Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 20, 1952
NUMBER 45, PAGE 13,15b

Can You Imagine It? ---

Thomas B. Warren, Galena Park, Texas

(Following is an imaginary conversation between two young Christians in the days of the Apostles.)

Jakim: Greetings, Kareah, how are things over in Thyatira these days?

Kareah: Just fine, Jakim, and how are things with you brethren in Jerusalem?

Jakim: Couldn't be better. It seems that the church is going forward in every way.

Kareah: Tell me about it; I am always anxious to hear of the progress of the Lord's work in any place.

Jakim: Well, for one thing, we have a new Associate Minister coming to help our Minister, Simon Peter.

Kareah: Who is your new Associate Minister? Do I know him?

Jakim: I'm sure you do — he's becoming quite well known for his power to sway the multitudes — his name is Paul. I believe that he used to be called Saul.

Kareah: You don't say!!! Him an Associate Minister already!!! He hasn't been a Christian very long ... and now already a Church of Christ Associate Minister! I can imagine that Barnabas is struck with a little jealousy since he has been wanting that office for such a long time . . . especially in such a big, rich church as Jerusalem.

Jakim: Yes, Barnabas is just a little jealous; I noticed him brooding right after Paul's appointment was announced. He feels that he has been an evangelist long enough to be promoted to Associate Minister.

Kareah: Yes, and I understand that he has made special preparation to fill that type of position. He has been studying intensely in how to entertain the young folks.

Jakim: Yes, I understand that when he was at Philadelphia, he had the chorus there to the point where it could sing and hum better than any choir — oh, pardon me — chorus in all of Asia Minor.

Kareah: I heard they were the best in whistling too, but some old fogies didn't like it.

Jakim: Yes, I'm afraid not all of the legalists in the church are dead yet.

Kareah: But back to Paul. What do they have him lined up to do?

Jakim: Well, of course, his main duty will be in keeping the young folks satisfied.

Kareah: Quite some undertaking that is!

Jakim: Yes, I'll grant that, but they — the elders, that is — are doing everything they can to make his job easy. They have just ordered a new batch of ping-pong tables and are remodeling the banquet room.

Kareah: Is Paul for that? I remember reading a letter which he wrote to the church at Corinth and he seemed to be against things of that kind.

Jakim: Paul had a lesson to learn, but he learned it, it may be said to his credit.

Kareah: What lesson do you refer to?

Jakim: The error of extreme legalism. Paul at one time thought that we had to walk by faith, but he now sees that we must fit our religions to the changing needs of the times. After learning that lesson, I am sure that he will make a very satisfactory Associate Minister.

Kareah: Say, Jakim, while we are on the subject, let me ask you, why do we call him an Associate Minister?

Jakim: Watch out now! Someone else seems to be affected with the disease of extreme legalism. We do so simply because he is associated with the Minister in the work here.

Kareah: Forgive me, who am but dust and ashes, if I ask another question: since the Minister is also associated with the Associate Minister why are they not both called Associate Minister?

Jakim: I see that you are one who will bear watching, Kareah. We call the Minister the Minister because he is the chief Minister. The Associate Minister has not advanced as far as has the Minister.

Kareah: Oh, I see now. Well I suppose the church at Jerusalem is really proud of itself for having the two best known Ministers in all the brotherhood.

Jakim: Why shouldn't they, after all, isn't Jerusalem the biggest church?

Kareah: Yes, the Minister of the church in Jerusalem is the most influential person in all of Judea.

Jakim: And why shouldn't he be? Those country bumpkins in all of these little churches do not really know how to get the Lord's work done. Most of them have already learned to let Simon Peter, our Minister, and James, the Bishop — or chairman of the elders, whichever you want to call him — of Jerusalem make the real decisions as to where their funds should be spent.

Kareah: Didn't Paul used to preach against that too?

Jakim: Yes, but you will remember that I said he USED to be a legalist. He now recognizes that we must meet the needs of the times in the most effective way.

Kareah: I also heard a rumor that John is even now persisting in his opposition to this.

Jakim: True, but we can ruin his influence by merely showing that he is anti-missionary in doing so.

Kareah: But is he REALLY anti-missionary?

Jakim: He must be if he opposes the most effective way of doing things.

Kareah: Yes, I suppose you are right. Perhaps he will soon learn better. By the way, where is Matthew these days?

Jakim: He has quit preaching for a local congregation and has gone into a field of greater service. Kareah: What do you mean?

Jakim: He has joined the faculty of Antioch Christian College to teach Bible and Psychology.

Kareah: Well, I am always glad to hear of a promotion. I'm sure that he can do much more good than he could in just a local congregation.

Jakim: Certainly — just look at all of the preachers he will be instructing.

Kareah: Was everyone for his making that move?

Jakim: As usual there are some extreme legalists around when any progressive move is made. Andrew made a big argument that a better work could be done with a local congregation.

Kareah: Is he what you would call anti-Christian-education?

Jakim: Exactly, Kareah, you are catching on fast!

Kareah: Well, Jakim, I've got to be going — see you again soon.

Jakim: Say, before you go — tell me, did you brethren down at Thyatira put the cross on your building steeple, or didn't you?

Kareah: We had some real opposition, but we finally outvoted them and put it on any way.

Jakim: I see that Jerusalem is not the only place affected by legalists — may the day soon come that they will perish from the earth, and then progressive men shall have free rein without such foolish opposition to every good plan which is devised. Goodbye, Kareah, see you soon.


(Brother, if you can imagine that — you've got SOME imagination)