Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 27, 1952

Tant Was About Right

W. W. Freeman, Commerce, Texas

What is the difference between — a fuss and a noise? Most of us would rather hear a noise any time than a fuss. There are many sorts of each, but now let us study about fusses and fussing. The main thing about fusses is the sound, but sound is not the main thing about fusses. The fuss is like a live cable; it is surcharged with energy and is nearly as dangerous. Keep your distance if you don't want to get hurt! In a fuss there is an occasional flash of light, but there is usually more lightning than light and more heat than is safe. Then there are different kinds of fusses. These start among the children in early years but at the early stage are soon forgotten. Not so later. There is the fuss between young lovers, and these are not so easily shaken off. Sometimes they are like an Arkansas chill; there is considerable fever and perhaps a headache or heart flutter.

Then in the family there may be fusses that turn into feuds. In these at times "murder will out" There are also smaller fusses that are merely family jars, some big and some little. About the only prevention of these family jars is to add love before sealing. Jars improperly sealed mean soured fruit. The best and quickest way to stop a family fuss is to keep your mouth shut. We are given one mouth and two ears. If distance lends enchantment, there are two legs that may be used for walking. There is nothing better than a walk in the open air if one is about to be overcome because of open family jars.

Stormy Weather

Fusses in churches here and there have been known to occur. These usually arouse the neighbors as well as old Nick. The worst tempest in a teapot is the one that blows a church to smithereens. It is impossible ever to get all the pieces together again. The best way to prevent this calamity is to pipe off the steam before the explosion takes place. Just as our weather is made where the cold front leaves the arctic to meet the westerlies, so the tempest mentioned usually starts from certain frigid contacts. Where the warm sunshine of friendliness prevails there seldom arises any stormy weather to mar human happiness. The key to climate is a close consideration of the high pressure and low pressure zones.

How To Settle Trouble

Just forty-five years ago the brethren in a certain church, where there was a college in the town, were enjoying poor spiritual health, "Amazing Grace" to them was merely the name of a song. Some of the members had left town to meet in rural areas, where in those days there were schoolhouse churches. Others remained at home or went out to see about some oxen that were possibly in a ditch. A few went on to church as if nothing was happening. Others tried to teach the younger generation a few simple truths of the gospel that might prevent their coming to such a climate as prevailed in the community, especially inside the congregation. Other churches of the town felt sorry for most of them, but they went on with their business and their churches continued to grow.

J. D. Tant came to town and he was to hold a meeting. Some of his meetings, he said, did not need "holding," they were too weak to get out of bounds. Tant tried to beat some sense into the heads of those who came out to hear him. Here was the diagnosis: (1) There were people who opposed the modern institution called the "Sunday School." It had literature from the sectarian union publishers, or else it came from some state far to the east. (2) There were some opposed to women's "teaching" and to splitting the church up into classes. (3) There were a few who could not still the tempest but went along believing it just as reasonable and scriptural to teach the Bible in classes on Sunday as it was in the same building on the other five or six days of the week.

Put The Plaster On

The lesson for us today is found in the solution Tant applied for that trouble. "Applied?" Yes, for he said: "Brethren, a plaster will not cure your colic or carbuncle unless you apply it and let it alone until the remedy has time to act." Tant showed that there is not to be a separate "institution" to supplant the church. He showed also that classes are not "the church" (an "assembly") but are individual Christians doing on Sunday what they were already doing on Mondays. There is Christian living for every Christian for every day of his spiritual life on this earth. You may as such have anything mentioned in the Bible, except the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day, on any day as individual Christians, separately or collectively. Women teachers were not "speaking in the church." Work uses energy that might be wasted in fusses. Go to work.