Vol.XI No.VIII Pg.2
October 1974

From My Note Book

Robert F. Turner

Remember the old Mack Sennett comedies? Five policemen, start out chasing one crook, but as the race continues other crooks join their buddy and are chased-- until there are more crooks ahead than cops behind. Then, the crooks turn around and chase the cops. Well, we found something like that in Mexico. A preacher went on a disfellowshiping binge. One by one, those disfellowshiped gathered at a second church (whose practices they did not approve) until most of the first church were there. Then they went to court and asked that their original property be restored to them. The request was approved; they ran the preacher off; and moved back into their building. I intend no cops and robbers parallel; just thought you would be interested. Have you noticed how many small struggling churches are built around one man? Perhaps he started the work, or for years has held it together, and deserves credit. But now he resents active newcomers, or even some original members who have matured and would like to be active in service. They threaten his place. We are twice sad because: (1) too little respect is given to age, experience, and honorable past service; and (2) it seems so difficult for patriarchs to pass their wisdom, experience, and yes, their place on to the new generation — who will take it anyway.

We stopped at a roadside church for evening worship and heard a young preacher give forth this startling thought teaser: If it were not for Christians, the church would have a hard time getting along. Yeahhh!!

Talked with a recent corner to mid-western country churches, who thought Evangelistic authority was a new, up-and-coming issue. He was amazed as we reviewed its past history— amazed that any church would allow one to so dominate them. We have come a long way in reasserted congregational in-dependence, and in teaching preachers their place as servants of the Lord— with no clergy-laity distinctions. But there is a continuing need for well-taught elders and preachers who will take their duties seriously.

Imagine the nerve, gall, you-name-it, that it took for the Gospel Advocate Co. to list Highlights of the Douthitt-Warren Debate in their new catalogue as A thirty-seven paged booklet on this debate on the subject of Anti-Class, Anti-College, and Anti-Located Preacher advocates. The debate was actually a discussion of church organization and institutionalism, such as orphan homes.