Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 27, 1959

Lot "Pitched His Tent Toward Sodom"

Pryde E. Hinton, Dora, Alabama

The quotation in the caption is from the King James Version, Gen. 13:12. There are many things which are not inherently wrong, but have always been a snare, or rather the bait on the snare, to lead God's people astray. As I have said before, I have been guilty of scoffing at the fears and warnings of brethren whom I considered over-scrupulous. I could nearly always point to some inconsistency in their life and teachings, and wisely exclaim, "Consistency, thou art a jewel!" Or I would quote Emerson, and feel that I had demolished my over scrupulous brethren, who warned against instrumental music in weddings in the meeting house, etc.: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." But I, like many others who quote Emerson, did not emphasize that he said "a FOOLISH consistency"! When I behold "how great a matter a little fire kindleth," I now see that some matters about which brethren have warned are not "foolish".

I know that the meeting house is not the church. I have been preaching and emphasizing that for "nigh on to" forty years. I know that a wedding is not a part of the worship. But also Paul concedes that an idol is nothing, and that meats are not inherently wrong (1 Cor. 10); but nevertheless he warns both the Corinthians and the Romans about destroying one's brother "with thy meat," or about being sure that "whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God". See Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 10:31, with contexts.

I think it is fine for families of the congregation (all of the families) to prepare lunch, and all put their food together and enjoy the association; but I also sincerely believe that there is grave danger of this leading to something that is wrong. A journal, like this one, is helpful; but if anyone considers it a church paper, or accepts its teachings as authoritative, it is sinful to that person. Just because one's tent is not IN Sodom, doesn't prove that he is not going in that direction!