Vol.I No.XII Pg.8
December 1964

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

A man who" just loved outdoor cooking" could no longer endure the sissy civilized refinements of a modern kitchen. He built a stone barbecue pit and grill in his back yard-- where he could assert his rugged individualistic style, cooking and communing with nature.

To make a more solid footing for his table and chairs, and avoid mud and/or red ants, he poured a concrete slab all around the grill. Then, when a few "cook-outs" were spoiled by sun or showers, he built a good roof overhead --- extending a chimney through the roof, and installing a vent-a-hood to remove unwanted smoke. Since the vent-a-hood required electricity, it was a simple matter to add lighting, and an outlet for the electric coffee maker.

Came summer, and he screened-in the shelter to foil the flies and other insects attracted to his table. Then, to "do it up right" he built a tile-topped work cabinet, complete with double sink and "running water".

This man "just loved outdoor cooking." Nothing quite like it. Ha reminds me of the way some brethren "just love the Lord's church." They are attracted to the philosophy of New Testament Christianity. "Bible things in Bible ways" "Back to the Bible!" " The church you read about in the Bible!" These slogans sound good, and they like to identify themselves with the stalwarts of old who fought bravely for such a cause.

But the reality of N.T. Christianity -- like that of outdoor cooking-- is something else. If there be any virtue in the two (and for the N.T. church I base my case on God's word) the benefits can only be realized by accepting the practice as well as the terminology.

The dudish "out-doorsman" is within his rights, even though we may reel he is "kidding himself" about his "rugged" character. But the members of the church who alter New Testament Christianity to suit their own taste, not only deceive themselves but bring reproach upon the name of the Lord and His work.

There is incongruity in the sign: CHURCH OF CHRIST; and the church supported banquets, inter-congregational organizations, sectarian spirits and worldliness that is often within. "We love the Lord's church" -- indeed!!!