Ephraim’s Idols: The Bible Wks NOT the Grand Prize!

By Ron Halbrook

The Madison (Tennessee) Marcher for 19 September 1979 reported that the “Sunday School Round-Up” the previous week was a success with 3,349 attending. The “Round-Up” was a drive to increase attendance at Sunday morning Bible classes by inviting everyone to “the annual Treasure Hunt and Sunday School outing” which followed the services. Among “the two hundred and seventy-five prizes” given away were a puzzle, a new lamp, country hams, a Bible, and “the grand prize” – a new ten-speed bicycle donated by Ira North. Appropriately, the Bible was not the grand prize. Actually, the grand prize should have been the city ham – Ira, that is.

Getting back to country hams, all these prizes would have sweetened the pot when Editor Ira wrote his “Come Home” article to the “Antis” a few weeks ago in the Gospel Advocate. All seriousness aside, the smell of country ham in the church kitchen – now that’s a home coming that would be mighty tempting! I think I will mark my calendar for the next rodeo . . . circus . . . er, round-up, that’s is.

Oh, I forgot to give the Scripture authorizing all these shenanigans in the name of religion. Checking the bulletin again, I find Ira did quote the following passage in his weekly editorial: “Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Yes, Ira said that the church can at times “nauseate the Lord” and make “Him sick at His stomach” because brethren forget the necessity for observing the Bible as “the standard” in all things. It would appear that Ira says that the Lord is so disgraced and disgusted by Madison’s carnival atmosphere that He has decided to have nothing to do with the place.

Speaking of getting sick at the stomach, try to bear with me for this last announcement from the Ringmaster’s editorial:

From every practical standpoint, we appreciate the fact that the church has emerged from the days and conditions of penury, and is shining its light in premises that we deem more worthy of the One these temples are supposed to honor. But what is the true value of architectural masterpiece so designated – and all of the attendant beauties and distinctions – if the central figure and purpose be not Jesus Christ and His healing power for a sin-sick world?

I think this means that another thing about Madison which disgusts Christ is that they have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars for premises” which include temples, architectural masterpieces, and gymnasiums with the silly notion that Christ is at the center of it all.

By, the way, Cecil Wright says that Madison is “conservative to the core” with”its “super salesman and promoter”. preacher (Gospel Advocate, 6 September 1979, pp. -566-67). Guy N. Woods, North’s co-editor in the Gospel Advocate, assures us that North is “in every instance. . . as anxious as I to maintain” purest New Testament teaching (GA, 4 January 1979, p. 2). No doubt, conservative-to-the-core Woods means that he and North are equally anxious to hunt treasure, eat ham, and perform gymnastics in the name of the church purchased by the Savior’s blood. We hereby offer brother Woods an invitation, embossed in twenty-four carat gold, to publish in our column the Bible authority for all this. R.S.V.P.

Preaching the Fundamentals

Brother Roy E. Cogdill was scheduled for September 1979 gospel meeting with the Knollwood church of Christ in Xenia, Ohio, but sickness intervened to deny us the privilege of hearing his fundamental lessons on The New Testament Church. Since brother H.E. Phillips was to speak at about the same time at the Thayer St. lectures in Ajcron, he was able to rearrange part of his schedule so as to preach at Knollwood. His lessons were some of the best we have ever heard, concentrating on such fundamentals as The Bible as God’s Word, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Youth’s Need of God, The Importance of the Family to the Church, Be Thankful, and The Judgment. These excellent lessons – as well as the ones at Thayer St. on Imputed Righteousness – were taped and can be ordered from The Spoken Word, P.O. Box 127, Greenville, Indiana 47124.

Truth Magazine XXIV: 13, p. 210
March 27, 1980