PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats

Volume 3 Number 4                   November 1998

Does Preaching The Truth Do Any Good?

Wayne Coats

As I recall some six or eight preachers were sitting around a large dining table waiting to be served the meals which we had ordered. We had been invited by brethren to participate as speakers during a Lectureship. The joy of being able to associate and fellowship with good, sound, faithful brethren is simply indescribable. In the course of conversing with each other, I was shocked right out of my mind when one brother asserted, "We have lectureshipped the church to death." This presents one viewpoint which is voiced by some brethren, but the only thing wrong with the view is, IT JUST ISN'T SO.

It matters not how valuable an event may be, someone will refuse to support it. There are those who keep harping that the days of Gospel meetings have passed. Frankly, there is an element to which gospel meetings never had any interest or appeal. There is a certain segment who look with contempt and disdain upon preachers. Many church (??) folks have little use for the Bible. These are the kind of people who get wrapped up in all kinds of activities -- except those events which pertain to preaching the Word of God. Social programs become the all-important events and enough social ministers are hired in order to keep the church property alive with the buzz of busy bees.

What is a Lectureship? The purpose of a special Lectureship is to teach those who desire to be taught the Word of God.

>Back during the difficult depression years, so many of our dear brethren did not have the financial means to attend a Bible college. Down at Henderson, Tennessee, brother N. B. Hardeman started what he called "Special Courses" during the months of January. Good humble brethren could sometimes manage to attend those "special courses" where gold mines of truth were presented. Many of our older brethren will remember those, "special courses." Later, the "Lectureship" label was used to designate those special series of lessons. For a sound Lectureship, certain brethren are assigned special topics to be presented based upon the solid truth of God's Word.

> To assert that a good scriptural Lectureship does no good is to affirm that preaching the truth does no good. I will agree that preaching will do no good in so far as some are concerned. I never knew a block of wood to be converted. It has not been my experience to see stones repent. We have some brethren whose heart is as hard and calloused as granite and whose head is full of sawdust.

> In this day of crass materialism, indifference and carnality, we need to think hard and long about our influence to help others as well as ourselves. There are specific subjects which need to be preached with great preparation and sound presentation.

> The special effort of a Gospel meeting or Lectureship will permit the light of a congregation to shine (Matt. 5:16). It is a time when, "the light of the glorious gospel is enabled to shine" (2 Cor. 4:4). This old world is reeking in darkness, and Christians need to be as a light that shines in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19). It is a terrible thing to say that preaching God's word will do no good.

> The song leader where I worship asked a preacher some four years ago to preach a sermon on "giving." The preacher replied, "It won't do any good." Heaven help us when we get so close to atheism in our babblings against the truth. The Word of God will not return unto Him void (Isa. 55:11). How can Christians deny this?

> Preaching, teaching, explaining Bible verses will do good, unless God is a liar -- which He is not (Rom. 3:4). Just because two or three church members refuse to read the inspired Word of God does not mean that the reading of the Bible does no good. If a few families refuse to support a Gospel meeting shall we decide not to have meetings where the word of God is preached?

> If a Lectureship holds no interest for a few worldly minded people, should we collect all the Bibles and send them to Siberia? Shall we stop preaching the truth?

> The gospel is everlasting and needs to be everlastingly preached (Rev. 14:6). People need to be warned by the Word (Col. 1:28). The unsearchable riches of Christ are presented by preaching (Eph. 3:8). The faith is set forth by preaching (Gal. 1:23). The world and the church needs to know about Christ. It is through preaching that Christ is made known (2 Cor 4:5). Preaching Christ is a stumbling block and foolishness to many (1 Cor. 1:23).

It would be interesting to make a list of those things which please God but displease some of His children. Preaching would be high on the list (1 Cor. 1:21). This old world is headed for hell and destruction and it is taking a big portion of half-converted church people with it (Matt. 7:13-14). The remedy is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Failed Unity Schemes Of Digressive Disciples

J. E. Choate

Between the 1906 U.S. Religious Census and 1984, four distinct unity efforts have been mounted to restore unity between the Christian Church and Church of Christ. They are: Unity Conference (1909); Commission on Unity (1917); Murch-Witty Unity Movement (late 1930's); Joplin Summit/Restoration Forum (1984-90s).

> Herman Norton wrote in his book Tennessee Christians (1971) that where there had been one communion (in Tennessee) admittedly with discord at the turn of the century, two churches emerged thereafter with no meaningful communication between them.

The fellowship before 1906 was popularly recognized by three interchangeable titles without any distinction whatsoever -- Christian Church/Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ. Barton W. Stone favored the name "Christian Church," and Alexander Campbell favored "Disciples of Christ." "Church of Christ" was used before the turn of the century as a generic title for the Christian Church. Not until after 1906 was the title "Church of Christ" designated as a separate fellowship.

> Following fifteen years (1890-1905) of controversy in Tennessee over instrumental music and organized societies, division became a reality. The 1906 federal religious census listed two churches sharing common restoration traditions as the Christian Church and Church of Christ.

> It is one of those curious historical flukes that the Christian Church leaders chose to ignore the division. They labored under the impression that it was mostly a disagreement over instrumental music and organized societies which could be resolved. The Disciples were pushing instrumental music and organized societies into local churches in the 1st forty years of the 19th century. And, they are still, with no intentions of making compromise. If you don't believe me, ask their leaders.

And in 1890, the generals of the Digressives mounted their big "putsch" in Nashville to move in and seize the churches of Christ in Tennessee and the South. All of the power and influence the Digressives could muster which included powerful leaders as John W. McGarvey and J. H. Garrison were brought to Tennessee. They had won everything and would win in the Southern region. There was no way they could lose. But they did.

> A handful of Nashville provincials such as David Lipscomb, J. C. McQuiddy, E. A. Elam and the Gospel Advocate stood in their way and they were turned at every move. The 1906 U. S. Religious Census should have been a foreboding signal to the Digressives that things were not going well in Tennessee.

> Fifty thousand exuberant Disciples met in 1909 in Pittsburgh to celebrate the centennial publication of Thomas Campbell's Declaration and Address. The last thing in their minds was to admit that such a division existed in this year of exuberant celebration.

> W. T. Moore, who wrote the monumental Comprehensive History of the Disciples of Christ (1909), did not even hint at the fact that a major division existed in the ranks of the Christian Church, and he was perhaps unaware of the reality. The few Disciples who took notice of the federal census regarded the matter as little more than a "preacher's quarrel" in Tennessee.

The division was viewed in an entirely different light in Tennessee. The Nashville Disciples respected the formidable influence of David Lipscomb and his associates, but were not unduly intimidated by such. The Nashville Bible School was thriving, and the influence of the Gospel Advocate was no small matter. The digressives were certain that something must be done and be done right away.


I could not imagine a more intemperate plan than the one devised by the Nashville Digressives. The Christian Church was riding high in Nashville. The Vine Street Christian Church was one of the oldest and elite churches in Nashville. They labored under the false impression that they had bested David Lipscomb and his associates at every turn.

> The Disciples devised a scheme which would mend the breach and heal the wounds of division. It is called the Unity Conference of 1909. The idea originated with John B. Cowden, a prominent Nashville citizen and Vine Street Christian Church. The purpose of the Unity Conference was not intended to be a confrontation stand-off.

> The 1909 Unity Conference was carefully planned. The Christian Church leaders in Nashville had no illusions about the fact that the Restoration churches in Tennessee where bitterly divided. Disciples outside Tennessee completely ignored or refused to admit the reality of the division.

> It is a most significant fact that during the 1909 Centennial year that in Nashville amicable and fraternal discussions were going on to heal the split in the ranks of the Christian Church and Church of Christ. The churches of Christ in the unity conference were represented by brethren connected with the Gospel Advocate and Disciples connected with the Tennessee Christian, the official publication of the Tennessee Missionary Society. E. A. Elam wrote about the proposal in the Advocate: "I am glad the Tennessee Christian has reached the point deploring the division."

The first state of the endeavor was the invitation from John B. Cowden of the Vine Street Christian church who kindly and fraternally invited brethren from both fellowships to meet in his home to learn if there is not some scriptural and common ground for the two fellowships to work and worship together.

> This led to a similar follow-up meeting in the Vine Street Christian Church to frame some sort of proposition for a brotherly discussion about the organ and society issues for the purpose of adjusting the differences, harmonizing, and unifying their forces. The short side of a much longer story is that James T. McKissick suggested a debate between the two sides on the organ and society contentions.

He said that the burden of proof rested on David Lipscomb, E. A. Elam, J. C. McQuiddy et. al. to prove the practices were unscriptural. He said they were the ones who had first brought up and forced the issues. We must keep in mind that these meetings were not confrontations. Both sides were meeting with fraternal good will between individuals who knew and respected each other.

> The staffs of the Gospel Advocate and the Tennessee Christian agreed to a written debate between James T. McKissick and J. C. McQuiddy to discuss the issues. Looking back, this proved to be one of the worst decisions which could have been made. But the Disciples were looking at the matter from a different direction. The militant northern Disciples had largely won the struggle to put organs and the Society into the majority of the Christian Churches.

And, they thought by pushing a littler harder and a little stronger would have the same results in the South. The written debates came off as planned. Old ground was plowed, and nothing was resolved. And the gulf between the Christian Church and Church of Christ continued to widen. A climate of alienation and isolation began to settle in between the two fellowships.


The lesson learned by John B. Cowden and others was like giving boxes of matches to children to learn how to use them properly without burning the house down. The Vine Street Disciples spent the next ten years devising ways and means to force the organ and society into the churches across Tennessee. No longer would they call for fraternal discussions. They called for confrontational debates across Tennessee to discuss the music matter. They claimed that it was incumbent upon David Lipscomb and his brethren to prove their case.

> The Tennessee Christian Missionary Society established a commission on unity in 1917. A major activity of the commission was the circulation of tracts and pamphlets defending instrumental music in worship. The Disciples continued to press for a major debate on instrumental music and would accept nothing less. F. B. Syrgley, an editor of the Gospel Advocate challenged the commission to provide a man who would defend the organ in church worship.

The eventual outcome of the negotiations was the famous landmark Boswell-Hardeman music debate in 1928 in Nashville. The Disciples have not since had the stomach for another similar debate. John B. Cowden had the good sense and courage to face up to the fact that the two fellowships were permanently divided over fundamental issues with zero tolerance for compromise. He wrote in 1923 in the Tennessee Christian:

They will have nothing to do with us, but state openly and flatly, that we are a separate and distinct people, and occupy irreconcilable positions, and there is nothing left for us to do but fall in with them or fall out with them.

> That state of division exists as surely today between the Christian Church and the churches of Christ and the Digressive Christian Church as it did seventy five years ago.


Our next story is the Murch-Witty Unity Movement which came by chance. The first two meetings in 1937 and 1938 were off to a good start, giving false hope to some interested brethren that restoration of unity between churches of Christ and the Christian church could be achieved.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For those who are fortunate enough to have the 1998 Bellview (Pensacola, FL) Lectureship book, all fifteen of the Unity Forums are discussed therein and the futility of the Forums are presented. The last or 16th Forum was not discussed, since it had not occurred when the manuscripts were written.

From Where Do We Get Direction?

One of the themes of the Restoration Movement has been (of necessity) the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures. This we have always insisted upon and this we do always insist upon. This does not mean that every member of the church of Christ has always understood it. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We have been, as the King James Version puts it, "throughly furnished," or as the American Standard Version puts it, "furnished completely to every good work." This is not a new position. For almost two hundred years we have claimed to speak only "where the Bible speaks and to be silent where the Bible is silent." We have either been furnished in the Word of God "unto all good works" or we haven't. Our direction must of necessity be taken from the Word of God, and only from the Word of God. Who would raise another standard equal to it? No one would, I am sure, who understands it.

> The area of standards and authority in religion is basic. I have often said, we are the only group on the face of the earth that take God's Word, the Bible, as our only authority in religion. Watch! Others will sneak something else in there: it may be the authority of the "Church" itself (in the case of Catholicism); it may be the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit (in the case of the Pentecostals or the Neo-Pentecostals); it may be creeds; it may be feelings; it may be conscience; it may be "new revelations." In the case of atheism or agnosticism, it may be simply what they have defined as "human reason," however arbitrary and narrow that may be.

I would be the last one to deny that God sometimes acts providentially, but this is never direction or something of which we may be absolutely sure in any particular case. In the Old Testament, Mordecai gave us the benchmark regarding providence when he said to Esther, "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father's house will perish: and who knoweth whether thou art not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Who knoweth? He suspected that Esther had been raised up to save God's people, but he knew enough about providence (which is the theme of Esther) than to be dogmatic about it or take his direction from it. It is much easier to see providence in retrospect than at the current time.

> We can see it not only in the life of Esther and the Jews, but by looking at the life of Joseph. "And God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God" (Genesis 45:7-8). Of course, this is inspiration telling us about providence, so we can be sure in these cases. But it is so much easier to see the operation of providence from the backward view of a few years, than ahead.

>What do we do with the many and more vivid testimonies of false doctrine? Most of the denominations can outdo us any day regarding "feelings" and "testimonies." Do we give credence to them? Of course not! We discredit them by appeals to the Bible. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). This was said to those who were trying to change the standard. Isaiah had been speaking to those who had rather go to those "who chirped and muttered."

> As a preacher of the Gospel, perhaps I am more sensitive than some to the standard that I weekly strive to explicate. The standard has always been God's Word. It has never been anything else. Remember, the question is the standard of our direction; of right and wrong. It has never been a question of feelings or of providence.

Darrell Conley

5307 Vista Court

San Antonio, TX 78247

"The Gospel According To Andy"

Thomas F. Eaves, Sr.

The apostle Paul declared to the Roman Christians, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Paul further teaches about the origin of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 2:6-13). He informed Timothy that the Scripture completes the man of God and furnishes him unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). The apostle Peter also teaches that God has, "Granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).

Evidently the writings of the inspired Peter and Paul are not sufficient for some since they have turned to "The Gospel of the Andy Griffith Show!" The Bel-Aire church of Christ in Tullahoma, TN, "Since early December, ...has offered a weekly Bible class BASED (Emphasis mine, TFE) on life in Mayberry, NC, which serves as the fictional home for the 1960s Andy Griffith television show. The Andy Griffith Show, featuring sheriff Andy Taylor and his bumbling deputy, Barney Fife" (The Tennessean -- Sunday, February 28, 1999, page 3B), are poor substitutes for the Bible.

Pat Allison, the minister of the church stated, "It is not the Gospel according to Mayberry... It just so happens that this particular program provides a vehicle for the discussion of a lot of topics -- honesty, truthfulness, prejudice -- that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago when these episodes were made."

Several questions are in order.

>1. If the Bible Class is presented, "as a part of their Wednesday night worship" (as the paper stated), and the "weekly Bible study class is based on life in Mayberry, NC," why isn't it "the gospel of Mayberry?"

2. Can we not learn of honesty and truthfulness from the inspired account of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5? (Maybe this account is overbearing.)

> 3. Is it not possible to learn about prejudice from the Lord's parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10, and his dealings with the woman of Samaria at Jacob's well (John 4)?

> 4. Isn't it blasphemy (in action) to leave the inspired words of Jesus Christ which will judge us in the Last Day (John 12:48) and turn to a secular TV program (filmed for entertainment) for guidance in our spiritual lives?

> I suppose if we are interested in the Lord's church we could consult the Gospel according to Andy Griffith chapter sixteen and verse eighteen. To learn of the standard for the Christians's life we could no doubt read Barney 1:5-11. Responsibility of widows can be found in Aunt Bee 5:5-16 and duties of children to their parents is found in Little Opey 6:1-4.

> To my preaching brethren, I would remind them that there is a world of difference in using a secular example to illustrate a biblical principle and in bringing a Bible class lesson based on a fictional TV program created for entertainment.

"Me thinks" that the element of entertainment is involved as one member of the congregation stated, "The message is not overbearing. Its been a FUN WAY" (Emphasis mine TFE) to address some serious issues. (By the way, what part of the gospel is overbearing)? Which part is funny? Which part appeals to freaks?

It is time for God's children to forsake TV as a standard for religious activities (Matthew 15:7-9) and return to God's word as their standard for morality and worship. The worship of God's children is no where in the Bible referred to as, "a fun way." Worship is an awesome opportunity to draw near "unto the throne of Grace" (Hebrews 4:16) and to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Worship in spirit is worship from the heart (Ephesians 5:19). Worship in truth is worship according to the word of God (John 17:17), not according to the "Gospel of Andy."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Mayberry mess is making its rounds among the liberal freaks. Do not be surprised. I noticed in a paper sent from the Twickenham Church in Huntsville, AL that young people, "came in order to see the show." Anyone who doesn't know the difference in the inspired Word of God and a Mayberry show is suffering from what one old brother referred to as, "diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain." Judas Iscariot would make a top-notch elder in these liberal churches where Christ is sold out to the devil's crowd.

Knowing How To Win

It is practically impossible these days to watch television without seeing the dissension between Republicans and Democrats. Of late, the Republicans have lost their core value system in favor of lukewarm beliefs. "Right-wingers" are told that they must accept a more mainstream way of thinking. That is, they must follow all roads to everywhere and nowhere. This is called "Knowing How To Win." In order to win, it seems, one must sacrifice principle in order to embrace control and gain the most public favor.

This Politically expedient, albeit morally and spiritually bankrupt philosophy is also prevalent in the Lord's church. Many do not want to be a peculiar people any more. To do so would prevent them from fellowshipping denominations, and this is not good for their public "Q." God tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:20 not to be in fellowship with devils. Many in the church, in order to by-pass God's commandments, parse Scriptures until a suitable "loophole" is found that "allows" them to do that which they know in their calloused souls to be wrong. They want to be seen of men (Matt. 6:1), an action we are to avoid. In all honesty, many in the Lord's church are chameleons. They can adapt themselves to any environment, and no one knows they are Christians until they darken the church building door three times weekly. Such Spiritual timidity is utter cowardice, and a spit in the face of God and His inspired Word.

Brethren, we cannot blend with the world and go to heaven too. The road to heaven is free for all, but not traveled without a price. That price will cost you friends, position, money, and other material acquisitions. This may seem great on this temporal plane, but as the hymn reads, "Heaven will surely be worth it all."

"A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy...While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader...If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This Will be their great security."

--Samuel Adams

Jeremy Light

P.O. Box 557

Ben Wheeler, TX 75754

Holy Spirit Or Hocus Pocus?

When it comes to a discussion of the Holy Spirit, there seems to be more confusion than clarity. Even among members of the Lord's church, far too many have virtually no idea as to what the Bible says about the nature and work of the Holy Spirit.

> Just last week I sat in a study with two Jehovah's Witnesses and the topic of the Holy Spirit came up. One of the ladies said that the Spirit was not a person, it was just God's presence in the world. I asked her to please read John 14:16-18, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

I stressed that the passage calls the Comforter (Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost) a "He" and a "Him." The Holy Spirit is not referred to as an "it" or some non-describable entity. She, like many today, didn't really have an answer. Due to a lack of scriptural understanding, all manner of misconceptions are both believed and taught.

> Even among the people of God, there is great diversity concerning the Holy Spirit. Some teach that miracles are still occurring today. This is false. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that miracles were simply temporary tools through which the revelation of God's will to man was carried out (1 Cor. 13:8-13; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3).

> Even among some who have here-to-fore been known as faithful teachers and preachers of the gospel, we now hear "strange" sounds concerning the work of the Spirit. Some are now teaching that the word of God is insufficient in and of itself to save us from our sins. But again, the Bible does not support this heresy. James 1:21 says, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." Thus, we see that the word does contain sufficient power to save the world from sin (Rom. 1:16).

> --Michael Light

Villages Church of Christ

436 Belinda Parkway

Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37122

Announces a Series of Special Studies on

"The Scriptures Teach"

Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, 1999


8:30am Coffee and Doughnuts

9:00am Curtis Cates -- "The Scriptures Teach That the New Testament is the Supreme Authority in Christian Religion"

10:00am Keith Mosher -- "The Scriptures Teach That Miracles, Signs and Wonders as Recorded in the New Testament Are No Longer in the Church Today"


1:30pm David Brown -- "The Scriptures Teach That There Is A Supreme Being"

2:30pm Garland Elkins -- "The Scriptures Teach That A Child of God Can So Sin as to be Finally Lost"

SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 1999

9:00am Lester B. Coats -- "The Scriptures Teach That the First Day of the Week as the Day of Worship is Enjoined Upon God's People in This Age of the World"

10:00am David Brown -- "The Scriptures Teach That Baptism Is For (In Order To) the Pardon of One's Past Sins"


1:30pm J. E. Choate -- "The Scriptures Teach -- Versus the Modernists"

2:30pm Gary Colley -- "The Scriptures Teach That the Religious Order in Earth Today Called by Name, 'Church of Christ,' is the Exclusive New Testament Church Originating on the First Pentecost After the Death of Christ"

7:30pm David Brown -- "The Scriptures Teach That There Are Three Distinct and Separate Persons in the One Godhead: The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit"

Is the Bible responsible for all the different denominations and for their conflicting doctrines? Does the Bible teach conflicting doctrines? If not, then somebody is on the wrong road. Is it not worth while to investigate? The church that was founded in the first century is still here. We also have the same gospel that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. If people believe and obey the gospel, will it not make Christians today as it did then? Then, remember, if you are saved you are a member of the church of Christ that was founded in the first century. The New Testament is still in force.

-- E. M. Borden

From the Gospel Advocate

May 8, 1941



People, Places, Things

A piece from the mail bag informs me of a big, "Honorable Men of the Upper Cumberland," men's rally to be held in Cookeville, Tenn. April 8th. The rally is comprised of men from "various denominational backgrounds who promote Christian Men's Ministry."

Two dynamic speakers will be featured. "Scott McDowell, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Campus Life at David Lipscomb University in Nashville and Pastor Earl Dirkson of Lebanon...," will be the main speakers. At least a half dozen Baptist Churches in the Cookeville area will be boosting the Lipscomb Dean of campus life. Perhaps that rally affair would be a big boost if it could be moved to the Lipscomb campus. Does anyone at Lipscomb stand for anything? Some folks even brag about sending their offspring to Lipscomb. Do you wonder why?


One of the things which is spreading rapidly is called "Children's Ministry." Of course such a thing has to have a "children's minister," which in some cases is a woman. A mail-out relays information about a "children's ministry workshop" at Rubel Shelly's Church in Nashville. These workshops are listed in an advertisement as being held in several states among the Baptists, Methodists, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Community, etc., etc.

>A note attached to the flyer informs that the North Boulevard church in Murfreesboro will pay the way "for the members who attend." Wonder what people really believe about the judgment?


Lord willing, on Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20th, the Villages congregation in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. will try to have another lectureship. The general theme will be, "The Scriptures Teach." See page 7.


If the spend-thrifts in government have left you with any surplus, you could put it to good use by helping with the construction of the new Hardeman Library at the Memphis School of Preaching. Thank God for sister Joanne Bradshaw and her children who are helping to finance the library. My guess is the space will be too small to contain all the good books which brethren will donate to the school.


I cease not to be mindful of my faithful brothers and sisters who remember in their prayers. The continued pain is exacting its toll on my strength, which has but little left at times. Please keep me in your prayers. I am desperately trying to catch up with the issues of the paper which is in arrears. A good supply of sound faithful articles would be of tremendous help. Remember the old song which rang so true,

"Lend a hand to help a brother --

> Who is striving hard and true --

Don't forget that in the valley,

> There is someone needing you."


A flyer is in hand which announced a, "Powerful and enlightening lesson series" to be given by Joe Beam at the Hermitage Church. It simply boggles my mind to think of that which some elders will support. If there ever was a radical false teacher, Joe Beam is one of them. I have copies of his taped speeches and have answered his tom-foolery in one of my books but some elders think it is their business to keep people ignorant. I had as soon attend a hog-calling contest as to listen to Joe Beam tell his funny tales.

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