Vol.V No.V Pg.2
July 1968

"Ye Which Are Spiritual"

Robert F. Turner

Once a member of a congregation was reported to have been drinking, and seen in public under the influence of alcohol. I was privileged to be present when the elders discussed the problem, and how they might act in keeping with their obligations as shepherds, and to save the wavering brother's soul.

One elder, with great humility, said, "I believe I am the one who should go and talk with him. You see, there was a time, some years ago, when we drank together."

This bishop saw with clarity what many of us never see; or seeing, ignore. To reach a sinner, to correct an error, understanding is necessary. Understanding of the truth — of course — but also understanding of the one in error. This doesn't warrant the conclusion that only former drunkards should be elders; but it does suggest the need for all who would correct others to "feel" with and for them. Sympathy and empathy are not synonymous with condoning.

Christ was "made like unto his brethren" -- "suffered being tempted" -- and therefore encourages us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace." He did not need to sin, but to understand man's frailties. (Heb. 2: 11-18; 4:15-16) Concern and compassion are written between every line of the account of the woman taken in adultery, although the sin itself must have been repulsive to the pure Son of God. (Jn. 8:3-11) ("Go, and sin no more.")

"Hate sin, but love the sinner." It's trite, abuses; but Oh, so needed!

To All Their Dues

On the opposite page we develop an idea suggested by some notes in our little black book — maybe notes on a sermon by W. L. Wharton, but we are not really certain of the source. Anyhow we spent nearly five hours study and writing on that page, so do not hesitate to call this article our own.

STUFF ABOUT THINGS grew out of a personal experience, but uses a suggestion from Dan Shipley. ("resolutions come easiest following indulgence") Another of Dan's ideas which we haven't used -- yet: "New Convert Deserves More Than a Dry Towel and a Handshake." Eight articles per month absorb a lot of "ideas" gathered from over the country, and we would gladly acknowledge each one if we knew the source, and space would allow.

If you quote Plain Talk you should give source. Use our "ideas" freely — if you research them adequately to confirm truth, and if you have nerve!