The items we include this week don’t qualify as the most important articles to appear in the July 22, 1922, issue of Christian Standard. As a matter of fact, these aren’t articles at all.
For your reading pleasure, we share:
• A short editorial on the deity of Jesus
• An opinion piece about “Church Letters” written by a reader
• Two short obituaries (just to give you the flavor of how these were written a century ago)
• A somewhat humorous but practical listing of “Don’ts” to help guide prospective writers.
_ _ _
The Deity of Jesus
July 22, 1922; p. 10
The only authoritative source of information concerning Jesus and His teaching that exists is the New Testament Scriptures. From that source we learn that:
First, Jesus considered it of the first importance that men should understand who He was. The proper understanding of His origin and nature was to be the rock foundation of His indestructible church. He recognized no understanding of Himself as other than deity incarnate in human form as adequate. He was so utterly superhuman that to enter His kingdom required a spiritual rebirth, and that the least of those so born was greater than the greatest of those merely “born of woman.”
Second, He would, during His incarnation, accept no homage as an earthly ruler. He declared His kingdom was not of this world, and His work was something more than social service; that His followers must be more than mere reformers and “community uplifters.”
Third, He would accept no homage as simply a divine teacher. When Nicodemus sought to pay Him such homage, he was told that he did not understand the matter at all; that his conception of Jesus as “a teacher sent from God” was utterly inadequate, and that he must experience a spiritual birth before he could be accepted as a follower. “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature,” annihilates the contention that “he is divine just as other men.”
Fourth, He would not accept homage as simply the holiest of men. That He is the world’s saintliest saint is not a “good confession” of Him. When the rich young ruler kneeled before Him and cried, “Good Master!” Jesus said, “Why callest thou me good? None is good save one—God.” This can only mean that unless one recognizes Him as God, he can not call Him good.
Fifth, He gave His benediction only to those who, like Peter, recognized Him as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He would accept homage and service on no other terms.
Sixth, the deity of Jesus is above and beyond human knowledge and testimony. Flesh and blood can not reveal it. On Pentecost the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as of their own knowledge; but for proof of His deity they referred the people to the Spirit whose manifestations they “saw and heard.” The Bible puts the deity of Jesus above human knowledge or invention.
When ministers or teachers pay homage to Christ upon terms which He has declared are unacceptable, they themselves, by that act, draw the circle which excludes them from the promise of His kingdom. When those who fully accept the Christ as the way, the truth and the light countenance these Christ detractors as brethren in the Lord, they are giving direct aid to alien enemies of the Christian commonwealth.
_ _ _
July 22, 1922; p. 7
Submitted by H.S. Burnett
A church letter is an introduction, and testimonial of good character, which, when presented to a church, will certify that the bearer has fulfilled all the requirements necessary, according to the New Testament plan, faith, confession, repentance and baptism, and, by a consistent life, is in good standing in the local church. Any member who has qualified, as above stated, is entitled to a letter of commendation, provided he intends to unite with some other congregation; but so long as he remains in the same locality, his life and conduct is his guarantee of good standing.
One time a member of our local church, who was “on the outs” with the minister, asked for a letter to hold until such time as we had a minister that would suit him. I told him the church could not grant a furlough to its members, to serve the devil for a season, and then bring back a letter and be reinstated in good standing. Hundreds of church members do take such a furlough without letters. And some who neglect the church for years ought to be treated as deserters.
Some people have a wrong conception of a church letter. They move away, do not ask for a letter, neglect the church for years, and then when the Spirit moves them in a revival meeting, they send for a letter to their former church home, and expect that to put them in good standing. Our letters are so worded that a member is in good standing, or nothing is said. What we ought to do in such a case is to tell the exact truth, and say: “Bro. So-and-so was a member of this church when he moved away, and we have no means of knowing what his life has been since that time. You can either take him into your church on his own statement, or by what you know of his life and conduct.”
A prominent member of another church in town said to me not two weeks ago, “A member who has not attended the church service, nor paid any church dues for more than a year, is not in good standing, and is not entitled to a church letter.” I said that is pretty severe. Then he said: “How long would a man be considered a member of any lodge if he did not attend its meetings, or pay any dues?” I could not answer. He concluded: “A man ought to be just as careful of his obligation to the church as to his lodge.”
There ought to be a time limit as to how long any person can neglect the church, either in service or contribution, and still expect to be considered a member.
_ _ _
Fallen Asleep (Two Obituaries)
July 22, 1922; p. 21
On March 16, 1922, at his home in Higden, Ark., W. H. Gadberry bade adieu to loved ones and passed from this earth to await the resurrection of the just. He was born in 1841, and at the time of his death lacked only a few days of being eighty-one years of age. Early in life he was married to Rachel Bradford, who, with two sons and four daughters, survives him. At an early age the two yielded obedience to the Prince of peace, and for almost half a century lived and labored in the Master’s vineyard. In the death of Bro. Gadberry the family lost a loving husband and father, the church a faithful worker, and the community a good neighbor and friend. Writer endeavored to speak a few words of comfort to the family and a host of friends who followed the body to the cemetery. Masonic fraternity also held very impressive services at the grove.
Chas. Cullum — Shirley, Ark.
Mrs. Elizabeth Greer, wife of Marion Greer, after having been in a serious condition for several days as a result of acute heart trouble, died on Apr. 28, 1922, in Carmi, Ills. On Sept. 11, 1873, she was united in marriage to Marion Greer. To this union were born one son (William) and two daughters (Miss Nancy E. and Mrs. Eva Newcomb). She became affiliated with the Christian Church fifty-four years ago, and was an ardent worker during all these years, and saw the congregation grow in numbers and move from the little church building into the present building. She loved the church as she loved her Lord. When the summons came to her from the other world, she seemed to know better than physician or family this illness was to be her last. In this her last hour on earth her faith failed her not. She had her husband read the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, and her daughter sang two of her favorite songs, and then she fell asleep. Her life was a translation of the gospel into speech and conduct. She believed and loved the old Book and the Christ in the Book. Carmi Church has suffered a great loss in her departure. She has been a constant reader of the STANDARD for years. The writer conducted the funeral service, assisted by K. C. Ventress, of Monmouth, Ills.
U. S. Johnson — Carbondale, Ills.
_ _ _
“Dont’s” for Writers
July 22, 1922; p. 2
By the editors
Don’t prepare your manuscript hurriedly. The essay written before breakfast or while waiting for dinner or in any fragment of time “snatched” out of a busy day is usually narrow and shallow and ill-planned. Now and then, one may have a “flash” and “just dash off” a readable article, but it is the exception and not the rule.
Don’t write with pencil. If you have a typewriter, use it. If you have no typewriter, write with pen and good ink and on good paper, and write every word in well-formed letters. Remember that if your article goes in to the printers, it must be read by an editor, linotype men and proof readers—men who also want to go to heaven and must therefore not be provoked beyond what their religion will stand.
Don’t make your article too long—the majority of manuscripts that never find their way into print are rendered unavailable by their length.
Don’t say in the letter that accompanies your manuscript: “Print this in your next issue.” As a usual thing, compliance with such a request is impossible—the average journal is blocked out at least a week or two ahead. And it is quite frequently the case that a good essay must await its opportunity weeks or months—occasionally longer.
Don’t send copies of your manuscript to all our [various Christian Church] papers, unless it be news you are conveying to the brotherhood—and even when writing news, it is better to send each paper a specially prepared item. When an essay is sent to two or more papers, one is likely to use it before the other, or others, can, and no journal wishes to yield space to something that has already been given to the public.
Don’t conclude that your article is delayed because the editors see no merit in it. There are a hundred and one reasons why articles of merit do not always immediately find their way into print.
Don’t get it into your head that the editors are “fresh” simply because your articles appear in print cut down a little or . . . with a few sentences added. Space in a paper is very exacting and must be obeyed; if an article is a few lines or words too long, it has to be shortened, and if it lacks a few lines or words, it must be lengthened.
Don’t forget that editors are made of flesh and blood, that they have nerves, that they put in long hours, and they have a multiplicity of things to think about and do and worry over, and that the last straw can break the camel’s back even in an editorial office.
Don’t get mad at an editor and consign him to perdition, unless he steals a horse!