by Wilson Adams
I just want you to know that the assignment you have given me is one of the toughest I have ever undertaken(although I imagine that everyone else writing in this final issue shares those same sentiments). It’s hard to be objective when you’re so emotionally involved. I’ll do my best.
Before I say anything else I want to express my deepest appreciation for your confidence in me with regard to the Paper; a confidence that was expressed early on. While other kids were getting their first jobs flipping burgers or bagging groceries, I was a part-time employee of a religious journal. It was back in the dark ages (before computers) that Mom and I would address,bag and mail the paper out of that little hole-in-the-wall office complex you rented next to the Beauty Shop in what was (and still is) the largest strip mall in Brooks,Kentucky (which isn’t saying a whole lot!) And then there were all the trips we made together to Northern Indiana to pick up the Paper. Hey, remember the time my tennis shoes got too close to the heat vent on that old VW and we kept smelling smoke? That was on one of those trips…. We had a lot of laughs, good talks and great times. In its own way, Searching The Scriptures provided us with some quality and quantity family time. Thanks for the memories.
In April 19801 took on the job of compiling and editing the news column. It was then I learned the fine art of condensation (which is another way of saying I took a red pen to a lot of excess verbiage). That lasted until January of 1984 when, because of time restraints, I asked to be relieved.
Most of all I’ve appreciated the opportunity to write and express my thoughts to a larger audience than otherwise would have been possible. It’s been an honor,Dad, and I want you to know that. I’m very sorry that I haven’t been able to write anything for the last couple of years but, as you know, I made the decision to focus all my energies on my family and my local work. It was a decision I do not regret. And it made me feel good to know that you understood. However, I will tell you this,with the encouragement of a wonderful wife and three great kids, I will begin to write again whenever opportunities are present. (Some things just stay in your blood!)
Searching the Scriptures has long enjoyed a good reputation among a lot of brethren. Its soundness has never been questioned. Its fairness has been one of its trademarks. Words like “balance, ” “even-handed, ” and”reasonable” have often been used when others describe the Paper. I have never heard STS spoken of in the same derogatory spirit as some of the other papers. I think that says something. I think that says a lot.
In my opinion your editorials have been some of the best material available the last twenty years. Your ability to take a difficult subject or controversy and simplify it for the common man has helped make Searching the Scriptures what it is. Frankly, there are times I read after some writers and wonder if I’m the only fellow who can’t understand what they are talking about. I doubt it.
I read again Solomon’s words in Ecc. 12: 9 where he noted that he carefully “pondered, ” “searched out, ” and”arranged” the words he wanted to use. I know you can identify with that task. Every writer can. And the reason it is so important to find just the right words when writing is given in the next verse – “The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly. ” I believe Solomon is saying that a preacher’s job (whether communicating orally or in written form) is to use words that are easy to grasp and readily applied. Words that cannot be understood are not “delightful” words. Thanks for speaking clearly,Dad. Thanks for your diligence in presenting the truth correctly. Thanks for writing to say something rather than just finding something to say. And thanks for the warmth and humor you have added and allowed others to add in this paper. It’s one thing to present the truth. It’s another to present the truth with a human touch. There are several men who seemingly don’t know how to do that.
What I’m trying to say is that I believe you have done an excellent job with a very difficult assignment. Anyone who thinks editing a paper is an easy job has obviously never done it. It takes a lot of patience, it takes a lot of wisdom, and it eventually takes its toll. Solomon was right when he warned, “the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. ” The same can be said for editing a paper.
I’ve noticed that what had been your labor of love for so long had become a labor of hardship. The time restraints, deadlines and work that went into STS became mentally and physically draining. The enthusiasm was gone. Maybe I’m off base with this observation but I felt you lost some of the spark for the Paper when Mom died. Sometimes I felt like Searching the Scriptures was as much a part of her as it was a part of you. And although the Paper has continued on since her death it has never been quite the same.
I have hoped for some time that you would let STS die rather than passing it on to another. Obviously, I made it clear that I didn’t want the pressures that accompanied the job. (I think a lot of people assumed you would eventually hand it down to me. They were wrong. Searching the Scriptures is not a family heirloom. You never offered it and I never wanted it). I have also made my feelings clear that it should not be given to anyone else. For one reason, you would always feel the weight of responsibility for everything that would happen in the future. I know you. I know, because in many ways,I’m just like you. (Now there is a scary thought!)
I’m glad you have decided to let it die. Searching the Scriptures comes to an end at a time when it has a good name and has meant so much to so many. The timing is right.
And… it wouldn’t hurt you to cut back a little. (I’m treading softly here… ) I know that you will always be on the go as long as you live. Your preaching is much needed in meeting work where bland mediocrity has often taken the place of emotional exhortation. Your writing will continue to have an impact through your relation with Guardian of Truth. (I look for you to bring to that paper the same balance, simplicity and warmth that has been a trademark of STS). Your contribution will only enhance and help G. O. T. But it will be good for you to climb out from under some of the energy draining pressures and time-consuming demands that go with the editor’s chair. And you know, Dad, there are five precious grand-kids that think you’re the best thing to come along since micro-wave popcorn. Maybe now you’ll have the time to stay an extra day or spend an extra moment with them. That’s certainly no criticism of the past. It’s just a fact that you had to meet the deadlines of the Paper. We all knew that and appreciated the way that you faithfully honored your commitments. But sometimes its good to experience a change of scenery and gain a fresh direction. Enjoy.
I hope I haven’t rambled too much. I love you, Dad,and want only what is best for you. You have asked for my opinion and I’ve given it the best I know how. I think you have made a wise decision. Others may not agree but, then again, its not their decision. Thanks for allowing me to have a part for all these years. Thanks for your constant love and encouragement. And a special thanks for always being there when I needed you. May God bless you and Bobby in the days ahead with good health, warm memories and many years of productivity in His service.
In appreciation for a job well done, Wilson