Vol.IV No.V Pg.1
June 1967

Who Done It? When?

Robert F. Turner

Sitting in a Coffee Shop in Dallas I heard a young man say, "About the time these issues were becoming prominent--" and I began to laugh aloud.

His words were not "funny," and I have a reasonably normal sense of humor, so I can understand my friend's startled look. But his words triggered a chain of memories, and I was laughing perhaps with some embarrassment at a trait of human nature so suddenly brought to focus. In central Texas another man had used these words -- and he meant 1960, when institutional promoters had shattered the peace of his home congregation. In Arizona a godly sister had used these words, and she meant 1951 -- when a preacher--inspired mob had shouted the elders down and out, because they stood for Bible-authorized church work, and that only. In Kentucky a man had used these words, and he referred to 1966 -- when it was easier to drive out faithful Christians than to give chapter and verse for social gospel practices.

I knew places where these words would refer to 1945; and I knew some places where the words did not as yet have any meaning. Some day someone there will realize that "--Silent Where the Bible is Silent" and "Bible Things in Bible Ways" apply to home practices as well as to the Baptist. He will ask for Bible authority for some practice -- will be branded an "Anti" -- will search for a scriptural answer -- will be amazed that his own brethren can be so sectarian and ungodly -- will stand by his convictions -- will be charged with "splitting the church" -- and will later look back upon it all as "the time these issues were becoming prominent."

A few weeks after the Dallas conversation, a lady in Nashville, Tenn. reminded me that the same principle applies to the persons involved. In her section hundreds of people were certain that bro. A had recently preached a strange doctrine (asking for Bible authority for faith and practice) which had "split the church all over the country." Just two days earlier, and less than 100 miles from there, I heard that bro. B was the culprit -- and I happened to know that

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