Vol.VII No.IX Pg.8
November 1970

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Any preacher, or other saint who has been around awhile, and has traveled a bit, will tell you that there are certain problems which appear over and over, generation after generation, among brethren. They may be certain scripture interpretations, or hobbies, or matters involving human judgement, traditional practices, and the like — things which each generation must face and solve for itself.

Some of these are inevitable, and the sooner each church can face and settle — themselves, if not the problem — the better off they are. But others are senseless quibbles that survive only because there is some one in just about every church that loves to argue, or thinks it is a sign of brilliance to bring up something the brethren cant answer. (The querist usually proposes answer — some old saw that has long ago been thrashed to threads, but is new to the present victims. Subject matter may be anything from Cains wife to the church treasury.

One preacher wrote, I have known of local churches that have had trouble after trouble for years and years I think some of them can-up trouble for the future, even; like Mom used to can beans, corn, and sausage. When they get tired of fussing over one can of trouble, they can open up a new can of trouble, and eat away at each other. I understand and appreciate the writers disgust at this.

This attitude thrives where the brethren have no sense of direction — no positive goals toward which they press. Reminds me of the old man who made his first trip to the big city, and his court-yard cronies back home were anxious for a report on his trip.

Wasnt you a-feered youd get lost? he was asked.

How could I of got lost, the old man spat, when I didnt even care where I was at?

There are brethren who apparently have no real goals, and dont even care where they are at. Their idea of Bible study is to spend an hour arguing about Pauls thorn, and future planning is getting a preacher for the next meeting. Canned problems compose their steady diet — no energy to generate fresh ones.

Thank God for brethren who can-up solutions — and use them.