Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 16, 1951

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

How One Church "Does It"

"I like the way they are doing it better than the way you are not doing it" was a frequent taunt of those who supported the Missionary Societies It has been heard lately in reference to the care of orphan children and widows, being used by those who advocate institutional care rather than direct church care for these unfortunate ones. One church in northern Alabama (Sherrod Avenue in Florence) issued a financial report the other day showing they had spent $1,275.48 during the past fiscal year for benevolence (much of it devoted to the relief of widows and orphans), and not one dollar of it was turned over to some institution to spend for them. How many of the "institutionally minded" churches are doing a comparable amount of benevolence?

Sinful—indubitably So!

A certain sister of our acquaintance was planning a vacation with her husband to the seashore. Preparatory to the anticipated trip, she went shopping down town for a bathing suit. She tried one on, looked at herself in the full length mirror, and gasped in horror at what Time had done to her once svelte figure. She quickly doffed the bathing suit, put on her own modest dress (medium stout), and is now firmly convinced that mixed bathing is sinful!

He Tried To

That story of sister Campbell reminds us of a thing that happened in an Oklahoma town a few years ago. One of the elders of the church was nearly ninety years of age. One Sunday morning he tottered to his feet at the close of the service and announced "Brethren and sisters, I feel like I am too old and feeble to do the work of an elder any longer. I therefore resign as elder of this congregation, and appoint brother So-and-So in my place. He will succeed me in the eldership." We've known of elders being voted in (and out), appointed by a visiting preacher, appointed by themselves, etc., but this was our first time to come across an instance in which an elder thought that he personally had full authority to name his successor. P. S. The "appointment" didn't take.

Worse Than Division

"Division is the most serious and disastrous thing that can happen to the body of Christ, with one exception; the whole body could apostatize in perfect peace. Total apostasy is worse, of course, than division, when the division is caused by a part of the body refusing to go along with unscriptural doctrines and practices."

— Roy H. Lanier (Annual Lesson Commentary)

"Separate And Apart," Yet Attached

In the Gospel Advocate of July 12 brother Brewer figuratively speaking lifts his hands in shock and amazement at brother John T. Lewis' poor reasoning in saying that Childhaven was "separate and apart" from the church, yet was "fastened" upon it. Apparently brother Brewer thinks such an impossibility, for he says, "How a thing can be `separate and apart' from that upon which it is `fastened' the reader must judge!" Did our brother ever see a flea "fastened" to a dog's back? Now the flea is certainly no part of the dog; he is different not merely in degree, but in kind; he belongs to a different specie; lives for a different end; serves a different purpose in the scheme of the universe; occupies a different station in the scale of creation. Yes, by every known criterion of judgment he is "separate and apart" from the dog. Yet he is certainly, "fastened" upon the dog ... and sucking blood for dear life!

Time Will Tell

Some few brethren are getting so exasperated and out of patience with those of us who urge caution and careful study of the methods and plans being used in the work of the church that they are apparently about ready to "unchurch" a bunch of the old fogies, reactionaries, and dunderheads. We've heard a few rumors of a new paper being launched with the avowed purpose of putting the Gospel Guardian "out of business." May we remind the brethren thinking in this direction that they already have a paper very clearly devoted to an overthrow of everything for which the Guardian contends. And in every issue of that paper the editor, Ernest Beam, keeps bragging about what a tremendous following he is building up in the church. We think most of his bragging is just that—but time will tell.

Gospel Preaching

One of our best-known "big preachers" is widely noted for his lectures on Evolution and Communism. Word comes to us that in a gospel meeting some time ago in middle Tennessee he devoted three nights of the series to a discussion of, "The Mendelian Law, As It Relates To the Embryonic Development and Maturation of the Fruit-fly." No comment.

Out Of The Depths

The English poet, William Cowper, was a sensitive, nervous child who lost his mother at six. He was treated with cruelty at school, and thwarted in love by a father. On top of all that was the awful suicidal melancholia which periodically seized him. In one such spell he tried three times to take his life—first with laudanum, then with a knife, and the third time, which was almost successful, with a cord. He spent eighteen months in a lunatic asylum. Recovering from that he was harassed with such doubts and fears as to make his life almost unbearable. He had a distinct memory of all things done during his periods of temporary insanity, and felt such a retroactive responsibility for them that for a long time he felt himself certainly among the damned. Yet even in all his doubt and despair he never for one moment surrendered his life of virtue or relaxed his endeavor to serve God. Out of the Gethsemane of his doubt-darkened life, there came some of the most triumphant hymns the world was ever to see. One of them particularly is well known to most of us:

"God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace;

Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.