Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 4, 1958

Don (Ernest) Quickshot Tilts With A Wind-Mill

George A. Braly, Russellville, Alabama

Saavedra de Cervantes, a Spanish satirist, wrote "Don Quixote", the delightful romance of extravagantly chivalrous (and slightly mad) hero by that name. Don became involved in many zany, "quixotic" adventures, but perhaps the maddest of them all was the occasion of his tilting with a windmill. Imagining himself a gallant knight charged with the duty of protecting the worthy against all enemies, he clambered astride what he fancied was a noble, spirited horse (but which in reality was a stupid donkey); he wore on his head an upturned iron pot, which he imagined to be a knight's helmet, and in his hand he carried a stick, which he mistook for a knight's lance. Thus accoutered, the dauntless hero dashed (?) away on his proud steed in quest of a new adventure. And adventure he was not long in finding. He soon spied in the distance a fierce giant, who stood on a hillside waving his mighty arms in a terrible rage and threatened to crush and devour the terrified population who cowered in the valley below. Don rode heroically to the rescue, and immediately engaged the giant in single-handed combat. With his trusty lance he made thrust after thrust at the wicked giant, who, all the while, stood waving his arms in a frenzy of rage and frustration.

Now, of course, you and I know that there was no giant there at all. What our deluded hero was fighting so valiantly wits only a windmill with its arms turning in the wind. The terrified population in the valley below was actually a flock of sheep grazing serenely and contentedly on the grassy hillside. And, but for fear of wounding our hero's feelings, we could have told him that his shining knight's helmet was only a rusty old iron pot, and his lance only a stick, and his warrior's steed was nothing but a donkey.

But, why destroy Don's pleasure in his world of fantasy?

In a recent issue of Childhaven News appeared evidence that Don Quixote "rides again." Once again our gallant hero has dashed madly off on his prancing donkey to slay a wicked giant who is terrorizing the people.

Our modern young quixotic scribe penned an article, which he entitled very appropriately "The Parable (?) Of The ??". The title is appropriate, I say, because the first Question mark suggests doubt as to whether the author's literary effort really constitutes a parable, and the other two Question marks cause us to echo his question — a parable of "WHAT"?

Don Earnest Clevenger Quixote seems this time to be having a nightmare. He imagines a cruel preacher and a heartless elder refusing to send a full-grown man to an orphan home. And, true to form, our intrepid young knight rushed to the rescue in the person of a "certain preacher who was considered by the first preacher and the elder of the church as 'unsound and digressive' ", and hurries this full-grown man off to some orphanage.

At least, I assume the author intended for his readers to picture this full-grown man as a hapless orphan, for he wrote, "a certain MAN (emphasis mine) who had been stripped and robbed of his parents by death . . . . But a certain gospel preacher . . . .took him to a home . . . .and made a liberal donation to the home-keeper."

Is it possible that our quixotic young knight, while sitting gallantly astride his hobby horse (Benevolent Society by name) let his iron pot helmet fall so far down on his head as to obscure his vision, so that when he raised his trusty lance (fountain pen) he was "barely able to discern" the absurdity of what he was writing?

Doesn't our hero understand Jesus' parable of the "Good Samaritan"? Does he think that the inn and the inn-keeper represent either an orphan home or an old folks' home and the superintendent thereof? Does he imagine that the parable authorizes a CHURCH, out of its treasury, to support such a home? Doesn't our hero see that the good Samaritan took money out of his own pocket to pay the inn-keeper's bill? Does he not realize that the Samaritan did NOT call upon any church to take money out of its treasury to pay the bill? Does he still fail to understand that this parable is plainly a lesson on INDIVIDUAL charity, and is not concerned with congregational responsibility at all? Verily, our earnest young scribe must have been "lying in a stupor" when he wrote.

If our young hero likes parables, let him try this one: The treasury of a certain rich ( ?) church brought forth plentifully; and it reasoned within itself, saying, 'What shall we do, because we have not where to bestow our funds?' And it said, "This will we do: We will pull down our scriptural practices, and build us greater and more modern programs - - - human benevolent societies. In short, we will bestow our funds on such institutions, and we will say to our souls: Souls, you have much credit laid up for many years (benevolent societies, recreation centers, youth camps, church kitchens, church suppers, socials, etc.); take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' "But God said unto them, "You fools, this night are your souls required of you; and the unscriptural things you have prepared, whose shall they be? "So is he that deviseth unscriptural plans of his own, and is not rich toward God."

We find it intriguing to wonder at this point whether our young knight would regard it as being just a little bit 'unsound" and perhaps 'a wee bit "digressive" for a "certain elder" to teach any or all of the following:

1. "Christ cannot possibly return for at least another thousand years, because before he returns there must be a literal one thousand years of absolute peace on the earth, during which time the Jews shall return to Palestine."

2. "It is scriptural for women to preach publicly from the pulpit to an audience composed of both men and women."

3. "It is scriptural and permissible for a Christian to worship where mechanical instruments of music are being used in the worship."

4. "It is scriptural and permissible for a Christian to participate in the worship of a sectarian (denominational) group; to sing in the choir, play an instrument, partake of the communion with them, and contribute of his money for the furtherance of that organization."

5. "It is scriptural for the church of Christ to build, operate. and maintain recreation centers, banquet halls, youth camps, hospitals, baseball teams, colleges, etc."