Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Quotable William Beahm

William Beahm (see April 13) was affectionately remembered by Brethren and others who knew him for his quick wit and warm humor. Many of his unique observations were gathered by Earle W. Fike, Jr., in A Raspberry Seed under God's Denture, the title of which was taken from one of Beahm's descriptions of sin. From the book come other examples of his wit and wisdom:

  • Prayer: It is not prayer that changes things, God does. It is something like a long belt on a threshing machine. The belt does not change things, the tractor does.

  • Trinity: The trinity is like a three-legged milking stool. The whole stool is God, and the legs are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  • Elders: An elder is an overseer and a supervisor, according to the New Testament. What that means is that a good elder knows what to oversee and what to overlook.

  • Solomon: Solomon was supposed to be so wise, but can you imagine day after day walking into the bathroom and getting tangled up in a thousand pairs of nylons?

  • Sin: Sin is central, not peripheral, in the experience of man. You can't clean up the water by painting the city pump.

  • Church: When a church comes alive it has problems. A dead church is easy to serve. The easiest part of the church to manage is the cemetary.

  • On teaching a course in basic doctrines: I gave them "hell" yesterday. I've got to give them "heaven" today.

Source: The Brethren Encylopedia