Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 19, 1982
NUMBER 49, PAGE 8-9,13b

News And Views

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

Bill Humble Changes Views

From The Enlightener, bulletin of the Vivion Road church in Kansas City, O. C. Birdwell, Jr., the editor, I lift the following letter and some of these facts. For some time it has been known that Brother Humble has changed his views on the "institutional question." Many, however, did not know to what extent he had changed. Others have doubted that he has really changed at all. Any who may have doubted this change and any who entertained the hope that he would AGAIN (and personally I am one of the skeptical few who have ALWAYS questioned his stand on these matters.-CAH) stand for the truth have now had their dreams shattered. A letter was recently mailed to the members of the Brush Creek Blvd. church in Kansas City, in which Brother Humble personally affirmed his change. This letter seems to have been circulated rather freely among the churches in that area. Every possible advantage has been taken and will be taken of both this letter and the so-called "change" in Brother Humble. Perhaps Brother Humble needs to make his "confession" in the Firm Foundation, and it may indeed appear in it. Here is the letter and it should prove to all the direction Brother Humble is going — and I doubt that he has fully "arrived" yet by any means.

1400 DeForest Iowa City, Iowa February 12, 1962

Church of Christ 901 Brush Creek Blvd. Kansas City, Missouri

Dear Brethren:

Since you have heard that I have modified my views about some of the "issues," I think it only fair that you should hear it from me that I have changed my views and the extent of these changes.

You are aware of the fact that while I lived in Kansas City, I was sympathetic with some of the viewpoints now represented by the Guardian. During the years that I lived in Louisville, I saw firsthand the extremes to which these views were being pushed and the results in the life of the church. The result was that over a period of a couple of years or so, I became convinced that I could no longer defend some of the views that I had formerly held.

I now believe that churches may cooperate with one another in evangelism and in benevolence I also believe that churches may care for orphans in orphans' homes, and I believe churches may cooperate in such work.

I am sure my basic viewpoint will always be conservative but I feel that the great need of the church today is for brethren to admit that truth lies in "the middle of the road" between the extremes of "liberalism" and "conservatism," and for brethren to allow one another more liberty in judgment than we have been allowing the last few years.

If this sounds a bit like Reuel Lemmons, I'll have to admit that brother Lemmons has had a lot of influence on my thinking the last few years And though I do not like the idea of being "lined up" with any group, I am sure that the Firm Foundation would come closer to representing my viewpoint now than any other paper in the brotherhood. I think there is great merit in brother Lemmons' view of the orphan home. I have deep reservations about a home that is organized under a board of directors rather than the elders of a congregation. But I hasten to add that I would not make this a point of controversy or fellowship.

Sincerely, S/ Bill J. Humble

Do You Smoke?

Tobacco is a loaded lethal weapon and time pulls the trigger. It is a habit forming drug sold to teenagers, adolescents and adults alike. Any 8 year old can buy all he can pay for from vending machines.

Cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly poisonous alkaloid, carbon monoxide, acrolein, ammonia, phosphoric acid, and tars. All highly dangerous to the human system: If you smoke a pack a day, you inhale 400 milligrams of nicotine a week which in a single injection would kill you as quickly as any bullet could.

Smoking ruins your wind, especially of teenagers; interferes with your appetite and makes you less fit. Every cigarette shortens your life 25 minutes; it is a dangerous fire hazard. It will make you less successful in school, and surveys have already shown that the teenager smokers partake of fewer school activities.

It gives girls a tobacco smell which boys don't like; a pack a day costs $75 per year, and whether you know it or not smoking starts you on the road to a variety of diseases which will cost you between 10 to 20 years of your future life.

Would you put anything in your car engine that has been condemned by the nation's best automotive engineers? Still, car engines can be purchased for a few hundred dollars--but lungs are rationed one pair to a customer. So ponder well whether the risk entailed is worth the pleasure derived.

(Editor's Note: The above article appeared on the editorial page of the Waukesha Daily Freeman, Waukesha, Wisconsin. Here is the editor of a daily paper who speaks out boldly and plainly on this menace to humanity. The evidence continues to pile up showing the harmful effects of tobacco, yet in the face of all the evidence, brethren (and a large number of sisters!) continue to huff and puff in their use of this "weed." They are literal SLAVES to this habit. It has been said that a boy makes the foolish mistake of starting to smoke to prove that he is a man; and after 15 or 20 years he tried to stop for the same reason. It is way past time that Christians CLEANED up their lives from any such practice.)

The Church In Minnesota

There are now sixteen groups of Christians meeting in the State of Minnesota. These groups range in size from 81 at Richfield to just one family at Babbitt. The total number of members in the State (as best as can be determined by us) is about 475. Several groups have experienced a substantial growth, others have gone through a temporary decrease. All in all the churches throughout the state are making significant numerical progress. During the past year three new groups have begun meeting, with this increase there should be an added impetus in the forthcoming year.

— From Minnesota Milestones

At Pen Points With The Press

Phil Hartman writes in the Feb. 8, Cleveland Press that "WAGERING IS EXPENSIVE----EVEN WHEN YOU WIN," pointing out that in Ohio 16% at running tracks and 17% at harness tracks is divided between the track and the state before the odds are established. He makes his point well, and even if our only concern were with the money involved, we would positively agree that gambling is expensive business.

Much more than mere money is at stake in this matter, however, and I would amend Phil's headline to read, "WAGERING IS EXPENSIVE----AND YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY WIN." And this is true, even the "winners" are "losers."

What is it that prompts a man to bet on a horse? a card game? a one-armed bandit? bingo? or what have you? Again I say, What is it? The answer is this — it's covetousness. And what is covetousness? It is the love of money put into practice, manifesting itself. It is the sinful desire to get the things of others by whatever means is necessary and/or available. Jesus said, "Covetousness is idolatry." To the extent that one covets the things of this world, his desire and longing for and after God, is diminished. This is why the covetous man can not possibly win, not so long as he remains covetous,

Gambling ("wagering" is a dressed up word for it) stripped of all its gaudy pretense is in simplest terms stealing by mutual consent. The covetous will have what belongs to others, and if the law had not sanctioned this form of stealing, or some other form, the covetous would use a gun or some other available instrument, outside the law, to take what belongs to others. Bettors are simply law abiding, respectable (?) thieves. Any distinction which attaches itself to the horse playing, money loving, covetous, foul smelling, beer guzzling lush who puts the profit in racing, is imaginary and non-existent. He is a loser even when he wins.

Socrates describes such a man as hauling water to a leaky barrel in a-holey colander. What a pitiful figure he is! If he were to win every race it would only increase his lust for more and make him more avaricious with what he has. The covetous just can't win!

— Richard Dewhirst

Check-Book And Once-A-Week Elders

(Editors Note: The following excellent article was written by Harold Spurlock, Jacksonville, Texas. I have lifted it from the Portales Reflector, Portales, N. M. In this article, Brother Spurlock gets at some points needing some serious attention. In vivid contrast, he has drawn up the general view and practice of "elders" in our day with what the N. T. requires of them. Be sure to read this article very carefully. We need a lot of study given to this matter.)

It is common knowledge among all who have made it their business to know what is going on among brethren in general and the work and functions or congregations in particular that much is left to be desired concerning overseers of flocks.

Too many elders in too many congregations don't realize their work and responsibility to the flock, or they know what their work is but do not particularly care about doing it. There are too many once-a-week elders. They elder by watching the people come into the meeting house. They see over the congregation while they serve the Lord's supper to the assembly. They watch for the condition of the building, the grounds, and the parking lot. They look after and tend to the time of the services, the heating and the cooling, the condition of the song books, property payments, utilities, and bank loans They count the "take" on the Lord's day, take the number present at the assembly for the church records, and go home with a feeling of great accomplishment in their work as elders of God's people.

Too many bishops are strictly "checkbook" elders. They would not know what to do as elders if they did not have bills to pay, checks to write out and sign, and money to spend. Too many elders feel that when they have conscientiously tended to the financial affairs of the church, they have done their job as elders. The argument is made that elders look after the "work" of the church. The church "works" through its treasury, so elders look after the work of the church by tending to its financial matters. What a farce! What a travesty! What a tragedy!

How long is it going to take to teach men serving as elders today that their work and responsibility involves more than just once a week application, and involves more than check writing and money oversight?

How long is it going to take to make these men realize that if every church's building were destroyed, and there were no more utilities, bank loans, property payments, song books, heating and cooling apparatus, parking lots, pews, lawns, preacher's homes, etc and that if every member of that church got so poor and destitute there was no first day of the week contribution to count and run to the bank with on Monday morning, the elders' basic, God-given responsibility toward the flock of God would not have decreased nor diminished one iota. There would still be the need to care, tend, look after, feed, and watch for the precious souls of the flock in their midst. Their spiritual needs would still be the same. Their souls still must be looked out for. Bible teaching and exhortation must still be carried on. The wayward must still be warned. The weak ones must still be encouraged. The disorderly must still be rebuked and eventually withdrawn from if they repent not. The lazy, the indifferent, the ungodly, the vain talker and gainsayer must still be handled by the elders. The church must still be put to work and overseen as they work.

How terrible the consequences for elders who want to spend their time overseeing everything and every dollar and every expediency, while failing in their 2000year-old work of leading souls, caring for souls, tending to souls, protecting souls, fighting for souls, in this short journey from here to eternity.

How many of our present day ills would be cured if elders would confine their activities to their own God-given work. Let preachers evangelize and teach; let elders concern themselves with the spiritual welfare of their flock; let deacons assist them in this work and put deacons to work caring for the necessary matters less vital to the soul's welfare. Let members respect the men who watch for souls and submit to them in their exemplary leadership and protective custody.

Nothing New Or Unusual

News has hit the papers about the fraternity dances at. the University of Virginia. "Squad cars were the targets of stones, beer cans, and bottles," stated the article in the Arizona Republic. According to the report "the disorder began after midnight when some of the fraternity house parties began to break up." The disorders were quelled by tear gas and jail sentences.

We are reminded of the dances of the Indians just before the war parties went on a rampage. The Cannibals in the jungles of Africa stage a weird dance much the same.

Of course, the dances in our public schools are refined and innocent. The students are not affected by the dance in the least. Anyone must be slightly Anti to assume that harm would come from a school dance. Why they are even good enough for Christians.

Christians need to be reminded that the social dances have brought nothing but grief to those who participate. The after effects are much the same in all generations; drunkenness, prostitution, broken lives and homes, frustration and disorder. The place of the dance is not the evil. The gym floor and the honky tonk are much the same.

God knows what is best for his offspring. Perhaps that is why He warned that such reveling will rob one of the glory of heaven. (Gal. 5:21) — The Perk-Up