Published by the Diestelkamp family in the interest of purity of doctrine and practice
CLICK HERE for PDF of this issue
Remembering Ray - Karl Diestelkamp
Man Is Not An Animal - Karl Diestelkamp
From The Beginning - Andy Diestelkamp
So Many Distractions on the Lord's Day -
Al Diestelkamp
100x, 60x, 30x - David Diestelkamp
Is Evangelism Bigotry? - Gordon J. Pennock
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January-February-March, 2016 • Volume 47, Number 1











Remembering Ray


Ray Ferris was known to many, if not most, of the readers of Think. He was born June 6, 1923, in Owensville, Missouri, to Elmer and Amelia Diestelkamp Ferris, and he died October 20, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky. His wife Charlene preceded him in death September 6, 2014. He is survived by daughters Marilyn Ferris and Donna Manz (Alan) and son Jim Ferris (Tammy); seven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Velva Breuer and Darlein Duncan and a host of extended family and brethren in Christ on whom he had a great influence.
Ray preached his first sermon in August of 1948 and then preached while in college in Tennessee. After graduation he preached in Richmond, Virginia, until August of 1955 at which time he moved his family to Racine, Wisconsin, where he labored until moving to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in June of 1959. Following several years in Kenosha, he worked with Illinois churches in Elgin, Rockford, Lockport, and finally Normal, serving as an elder in each of the last three churches while there.
Ray was a stabilizing force at a critical time in Wisconsin and northern Illinois when there was much controversy and division over the issues of church support of human institutions and the sponsoring church. The effect of his good sound preaching, strong conviction, and godly influence is felt to this day in this area. He was one of several men who planned and began publishing Truth Magazine to combat the errors of modernism, institutionalism, and the social gospel. Later, when our family began to publish Think, he played an important part both financially and by writing articles.

He had numerous invitations and opportunities to move to work with larger churches and receive more substantial support, but he chose to remain in the Upper Midwest where he felt he was more needed. During most of 

those years, he supplemented his support by selling insurance when local church support was inadequate or so that the local church could use more of its funds in the local community or support preachers in other places.
If you approached Ray with a Bible question, he would immediately work to give you a Bible answer. He was a careful student of the Bible. If you needed help or were wrestling with some problem, Ray was ready to help and lend support. He was a mentor to a lot of men—especially to
younger preachers. In fact, he mentored some men who did not realize they were being mentored.
I do not know of anyone who did not like Ray Ferris, except perhaps those who considered him too spiritually conservative for their taste and those whom he challenged to give Bible authority for that which they preached or practiced that he believed to be error. He was kind but firm in dealing with those who disagreed with him on the understanding and application of scripture, and never to my knowledge did he ever show any sign of bitterness toward those who treated him badly.

We worked together, traveled together, worshiped together, and loved deeply as family and brethren. I will miss his wise counsel, keen logical mind, clear thinking, great recall and grasp of scripture, and his tender, tender heart. However, our loss of association is his gain as he has departed to “be with Christ: for it is very far better” (Phil. 1:23). When I remember Ray, I am reminded of Revelation 14:13: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, for their works follow with them.”
8311 - 27th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53143


Ray was a beloved part of our family. Pictured
at his funeral were
the following family members who are gospel preachers
(left to right):

Robert E. Speer,
David Diestelkamp,
Karl Diestelkamp,
Al Diestelkamp,
Andy Diestelkamp, Jeremy Diestelkamp,
Roy Diestelkamp.


The cover of the September 21, 2015, issue of TIME Magazine was designated their “Question Everything Issue.” Its provocative headline reads, “Is Monogamy over?” Quotes include: “Monogamy is a charade we insist on, thus institutionalizing dishonesty,” and, “Yes. We need to legalize polygamy,” (by a man who has filed a federal lawsuit to strike down the state of Montana’s bigamy laws).

David P. Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology and co-author of The Myth of Monogamy, is summarized as saying, “No. It’s unnatural, but we should keep it for our kids’ sake.” He argues that “For men, the underlying evolutionary calculus of polygamy is clear: the possibility for a larger number of offspring and thus enhanced evolutionary fitness.” However, he then says, “But even though monogamy isn’t natural and therefore isn’t easy, it does offer the benefit of biparental care…And because human children need so much parental assistance, protection and investment, humans, perhaps more than any other animal, (emphasis, K.D.) especially benefit from monogamy.” He concludes that monogamy is only “socially imposed.”

What else would we expect from committed evolutionists? Once one buys into the unproved and unprovable theory (hypothesis) of evolution, his concept of the origin of man relegates man to a product of lifeless
matter that somehow 
evolved its way, by some unknown means, through a series of transitions of one life form after another all the way to “grandpa” chimpanzee and then on to man, thus making man nothing but a highly developed animal. Keep in mind that a theory is an unproved assumption, and if you begin with a false assumption and stick to it, regardless of evidence to the contrary, you can never arrive at the truth. Since evolution provides no mechanism for the concepts of right or wrong, love, or morality, why should the “man animal” be limited to monogamy or, for that matter, any standard other than evolution’s “survival of the fittest”? On what premise could an evolutionist object to polygamy, same sex marriage, abortion, or even cannibalism?

But monogamy is not the only victim of organic evolution. More and more people are saying that animal life ought to be treated equally with human life. And, why not, if man is just another animal? Here’s why! “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts (animals), and another flesh of birds, and another of fishes” (1 Cor. 15:39). This is not evolutionary theory; it is undeniable, verified fact. This fact blows an infinite, “unpluggable” hole in the theory of evolution and is not just a quarrel over semantics. Man is not an animal, period.
Some have gone so far as to advocate that we should not eat animals or animal products. 
Before you go there, remember that God said to Noah, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; as the green herb have I given you all” (Gen. 9:3). Jesus ate the Passover which involved killing and eating a lamb (Ex. 12:3-8; Mk. 14:12-16). You may choose not to eat meat, for whatever reason you choose, except that you cannot say that it is contrary to inspired scripture.

How long will it be before some “intellectual” argues that plants are alive and, therefore, we should treat them as equal to man. After all, according to evolutionists, they are technically related to man through a common ancestor and DNA at the least. We can almost hear the rallying cry, “Broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, collard greens, and even grass are alive; and grapes, tomatoes, and pumpkins should not have the life crushed and cooked out of them.” Perhaps he would legislate that we live on thin air since he would consider it an inert natural byproduct of evolution. And when will someone who believes that we evolved from lifeless matter begin to whimper over all of the mistreated dirt in the world; and what of the billions of tons of gravel that are imprisoned in concrete and therefore prevented from evolving further—they, too, may be distant relatives. Absurd, you say? Right! Just as absurd as saying there is no God (Psa. 14:1) and that man is just an animal!
8311 - 27th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53143

When God created the intimate companionship of marriage, He declared that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). This divine statement reveals God’s intent for marriage. Jesus confirms this when challenged on the touchy subject of divorce (Matt. 19:3-5). Take special note of His interpretive addendum. “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate” (vs. 6).

In short, Jesus’ answer to the question of whether or not it was “lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason” was no. Why? Because “From the beginning it was not so” (vs. 8). It separated what God joined together and meant to be permanent.

Before the church, before the Law of Moses, before sin entered the world, God created the
intimate companionship of marriage as the context in which offspring would be conceived, born, nurtured, and otherwise prepared for an eternal relationship with Him. Even though marriages would not be left unscathed by sin, thousands of years later Jesus still pointed sinners back to God’s original intent for marriage. We must do the same. Failure to do this has resulted in much of what ails our culture, and we will not right our course until we begin to honor marriage as God intended.

Yet, there are other consequences of failing to teach and live these ideals in marriage. Through- out Scripture, the marriage and parent/child relationships are used to picture our relationship with God. In the Old Testament God called Himself a
husband to Israel, and in the New Testament God is frequently called “Father.” When men fail to lead and fail to be the kinds of husbands and fathers they should be, they not
only sin but ruin a divine metaphor and give occasion for many to blaspheme God.

So it is critical that husbands and fathers understand the roles to which they have been called. The companionship of marriage and family is not just a pleasant pastime for this sojourn. It is supposed to be a foretaste of our eternal companionship with God. When men selfishly fail to model Christ’s love in their homes (Eph. 5:25-6:4), they set a course for Hell for themselves, and, potentially, for generations to come.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Eph. 5:25,26).

323 E. Indiana Avenue, Pontiac, Illinois 61764
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It is generally believed that when the apostle John said he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10), he was referring to the first day of the week. Given this interpretation, it is not surprising that Christians frequently use that term to refer to the day on which we come together to partake of the Lord’s supper (Ac. 20:7).

While I’m not questioning the scriptural accuracy of such a reference, I do have to wonder if our modern-day use of that day justifies saying it belongs to the Lord any more than the other six days of the week.
I understand that the first day of the week is not like the Sabbath under the Law of Moses and that it is not a “holy day.”
I’m also aware that first
century saints did not have the leisure time that we enjoy, and yet we find them “breaking bread from house to house” (Ac. 2:46) and staying up until midnight listening to preaching (Ac. 20:7). Our generous leisure time should remind us, “to whom much is given…much will be required” (Lk. 12:48). There was a time in America when more of the first day was set aside for spiritual activities than we generally see happening today. To a great degree, Sunday has been co-opted by business, sports, and other personal activities.

Sunday is now a time for sleeping, for putting in overtime at work, for doing yard work, for travel- ing, and for playing or
watching sports. For pro football fans it’s “Gameday!”—and, don’t forget, “Super Bowl Sunday.”
The aforementioned activities are not wrong —even on Sunday. I have been known to use the day for these and other activities, so I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone. It’s just that I’m old enough to remember with fondness when Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A were not the only businesses closed on Sunday. So many distractions have been added to our lives. In the absence of these distractions, Christians spent more time together developing “fervent love for one another” and fulfilling the admonition to “be hospitable to one another” (1 Pet. 4:8-9).

260 N. Aspen Drive, Cortland, Illinois 60112

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The parable of the sower challenges us on many levels, but just when we think we’ve got it the last thirteen words of Jesus dare us to go farther and deeper. After three soil failures, the success of the good ground gives us a living hope, but then Jesus adds: “who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” What’s going on? Which one are you? More importantly, which one am I?

Bearing Fruit.
Fruit is the benefit of being in Jesus, the Vine (Jn. 15:1-2). It is fruit unto holiness (Rom. 6:22) and of righteousness (2 Cor. 9:10). “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…” (Gal. 5:22). It is “every good work” (Cor. 1:10). We can’t do any of this without Jesus (Jn. 15:4). Truly, in all things it is God who gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:6) and who gets the glory!

Notice that Jesus did not say that some people will give 100%, some 60%, some 30%. Everyone is going to try to give 100% of their potential and ability, but results will vary. The gospel bears impressive fruit, and that fruit is valued even though it is produced in varying quantities.

There is potential for a lot of good and a lot of evil in being a 100x person. You can accomplish so much for the kingdom of God; you can help so many people, and you can inspire and challenge everyone. But beware of pride and taking the credit for what you do. Beware of feeling superior,as if you are the only one working, or as
if you “have to do everything.” Resist the tempta- tion to lower your fruit bearing to “average,” thinking, “If it is good enough for those who are 60x or 30x, it is good enough for me.” Especially avoid despising those who are bearing less fruit.

Remember “the last shall be first, and the first last” principle (Matt. 20:16). Give God the glory for anything accomplished through you. Show appreciation for how you have been blessed and compassion toward those who have not been. Don’t compare yourself with others (2 Cor. 10:12). Give words of appreciation, respect, and thanks to others.

There is potential for a lot of good and a lot of evil in being a 60x person. You may feel you are the unnoticed “middle child” of fruit bearing in the family of God. The 100x people leave a mark; they make an obvious difference. The 30x people get help, encouragement, and appreciation for everything they try to do. So you get to be the anonymous right hand who does the things unnoticed by the left hands (and about which you are not supposed to tell them—Matt. 6:3). Beware of feeling average, unnoticed, and unappreciated. Resist the temptation to just do what most people do or have always done because it is average. Don’t try to drag a 100x down or despise a 30x as a way of making yourself look or feel better.

Remember, there are no average kingdom citizens. We all “shine forth as the sun” (Matt.13:43). Resist putting down what you do because it isn’t flashy. Take confidence and
because it isn’t flashy. Take confidence and inspiration in knowing God “who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matt. 6:4). Don’t compare yourself with others (2 Cor. 10:12). Express appreciation for all the fruit others bear. Offer help to the 100x and 30x, even if they get the credit for the fruit.

Though you may doubt it, there is potential for a lot of good and a lot of evil in being a 30x person. In terms of righteousness, 2x is a lot for us who used to be “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Were it not for 100x and 60x fruit bearers, I suspect we would be amazed by the 30x people! So, why aren’t we still amazed? I’ll warn you not to feel like you are doing nothing just because you can’t do what others can do. Don’t resent those who are gifted and blessed more than you, and don’t assume they look down on you. Beware: it’s not just the 100x people who can be prideful. Are you willing to wash feet like Jesus did?

Remember, you are a vital part of the body (1 Cor. 12). Focus on what Jesus said about giving a cup of cold water (Matt. 10:42). Live up to your full potential. Be a 30x person at 100%. Take confidence in knowing that in areas where you are weak, Christ can be strong (2 Cor. 12:8-10). Show appreciation for and help those who can do even more than you can.

                940 N. Elmwood Dr., Aurora, IL 60506

By GORDON J. PENNOCK (1910-1976)

A few years ago a columnist in the local news- paper wrote some caustic criticism of people who made casual or uninvited door-calls or sent tracts to people through the mail for the purpose of teaching religion. He declared such folk to be “bigots” and their practice as being “in poor taste.”

While such criticism might discourage a few Christians from their mission of telling others about Jesus, it will be rightly disregarded by those who are familiar with the activities of Jesus and the early disciples. Without any apologies, they “went everywhere preaching the word” (Ac. 8:4).

What is bigotry? Webster defines a bigot as “a person who is obstinately and unreasonably attached to a particular creed, doctrine, opinion, etc., and intolerant of all others.” This definition does not describe a true Christian. A Christian is one who possesses a fervent love and compassion for people, coupled with humility. Because of an abiding faith in God and His word, as well as his love for men, he must be constantly directing men to Jesus, who Himself said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6). The Christian’s disposition is both to teach and to be taught. He pleads, “Let us reason together.” He is neither obstinate, unreasonable nor intolerant!

Much of Jesus’ personal ministry was occupied with correcting men of their foolish philosophies, vain traditions and inexcusable ignorance of
God’s word. He challenged them by asking, “Have ye not read?” (Matt. 19:4). He chided them by saying, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). A whole chapter (Matthew 23) is taken up with rebuking the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of His day. He firmly declared, “The scriptures cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35). Who is ready to charge Jesus with bigotry?!

The entire life of Paul, as an apostle of Jesus Christ, was spent in earnest evangelism. In Thessalonica he went into the synagogue and “for three sabbath days reasoned with them from the scriptures” (Ac. 17:2). Likewise in Corinth, “he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks” (Ac. 18:4). In Ephesus, he “reasoned with the Jews” (Ac. 18:19). Before Felix and Drusilla, “he reasoned of righteousness, and self control, and judgment to come” (Ac. 24:25). Yes, Paul taught both “publicly and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ac. 20:20, 21). But Paul was not a bigot!

We as Christians must not be deterred from carrying out the orders of our “Captain” who said, “Go…and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19), and “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15). We must constantly continue to advise all of Heaven’s conditions for the pardon of sin by proclaiming these words of Jesus: “He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). To do so is not bigotry.

Bigotry too often characterizes the reaction of those whose sin, immorality and ungodliness is censured by the very nature of the gospel. They arrogantly and self-righteously want to be left undisturbed while they pollute society with their wickedness. Such intolerance brought to martyrdom many of God’s prophets through the centuries, including John the baptizer, and there is no reason to believe that the list may not be lengthened. Be that as it may, we must continue to evangelize—to preach the gospel to sinful men.

Editor’s Note: This article, written in 1971, could well have been written today. That’s the way it is with truth. I chose to republish it because of the prevalent misuse of the words “bigot” and “bigotry” in our current culture. One need only quote a scripture to evoke the “B” word. To make matters worse, the misapplied charge of bigotry is often accompanied with the charge of hatred. None of us want to be viewed as bigots, and certainly not as haters. Some may attempt to suppress our opposition to popular sin and religious error. It has never been more necessary than now that Christians join the apostle Paul in saying, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…for in it the righteousness of God is revealed…” (Rom. 1:16-17).

About Think's Editor - Al Diestelkamp

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