Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 13, 1969

"Fustest With The Mostest"


When Robert E. Lee was once asked whom he considered the ablest General officer under his command, he replied without a moment's hesitation, "A man I have never met, sir; his name is Nathan Bedford Forrest." This Forrest, a fantastic fighting man, was credited with having killed more men in personal combat than any commanding officer known to history. Twenty-nine different horses were shot from under him during the four bloody years of the Civil War carnage.

When asked his plan for fighting battles, the bearded Forrest is reputed to have replied, "My idea of winning battles is to git thar fustest with the mostest men." His grammar might have lacked something, but his battle strategy was superb.

It has been the fate of nearly every losing side in any war that they "came too late and with too little."

We keep thinking of Forrest's words as we contemplate the bitter battle now waged by the Lord's church against the forces of secularism and sectarianism. How puny our efforts in view of the enormity of our task! Surely any discerning observer would be strongly tempted to feel that our efforts give every indication of being "too little and too late." This is particularly true in reference to the training of our children for wholesome Christian lives in the service of God. How often parents sadly awaken to the fact that the forces of materialism have shaped the lives of their children almost (and many times completely) beyond redemption long years before they themselves realize what is happening. Through the violent, amoral, unChristian propaganda of the television and journalistic media, even reaching into the public schools, attitudes and habits of thought are being developed in the children at the very time they are most impressionable. And parents sadly learn when they try to bring the children to the right attitude that the attitude that the forces of evil have been "fustest with the mostest!"

What can be done about it? We have several ideas as a starting place:

1. A daily exposure to the Bible from the very first year. This can take the form of Bible stories from the mother or father, told at the child's level. This, obviously, will require that the parents themselves have some information of the Bible! In teaching their children they may teach themselves some things. As the children grow older, we would strongly recommend a daily listening to the Bible (either on tapes or records — both are available) at some regular set time. If the children can read at all, they may well follow the printed text as they listen to the spoken word.

2. A more careful and consistent preparation of all Bible lessons whether for Sunday classes, mid-week, or any kind of special classes. The new literature now in process of preparation by the Cogdill Foundation will be invaluable for this kind of teaching. It will be Bible centered, and will be designed to meet the problems of this age, bringing to bear the great power of God's word as it is presented to, and absorbed by, the student.

3. A special effort at "recruiting" by parents and others who are concerned. We mean very frankly the recruiting of full time workers for the cause of Christ. We have all heard the oft-repeated advice given that "no boy should become a preacher if he can keep from it." In the context in which it was first given this is probably true, but it is horribly negativistic. We think parents should so condition their sons by repeated teaching and 'nurture,' should so appeal to their idealism in their growing formative years, so fire them with the love of Christ that when the time for life's decision comes, the youth finds he can't keep from it" — from preaching the gospel, that is.

Why should parents encourage their sons to go into medicine, the law, dentistry, the teaching profession, and be as silent as the tomb in the matter of setting before them the greatest and noblest work of all, that of bringing men to the knowledge of Christ? We could wish that brethren With financial ability would increasingly set up scholarships and other provisions to encourage dedicated young Christian men to give their lives to "do the work of an evangelist" and to fulfill their ministry before the Lord.

4. Continuing emphasis on good literature. By `good literature' we mean not only good gospel journals in the home, but the vast wealth of devotional and inspirational material now available. This can come in books, in recorded materials, in singing albums, in a wide variety of products. The idea is that of saturation learning. Let the life of the growing child be given the wholesome, healthy, beneficial influences of "the good, the true, the beautiful" in place of a constant diet of violence, sex, sadism, debauchery in the entertainment media, coupled with atheistic teaching in the schools.

Let not the sad epitaph of history be written of the church in our day that she was "too late and with too little."

— F. Y. T.