Potpourri, July 1996
The influx of notes of appreciation is so overwhelming that it is not possible for us to mention who said what—it would take an entire issue of the paper just to record the names and a brief comment from each person who has recently written. We are deeply indebted to our many subscribers ... though we clearly understand that your interest is in preserving the blood-bought church of Christ and waving the unfurled banner of eternal truth. Ector R. Watson said what most of us feel: "Appreciate your work of contending for the faith. Have been preaching for about 75 years. Glad to recommend the Firm Foundation. I have a lame leg and am confined to a wheelchair and walker. But, I am still on the firing line." Isn't that marvelous? A grand old soldier of the cross still carrying on the good fight of faith even from his wheelchair. Most of us do not have brother Watson's disabilities, but most of us have his spirit in wanting the truth to prevail — and it will. "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again; The eternal years of God are hers.,' Your cheery expressions of support and assurance makes our task easier and undergirds our determination to "stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by our adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."
Accolades for A. Doran
Adron Doran, who served as president of Morehead State University in Kentucky from 1954 to 1977, and who is considered the father of the university, was presented the 1996 Founders Day Award by the board of regents. Brother Doran is a gospel preacher and a loyal servant of Jesus. His dear wife, Mignon, is also a defender of the faith and a dynamo for good. We rejoice to know of the high honors received by this deserving couple.
Joseph D. Meador, director of the Southwest School of Bible Studies in Austin, informs us that a congregation of Chinese is soon to be established in Austin, which is home to more than 11,000 Asians. The decision to start the new work was triggered by the conversion of Penman Lin, who was taught by brother and sister Cheung. The Cheungs will be leaders in the new church.
A press release informs us that brother J. J. Turner has been appointed director of the Bear Valley School of Biblical Studies in Colorado. Congratulations, brother Turner. We urge you to keep the faith.
WVSOP's Annual Lectureship will be October 28 through November 1, 1996.
Kill the Baby
Al stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six-months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction like a baby does when he thinks he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. (Statement by Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse, assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion clinic. Source: an ad in Christianity Today, Feb. 5, 1996.)
Loving? Kind? Gentle? Sweet? Caring?
Johanna Jenei was admitted to Children's Hospital Feb. 7, 1994. Her heart rate had dropped to 35 and her blood pressure was 80/50; her face was turning blue, and she had been crying herself to sleep at night for weeks. According to the medical report, her health collapsed from "severe stress and situational anxiety." This 14-year-old girl's health was crushed under the cruel heel of Polly Atwood, lesbian.
Here is how it happened. Johanna was bright and cheerful. Her teachers at Brookline High School, where she earned almost straight A's, described her as "alert, eager to learn, a joy to teach." Johanna's problems started when her social studies teacher, Polly Atwood, pressed the theme that women could thrive without men. In prehistoric societies, she taught, females lived apart. "Cavewoman was self-sufficient and independent and let Caveman near her only when she wanted to have babies." Johanna insisted that it is good for men and women to form families and live together.
Students were required to write their personal histories. Johanna wrote, "I am a Protestant in the Christian church. I believe in the love of God and Jesus.... God is the most important thing to me.... I read and study the Bible a lot." Her teacher made a pointed announcement on December 10: "I know this will make someone here uncomfortable, but I am an out-of-the-closet lesbian and would like to talk to you about being a lesbian and about your feelings."
It did make Johanna uncomfortable to have to sit through a discussion of her teacher's sexuality—especially since it was made clear that anyone who disapproved of open homosexuality must be a bigot or a fool. Johanna came under a relentless attack by her teacher and classmates. She could not stand the pressure and her health failed. Her parents have with drawn her from the high school because school officials refused to move her to another class where her religious beliefs would not be ridiculed.
Liberals will defend many things, but the beliefs of a 14-year-old girl who claims to be Christian aren't among them (Source: Human Events, April 19, 1996).
There You Go Again
ACU announced the appointment of additional trustees in the Nov. 19, 1995, issue of the Optimist. Dr. Joe Cope, executive assistant to the president, said of the makeup of the board:
Candidates are either selected to be Residential, National or Senior board members. Residential members are the only members that can vote. The qualifications of a Residential member is to be a Texas resident and an active member of the Church of Christ. Between 40 and 55 Residential Board members are required, but an unlimited number of people can serve as National or Senior Board members, Cope said. National and Senior members do not have to be Texas residents and can belong to any denomination.
The original charter of ACU (Childer's Classic Institute) said:
The charter shall never be changed or amended as to qualifications of the Board of Directors defined in Article Vl.
Article VI says, in part:
Every one of these directors shall at the time of his election and during the entire term of office be a member of a congregation, as above defined, of the church of Christ in good standing.
The unchangeable condition for board membership has been changed and now—if you are a National or Senior member of the board—you "can belong to any denomination."
New Mexico State Senator Duncan Scott submitted an amendment to a psychologist regulatory bill sponsored by another senator, seeking to give the profession its rightful place in the state's legal system. The amendment stated:
When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant's competency hearing, he shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally he shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand.
Both houses passed the bill, but the governor vetoed it.
Stan Reid, minister for the Granbury Church of Christ in Granbury, Texas, reports that at the request of the local ministerial alliance the church participated in the annual community Easter sunrise service. He wrote:
Easter is not limited to a single day. For us to celebrate Easter Sunday with honesty we must experience it in its entirety by embracing the cross of Good Friday and entering the tomb of Holy Saturday.... May our experience of Easter be with us throughout this year.
More on the "Gay" Docket
A federal appeals court in Atlanta March 12 overruled a lower court decree that employers couldn't refuse to employ homosexuals. Lesbian lawyer Robin Shahar, 32, had sued the state's attorney general's office, claiming officials withdrew her job offer after discovering she was planning to be "married" in a lesbian ceremony. A day earlier Georgia's Supreme Court ruled that the state's sodomy law was a legitimate use of state power to further "the moral welfare of the public," upholding a misdemeanor conviction and $500 fine of a citizen for seeking sex from a sheriff's deputy.
Roelf Ruffner of Chillicothe, Texas, sends word that Texas has laws making homosexuality illegal, prohibiting same-sex marriages no matter where they are performed.
Point-of-view by a Denominationalist
Joe Bliz, editor of Word, says:
We live in an age that scorns the importance of words, images, ambiance, atmosphere, context, and tone. This is why in evangelical churches, style takes precedence over content, and warm fellowship is a bigger draw than sound teaching.
Duke and Gross in their book, America's Longest War, say: "Most drug users who quit, including heroin addicts and tobacco addicts, do so without treatment." Duke and Gross are making the point that motive and determination are more important than psychobabble and that desire and commitment come from within — not without — the person. The Bible says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Bruce Bawer (The Gay Individual in American Society) wrote, "New York's Gay Pride Day parade featured men dressed as Marilyn Monroe and Joan Collins; a group called the Gay Whores; and the three lonely members of the National Man-Boy Love Association." Bawer remembers a sign appearing on one of the parade's floats: "Greetings from Planet Gay!" Too many people at the parade, Bawer thought, viewed themselves as living on another planet. On that planet, the traditional Christian morality about sex is turned on its head.
A Gospel Preacher
A. C. Owen, according to a report from Douglas Sims, celebrated his 99th birthday on March 11, 1996. At age 25, brother Owen determined to preach. At the time he was a member of the Christian Church, for which he preached for about 12 years. Someone recommended he subscribe to the Firm Foundation (which was edited at the time by G.H.P. Showalter). He became convinced that the church of Christ was teaching the whole counsel of God and left the Christian Church. He worked to convince others to make the same move. He preached in and around the Georgia mountains for over 60 years and was instrumental in the establishment of many congregations.
Owen speaks often of his early religious training. He could not afford to attend college. He said, "I received my real Bible education from the Firm Foundation paper." He also studied other brotherhood publications, but gives credit to the Firm Foundation for leading him to the church and helping him in his lifetime of work in the kingdom of God.