Vol.XIII No.VII Pg.1
September 1976

Stand Up And Say It

Robert F. Turner

PLAIN TALK is written for mature people, and we dont mean X-rated. We try to write as we speak — kindly disposed, yet with no desire to coddle or baby the reader. It is our nature to be a bit whimsical, and no effort is made either to hide or to exaggerate this. We read a lot, and are told we tend to write in a bookish fashion — except by those who say we are downright country. We have long sought to develop an objective approach to matters, hoping not to forget people in the process. Some say we never go in the front door of a subject if we can find a back door; but we say we are trying to get to the bottom of an issue, and avoid prejudices by the presentation.

All of which is said (back door) in order to say that we believe nature people should be able to speak plainly to one another. If we believe a man is going to Hell, we would like to be able to tell him so, and convince him that we are sorry about it. If we believe he is going to Heaven, we would like to be able to rejoice with him without having him think he is being buttered up for a donation.

We do not believe abusive language is a sign of soundness; nor, for that matter, that kind and respectful communication is a sign of weakness. We must confess that we tend to judge a man somewhat unstable when his words are ambiguous and he is always being misunderstood. We are also wary of one who will burst out with some wild statement, and then when it is challenged, adopt a sweet and hurt attitude. Sometimes this happens when one speaks or writes hastily, with too little thought for what he is saying. But if this becomes a habit, that man should learn to keep quiet.

Paul wrote to the Colossians, Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one (3:6). The seasoning is neither sugar nor hot peppers; but is wholesome, palatable, wise and beneficial. Seems to us this calls for directness — perhaps a yea, yea or nay, nay.

Mature men and women, with genuine interest in spiritual matters, will lay their chips aside, and communicate in a fair and meaningful way.