Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 6, 1952

Highlights Of The Fly - Long Discussion

James P. Needham, Hayti, Missouri

This was a very interesting discussion, thus I believe the brotherhood would be at a loss if they did not hear about some of the highlights of it. It was not only an interesting discussion, but also a very important one. Important for at least four reasons: (1) It was held in a section of Tennessee where many of the churches are soft, and do not believe in exposing error. (2) It was held in a section where I used to live and work, and where Brother Fly and I tried for almost two years to get the sectarians out in the open, but were unable to do so. (3) The proposition which Mr. Long affirmed. (4) Brother Fly wound Mr. Long up to the extent that many heard the truth for the first time.

Mr. Long affirmed a proposition which I have never heard of a Missionary Baptist preacher believing. It was as follows: "The N.T. teaches that the alien sinner is saved by repentance, faith, and confession before and without water baptism." It is needless to say, that Brother Fly had some fun trying to get Mr. Long to stay with his proposition. Evidently Mr. Long was converted on his erroneous proposition, for ever since his discussion with brother Fly, I have been unable to get him to affirm the same proposition again.

Brother Fly proved himself a master of the situation. I have never seen a man any cooler in a religious discussion, but at the same time he pressed his points very hard, and did it have its effect on a Missionary Baptist preacher. Brother Fly has a good appearance before an audience, and has a wonderful command of the English language. Mr. Long thought he was awful handsome.

Brother Fly asked Mr. Long, "From what does baptism save one?" Mr. Long answered, "It puts one into the local church, the Body of Christ, and saves him from murderers, drunkards, and liars." Brother Fly then asked him if a man remained among the murderers, drunkards and Wars, would be saved or lost? Mr. Fly wouldn't pay his respects to this question.

Brother Fly asked Mr. Long, "How does one get Into Christ'?" Mr. Long said, "One gets into Christ by entering the church Christ built," and gave 1 Cor. 12:13 to sustain it. Brother Fly showed Mr. Long that such an admission surrendered his proposition that baptism is not essential to salvation, unless be believed one could be saved outside of Christ. Mr. Long strictly left this point alone!

Mr. Long charged that Brother Fly believed that a man is saved by a law. Then he came down hard on Gal. 3:21, which says, "If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." Oh, he said, "WE ARE NOT SAVED BY A LAW!!! But he had a LONG hard fall when Brother Fly Just simply read Rom. 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Brother Fly placed the following on the blackboard:

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

"He that believeth and is not baptized shall be saved." "Baptism doth also now save as."

"Baptism doth also not save us."

and challenged Mr. Long to erase the ones he did not believe. To everyone's surprise, and to yours too, I am sure, Mr. Long erased all four of them. Brother Fly rubbed him hard and shamed him for erasing the word of God and saying he didn't believe it, and told the audience that Mr. Long was doing exactly what all other Baptist preachers believed, but didn't have the nerve to let people know it. Mr. Long came back in his next speech and tried to soft-soap the thing just a little by saying that he didn't erase the Word of God, he just erased Fly's frivolous opinion about it.

Mr. Long continually tried to take the position of "Salvation by faith only" throughout the discussion, but was not allowed to do so. For instance, he quoted John 1:12, and asked, "Does it need any thing else ?" Brother Fly just turned it around and hanged Haman on his own gallows by asking Mr. Long if it needed anything else, for, said he, your proposition would add repentance and confession to it.

Mr. Long said that he began his early Christian life in the so-called Church of Christ, but learned the truth and left it. Brother Fly told him that the Bible spoke of such people, then quoted 1 Tim.1:1, and 1 Peter 2:21, and said I was once a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and found that it was an unscriptural institution and left it for the truth, and became a member of the church that Jesus built. Brother Fly then asked Mr. Long, "If you were a Christian when you were in the Church of Christ, what did you have to do in addition to being a Christian to be a Baptist?" and "If you were a Christian and then became a Baptist, is it necessary for all Christians to become Baptists?" Then Mr. Long tried to take the course of a crawfish and said, "I didn't say I was a Christian in the Church of Christ, a man just deceived me and got me into the Church of Christ one Sunday and the next Sunday I went back to the Baptist Church and acknowledged my wrongs." Brother Fly didn't have a chance to reply to this, but needless for me to say, his reply would have been most interesting.

These are some of the many highlights of this very fine discussion. If Brother Fly continues as he is now going, and I have no reason to believe that he will not, he has a bright future as a sound gospel preacher, and able contender for the Faith once for all delivered to the Saints. Plans are now in the making to have another discussion next summer at the same location between the same disputants. I know all in that section who heard this one will be looking forward to such an event.


A bishop insisted that a young preacher preach during camp meeting. The young man insisted he was too weak and inexperienced. The bishop kept urging him, and said, "just trust in the Lord."

Finally the young preacher sneaked into the Bishop's tent and borrowed one of the Bishop's sermons and preached it. The bishop came Ito him after the service and said, in dismay, "You've stolen the sermon. I was to preach tonight, now what ant I to do" To which the young preacher replied, "Just trust in the Lord,"