Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 27, 1951
NUMBER 21, PAGE 14-15a

The Overflow


Foul Ball!

Brother Goodpasture thinks that Cecil N. Wright's "devastating articles" on "The Cooperation Controversy" have "knocked the ball out of the park!" Well, he is slightly confused about that ball game. For one thing, it is only a re-broadcast of a game played last year (Cecil himself said there would be no attempt to produce any new argument—there wasn't); in that last year's game both Goodpasture and Showalter fanned out ingloriously. They had already quit the game and headed for the showers when Wright came to bat a few weeks ago. Cecil swaggered to the plate, took a prolonged bat-swinging session, and finally hit the ball a mighty wallop. At the crack of the bat Showalter and Goodpasture jumped with jubilation. It was a home run for sure!! Well, the ball sailed out of the park all right—straight up over home plate and back of the catcher. It was a very, very, very foul ball!! Our review of the material will point this out so clearly that even Goodpasture and Showalter can see it.

"In Psalms, Hymns, And Spiritual Songs"

Then there is the story brother Wheeler tells about the time he was leading singing in Amarillo. Seems there was a very sweet old lady in the congregation, about seventy years old, who was a devoted listener to the "Grand Ole Opry" on Saturday nights. One Sunday morning she timidly approached brother Wheeler with a request for a special song at the morning service. She thought next to Roy Acuff brother Wheeler was the greatest singer she had ever listened to, and would he mind leading the congregation in singing "The Great Speckled Bird?"

What Constitutes A Church?

"We have studied the question with care as to what constitutes a church of God according to the Scriptures. We reached the conclusion that one single individual in a community, worshipping God according to His appointments, embodies all the essential elements of a church of God. He is called out, separated from the world, consecrated to God in life, and, observing His ordinances, he constitutes a church of God."

— David Lipscomb

God's "Organization" Vs Man's

Ordinarily we think Ernest Beam is about as confused as a man can get; but occasionally a "beam" of light shines through his wild, meandering mlange of words. In the June 1 Christian Forum he wrote, "When some among us teach that we may not use human organizations to teach and to do the work of the kingdom—that we may make use of no organization larger or smaller than the New Testament Church—and thereby make prohibition to shut out missionary organizations (Societies), they shut out all of our organizations too, benevolent, educational, and missionary, and we have them all." Exactly so! And the Gospel Guardian stands firmly on the principle that the New Testament church is adequate to do every work of the church. Will brother Beam deny it? And will the ardent supporters of "all our organizations too, benevolent, educational, and missionary" deny it? Whatever God wants the church to do can be done by the church.

"A Little Brief Authority"

"But man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assured, His glassy essence, like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven, And make the angels weep."

— Shakespeare

As Hudson Sees It

"Some men have a perfect mania for organization and power, and they are the ones who destroy the harmony and peace of a once united brotherhood. And they are the ones who have the effrontery to speak of a lack of charity! It comes with exceedingly poor grace. Back to Jerusalem and the source of trouble on the organizational side will be abolished."

— John Allen Hudson (Church in Great Britain - p. 210)

Recreational Directors

We see where one of the Texas congregations is trying to boost its Bible school attendance, and is urging all to come, because "recreation for the classes" will be under "the guidance of the elders." That ought to bring 'em out! At least, maybe it will get the elders there.

Methodist Law

Professor Sayce in his Reminiscences tells the delightful story of an involved point of "Methodist law" that arose when one of the circuit-riding Superintendents (called Supers for short) took along his pet jackdaw on his rounds. One morning it was discovered that a cat had killed and eaten the Super's pet bird. The Super brought the matter before the meeting of ministers and asked,

"Can you tell me what is Methodist law, when the circuit cat eats the Super's jackdaw?"

To which one of the preachers immediately responded:

"There's a very easy answer to that: The Super must eat the circuit cat".

A Proposition

"If the publisher and editor of the Guardian would live up to their boasted policy of allowing both sides to be heard, let them publish Cecil N. Wright's articles on "The Cooperation Controversy." (Gospel Advocate) We make brother Goodpasture this proposition: in spite of the monotonous repetitions in the lengthy Wright articles, in spite of the fact that they contain no new arguments, in spite of the fact that both the Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation have published them, and the latter has put them in tract form, in spite of the low ethical tone of the articles in their deliberate and studied misrepresentation of the Guardian's position—in spite of all these things, we will Publish the whole nine articles if B. C. Goodpasture will publish only four articles from us in review of the Wright material! Now let us see what happens.


Reason For Delay

This is the reason for our delay in publishing our review of the Wright material, which has been ready for some weeks. We have been in correspondence with brother Goodpasture, hoping that he would be willing either to run our review of Wright, or else to sell us advertising space in the Advocate that his readers might know where they could see the review. Perhaps by the time this appears in print we will have reached an understanding with him on this point. At any rate, our review of the dangerous and destructive misapplication of New Testament teaching set forth in the Wright articles will appear on these pages soon.

How Big Should A Church Be?

The object of the church with reference to the world is to convert it to Christ. In proportion to numbers, wealth and talents, the smaller-sized congregations, when content to conform themselves to the ends of church existence as laid down in the Scriptures and herein set forth, are much more efficient in converting the world than the large ones. It is only when they attempt unscriptural ends that they are less efficacious than large ones in proportion to numbers."

— David Lipscomb

Famous Last Words

"No one proposes to substitute a missionary society for a church, or to supplant the one by the other, or in any way whatever to interfere with churches or their work. The position is wholly untrue. Missionary societies are substituted for churches neither intentionally, accidentally, or in any other way. Nothing could be more unjust to the societies than such a charge; nothing more unjust to their friends. Could a solitary instance be adduced in which a society was interfering in any way injuriously with a church, no brethren could be found more ready to work the death of that society than the very men who are now the warmest friends of the societies."

— Moses E. Lard (1867)


"Every man should have a fair sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends."

— Henry Ward Beecher

She Chose Her Successor

Those familiar with Alexander Campbell's life know that his first wife, on her death-bed, revealed to brother Campbell her wishes as to the one whom he might marry after she were gone. She was entirely sensible and forthright about it, and said she hoped both her husband and her dear friend might find it in their hearts to love one another and have a happy home together. They did; and no doubt Campbell and his second wife often thought with grateful memory and talked of her whom they both had loved so dearly. How calm and how peaceful the end of a Christian!'

Congregational Equality

Nothing is more evident than the perfect EQUALITY that reigned among the primitive churches; nor does there ever appear, in the first century, the smallest trace of that association of provincial churches, from which councils and metropolitans derive their origin."

— Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. Vol. 1

Middle Age

"You've reached middle age when your wife tells you to pull in your stomach—and you already have."

— Franklin P. Jones