Vol.VII No.IV Pg.1
June 1970

Paging Nathan

Robert F. Turner

The preacher reads the scriptures, and points out some positive teaching clearly set forth. The hearers nod their understanding and approval. The principle stated is so right, so very true, so obviously scriptural.

Then the preacher makes an application of the accepted truth to some actual situation — some obscure and little known error, so far as the audience is concerned, but an example that demonstrates clearly a violation of the gospel truth. The hearers are shocked that anyone could be so blind to the plain truth, or so calloused as to ignore it.

And then the preacher gives other examples of this same error, with accurate details, that do everything except call the name of the offender. The audience is with him — maturing in their understanding of the scriptural principle as its truth is contrasted with obvious error, and completely sympathetic with the preachers desire to correct the wrong.

So, the preacher calls the name of the offender, or makes specific reference to that which he has correctly described — maybe he says, Baptist or Herald of Truth, or (do you suppose he would dare?) he says, Thou art the man! (2 Sam. 12:7)

The hearers are stunned! They give one another that who does he think he is look, and (almost literally) they hit the ceiling.

What right have you to judge? Why dont you preach the gospel and let other people alone? If you had the right spirit you would LOVE the ones you talk about! Shame on you for being against the care of poor little orphans. Anti — everything, and never want to do anything! Wow!!

What happened to that scriptural principle to which all agreed? Where are those sympathetic Amens! as we were urged to do Bible things in Bible ways? How has the wrong of some faraway or despised sect become so right, now that we see we are guilty?

Are we really listening to what Gods word says; swallowing our pride to become His honest servants???