the sluggard in God's service. He obstructs the vision of God's people and destroys the joy of their relationship to God.

Many a victory that has been won through courage and sacrifice is subsequently forfeited through sloth and indifference. It is not enough to stand on right principles. Someone has well said, "The best defense is a good offense." There is no substitute for militancy. The man who professes the truth does not occupy a defensive position. His is the offensive position. An apologetic, defensive attitude with reference to truth is an evidence of one's lack of faith in it. An inferiority complex ill becomes a man who professes to believe and practice God's truth. Let us not, therefore, be stymied by a sluggish spirit of defeatism, but with glorious optimism, born of a knowledge of the possession of truth, let us press the fight.

— (J.W.A.)