Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 4, 1962
NUMBER 34, PAGE 3,11b

Religious Error --- Womanly Modesty

James W. Allen, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sidelights On Religious Errors

Apart from their being condemned of God and destructive of immortal souls, religious errors have been associated with some humorous and poetically just consequences.

D'Aubigne, the famous author of The History of the Reformation, tells of an interesting incident in the life of notorious John Tetzel whose work in Europe in the interest of Catholicism was the mainspring of Luther's revolt. The story follows: A Saxon gentleman had heard Tetzel at Leipzig, and was much shocked by his impostures. He went to the monk and inquired if he was authorized to pardon sins in intention, or such as the applicant can intend to commit? "Assuredly," answered Tetzel; have full power from the Pope to do so." "Well," returned the gentleman, "I want to take some slight revenge on one of my enemies without attempting his life. I will pay you ten crowns if you will give me a letter of indulgence that shall bear me harmless." Tetzel made some scruples; they struck their bargain for thirty crowns. Shortly after, the monk set out from Leipzig. The gentleman, attended by his servants, laid wait for him in a wood between Juterboch and Treblin, fell upon him, gave him a beating, and carried off the rich chest of indulgence-money the inquisitor had with him. Tetzel clamored against this act of violence, and brought an action before the judges. But the gentleman showed the letter signed by Tetzel himself, which exempted him beforehand from all responsibilities. Duke George, who had at first been much irrated at this action, upon seeing this writing, ordered that the accused should be acquitted.

Several years ago, a press report carried an account of an interesting trial in the state of Tennessee. The cow of a country preacher had been killed by a train at a crossing. As usual, the cow's value immediately climbed to an astronomical figure. The railroad refused to pay the claim. The preacher, a Primitive Baptist, carried the matter to court. The astute lawyer of the railroad company, in his cross-examination of the plaintiff, asked him, "Are you not a preacher of the Primitive Baptist faith?" The preacher answered, "I am." The lawyer then asked, "Is it not true that you believe in the doctrine of Predestination - that whatever comes to pass was eternally decreed by the God of Heaven and that no act of man could prevent its occurrence?" "I do, indeed!" declared the preacher. Upon hearing this statement, the lawyer for the defense turned to the presiding judge and moved for a dismissal of the action against his client on the grounds, that according to the plaintiff's own testimony, the incident was an act of God which could not have been prevented by any action on the part of the railroad company, hence that the company bore no responsibility in the matter. The motion was approved and the case dismissed. The preacher, needless to say, lost both the case and the cow. We have often wondered if his faith was shaken just a wee bit.

Then, there was the case of the Holiness preacher and his wife that we ran into over in Arkansas in the early days of our experience as a preacher. Both the preacher and his wife believed in the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit being continued until today among believers. Both professed to have been baptized by the Spirit and to be, in all things, under His guidance. The preacher came in contact with a lovely young woman, a number of years his and his wife's junior. The preacher became enamored of the young woman and she reciprocated his affection. A very torrid affair developed between them, so much so that the affair became notorious. The wife of the preacher learned of the affair, and, in much indignation, stormed into her husband's presence and began berating him for his infidelity. His defense was that both he and his wife knew him to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and that he had been directed by the Spirit to form his connection with the young and physically attractive woman of his congregation. However, his wife was skeptical and divorced him.

Of course, we would be unfair if we did not mention the interesting and embarrassing difficulty into which our brethren, who defend the right of churches to function through human societies in the accomplishments of their benevolent responsibilities, have gotten themselves. Most of these brethren depend, as their mainstay, upon the "home restored" argument for justification for their practice. They argue that the so-called "orphan home" is but the "home restored," that churches may contribute to a "private home," hence that churches may contribute to the "institutional homes." They contend that the "institutional boards" of these homes are "parents restored" -- that they serve "en loco parentis." This contention is responsible for the situation to which we have allured. The word of God teaches that the responsibility of parents and relatives is to care for their own and that the church not be charged. "If any widow have nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents for that is good and acceptable before God ... if any provide not for his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel... If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed." (I Tim. 5:4, 8, 16) Now if the so-called "orphan home" is a "private home" restored, if the boards of these bodies are the "restored parents" of the inmates of the homes, then the boards bear the same scriptural responsibilities to the children that their original parents bore to them. It becomes, therefore, the duty of the members of these boards to supply from their personal resources the needs of these children until their resources are exhausted. When their resources are exhausted completely, and only then, can churches scripturally come to their assistance. We are paging, loudly and clearly, a single member of such a board who has done this. Ah! the embarrassment of religious error.

Then there is the contention which Brother Guy N. Woods made in the Gospel Advocate several years, ago to the effect that, when people took orphan children into their homes as their own children and cared for them, they were no longer orphans, hence, even if the church assisted people in such an endeavor, they would not be helping orphans, for these children were no longer orphans, therefore that such a procedure robbed the churches of their opportunity to practice "pure and undefiled religion." If Brother Woods is correct about his "home restored" contention, the children who are taken into our "childcare institutions" have their homes and parents restored, hence are no longer orphans. Therefore, per Woods logic, such institutions rob the churches of their opportunity to practice "pure and undefiled religion." The children are no longer orphans and the help given such by the churches would not fulfill the requirements of James 1:27. Verily, religious errors have sidelights that intrigue us to no end!

Women Without Discretion

One of the crazes of modern society is a watered down form of the ancient "sun-worship" manifested in a semi-nude state of dress on the part of too large a majority of the people of our country and especially among the female sex. Accompanying this modern form of "sun-worship" there has been a marked decline in the standards that have generally been recognized as defining proper feminine behavior. Women are heard publicly swearing in the coarsest fashion, exchanging obscene jokes with men in public places, and defending the right of women to lower themselves to the same base standard of morality relative to their relation to the opposite sex as men of the world have practiced for generations. A lack of discretion seemingly has become a mark of sophistication.

When we observe this sort of conduct on the part of women (some professing to be children of God), we always think of Solomon's statement: "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." (Proverbs 11:22). We remember also the inspired counsel of the Apostle Paul given to women whose husbands were not Christians: "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may also without the word be won by the conversation (manner of life JWA) of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (1 Pet. 3:1-4).

Christian mothers should teach their daughters, both in word and by example, the responsibility that is theirs as the mothers of the race to uphold the dignity of Christian womanhood and preserve the respect of man, to which she is entitled, by the proper exercise of discretion. We recently read of an elderly gentleman of the Old South who was riding on an elevator in a large office building in Atlanta, Ga. Two lovely young women boarded the elevator on the 10th floor. Upon their boarding the elevator, the elderly gentleman politely removed his hat and held it across his breast. The elevator stopped at the 9th floor and again at the 8th. With a coarse oath, one of the young women remarked, "It looks like this (censored) thing is going to stop on every floor." The other young woman replied, "Yes, it will take the (censored) thing a half-hour to get down." Without batting an eye or in any sense changing his facial expression, the elderly gentleman placed his hat back on his head.

We often hear women complaining about the rudeness of modern man. Not many men spend much time admiring or paying homage to a "gold ring in a pig's snout."