Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 10, 1957
NUMBER 23, PAGE 11-12a

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt - P. O. Box 493 - Florence, Alabama

News From Here And There

Jimmy McGill is now working with the church in Clinton, Tennessee . .. . Joe Bryant has moved to La-Follette, Tennessee where he will labor with the church. . . . . Did you notice the full page ad in a recent issue of the FIRM FOUNDATION concerning the GOSPEL PRESS? They are trying to raise $31,500.00 to insert a one page article in THE READER'S DIGEST. Let that register with you a minute. Of course, some think that about all we do here is find fault and criticize, but such a project is mighty unreasonable it seems to me. Imagine paying that much money just for a short, one page article in that magazine! I know that it has a tremendous circulation and thousands of people may see and read the article. No doubt but that it may help advertise THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, but I doubt that any substantial good will come from such an expenditure. Yes, it will bring in hundreds of letters perhaps (and to some people getting a lot of mail is real success!), but I doubt that a single soul will be saved either directly or indirectly from such. Just think what could be done with that money if it were invested in gospel preaching rather than in advertising. It would give about five preachers adequate support for one year to preach the gospel even where it has never been preached before. If five preachers working full time at the job, can not save more souls than a one page article in any magazine, then something is bad wrong with the Lord's plan — "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Cor. 1:21) This modern missionary society, called THE GOSPEL PRESS, is wasting more money in such a fashion than any one project I know . . . . I take this means of commending to your reading a recent editorial in the FIRM FOUNDATION by Bro. Reuel Lemmons, entitled SUFFERING FROM MALNUTRITION. For the most part it is excellent and he nearly comes out like he ought to in condemnation of the practice of many churches being fed on a diet of "fun, fellowship and foolishness." He says. "The continued increase of space being given in church bulletins to pink and blue showers, fellowship meetings, young people's parties and other things not necessarily connected with the increase of spirituality alarms us." Well, I am glad to see him get "alarmed" about this practice. It is time that every member of the church everywhere became alarmed about it. I just hope that we will be seeing more from this editor's able pen in opposition to the growing danger. Of course, if I should have written in the GUARDIAN what Lemmons did in his paper, I would be called a "critic of the churches," or some other such name. For months this column has been calling attention to this matter and Irving to make all realize the danger we face along this line. Truly "strong churches" can not be built upon a diet of "fun, fellowship and foolishness" as Lemmons points out. I appreciate the article and want now to add the closing paragraph.

"Let us put the emphasis where the Lord put it and where the Apostles put it — upon the gospel. Preach it! Preach it! Preach it! Let it cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Teach it to the sinner and feed it to the saint. Let us keep our hearts centered upon the consuming task of 'knowing nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.' And let's keep the diet of the church strong. Tomorrow's congregations must not bear the crippling signs of today's malnutrition."

The above words are well put and much needed. Give us more along this line, Bro. Lemmons .... NEAL PENNY is moving from Trezevant to Sitka, Tennessee . . . . Paul Hodges has moved to Paducah, Kentucky from Trenton, Tennessee . . . . Churches of Christ are not the only religious group having troubles or even lawsuits. Over in Logan, W. Virginia a Baptist church is involved in a "violent dispute over the rite of baptism." Some of the members supposedly "ambushed" those in opposition. One group believes that baptism is essential to church membership, while the other group denies this. This is but one of many incidents of trouble among other religious groups. They are having their troubles and many churches (congregations) and even denominations are being split asunder. So let us not think that we have a monopoly on such and that we alone are the only religious people plagued with such. Of course, the fact that others are having such difficulties does not make it right for us. Divisions, lawsuits, church splits, church fusses and fight are all wrong.

The Lord will not hold blameless those responsible for such. If the churches were being fed on the right kind of diet, as Bro. Lemmons called attention to in the above article, most of our difficulties would soon disappear. In fact, most of them would never happen. Members of the church are, for the most part, IGNORANT of God's word. Many just do not respect it for what it is. May God help us to have a revival of real, plain, simple, strong, straight-from-the-shoulder gospel preaching, in order that the church may be saved. There is no other cure for our ills.

The Whisperer

"An ungodly man diggeth up evil; and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends." (Prov.16:27,28) Of the many sins into which men fall the position of the whisperer is certainly one of the lowest. His way is to be despised by all right thinking people. The whisperer is engaged in a devilish work. Envying the honor and good name of another he does all he can to destroy it by baseless insinuation and misrepresentation. He declares secretly, and with great reserve, the supposed faults of others (always in the absence of those whom he seeks to defame.)

The whisperer is a cowardly sneak. He has not the courage to come out in the open and say the damaging things about others. He dares not have the light of fair investigation turned upon the false things he tells. Secretly he peddles his slanderous statements and insinuations against the object of his campaign of spite. If he can, he will destroy a good name, and the gloat over what he has been able to accomplish.

The whisperer sows discord among his brethren. Such is an abomination unto God. (Pro.: 6:19) Yet, as a result of his efforts to accomplish his unholy purposes, discord and division often result. But, this does not bother the whisperer; It merely gives him opportunity for further practice of his nefarious work. He will simply get busy with his "Whispering Campaign" and seek to place the blame on someone else for the division that he, himself, caused.

The whisperer is not particular as to the truth of what he tells. The very method he employs bears testimony to this fact. He may include a smattering of the truth to make his lies sound plausible. But, if he does, he so perverts that truth that it is false when he spouts it forth. Yes, his very method belies what he tells. No, his interest is not in the truth. He will not tell the truth! He is interested in defaming and destroying the good name of another. He will tell what he thinks will accomplish this.

It is no wonder that the New Testament twice catalogues the sin of "Whispering" along with such sins as: Fornication, wickedness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, haters of God, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, swellings, tumults, etc. (Rom. 1:29, 30 and 2 Cor. 12:20) Whispering has earned its place among the blackest and vilest sins.

In spite of the infamy of his sin the whisperer often succeeds in harming the reputation of another. Thus, he impairs the usefulness of that person. When one is robbed of his good reputation, doors of usefulness are thereby shut in his face that otherwise would have remained open. It is in such an unholy work as this that the whisperer takes pride!

The whisperer is not worthy of a place among decent people! Only the Lord can properly award such a character! AND, THE LORD WILL!

Paul C. Keller, Paragould, Arkansas