Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 30, 1961
NUMBER 30, PAGE 9,12c

Marginal Notes

F. Y. T.

Under the caption of "Marginal Notes" the editor plans to present now and then a potpourri of news, comments, quotes, and reflections, a sort of medley of matters that are not exactly suited to the editorial page, nor yet adapted to our "Overflow" page, but which we believe will be of interest to our readers. This column will not be on any regular schedule; it may appear three or four weeks in succession, and then be absent for that many months. But we will write "as the spirit moves," meaning not at all the Holy Spirit, but the editor's own inclination, attitude, time, and opportunity. Brother Charles Holt's "News and Views" column, appearing bi-weekly quotes often from bulletins and church papers. This keeps our readers fairly well informed as to the trends and developments among the Churches of Christ — both liberal and conservative. We plan these "Marginal Notes" to reach into a somewhat different field — the happenings and developments among our denominational neighbors as reflected in their own publications and in newspapers and secular magazines. That will be a part of our coverage; there will be other areas to explore also.

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Billy And The Baptists

Billy Graham is in hot water with his Baptist brethren. Seems the Lutheran Standard quoted him as saying all his children except the youngest were baptized "as infants." When the righteous indignation of his fellow-Baptists had subsided enough for him to be heard, Billy explained that they were actually baptized at the age of about nine or ten years of age by their own choice into the Presbyterian Church (his wife is a Presbyterian). Seems he did not deny using the term "infants," but deplored that his interviewer had taken that to mean "little babies;" what he really meant was nine and ten-year-old infants!

* * * Dancing And Bible Reading

The Assemblies of God meeting for their 29th biennial business convention in Portland, Oregon, passed a strong resolution asking the American courts to protect the rights of those who want Bible reading in the public schools, and condemned the practice of making dancing a requirement of the curriculum while denying Bible reading to those who want it. They announced they have 8,300 congregations and somewhat over one-half million members. For the first time since 1916 they made a change in their doctrinal statement seeking to strengthen their position on the inspiration of the Bible and the deity of Christ. We never cease to marvel at the audacity (and folly) of men who think they can make a thing so, or not so, by writing it in a creed!

Brother Boone And Christmas

Brother Pat Boone, crooner extraordinary and sometime gospel preacher and college lecturer, has written a new book. This lad has talent! (or the wherewithal to buy it); he has become an expert counselor of young people, a veritable Ann Landers of the teen-agers, a movie star, radio and television star, a business tycoon, a race horse fancier, and is presently writing a book on Communism (along with James Bales). We opine that his efforts to sell the brethren on his appeal to "put Christ back in Christmas" is going to rub some fur the wrong way — in spite of the Firm Foundation's blurb lauding the book. His latest book, "The Real Christmas" tells us that "Christmas, the birth of the Savior, is the greatest event, the most joyful sound, the most perfect gift ever conceived." It lacks only one thing — if brother Pat had only thought to get Cardinal Spellman's "Imprimatur" on the book, it would have sold twice as many. It is as delightful and subtle a bit of Catholic propaganda as we have seen in many a day.

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The Year Of 1960 Was The Blackest In Our National History So Far As Crime Was Concerned. The Rate Was Up 14 Percent Over 1959, According To A Report By J. Edgar Hoover. Actually Reported Were 1,861,000 Violations Of The Law, Revealing That The Per Capita Crime Rate In Our Nation Has Risen 66 Percent Within The Last Ten Years. As Usual, Juveniles Head The List.

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Many churches a few years ago fell for the idea of telephone devotionals, and "Dial-a-Prayer" or "Dial-a Devotional" were in wide popularity for a time, some of our own brethren falling for the fad. But now the Redemptorist Fathers of the Holy Ghost Church in suburban Houston have revised the gimmick to "Dial-a-Saint." By dialing a certain number the listener can get a brief message tied to whatever saint happens to have that day on the calendar. At the end of the message comes a commercial, a short reminder that the Dial-a-Saint program is paid for by a local funeral director. Do you suppose the telephoners are "getting ready to meet the saints" — under the kindly auspices of Digger O'Dell, "your friendly undertaker?"

Joint. Oversight

We have received a monthly bulletin from an Italian evangelist who informs us that he is "Responsible to the Elders at Hot Springs, Arkansas and the Elders at Colorado Springs, Colo." What happens if those two elder-ships disagree? Will they call for Solomon's swordsman to rive the poor preacher from stem to stern? Most preachers find it hard enough to keep one eldership happy, but trying to keep two such bodies happy looks like it would be asking a bit too much! Since the little group to which he preaches and where he is a member is a New Testament church, we timidly offer the suggestion that he might consider just being a faithful member of that congregation, and remove himself from under the oversight of any eldership. Wouldn't that help the situation — besides being in harmony with the Scriptures?

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Taxing Church Property

Last month's "Readers' Digest" carried an excellent article strongly urging the taxation of church property which is not used for strictly religious purposes — i.e., income producing property. For example why should a distillery in California be allowed to compete with other distilleries when it pays no tax (because owned by the Catholic church) and the others have to pay heavy taxes? When churches get into income-producing businesses, in competition with businesses that are taxed, we think it unChristian and un-American for them to desire or to accept tax exemption on their income producing property. For example, we think the Sixth and Izard Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas, has a moral obligation to pay taxes on the three parking lots which she operates for profit. The same applies to any other church engaged in income producing businesses. It is not what they spend the money for that should give it exempt status; it's how they make it.