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The Clarion Herald

    Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, located at Montrose & Vermont Streets, in Rockford, has scheduled an ordination service for January 29 at 7:00 P. M. They have invited the pastors, deacons and ordained ministers of sister churches to sit in council with them as they openly examine the qualifications of Bro. Eugene Tanker (recently called as their pastor) to the full work of the Gospel ministry.
    The church has asked me to lead in the questioning of this brother -- a responsibility which I expect to accept unless the plurality of brethren present should object. I anticipate no such presumption as would openly defy the wishes of brethren who have shown them the courtesy of an invitation.
    Though I have heard some strange rumblings of late, it is difficult for me to believe that mature brethren, grown men, Christian gentlemen, Baptist PREACHERS (life - long "advocates" of church authority) could possibly be railroaded into following the suggestions that some less than clever zealots have gossiped abroad.
    I must treat it all as a bad dream, and only hope that such as indulge in tattling, sowing discord and attempting to bring a New Test-
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    "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee", (Prov. 25:21-22).
    That this involves far more than "a wise saying" is evident from the fact that Jesus enunciated the very same principle, in slightly different words, when stating what the "walk" of a Christian ought to be in this present age, (Matt. 5:43-48). He constantly urged upon His disciples the responsibility of: the second mile, the other cheek, blessing for cursing, good for evil and love for hatred.
    "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again", (Ex. 23:4). This was a requirement of the law; surely the maturity of Christian love and liberty can do no less! But the very "right of self - defense" has been, terribly, grossly perverted among professing Christians in this generation.
    "Vengeance" belongs to the Lord -- always, (Rom. 12:19); wrath is His "strange work". His is the RIGHT to judge and render justice to all men. We have no right or command to do so. It is never becoming, or right, for a child of
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ament church under bondage to the private whims of any man (preacher, educator or missionary) will be repudiated as "unauthorized" to run such a mischievous mission of madness. We shall see.
    I write with a deep sense of shame and regret that beloved brethren have conducted themselves in such a manner as to necessitate my taking a stand in this matter. But hesitancy, on my Part, would be both cowardly and unchristian. I deeply desire the fellowship of ALL my brethren; I CANNOT believe it worth "selling my soul" to get it.
-- Eugene Garner


    A recent letter -announcement from Brother Martin Black, of the Bethel Baptist Church, Arvada, Colorado, states their intention to host a Fellowship Meeting on June 22-24. They have invited Pastor Wayne Ruff, of Judsonia, Arkansas,
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    As we prepare the paper this week the Edgar Potter Family is back with us -- doing the final packing, and preparing the final papers, necessary to the obtaining of their documents for entrance into Brazil. They have traveled some 24,000 miles during the past year, and have been well - received by mission minded brethren throughout the country.
    They are eager to get on the field -- involved in the work to which the Lord has called them. Pray with us that they may recognize the door that is opened of the Lord -- and follow His direction.
    The Potter Travel Fund now stands at approximately $1,050. Landmark church, and the Potter's, appreciate the contributions that many readers of the CLARION HERALD have made to this fund. Approximately $300 more will be needed -- including shipping costs on their baggage barrels, trunks, etc.
    We are confident that all their needs will be met.
to speak for them in a series of meetings designed to reach others in their local community on the week of June 18-24. It is their desire to have brethren from fellowshipping churches throughout the land to share a time of blessing with them -- especially during the final three days of that week.
    Why not mark that date on your calendar, and plan a fellowship - vacation in the Rocky Mountain area?
    Pastor Willard Spilman, and Bethel church, are gracious hosts; the fellowship and encouragement of brethren would be a real blessing to them. Let's do our best. E.G.

"COALS OF FIRE" ... Continued

God to do anything for his own exaltation, or for his enemy's hurt. Even so called "benevolence" that is designed for the ultimate embarrassment, humiliation or hurt of one's opponent is UNACCEPTABLE before the Father who "sends his rain upon the just and the unjust". If they fail to repent of their rebellion, His justice will ultimately deal with their sins; but longsuffering, love, mercy and kindness is His practice toward all men.
    There appears to be a widespread misunderstanding as to what is involved in "heaping coals of fire" upon an enemy in such a way as to receive a "reward". Obviously, it cannot involve any form of "revenge", or a sadistic desire to "watch him burn". (He who plays with such fire is very apt to get burned himself.) A fraudulent piety, designed to make someone else cringe with embarrassment or pain, must never be regarded as a Christian virtue -- worthy of commendation. Such a response, either to an enemy or to what one disapproves in a brother, cannot, by the farthest stretch of a sanctified imagination, be regarded as a CHRISTIAN response. But, by deeds of love, mercy, kindness and fidelity, an enemy may often be changed into a friend -- his hardness and coldness melted into respect for one who refuses to render evil for evil and cruelty for cruelty.
'So artists melt the sullen ore
    of lead,
By heaping coals of fire upon its
In the kind warmth the metal learns
    to glow,
And, pure from dross, the silver

runs below'. (Samuel Wesley)
    Let it be remembered that "coals of fire" in Biblical usage, are connected with sacrifices and offerings --- a priestly function, (Lev. 6:12). Never has God accepted an offering of retaliation, revenge or any other evil that was rooted in self-love. But, when the sweet incense of prayer is warmed by the glow of love, it is acceptable to God; He can use it to change the hearts of men. In "heaping coals of fire" upon their persecutors, Jesus prayed: "Father, forgive them they know not what they do"; and Stephen implored: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge", (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60).
    What is YOUR attitude toward the person with whom you do not agree? Toward those who seek your hurt? Or hurt you while seeking your good? An honest answer may be very revealing!
    Are you ACTING like one of God's children? Remember, the Scriptures describe us as being "children" of whoever we follow, or whatever we practice. Whose son are you?
    May God use those words -- not to BURN you, but to so warm you that you may brightly "glow" for Him. -- E. G.


    The Campbell Baptist Church, and Pastor James Danley, will be entertaining a Fellowship Meeting January 27-30. This church is located on Hwy 588 near Pioneer, Louisiana. It would be a real blessing to meet with these brethren.


    Though dogs persist in barking at the moon, the moon's business is not to answer the dogs or to waste strength placating them, but simply to SHINE. The Person who establishes a life-goal & sets his face like a flint toward its attainment is sure to be criticized. Should he, therefore, turn aside from that goal? or cease all effort toward what he knows to be worthwhile? We are, each one, responsible to God for our OWN LIVES and cannot afford to regulate them by the ever-shifting current of "public opinion".

'I allus argy that a man
Who does shout the best he can
Is plenty good enugh to suit
This lower mundane institute --
No matter of his daily walk
Is subject for his neghbor's talk,
And critic-minds of ev'ry whim
Jest all git up and go for him!

It's natchurl enugh, I guess,
When some gits more and some gits
Fer them-uns on the slimmest side
To claim it ain't a fare divide;
And I've knowed some to lay and
And git up soon, and set up late,
To ketch some feller they could
For goin' at a faster gait.

My doctern is to lay aside
Contensions, and be satisfied:
Jest do your best, and praise er
That follers that, counts jest the
I've allus noticed grate success
Is mixed with troubles, more er
And it's the man who does the best
That gits more kicks than all the
    rest .
-- James Whitcomb Riley

    During the past few weeks the editor has received several letters of encouragement to continue his clear, straight - forward enunciation of Biblical principles and interpretation -- refusing to deal in "personality drubbing". Thanks to brethren: L. Ford, J. L. Mitchell Don Ross, Willard Spilman, Jim Burks, 0. H. Griffith, Gaylan Lee, J. B. Powers & Vernon L. Barr.