Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1960
NUMBER 9, PAGE 8-9,13b

News And Views

Charles A Holt, Box 80, Florence. Alabama

News Of Moves And Other Things

Edgar Dye is moving from Phonex, Arizona to work with the new congregation in Blytheville, Arkansas...William Wallace is soon to move to Poteau, Oklahoma, to labor with the saints there. He has been with the church in McAlester . . . .Ronnie Pope is to move to McAlester from Cardwell, Missouri . . . . It is a source of real encouragement to see so many new congregations starting all over the nation. In most instances they have come as a result of people being forced to leave churches where innovations and digression have gained such a foothold that all hope of recovering the church is gone. These new churches are characterized by zeal courage and determination. They are growing. There are yet other places where the starting of a sound church is the only solution for those who intend to worship and serve God "as it is written." How brethren can tolerate and, in my opinion, compromise with error in staying with some congregations is more than I can understand. There are some who are afraid to really stand up for the truth and oppose the innovations and digressive practices. They fear the consequences. They "go along" in order to have peace and (vainly) hope that the situation will improve. Yes, I know something about what it means to undertake a new work, even with all the pressure that can be brought to bear and at great odds. But with faith, courage, sacrifice and zeal it can be done. I would like to have some reports about new congregations to carry in this column. I think it would afford interesting and encouraging reading. Not necessarily those started under difficult and trying circumstances, but reports on all congregations started in the last four or five years. How they started and the conditions under which such was brought about, where they meet, attendance, contribution, and other interesting facts. Such information should serve as an incentive and encouragement to others. Let us hear from you with such reports ... James Lynch is moving from Paonia, Colorado to Maryville, California . . . . E. L. Flannery is soon to move to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to labor with the Downtown church. He is moving from Bedford, Ohio. He will have his work cut out for him in Lawrenceburg, but he can do the job if it can be done ... Hollis Creel has moved to Albertville, Alabama. . . Sutton-Blazer Debate: Carrot Sutton, of Peoria, Illinois, and Howard Blazer, of Florence, Alabama, have agreed to have two debates concerning the benevolent organizations. The first one is set for July 26-29, to be conducted at the Eastside church building in Athens, Alabama. The second one is set for Sept. 6-9, to be held in Lauderdale County, Alabama.... J. M. Powell, who is leaving Jackson Avenue church in Memphis because he was "fired" (politely, of course!), recently sent me a copy of his bulletin announcing a "Special Service" at Jackson Avenue. N. B. Hardeman was to speak June 5 on the "Issues Which Threaten The Unity of The Church." They were playing it up in a big way. Seems like things are not going so well for the Cause of Digression in Memphis and they think it necessary to call for help. I read a copy of a sermon N. B. Hardeman delivered in Florida on this subject. It is the nearest nothing I ever read. They only thing he has to offer is the fact that he is N. B. Hardeman and all should just take his word (quibbles) for all his assertions. The weakness of the position shows up all the better in the hands of one like Hardeman

....One more about Powell. He tried to secure a place to preach in Florida. It is reported that he wrote a letter setting forth his qualifications. Here are three of the four main ones: (1) He is a Tennessee Colonel on the Governor's Staff; (2) he is B. C, Goodpasture's brother-in-law; and (3) he is the seventh-ranked preacher in the church! Now that should qualify him to "hold a job" with any church! Yes, like you, I have been trying to figure out just how he figured that he was the seventh-ranked preacher. Just who are the top six? Of course, I suppose the number one spot goes to Goodpasture — hardly any of them would question this. It would be interesting to know who the other five are and upon what basis their position and rank has been determined. Hierarchy? Pope? Sectarianism? Apostasy? In spite of it all some blindly deny that there is any danger of such . . . . William Lewis, after more than five years with the church in Woodbury, Tennessee, is moving to labor with the Norwood church in Knoxville.

... Billy Newby is moving to work with the Woodbury church . . . . Clifton Trimble now lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and teaches in the college there. He also labors regularly with Almaville church in the country . . . This finds me in Franklin, Tennessee where I am nearing the close of a meeting with West End church. The attendance has been excellent and the interest high from the start. It has been my lot to help these brethren resolve some personal differences which had upset the work severely. With joy I announce that all these problems have been corrected and this church is in a position to do its greatest work. Martin Lemon has moved here to labor with these people and this church will continue to be a tower of strength for the truth in Middle Tennessee. It has been a joy to be with them and to see so many of the faithful saints from all over this section during this meeting ... . In the ad of the Jackson Park church in the Nashville paper (6/11/60) the sermon subjects were announced. The subject for the morning was "Why Go To The Moon?". The evening subject was "What Every Husband Should Know." This is the kind of "stuff" so many churches are being given. It is no wonder that they know so little about the Bible and have no real desire to know much. In view of such watered-down, sectarian, crowd-pleasing talks, is it any wonder why digression is making the progress it is? I heard recently that "Dr." Ira North announced the following subject on the big Madison church sign board: "How To Take Care of a Middle Age Husband." North is so far "gone" that it is hard to understand how even the promoters and liberals can tolerate him. He recently delivered a Baccalaureate sermon and it consisted mainly of a "eulogy" of himself. Like Simon the Sorcerer he was really "giving out that himself was some great one." He is a first-class egotist, swaggerer, and braggart — to the extent that many wonder if it hasn't affected his mind. He is so enamored with himself that he can hardly stand it. You should see him strutting around town in his red suit — or his green one. I believe those are the colors. Anyway, they are so "loud" that they scream at you. His favorite verse of scripture is "Study to show thyself..." He stops with this point for this seems to be his every concern. Such is one of the men who has the church "on the march." . . . Ross Spears is soon to move to Kirksville, Missouri, where he will labor with the small church there. . . . Woodrow Plyler has moved to Lockland, Ohio from Clanton, Alabama...David Harkrider is now working with the Southside church in Greenville, Texas, moving there from Cooper .... C. A. Brannan has moved from Columbus, Georgia to Caldwell, Ohio John R. Toomey is laboring with the saints in Puyallup, Washington. He publishes a neat, nice bulletin . . . . E. N. Lovell is now living in Lexington, Ky. but is laboring with the church in Georgetown. He moved from Albany, Ky. L. R. Hester has moved from Savoy, Texas to Orange, Texas to work with 9th and Burton church . . . . M. S. King has moved to work with the church in Burkeville, Texas .. . James L. Yopp is scheduled to engage Boyd Morgan in a discussion of the current issues. The debate will be in Kennett, Missouri, where both men live, and is set for the first week of August. I am surprised that anyone has ever gotten Morgan even this close to a debate; especially there where he lived. Morgan tries to give the impression of being so willing and anxious, but it is all bluff. At least, for nearly three years I have been trying to tie him up for a debate and have failed. He always has a loop-hole or else can't find anyone to endorse him. It should be an interesting debate. If hot-air, blow and bullying can win, then Morgan is a certain victor, for he is well supported with these! The truth will penetrate this cover and should reach many honest people. I wish I could attend the debate.

Truth In A Light Vein: (Or: Aptly Poetic) My Preacher's Eyes I've Never Seen

Though the light in them may shine.

For when he prays, he closes his, And when he preaches, I close mine. — Via bulletin, Anaheim, Calif.

Thoughts Of The Weak Christian

The preacher preaches just for fun!

He talks and pleads and nothing's done;

He teaches things the church should do, Which things are heard by very few.

The preacher seldom preaches right!

He always wants to wage a fight Against the things I love to do,

Which all my worldly friends love too.

The preacher preaches for his pay!

Because he always tries to say The things that please the leader's ear;

And talks of giving all the year.

The preacher means not what he said!

The doctrine taught, today is dead;

We know his doctrine isn't so, And why he does it I don't know.

The preacher doesn't mind the shame!

Of preaching sermons all in vain:

When I betray the truth he's taught By doing things the church has fought.

The preacher preaches just for fun!

His words by me will not be done:

I'll do the things I want to do, No matter what he says is true.

— Robert C. Welch

Losing Individualism?

The individual is the most powerful idea in our Western society.

On the importance of each man and his inherent rights our government has been built.

The Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."

The Declaration further asserts that governments derive their just powers from "the consent of the governed." It is an eternal principle that the individual gives power to the government rather than that government gives rights to the individual.

The Christian religion is built on the idea of the importance of the individual and the love which God has for each personality.

Jesus said, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" And He also declared, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

We have a right to be alarmed, therefore, when it appears in our society that the position of the individual has been weakened. We ask: 'Is our nation gradually losing its genius of individualism?"

In the emergence of the mass mind too many of us go along with crowd. We are becoming too soft-minder' in America.

Decline Of Self-Enlightenment

There has been a decline of serious reading and intelligent self-enlightenment. This significant loss has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in our exposure to the entertainment craze. We have become so engrossed in our own entertainment and comforts that some are describing our age as the Age of Creature Comforts. It easier to be spoon-fed in our leisure time than to use time and mental energy for purposes of self-enlightenment.

Aversion To Controversy

A second mark of the soft mind is aversion to controversy. We prefer to be soothed rather than challenged, pleased rather than provoked, and gratified rather than stimulated. Some go to great lengths to avoid argument and emotional tensions. This is simply the reaction of soft-minded people who have lost, or soon will lose, their personal convictions. Tranquilizers and alcohol represent common forms of evasion.

This tendency to avoid conflicts and controversy is widespread. Many people will frankly tell you, for example, "We do not discuss religion or politics in our home." Yet Christianity itself was born in controversy and has flourished during periods of tremendous opposition. And our Republic was born in revolution and controversy. The enlightened mind does not shun a discussion of controversial issues. Soft minds do.

The Paternal View Of Government

A third deadly symptom of the soft mind is the tendency to look on the government as the Great White Father and provider extraordinary. This concept of government, when extended to its ultimate form becomes Socialism and Communism in which the state and not the individual is the chief unit of society. Because men cannot or will not find employment, the government steps in; because men cannot or will not provide for their own, the government steps in; because men cannot or will not plan for their own future, the government steps in. And on and on goes the vicious cycle that exalts the obligation of the state to the individual and minimizes the individual's self-reliance and responsibility to enrich society with his own efforts. This is the paternal view of government held by many today.

This view affects our attitude toward financial matters — all the way from the home to the national government, or, by means of national debt, to our children and grandchildren.

Many of us call for more public works to create more jobs, more and better highways, more and better schools, better paid teachers, and more and more federal aid of all kinds. Strangely, we react adversely to the suggestion that we should pay for these programs through higher taxes. Rather than curtail government activities to our ability to pay we clamor for more and more and often disregard the problem of financing altogether. The question of who is going to pay is left to the next generation.

Genuine Conviction

If the soft mind contributes to the decline of the individual, the tough mind should contribute to restoring the individual to his rightful dignity.

Self-enlightenment is serious business. Being informed, we will have definite personal convictions, and we must not be afraid to express them. Enlightened individuals are the responsible citizens and the kind of leaders our government so direly needs in the years ahead. People of genuine conviction will help preserve our heritage of individualism.

Charles Spurgeon stated the case for the individual when he declared: "The greatest works are done by the ones... It is the units, the single individuals, that are the power and the might."

If we are to be strong people, we must rely upon the individual — the individual with a strong mind.

— Don H. Morris, Via HORIZONS.