Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 3, 1970
NUMBER 17, PAGE 4,5b

Through The Looking-Glass


"The time has come," the Walrus said,

"To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax —

Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot —

And whether pigs have wings."

There come times in the life of every editor when he feels a close affinity to Lewis Carroll's walrus. Especially this editor. There are so many things one wants to talk about, or, more accurately, to write about. Being unable to deal with them in any adequate way brings a bit of frustration. But one does what one can, and hopes to use what space one has with some degree of helpfulness to the readers.

For instance, this week we would like to write a page or two on "race relations," and more specifically on integration and segregation. We received a considerable number of articles and letters in response to Brother Ervin Driskill's article in the July 23 issue, "Why I Believe In Segregation." Some of the writers agreed with Brother Driskill; most of them did not. We received excellent articles from Leo Rogol, Veral M. Seagraves, Jack Gibbert, and Earle H. West. Brother West, incidentally, has taught for a number of years in Howard University, at Washington D.C., the nation's leading Negro secondary school. Being unable to publish all these articles (and others) we find space for a short response by Brother Leslie Diestelkamp, who lived and worked for several years among the Negroes in Nigeria. He says pretty well what the others say, and says it in shorter space than most of them.

Then we have the urge to comment in a few paragraphs to Brother William Wallace's article on the front page. Certainly, brethren get "blasted" in the journals from time to time. We feel that with most brethren the "blasting" of the writer is not intended — only the blasting of what they consider to be his false and dangerous teaching. Men who write articles are men of conviction and courage. They feel deeply about the cause of Christ — more deeply than they feel about any other thing on this earth, including their families, their reputation, and even life itself. It is perfectly understandable that they should get aroused — and alarmed — when they see some one teaching something which they believe is hurtful to the cause they love. The Gospel Guardian for all these years has sought to provide a medium, a platform, a rostrum through which sincere and honest brethren could discuss various issues and problems on which they may differ. There is no "Gospel Guardian position" on these various issues; the editor has his own personal convictions, the publisher has his, and each individual writer has his. Each person who writes, whether editor, publisher, editorial staff writer, or simply contributor says exactly what he wants to say, and in the way he wants to say it. Obviously, there is a general area of agreement on many of the basic questions of the day, and probably this is what brethren mean when they speak of "the Gospel Guardian position." So be it.

If we had the space for it, we would like to write at some length on some articles which are slated for publication very shortly on these pages — a series of some seven or eight articles by Brother Roy Cogdill telling of the highly significant trip he and Brother Cecil Willis made to the Philippine Islands a few weeks ago; then a series of three articles under the general heading: "Drug Abuse: The Escape to Eternal Damnation" by Glenn Reeder, a pharmacist of Stow, Ohio. But we most likely will have some things to say about both series as they are published.

Another thing we would like to write about (and probably will in time) is a survey made out West somewhere, and concerning which Leroy Garrett comments in his June, 1970, issue of Restoration Review. It seems that in the survey made among "a group of Church of Christ folk" (Leroy's designation, not ours) in response to the question, "Do you believe that only members of the church of Christ will be saved?" only three persons responded with a "yes," while 32 (of the 35 surveyed) responded with, "We must admit the possibility that there are Christians in other groups!" Two-thirds of those who responded could count back two, three, or more generations that their families had been in the Church of Christ, according to Brother Garrett's report; and twenty-four of the people felt that their idea of what kind of preaching the world needed was different from their parents' convictions along these lines.

You see what we mean about empathy with the Walrus? There are so many things to talk about. And so little time, and so little space!

Then the words of Solomon keep coming back, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecc. 3:1), and we realize that ALL we would like to write about — cabbages, kings, sealing wax, race relation, the church in the Philippines, controversy in the journals, drug abuse, ignorant "Church of Christers" — all of it finally relates to one central theme: man's relationship to God. If that relationship can be made right, then everything else falls into proper perspective. It is beautifully put in one short sentence from the lips of Christ. The two sisters, Mary and Martha, faced precisely the kind of world we face — a world in which each person is called upon to make a choice between the earthly and the spiritual, a choice as to where the emphasis in his life shall be. Shall he give the highest priority in his life to those things that are temporal, or to the things that are eternal? Jesus said to Martha, who was cumbered about much serving, "Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41, 42.)

— F. Y. T.