By Connie W. Adams
Conference of Charismatics Needed Interpreters
Tom Bunting of Bergen, Norway sent me the following item about the “Pentecostal’s 16th World Conference in Oslo, Norway.” There were over 5000 participants from 90 different countries. There were 11,000 present each evening in the 0510 Spekrum. But with these charismatics from the entire world, not one could speak in tongues! The speeches were all in either Norwegian or English. The problem of translating (interpreting) was solved through a small studio where the interpreters sat. They would translate the sermons into ten different languages and the people could tune in on radio sets at their seats.
What a wonderful opportunity that would have been for those, who claim that speaking in tongues is the usual sign for those baptized in the Spirit, to demonstrate their claim for all the world to see. I wonder where the translators sat on the day of Pentecost? What was that about “every man heard them speak in his own language”?
Don’t “Share” With Me
I understand that sometimes the idea of fellowship includes the notion of a joint sharing or participation. We have a common part because of our mutual relationship to the Lord. But I am weary of preachers who have made “sharing” a weak substitute for preaching. Just preach to me, O.K.? Just take a passage of Scripture, put it in context, and then come straight at me. Whether we “share” it or not will depend on whether or not I am willing to appropriate it to my life. Denominational preachers don’t have much confidence in the power of simply preaching the word. They think they have to sort of slip up on people, take the sting out of it and make it as painless as possible. “Share” sounds less threatening than “preach.” “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16).
Calling Evil Good
By a vote of four to three, the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned its sodomy law. As might be expected, an editorial in the October 1, 1992 Courier-Journal praised these four justices and called them “courageous.” The new ruling argues for the rights of an adult’s private conduct unless it is harmful to someone else. One dissenting judge, Justice Joseph E. Lambert, castigated his colleagues for disregarding “virtually all of recorded history, the teachings of the religions most influential on Western Civilization.” He further urged that if the morality of the majority plays no role in forming criminal law, “and the only standard is harm to another, all laws proscribing the possession and use of dangerous or narcotic drugs would fall.”
We are in trouble, folks. The action of these four justices was not courageous. It was a sop to a special interest group which has been making a lot of noise and which is determined not just to be tolerated in society but to flaunt their evil before the world and to force all the rest to regard it as an innocent, alternate life-style. Paul called it “vile affection,” said it was “against nature,” identified it with “lust,” called it “error,” said those guilty had a “reprobate mind” and then declared that such behavior was “not proper” (Rom. 1:26-28).
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20)!
My friend, Donnie V. Rader, said he was thinking of arranging a lecture program with Dorris Rader, Carroll Sutton, Shirley Mullins and Connie Adams with the theme “Just Between Us Girls.” Well, what are friends for?
I don’t know about the other three fellows, but I have had my share of jokes during meetings about “I didn’t know you had women preachers.” I have heard that joke at least 500 times already. When I urge brethren to use my picture in advertisements of meetings, it is not vanity (there is nothing about my picture to encourage vanity!), but self-defense against that joke. Why, one place did not want to put my name on a sign in front of the building about the meeting for fear of what some might think. Of course, there are other possibilities to that.
Behold I Thought
There are many humbling lessons in everyday life. Take for instance the last night of a meeting at Canal Winchester, Ohio. We were invited for dinner with a good family and a sister from Columbus was also invited. After I misjudged a turn and destroyed a good Michelin tire, the good brother of the house and I garnered my checkbook from my wife’s purse and headed off to buy a new tire. Upon our return, in a big hurry to catch up on dinner before time for services, I put the checkbook back in my wife’s purse. Well, I did. I know I did. Well, I thought I did. Next morning as we were packing to come home, Bobby could not find the check book. We unloaded her suitcase to make another search of that (it was on the bottom of everything else in the trunk and it was pouring down rain). No check book. There were two credit cards, an insurance card and a driver’s license, along with a check book — gone. We searched the house, drove back twelve miles to the meeting house and then to the house where we had dinner the night before — all to no avail. We called and cancelled the credit cards and notified the bank. It was a long, dreary ride in the rain with sparse conversation all the way to Louisville. Next day, we received a call from Columbus. The sister who had supper with us had discovered a strange check book in her purse and wondered how it got there. So did I since I know, well, I thought I knew where I had put it. Right check book — wrong purse. Now don’t tell me my frustration was not genuine. I was sincere. Surely such strong feelings of gloom could not be wrong. Like Naaman of old — “Behold I Thought!” I firmly believe that my feelings were as real as any of those who claim to have had some feeling to sweep over them and then interpreted that as an evidence of salvation.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 1, p. 3
January 7, 1993