Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 22, 1951

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

"But look what we're doing !"

A deacon from one of the biggest churches in Texas not long ago wrote a gospel preacher in glowing terms, praising the work that was being done by the church which he served. He said he wasn't exactly sure that everything they were doing was scriptural, but added triumphantly, "just look what we are doing!" It's the old, old story of the end justifying the means. How wrong can brethren get? Will they never learn? Will they always be (in the inelegant phrase of a recent Gospel Advocate article) "dunderheads?"


The FCC lectures—as Cope saw them

"As much as this school needs money, I would not exchange the good that I believe has been done during the past week for $20,000.00 cash. This is the amount it would take to set us straight with the world."

— James R. Cope


Brother Bales is learning

"I have learned something else about grammar, and I want to share it with brother Wallace. Modern teachers of English sanction "it was not me," when it is used in speaking. After it has been used for a period of time in writing, and by the right persons, (this does not include me), it will be accepted in writing also." James D. Bales. Hm-m-m, so it's right to speak it, but wrong to write it. Remember when some of the brethren were contending that it was wrong to preach premillennialism, but perfectly all right if you set it to music and sang it?


"And its intended juice"

In his uniquely Thompsonian style, our friend Floyd Thompson of Santa Ana, California, asked us the other day, "Did it ever occur to you that the fruit of the vine often gets itself thanked for twice on Sunday mornings? No? Well, what do you think happens when some good brother thanks the Lord "for this loaf and its intended juice"?"


The unpardonable sin And another good friend, Charles Haslam, of St. Petersburg, Florida, tells us of a Methodist preacher in that section who has a new teaching on the "unpardonable sin:" he teaches that it is adultery. But not just ordinary, run-of-the-mill adultery; it is adultery that is "successful" or "fruit-ful" in that it culminates in the birth of a child. Since the child born to this sinful union is a never-dying soul, the sin that brought forth the child is an eternal sin! We thought we were beyond being surprised at anything a Methodist might teach—but we weren't. This Methodist pastor reminds us of some of the brethren; he arrives at his conclusions by "logical" processes of reasoning, quite ignoring what the scriptures may have to say.


"independent of the elders"

"Don't misunderstand me. I am not writing against orphan homes. What I have said about orphan homes in incidental. I am writing against brethren, or sisters, either, appointing themselves, or allowing brethren to be appointed, to visit congregations and suggest anything for the congregation to do independent of the elders. This tends to create unrest and a disposition upon the part of the untaught to ignore the rule, or wishes, of the elders. This is absolutely wrong, and it ought to be stopped. It will go a long way toward stabilizing the church today, if we can pull this modern drift of evil tendencies out of our religious current."

— John T. Lewis Gospel Advocate, 1932


One man's opinion A brother whom we will not name, but who is not thereby to be considered unmentionable, writes us, "Many brethren may take the G. A. and the F.F.—but they READ the Guardian." Flatterer!


Some good advice That letter reminded us of a short squib we had seen in the church bulletin sent us by brother C. A. Buchanan of Waxahachie, Texas. Here it is:

A man in Boston was once very angry about an article which defamed his character. He went to Dr. Everett and asked his advice as to what he should do about it.

"Nothing," said Dr. Everett. "Half the people who got the paper never saw the article. Half of those who saw it didn't read it. Half of those who read it didn't understand it. Half of those who did understand it did not believe what it said about you. Half of those who did believe it were people of no importance anyway."


Legerdemain and letters A few weeks ago we made some adverse comment on a magic show at Wayne, Michigan, in which brother Jack McElroy gave a performance of magic tricks during the time he was holding a gospel meeting at Wayne. We've had letters (that's plural, brother) from Wayne telling us that there was no connection at all between the magic show and the meeting, and that any advertisement which might have led us to believe otherwise was simply an unfortunate error in wording. They say further that Jack McElroy preaches the gospel, not only in Wayne, but anywhere else that he goes without compromise or apology. Okay, okay; we know when we've got our foot in it! So here is our apology to both Jack and to Bill Medearis, the preacher at Wayne for any wrong impression we may have left on anybody concerning them. But say! we're going to ask our mailing superintendent how many subscribers we have in Wayne, and in Michigan, and in Ohio. We got letters—and we do mean plural.


Mellow mood And while we are still properly chastened and in a mellow mood, it might be a good time to report that we had an extremely brief, but extremely nice, visit in Florida with our perennial protagonist, brother Jim Bales. He isn't half bad; if his logic were as convincing as his spirit is genial, we'd be persuaded in spite of ourselves. If anybody has developed any kind of an idea from our writings that we don't like brother Jim, you are wrong; and we take back anything we said that ever gave you such a notion. He is a nice guy; a wee bit argumentative, perhaps, but who are we to say that is a fault? It's his position and his reasoning that are faulty, not his spirit and attitude.