Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 5, 1962
NUMBER 47, PAGE 8-9,12a

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, 4662 University, Wichita Falls, Texas

Notes Of Interest

Have you read "Voices in the Wilderness," a new booklet by James R. Cope? It is "A study in the development of benevolent societies and their support" among churches of Christ. It is an excellent treatment of the subject and is deserving of a careful reading by all who are interested in the truth relative to this phase of the matter. He has done a fine job in presenting the material and in covering the ground. It should prove to be an "eye-opener" to all who have been deceived into thinking that churches of Christ have "always" supported orphan homes — if such people could be induced to read the study. The booklet sells for 75 per copy (it is neatly printed and has 41 pages), but it is considerably cheaper in quantity lots. Order from Cope, Glen Arven Avenue, Temple Terrace, Florida.... Credit where it is due: Did you notice the question and answer which appeared in this column last time relative to 1 Corinthians 7:15? Maybe it was noticed by the careful reader that it was in quotation marks, but I deliberately left off giving credit to the source from which the material was taken and the author. There is an Arabian Proverb which might be fitting right here: "Examine what is said, not him who speaks." The answer to the question expresses my sentiments exactly on the passage, but the answer was written by the late R. L. Whiteside, and appeared in an old copy of the Gospel Advocate when Whiteside had a regular column in which he answered questions. NOW SINCE GIVING CREDIT TO A MAN OF SUCH SCHOLARLY DIGNITY, perhaps the answer will be more respectfully weighed by the reader ....I have two questions or problems regarding which I would appreciate having some good, clear, factual articles written on these two matters — if they can be kept at reasonable length. Here is the first one: "Is it wrong or sinful to play Bridge, or other games in which the commonly recognized "spot cards" are used? In other words, is card playing contrary to the teaching of Christ? Years ago it was rather common to hear the use of such cards, in any game, condemned by preachers (in the church and out), as well as by MOST members of the church. I have articles from the Bible Banner, back in 1934 and 1935, in which such men as C.A. Norred, L. R. Wilson, and others dealt with card playing and condemned such in no uncertain terms. In recent years there is little, if any, objection registered against such a thing and the use of the "spot cards" is now rather generally accepted as right and proper even among members of the church. Of course, most of them would YET frown upon gambling with such cards; but the playing of bridge, and other similar games, is widely practiced and accepted.

Frankly, I am concerned about a sensible and factual study of this question. Were our fathers and grandfathers utterly wrong in the reasons offered in objecting to playing cards? Or, is it that the objections they offered are no longer valid? Have cards changed? Because the use of cards has become so widespread and generally accepted; because there is but little, if any, teaching done today in opposition to such, does it follow that the use of such cards is perfectly all right today? Is there anyone who is willing to affirm that playing bridge, and other similar games in which "spot cards" are used, is permissible and right? If so, I should like very much to read the reasons offered and the answers made to the objections which have through the years been offered to cards. Do YOU so think? Will you give us the benefit of your reasoning? It would be good also to have an article or two from one or more who sincerely believe that such a practice is contrary to NT teaching. I am not sure, and rather doubt, that the men mentioned above any longer do any preaching or writing in opposition to this practice. Why? In a great sermon preached several years ago, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., made this charge: "Card playing is the kindergarten for gambling." -Was he right in this THEN? I f so, would the same charge be true today? if not, why not?

I expect that there are many others who would appreciate some clear, logical, sensible reasoning done on this common practice; both for (if anyone really thinks such is permissible) and against.

Here is the second question or problem: Suppose you have a relative who is a denominational preacher, and along with his wife and children he comes to visit in your home for a few days. During the time there they will be eating several meals with you. Question: Would you ever call upon him to lead a prayer of thanksgiving at mealtime? Or, would you just completely ignore him, do all the praying yourself; or, would you tell him that you just cannot call upon him to lead a prayer in your house (or elsewhere) since you do not think his prayer would he heard anyway, and in reality you do not believe that he is saved and it would be inconsistent for you thus to call upon him? Maybe I am getting the point across. Now such a situation often confronts many of us, and I am sure that many would appreciate some suggestions and reasoning upon this problem. Would 2 John 9-11 have any bearing upon this problem? At a PTA meeting or club meeting where you may be in charge, would you call upon some denominational person — preacher or not — to lead the prayer? What if someone else had previously chosen the person to lead the prayer and you but merely called upon him? Also, as if enough has not already been asked what about YOUR leading a prayer at a club meeting or at PTA where nearly everyone is other than a Christian? Can we really LEAD such people in prayer? Do these questions seem silly to you? Well, maybe they do, but to some of US they are not nearly as easily answered as some might think. If you have some offering on these points, I ant sure that such would be considered by all.

"God Baptized Me With The Holy Ghost"

In the November, 1961, issue of the "Full Gospel Men's Voice" magazine, there appeared an article by Donald R. Hurley, said to be the "Pastor, Church of Christ, Julesburg, Colorado," in which he tells of his "experience" in getting the baptism of the Holy Ghost. A local Assembly of God preacher has made frequent reference on his radio program to this article; using it to help his plea that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is for all who will seek it today. Do any of the readers of this paper know of this Donald R. Hurley? Is he really a "Church of Christ preacher" who has gone off with this delusion; or does he belong to the Christian Church which calls itself the "Church of Christ"? I will appreciate any information about the identity of this man as to his exact FORMER religious affiliation. According to this magazine, there are preachers of all kinds, business men and others who are really getting filled and baptized with the Holy Ghost in these "last days."

"The Conversion Of Roy Coghill"

The above is the title of a story written by Leroy Garrett (Remember him?), and published in his quarterly journal, "Restoration Review." This "Roy Coghill" is the principle character in this yarn which Garrett has spun across ten pages of his paper. The two other characters who have a part in this fabrication are Yater Phant and Charles Bolt. In this highly imaginative piece of fiction, this "Roy Coghill" supposedly comes to embrace the philosophy of Garrett that there are Christians in all churches; and that in reality Christ's true church is made up of and embraces many who are found scattered around in all the various sects of Christendom! "Roy Coghill" comes to realize and confess that he has been guilty of "partyism — a party man....I have been sectarian." Roy seeks to show "Yater Phant" and "Charles Bolt" the basis for his newly-found belief. He wants to show them that "We have many wonderful brethren that we have not yet discovered, not to mention the thousands that we have deliberately rejected. May all these become our brethren beloved rather than to be dubbed premillennialists, digressives, the institutional camp, and all the rest." This "Coghill" was concerned with the "World Council of Churches" which was soon to meet in New Delhi, and wanted all to pray for their efforts to unite the religious world.

Well, according to this fiction, the change in "Coghill" really shook up "Phant" and "Bolt." As the weird and absurd fabrication ends, "Phant" and "Bolt" are trying to decide just which one will "write up Coghill" in the "Gunnery" — the paper which "Phant" edits.

Passing reference is also made in this tale to three other men: "Cy Woods," "B. C. Goodfield," and one "Frank Back" — whom I suppose Garrett mistakenly put in for another man — "J. D. Thomason"!

"Statewide Meeting A Success"

"A very good statewide meeting was held at Lander Wyoming, last Friday. Many could not attend due to the bad weather and sickness. The next statewide meeting will be in Buffalo and will be a joint effort with the Sheridan congregation helping."

(Editor's Note: The above did NOT appear in some Christian Church publication nor in any publication of any other recognized denominational body. It is taken from the bulletin of Church of Christ, 1435 Champion Drive, Sheridan, Wyoming. Bob Barnes is the preacher. We do have "statewide meetings" of churches! Does this sound anything like the development of the first great apostasy? Or, of the last great apostasy? If it does not sound like such to you, it is because YOU do not know anything about how those things began and developed.

Latest Scientific Theory On Earth-Life "Origin" Is Garbage

You have probably read it on the front page of the Miami Herald last week. A "world-famous astronomer" who is director of the Cornell University Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, Professor Thomas Gold, has speculated the "Life on earth could have started from germs and "garbage" left here a billion years ago by exploring space travelers...." The Professor's views, released by the university, further suggest that spacemen from earth might start life on other planets in the same way, "Then life might evolve (over a period of a billion years, give or take a few minutes) there from germs to intelligent forms who build space ships and contaminate other planets with life."

Patience, lowly germ, as you in greasy garbage swish,

Five hundred million years (or so) and you might he a fish;

And if you eat your spinach and flip on bars of sand

In an even shorter time, you'll evolute to land.

And 'ere a billion years go by, we may expect to see

You stand erect, and proudly get, a nice, new Ph. D.!

Very seldom am I moved to poetry by scientific theories, guesses, speculations and wild assertions, because they exist by the thousands and change rapidly. Many of them are products of "science falsely so called." (1 Tim. 6:20) But this one must not be ignored. The terminology is too appropriate. I've read many theories or speculations from Evolutionists (yes, it is but a theory still, in spite of all the ballyhoo about it) right on down (or up), and it has occurred to me that the word "garbage" might fitly describe them. But being a gentleman, if not a scholar, I've used more refined language to denounce them. But now since a gentleman and scholar has introduced the word, surely I can safely use it, though perhaps in another sense, in regard to his speculations. And we ask, along with the humorous caption in the Herald, "Do we come from garbage?"

We've had some rough moments in geology, biology and astronomy classes while contending for the Scriptural account of the origin of life on this planet — been laughed at a couple of times for being non-progressive, anti-scientific, gullible, etc. The Genesis account of creation has been called "incredible," "a wild folk story," "a long discarded myth," etc. Compare a portion of both stories and judge:

"A billion or so years ago exploring space travelers stopped on this planet. When they departed, they left behind certain bacteria, viruses or other low forms of life in their 'garbage.' Being tough, these germs evolved into intelligent forms of life."

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth ....And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass ....And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life....Let the earth bring forth the living creatures..God created man in his own image....Male and female created he them

— Robert M. Atkinson, via Aim, Forrest, Miss.

Why Was Willie Worried?

(Editors Note: In this column recently there appeared an article under the heading of "Worried Willie, The Wayward Water-Cooler." The sophistry and puerile reasoning in the piece of foolishness was exploded by an article by A. A. Mclnroe. This little piece has really made the rounds in the liberal papers, and it has as many times been exploded by various brethren over the country. Below I give another exploding of the same piece of foolishness. This article was written by Glenn Rogers, and is taken from THE WATCHMAN.)

We have read in the "official organ" of two of "our" orphan homes a fable entitled "Worried Willie the Wayward Watercooler, written by one Wayne Emmons of Tennessee. It is an interesting little fantasy about an uncommonly talented machine that formed the unlikely and unusual habit of listening to what the preacher was saying. As is the case quite often when such daring practice is indulged in, Willie began to be discomfited at the things which he heard.

When the preacher spoke against buying interest in Vacation Bible Schools with material things such as refreshments, parties, etc., this astounding mechanism evidently misunderstood, as so many of the brethren do, and thought that the preacher was saying that it is wrong to be refreshed.

Then when the preacher had the nerve to object to using the church building to fry hamburgers, fish and other gastronomic concoctions with such oleic qualities as to render the church house unsuitable for worship because of the visions of eating establishments which were wafted to the smelling faculties upon entering the building, we can hardly be surprised that Willie had no more reasoning ability than some of the brethren. He thought that the preacher was opposed to eating. Having already decided that banquets in the basement are quite the thing, he decided that Paul's "What, have ye not houses to eat and drink in?" means nothing at all. And would we be mean to wonder how Brother Emmons knows that the preacher drinks at the water-fountain sometimes before the amen is said?

Then again when the preacher (as preachers sometimes will) asked for scriptural authority for taking money from the church treasury to help those who are not Christians, Willie again presumed to suppose that he was also included in that questionable practice. But that too is understandable because Willie was not designed for searching the scriptures for himself as are human beings, and when his associates declare that there is scriptural authority for a thing why he must accept their word for it, fully believing that there must be Biblical authority. This is acceptable reasoning for watercoolers, but all who can read and study should present the scriptures for their practice, especially those who are schooled in the scriptures.

And yet, when we stop to think about it, most water-coolers are designed to do their job in a reasonably effective way, and it seems that any water-cooler with the ability to think should be able to do so a little more clearly than Willie is reported to have done. Possibly with a little adjustment this failure could be remedied for I have noticed that most water-coolers that can think at all, know full well that giving a drink of cool water is not the same as setting up an institution with church funds to take care of all the world. And they know, if they know anything at all, that banquets in the basement, with all the trimmings, are not parallel with providing a child with a cool drink to stop his wailing so that his mother can continue to give her attention to the sermon. And I am surprised that Willie, for all his talents, could not see that baiting the public with material things such as food and clothing to try to convince them that the important things in this life, are spiritual and not material, is not the same as providing a little water to dampen a parched throat.

In his last statement the creator of Worried Willie fixed things up in fine style. He has Willie concluding that the best thing to do for peace of mind is to just ignore things which preachers say.

But we wonder if Willie wasn't worried for another weason (pardon)--reason. We wonder if Willie wasn't weary of the way well-meaning wonder workers will try to work the brethren into fostering whichever wild plan that they might wish and wilily waft the burden for its support onto the weaker churches. And what's worse, if anyone is wary enough to want Biblical authority, they wax eloquent with the stock wail, "It's just the same as a water-cooler."