The story is told of a boy cutting the string of his kite to see how high it would fly without the string to hold it down. To the boy's disappointment it fell to the ground, and he learned from the experience that the string does not hold the kite down but helps it to fly.

Children often think of parental restrictions as the boy thought of the kite string. They feel that their happiness and success is greatly hind- ered by the parent's prohibitions, and some become so determined that they cut the string much to their own hurt. This is exactly what the younger son of Lk. 15:11-32 did. "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Prov. 22: 15. Both children and parents often have difficulty in believing this and many parents apparently think that it just doesn't apply to thier children. But it applies to all children in every generation. Children do not understand the sinfulness of sin nor its far-reaching effects in bringing sorrow and destruction to the soul. It is the God-given duty of parents to bring their children up in the admonition of the Lord, Eph. 6:4 and this calls for restrictions and prohibitions that the normal child will not for a time fully appreciate. Proper parental restrictions keep children from doing what they want to do many times. They keep them from dancing, smok- ing, indecent exposure of the body and many other practices of the world; ;but they do not prevent true happiness and success. The parent who cuts the string that his or her child might fly high in the world may some day see that child fall to the very depth of the eternal abyss.

But the moral of the story goes still further. The prince of this world has so influenced the minds of humanity that many think god's limitations forbid happiness and success of those who respect them. As children think their parents are too old-fashioned and unlearned to know what is best for them, so many suggest by their disregard for divine counsel that they actually question the Maker's ability to safeguard and lead them in the way of success. Satan convinced Mother Eve that the divine limitations stood in her way and that she could break them without suffering. The younger son in the parable of Lk. 15:11-32 represents the children of God who break the string of divine restrictions and learn the hard way that they cannot fly without it.

Many being convinced of Satan that the law of Christ is too narrow for success, never obey the gospel. Others find the cost of disciple- ship in Christ greater than they are willing to pay and cut the string that they might fly with the world, and thus destroy their only avenue of happiness both in this life and in eternity. Some profess faithfulness but at the same time find the requirements for true faithfulness too hard to meet; and if there are any of us who never feel that we must violate the Lord's law at some point or another, the number is exceedingly small.

We all need to be often reminded of the Father's love for us, and of the all-sufficiency of His plan for us. The narrow way is not too narrow for our own good, and we cannot prosper finally and ultimately beyond its limitations. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jer. 10:23. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Prov. 14:12. "Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors is hard." Prov. 13:14.

But men not only transgress divine law in pursuit of personal attainments but many do so in their attempt to convert the world to that very law or to succeed in executing some special requirement of the same. Within the church today there are those who will not hold to the New Testament pattern in their attempt to carry out themission of the church. Many brethren acknowledge their understanding of the apostolic procedure in congregational benevolence and evangelism but continue to insist that it is better to cooperate jointly through the sponsoring church and to have church-supported benevolent institutions of human origin through which to do the benevolent work of the church. Thus they deny (without admitting it) the all-sufficiency of the divine organization--the local church--to do the work God organized and commissioned it to do. As brother Bryan Vinson, Sr., said: "If the church can do what God intended it to do, then no justification can be established for man creating his own instrumentality and agent to perform this work. The fact of doing so is within itself a denial of one's faith in the competency of the Divine Arrangement as identified with the church. But if the church as the Lord made it is capable of doing what He wants it to do, then no reason under heaven exists for the church to support another institution to do its work for it." Cutting the string of New Testament authority can never exalt the cause of Christ. The law of the Lord (even the prohibition to go beyond its limitations) has never held the church down; it is the very thing that holds it up and gives it growth. But some say: "Behold the progress being made." The advocates of the Missionary Society in the last century said the same thing. They thought their human invention had cut the string that had been holding the church down and that it was then flying high, but we know (and the faithful knew then) that what they called success was in reality failure. So it is today. Many do see what is being done today by the advocates of the sponsoring church, the church-supported institutional homes for the fatherless and aged, church-sponsored and supported recreation, entertainment, etc. And what they see is very sad--it is the formation of a new denomination and the dividing asunder of congregations throughout the brotherhood. Brethren, just behold what you are doing!

By L.R. Hester, via, The Informer.

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