I HAVE FOUND IT!
T. Pierce Brown
I am absolutely almost certain that I may have found the answer to all our problems in the church! At least I have found the following men who have so clarified the problem that if we could get them all in one room at the same time, we might do something appropriate to solve it.
The first man is one who was trained to be a debater. But by long and arduous self-examination, which he did by examining carefully the writings of other great men, he discovered that debating is wrong. He is now willing to sign the affirmative of the following proposition which he will defend with his life or honor (whichever one goes first), if necessary: “The scriptures teach, and any logical person must admit, that all debating is sinful, pernicious, and unnecessary, and that all who engage in such have committed the unpardonable sin of splitting the church.”
The second man must have served as the moderator for the first, and will go down in history (for that is the only way to go) as the one who framed the concise wording of that proposition. His latest outstanding article dealt with logic. The gist of it was something like this: “Logic is unnecessary in understanding the Bible for the following reasons:
1. Major premise: The Bible does not use the term.
2. Minor premise: Simple minded men like me cannot use it properly.
2a. Minor premise No. 2: God will save all simple-minded persons.
3. Conclusion: Therefore logic is not only unnecessary, but also illogical.
That marvelous and momentous masterpiece was historic in that it showed clearly for the first time the logical advisability (if not the absolute necessity) of two minor premises, for even a person with no native logical ability at all should be able to see that if one minor premise is good, two should be twice as good!
The third one is apparently the one who instigated the whole matter. It seems that while he was out fishing with the first two, he suddenly announced, “Brethren, I have discovered that the greatest issue facing the church is that we all are too concerned with issues. The way to solve all these issues that divide us, such as the division between the “one-cup” and the “one-cup-no-handle” brethren, the instrumental music question, the idolatry problem, the snuff dipping question and all other similar issues is to disregard all these trivial issues and stop debating about them. The only way we can have unity is to quit being divided! So, if we will just concentrate all our attention on this greatest of all issues, and get on with the business of saving souls, refusing to debate or discuss any issue, all our problems would cease.”
The next day as man number three was playing golf with man number 4 he realized how right he was when the man said, “The thing that really turned me away from preaching to golf and fishing where a man can get his ducks all in a row is all the ungodly, loveless, hateful, cruel, judgmental, name-calling of all these hypocritical, self-righteous, legalistic, power-hungry rascals, who fill their hate sheets full of vituperation, innuendo and slander. What we need so desperately is to understand the grace of God, and to rise above this negative speaking and writing, and to have a spirit of open minded willingness to examine all sides of every issue without talking or writing about it. So I am going to quit reading all that negative trash and put first things first.”
The fifth man had also quit preaching and taken up law and owned the golf course and country club where he was trying to encourage his fallen comrades by playing golf with them and helping them to look up. He said, “I am in total agreement with everything everybody has said about anything. There is only one other thing I think that needs to be done. If these ungodly editors, and the legalistic, liberal, conservative preachers who write for them could be identified and isolated without saying anything that could be understood or misunderstood and we could get all these issues out in the open and clarified without making an issue of it, I might go back to preaching.”
You may have met these five men. I do not know that more than three of them are ever in the same room at the same time, but if we can ever have a lecture program or workshop and get them all there at once, you may have a suggestion as to what should be done, at least about that problem.