Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 13, 1950

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

The 1950 Official Catholic Directory, just published, claims that the Catholic Church increased its numbers last year by 1,047,798 members. Looks impressive—but the same directory reveals that of this number only 119,173 people were actually converted to the Catholic Church. All the others presumably were babies born into Catholic families or immigrants admitted to the United States from foreign countries. The total Catholic population of the nation, says the directory, now stands at 27,766,141. Probably seven or eight millions of these are under fourteen years of age; and it is likely that at least three million names are of Catholics who have long since either abandoned or renounced the Catholic church, many of them now being active members of Protestant churches, and some of them being members of the body of Christ.


Appropriate Tune

Cornard's parish church in England recently put on a special drive to collect money for the poor. The bell-ringer had a happy thought: he banged out on the chimes in the tower the new popular tune, "Put Another Nickel In." The parish wardens did not think it was either appropriate or funny; they fired him. Ho-hum, some people have no imagination.


Back Issues?

The editor would like to complete his own personal file of the back issues of both the Gospel Guardian (the original) and the Bible Banner. He needs almost a full set of the old Guardian, and the following issues of the Bible Banner: September 1938; May and June 1939; October and December 1943; and January 1944. Does any reader have any of these issues that he is willing to part with? Drop us a line if you do.


Plum's Article

And just to show you we aren't always on the fussy side, we want to give a real hearty "Amen" to C. D. Plum's article in the Gospel Advocate of May 18, "Let Not The Church Be Charged." It concerns the duty of Christians — and of the church — toward the aged in their need. If you have access to the Advocate, read that article,


The Torch

As we read the first issue of "Torch", the new pocket-size monthly to be edited by brother Wallace, we could not help recalling those most famous lines of John McCrae, written during the first World War, and reflecting how appropriate they are to thousands of us today who are the recipients of a godly heritage, and who owe a sacred duty to the memory of those who have "thrown the torch" to their sons and daughters:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still gravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We Are The Dead. Short Days Ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;

To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high, If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep; though poppies grow In Flanders Fields.


Elam and Burnett

"Brother Burnett says some good things in his Budget, of which the following are samples: 'It is not better preaching that is needed, so much as better practicing.' Yes; but, brother, would you not dislike to have to practice some preaching that you have heard? 'It is the man who is poor by nature that is ruined by cultivation.' To be sure, some people have but little in them worthy of cultivation. 'You cannot please everybody, but that is no reason why you should try to displease all.' Well said! Contrariness is a sign of neither sense nor soundness. 'People forget what a man says sooner than what a man does.' What a man does, not what he says, makes the man... 'Talk with the bark on is sometimes the naked truth.' Yes, and sometimes the naked truth knocks the bark off."

--E. A. Elam (Gospel Advocate, 1903)


Free meetings?

We notice some of the brethren are beginning to write of the free meetings some of the churches are promoting under the guise of "lectureships." It's about time. We don't think the practice is very widespread, but even once is too often. It sort of reminds us of that Oklahoma church a few years ago who invited a brother to come 600 miles to "try out" for their vacant pulpit. They wrote him they'd pay $10.00 for the trip, and that if he should be the "lucky man" he'd get the job! ... and they felt hurt when the brother wrote them he wasn't interested in being their preacher.


Man of distinction

Just to give a faint idea of the organization and ecclesiastical possibilities once the New Testament pattern for church co-operation has been abandoned and the "organizational" virus has got in its work, consider this brief news item from a recent issue of the Indianapolis News: "The Reverend Dr. Harlie Lawrence Smith will be the new President of the Board of Higher Education of the Disciples of Christ... Active in the Disciples of Christ church, Dr. Smith is the President of the Board of Directors for Unified Promotion, Treasurer of the Association for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Crusade For A Christian World." Whew! we wonder how many boards Peter presided over, and how many Committees Paul headed.


Baptist-Disciples Merger?

Delegates from the Northern Baptist Church met with delegates from the Disciples of Christ church in Green Lake, Wisconsin, last month to work on plans for a merger of the two bodies. They hope to have a joint convention in Chicago next year when the two governing "Conventions" of the denominations meet. The "Disciples" seem to be a little bit more anxious for the marriage than are the Baptists, who remain somewhat skeptical about it. Complications are expected to arise over voting powers and denominational offices if the proposed merger develops.


"Smatterers in Greek"

"If any man who is a preacher believes that the apostle teaches the use of instrumental music in the church, by enjoining the singing of psalms, he is one of those smatterers in Greek who can believe anything that he wishes to believe."

—J. W. McGarvey (Christian Leader, 1905)