Vol.VIII No.II Pg.4
April 1971

For Lack Of Wood

Jim R. Everett

On those cold, frosty mornings when the fire had burned down to nothing during the night, it was necessary for Dad to get some cedar bark and start his fire from scratch. After lighting the fire and adding a generous supply of kindling, he would then gradually increase the size of the limbs thrown on the fire until finally he would heave on a backlog. Now. if he wanted a quick, hot fire, he would use cedar, but he was careful to move the furniture back from the hearth — cedar pops . However, if he wanted a fire that would burn slower but last longer, he would use dried, live oak — one or two good sized. back-logs would last about all day.

Solomon said, For lack of wood the fire goeth out, (Prov. 26: 20) but Dad knew that without reading the Bible. I don t believe the wise man was nearly as interested in teaching a truth about the continuity of fire as he was in teaching a parallel truth. He also said , And where there is no whisperer, content ion ceaseth. As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire so is a contentious man to inflame strife, ( Prov. 26: 20-21).

The Lords church has been having problems from the very beginning and our generation is no exception, but not once has a problem been solved by a contentious spirit or by whisperings which gender strife. The solution comes with an honest look at the problem, an application of Gods word and a lot of patience without erring brethren. In Acts 15:1-25; 1 Cor. 1-15, and others, dissension did exist and when Paul wrote the second Letter to Corinth he said, For I fear lest by any means, when I come, I should find you not such as I would, and should myself be found of you such as ye would not lest by any means then should be strife, jealousy, wraths factions, backbitings, whisperings swellings, tumults... (2 Cor. 12:20 Then, as now, men seem fascinated by fire — pyromaniacs, they be.

Sometimes so-called sound or conservative congregations have begun only because of a prevailing contentions split. Present issues conveniently offered an occasion for a split and any other issues would have been just as suitable. To the surprise of no one, a new beginning in these instances, solved nothing and the lull of peace was only temporary — the fire was constantly kindled by fresh wood. This has caused some to equate such with conservativeness (the belief that one must be confined to Gods authority for every practice). Of course, such at equation would necessitate that none who are so-called liberal be whisperers or contentious which, quit obviously, is not true.

If Dad wanted to build a raging fire that would scorch our britches on the back-side of the room he would use lots of wood. If we want to cause contention and separate friends, let us pop-off and harbor smoldering embers of contention (Prov. 16:28). Truth can never be compromised but one should never use standing for truth as a slogan to cover contention. Be forbearing that fires of contention may go out.