Vol.II No.X Pg.1
November 1965

The Story "Going Around"

Robert F. Turner

The class had studied the names of the Apostles, books of the NT, etc., and now, in an oral quiz, I asked if Mark was one of the Apostles.

"Yes!" answered one young man; and he spoke with firm conviction.

I tried to reason with him; asked him to recall a little song by which the Apostle's names were listed; but he would not budge. Yes, he was certain, Mark was one of the Apostles.

Finally I had the class turn to MAT.10:2-4 and read aloud. Mark's name was conspicuous by its absence.

My young student was unmoved. "It reads that way," he admitted, "but that's not the story that's going around"

It's pretty hard to argue with that. "The story that's going around" has always been a hard nut to crack. It is what "they say" "everyone does it" or "I've always heard". Some are ready to accept "the story that's going around" just because it is "going around". They ride the band-wagon! Others fail to understand the true source of authority in religious matters. Without realizing it, they join with the Roman Catholics in accepting the authority of "the church" instead of God's word, which approves or disapproves "the church". If "the story going around" is what "the church" teaches they think that is final.

Weak people grab "the story -- " for many reasons. It offers ready-made conclusions, complete with stock arguments and quibbles. They do not have to study, think, and decide for themselves. If "the story" has popular approval they can lose themselves in the crowd -- feast on the strength (?) of others. No courage is required.

Under the guise of "independent thinking" some egotist may foster a foolish notion -- this is true. Being different from "the story that's going around" doesn't make a thing good. But at the risk of encouraging some crack-pot "free-thinker" we must insist upon the need for more people who will think for themselves. The Lord's church suffers greatly from "the stories that are going around".