Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 16, 1954

The Overflow


Election This is an old one, but still good: the elect are made up of the "whosoever wills," the non-elect are the "whosoever won'ts."

Hell? no!

We know a gospel preacher who was requested by the elders of the church where he was preaching (in West Tennessee) to delete the word "hell" from his pulpit vocabulary. They thought it sounded too harsh and threatening. He should tell the sinners that "they will be condemned" rather than that they are going to hell.

We'll keep you informed It is the desire of many thousands of Christians that a full, free, and brotherly discussion can be held relative to the question of congregational cooperation. We are trying to work out arrangements for such between E. R. Harper and this writer. (See exchange of letters in this issue.) We will keep our readers informed as to any progress made.

A house divided Then there was the little church which got into a heated fight over the question of how to cover the building — asphalt roofing or wooden shingles? After what seemed a hopeless deadlock they very sensibly compromised the situation by covering one side of the house with shingles, the other side with asphalt. Those who insisted on the shingle roofing sat under their shingles; those who wanted asphalt sat under the side covered with their choice. And everybody was happy! So mote it be.

Centralized control again Even the Lutherans are doing it. United Press dispatches describe happenings in the recent great Lutheran convention in Toronto, in which steps were taken to bring the scores of church agencies under central control. "It will make for greater solidarity," said Dr. Franklin Clark Fry of New York, the church president. "It means the total work of the church will have more united impact. The new centralized control arrangement provides for expanded foreign and domestic missions, parish education, radio-television programs, and other activities, including a $500,000.00 two-year evangelism drive."

Need song books?

"We have about seventy-five song books, that are used, which we would like to give to someone that will profitably use them." (Signed: Russell W. Kelley, for the elders of the Church at LaFeria, Texas.) If anybody is interested, write Brother Kelley;

We agree We continue to get letters from our subscribers objecting in no uncertain terms to our carrying Brother Harper's articles. We agree with nearly all that is said as to the articles being "irrelevant," "inane," "beneath the dignity of a Christian," and several other fittingly descriptive terms. But we ask our readers to be patient and try to understand why we carry his material. This journal carries both sides of controversial matter. Brother Harper is the champion and proper representative of the "institutional minded" brethren. We think his articles are as fine a demonstration as could be made of the total lack and absence of any scriptural proof for these "cooperative arrangements." If there were scriptures to be cited, don't you think he would cite them? We have other articles from him scheduled for publication as we can find space for them.

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, Bed. Hist. Vol. 1

"Sermons — Inside and Out"

We're getting many orders now for the new book of sermon outlines, bearing the above title. Brother Hoyt Houchen has done a splendid job of compiling these 137 outlines from nearly four score gospel preachers, many of whom have been recognized as the ablest men in the church. We have run into a slight delay in getting the book out; but feel fairly confident now that the book will be in your hands before this month is ended. Price is $3.00. This will make an ideal gift to some young preacher, or preacher student in a Christian college.

Pastor and heifers Brother Luther Martin of Rolla, Missouri, sends us a recent newspaper clipping which describes how the Rev. Elmer H. Dickbernd, pastor of an Evangelical church, is taking a shipload of 60 heifers to Germany for distribution among the refugees of that country. Brother Martin says he can think of nothing more appropriate than for a modern "pastor" to take charge of a bunch of "heifers"; he will be quite in his element.

True love The preacher was completing five years' work with the local church and was giving his farewell speech. He told of the accomplishments during his term with them, how the congregation had grown, Bible school had doubled, contributions had soared, visitors from far and near had been attracted to the services, problems had been solved, the elders and members had learned how to work together, etc. The preacher was of course grateful for "the part he had had" in such accomplishments. One irreverent brother leaned over and whispered to a neighbor: "You know this reminds me of the comment a famous movie star made about her ex-husband: 'He'd grab me in his arms, squeeze me tight, and tell me how wonderful he was'."

"I couldn't read it for weeping"

"Dear Brother Tant: I have just received the Gospel Guardian carrying Brother E. R. Harper's article, 'Beware Psycho-Somatics, etc.' I have loved Ernest for thirty years as a true and faithful preacher of the gospel. I tried to read his article; but had to stop. I couldn't read it for weeping. My heart is heavy indeed today. May God bless you in your work, and may many thousands of others begin to realize the dangers into which these 'centralized' schemes are leading the church." (Comment from a subscriber, typical of many we've received lately.)