“Oh, Vanity Thou Art a Jewel”

By Bill Dodd

In the winter and early spring of 1990, 1 sent several articles to the Arkansas Gazette. The first articles I sent were to challenge evolution and abortion. Those articles never saw the light of day. You see, the first two articles I sent took issue with the views sent in by Gazette readers. Then it dawned on me to apply some insight gained from the “waterfront philosopher,” Eric Hoffer. Hoffer said that the main reason intellectuals like Communism is that Communism’s restricted political system draws more attention to their protests. A democracy does not give them the attention that they think they ought to command. So, I challenged the editors of the Gazette to print my article on abortion; you guessed it, I got written up.

It has occurred to me that perhaps one reason so many bright preachers have gone off the deep-end spiritually is to draw attention through their radical views to themselves. I well remember that in the sixties, some young intellectuals took some cheap shots at Alexander Campbell. Luther Blackmon made the observations that Campbell’s intellectual mantle would fit these young upstarts like a cowhide would fit a canary. Some fit! Also, in this same time frame, I perchance asked Melvin Curry about one young preacher who had been a four-pointer grade-wise at Florida College. He told me that he was not all that impressed with brainy folks anymore. I am quite sure that Melvin appreciates ability used the right way as much as anyone. He was not impressed with the vanity of some spiritual renegades of which he had first hand knowledge. Neither am 1. Incidentally, that young preacher is now an Episcopalian.

It would seem that Jude had the vain intellectual’s number when he penned these words: “and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s person in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 16).

Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 14, p. 424
July 19, 1990