Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
June 12, 1947
* CALíS COLUMN *
††† †††We recently promised to write something of the unusual ideas and opinions as well as some of the ludicrous interpretations of some of the scriptures. So here goes again.
†† One of the saddest of all† things is the general lack of knowledge of the Scriptures among the people at large. Surely most folks have not given their Bible much study. The truth of the matter is that most Bibles are kind of a† " catch - all," used for storing away things for the time being. We once heard of a brother and sister, who differed in some point of Scripture and the brother finally said to his sister: " You don't know your Bible. I do not believe you ever read it." This made the sister angry and she retorted. " Sir, I will give you to understand that I am a Bible reader." " Well." said the brother, " Get your Bible and I will show you where you are wrong on the argument you have advanced." So the Bible was handed to the brother who began to turn through the pages in search of the desired Scripture. Finally he came to a pair of glasses or spectacles and said, " Whose are these glasses?" " Law me, "said his Bible reading sister, " They are the specs I lost 15 years ago." We feel sure that there are many such Bible readers ( ? ) in Macon and other counties. One thing that has always been a mystery is how people ever got the idea that certain things were in the Bible, which are not mentioned in there. We recall some of them: " The people will grow weaker and wiser," " Every tub shall rest on it's bottom," " The time will come before the end of the world that summer cannot be told from winter except by the budding of the trees," " God doeth all things well," " An honest confession is good for the soul," and others. We do not doubt that some of the above are true, but they are not found in the Bible.
†† Speaking of things not found in the Bible, Cal once went to an appointment at Mace's Hill in the long ago when he was a boy preacher. It was raining rather hard and there were and there were few cars in those days. Most of those who attended church had to go on foot or on horseback. We " rid " horseback to the church. As it was raining hard, we did not think there would be enough to preach to and there was no need to make any preparations to preach for that particular appointment. To our surprise we found quite a crowd on hand, and knew that we would have to preach. So we began to " rummage " through our mind for a suitable subject on which to address the hearers. We soon decided that it would be a good time to deliver a sermon on temperance. Then we began to search through the Bible for a suitable text and some Scriptures that would help us " put the sermon over." We hunted through two or three songs and a prayer, for the words, " Be ye temperate in all things." Unable to find them before the time had arrived to take the stand, we announced our subject and said, " You will find our text somewhere in the New Testament and it reads as follows: " Be ye temperate in all things." We† " loomed " long and loud on the text and put the greatest possible stress on the words, " Be ye," calling attention time after time to the thought that it was a commandment. We have kept a record of all our sermons over a period of 34 years and have all our texts noted down except perhaps four or five. So we wanted to record our Mace's Hill text, " Be ye temperate in all things." On arriving at home, we got out the concordance and searched long for that text; and, folks, " she ain't there." But we had heard it quoted time after time and thought it was Scripture. The nearest thing in the Bible to our text are the words of 1 Cor. 9: 25 -- " And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
†† We once read the story of a Negro preacher who lived in a community until quite a lot of chickens had disappeared and the preacher decided that he " had a call " to another section some miles away and in a community which had not heard of the preacher's fondness for chickens that he did not own and to which he had no right. In the new community, he was like a new broom, " sweeping everything before him. " His standing in that community was excellent and he was proud of the sentiment and support of his new-found friends. However, one Sunday morning, a cloud arose on his heretofore peaceful horizon. Just as he was about to begin his sermon, he gazed out over a large crowd of colored brethren and sisters with trememdous satisfaction until he caught sight of a white man on one of the rear seats. His face appeared familiar, but the minister could not place him at first. Finally it dawned on him that the white man was an officer from the town that so many chickens had disappeared, and that he, the preacher, was the object of the officers presence in the new community. It would never do to be arrested in the churchhouse, nor before so many of his friends and admirers. So the preacher must do something to keep the officer quiet until the preacher and the officer could be alone. He did some fast thinking and then arose in the pulpit and opened his sermon with the following: "Brethren and sisters, I had thought to preach dis mawning on de resurrection. But since I took the stand I'se changed my mind. You'll find my text in the fourth chapter of Hezekiah and it reads as follows: 'If thou seest me and thinkest thou knowest me, say nothing, and verily, I will see you later.' "Of† course there is no such book in the Bible as Hezekiah, and the text was "home-made" and intended to keep the officer quiet for the time being. We wonder how a man could preach under such circumstances.
†† We once heard of another unusual text. About two hundred years ago in England, the women had a style of hats which reached two feet above the tops of their heads. The hat was known as the "Topnot." Like many preachers of today, some of the ministers of that distant day preached often against the styles of the ladies, A few of our modern preachers like to do the same thing. But we found a long time ago that all we could say about the ladies' styles did not bring about any changes in the women's styles. So we have never had much to say about such matters. But back to our story. One English preacher decided that something must be done to combat such an "ungodly" style and that it was his "bounden" duty to correct the evil. So he began to prepare himself for the task. First he must have a suitable text. He looked through the Bible long and earnestly without success. Finally he came to Matthew 24 : 17, which reads as follows: " Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house." Dividing the word housetop and leaving off the first syllable and using the next three words, he got his text, which read, "Topnot, come down." We are not informed as to the results of his "heroic effort," but we might sermonize just here by saying that such interpretation of the Bible has brought about a lot of heresy and false ideas. The man of God is to "rightly divide the word of truth."
†† We once heard of another preacher who gave a very unusual interpretation of the statement of Psalm 18 : 33, which reads as follows: "He maketh my feet like hinds' feet and setteth me upon† high places." This preacher, who perhaps had not given as much study to the meaning of the words as he should, called hinds' feet " hens' feet." Then he tried to find some sort of application for the Lord's people in the verse, laboring vainly for a time to make any connection. Finally with a happy look on his face, he announced, " I have it now, I know just what David meant by these words. As a hen has three toes in front and one behind, the latter sticking into the ground so she will not slip back, this means that God's children cannot slip back or back slide." Perhaps ignorance is bliss sometimes.
†† We find that we are going to continue this article as we have hardly gotten started. Next week we hope to give some more of the wrong ideas, funny interpretations and other ludicrous incidents in connection with the preaching, church work, etc.