Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 1, 1955


Joe R. Hunter, Kermit, Texas

In a recent issue of the Firm Foundation, Sept 6th. Bro. W. T. Hamilton of Lamesa, Texas, used a word that was not fitted to the occasion — nor to his frame of mind; that word — Hobbyist; that word should have been HOBBLEDEHOY: Meaning (1) A lad between boyhood and manhood. (2) An inexperienced, awkward youth; A stupid lout; a gawk. I believe this word gives a better expression to what he wished to convey — that anyone who would decry or deride INSTITUTIONS, as he had them in mind, should be so classed.

To confuse the reader he has injected any number of items, to derail them as it were, on the INSTITUTIONAL question, to wit: Meeting houses; song books; air conditioners; preachers home; gospel papers; radio program; baptistery; orphans home; plurality of congregations in one town.

We know they (of old had meeting houses, Paul said as much: they of Corinth were meeting and having a big feast — not in accord with divine pattern — so Paul ask the question — what, have ye not houses in which to eat? Song books? We know they had at least one (The Jewish Hymnal) Psalms. Air conditioners? They had natural or other means, we know they were not in a vacuum. Preachers homes? Sure they had homes, they were human you know. Gospel Papers? Every letter in the New Testament whether to a church, churches or the individual was a gospel paper, and some by name were to have general distribution. Radio Programs? We all know they didn't have them. Baptistry? (a place to baptize) even the entire Jordan river could be classed as a Baptistry, or any other body of water large enough to bury a person. Orphans homes? Every home that housed a child that had neither father or mother was an orphan Home, if you please. Institutional homes as they have been set before us today were not known then.

More could be said, but bear this in mind: anything today that has the making of the monster of seventy-five years ago should be watched: not only that — it should not even be condoned. Anything that has the capabilities of the INSTITUTIONAL MONSTER of old should be frowned upon and cast aside, as the great god Dagan.

The voice of the Pioneers cried out against the things that plague us today, but in some instances to no avail. Brethren, today is a day of deep thought, let us not stray from safe ground, let us not be like Israel when she cried out for a king, so she could be like the people round them. Yes God gave them a king in His anger. Let us not insist on something so long that God in His ANGER may grant that which is sure to devour us.

Yes I had rather be classed as an HOBBLEDEHOY and be found in favor with God, than to be found in favor with man, and then in judgment regret it.