1985 Last Word Columns

All Things Change (January 1985) – Pasted on the mirror in the bathroom of our little vacation cabin in the mountains of western North Carolina is a Latin phrase: Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. “All things are changing, and we are changing with them.” My dad, who built the cabin many years ago, had taught Latin and English before going into business. Words, he felt, were designed by God to reveal truth. This was one of the truths he wanted his children to grasp…

Bloodlines are Important (February 1985) – When my father died, my brothers designated me to be “in charge” of the services — a graveside service at the cemetery attended by family followed by a memorial service at the first Baptist Church…

Worshipping Man is Wrong (March 1985) – Russell Dilday, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the world’s largest seminary with more than 1,600 full-time students, tells of a recent interview with Billy Graham. Graham was asked who would be the leaders of the world in the future. He answered: “The next leaders of the evangelical world will not be individuals, but institutions.” If that is true — it’s frightening…

Praying for the Doa (April 1985) – Last year I spent three weeks in the uttermost past of he earth — the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya…

Facing the Sanhedrin (May 1985) – Despite all God has done to break them up, sanhedrins, those religious courts charged with defending the faith, continue among us. In New Testament times the Sanhedrin, a council of 70 scholars with the high priest as chairman, was the supreme Jewish court of justice. Its task: to preserve the purity of the law. The latest Sanhedrin report comes from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the missions committee of the Salem Baptist Church voted to withdraw financial support from one the their missionaries because he believes the gift of tongues is for today…

It Will Be ‘Neat’ (June 1985) – Little April’s question put me on the spot. She’s 5 years old and wanted me, her granddaddy, to tell her how to get to heaven…

Truth and Consequence (July 1985) – The staff members of a church I know have vowed among themselves never to listen to charges against any other person on the staff. If there are accusations, they insist that the accusing person talk directly to the person accused…

Thank God for Extremists! (August 1985) – If the Charismatic movement hasn’t done anything else, it has at least re-instituted the office of the extremist in the kingdom…

Another Man’s Servant (September 1985) – The letter from my missionary friend in South America was sincere. On the last trip to the United States he had visited Heritage USA, the PTL Club’s luxurious recreational ground. He then wrote me saying he was “appalled” at the extravagance. “How,” he asked, “can Christians justify spending 90 percent of their accumulated riches on themselves and almost nothing on those under the grinding heel of Communism?”…

Hotheads in the Household (November 1985) – I never heard my father and mother argue. I know they often disagreed. But they considered it bad breeding to argue in front of the children. It was an unreal world for a kid to grow up in…

Christmas: A Time for Wishing (December 1985) – I sat silently across the room, watching my 3-year-old granddaughter turning the pages of the J.C. Penney Christmas catalogue. Unaware of my presence, she was softly whispering the names of the hundreds of marvelous items pictured in the big “wish book” which lay across her knees…