Ralph Rudolph and 1 Peter 3.15

One of many remarkable things about the Maple Hill Church of Christ is that over the past 40 years of its existence, it has had only three preachers. From a preacher’s perspective, at least, it says something positive about a congregation when the congregation keeps the preacher around for a while. By far, the preacher who stayed longest as preacher at Maple Hill was Ralph Rudolph. He preached for 19 years at Maple Hill. His son, Keith, is still a member of the congregation.

There were many admirable things about Ralph Rudolph. He was a friend of mine. I loved him and had much respect for his love of the truth. He has gone on to his reward and I miss having him around. He loved the Bible, and he was a great defender of it and of the doctrine of Christ. When he read something that he felt dishonored the Bible or in some way attacked Bible doctrine he was unafraid to speak up in opposition to it. The Bible teaches Christians to give a defense of that which we believe (1 Peter 3.15).

One evidence of Ralph’s defense of the faith involved his reaction to an article that appeared in The Paducah Sun, back on February 27, 1983. It was an article from a professor at Murray State. I have recently been shown this article and thought it would be good to present it here on this site. Ralph points out in his “Letter to the Editor,” that he agreed with MOST of the statements in the article from Professor Cartwright. I think the paragraph which caused him to respond was: “‘Humanism is a word that is largely misunderstood today. Some people seem to think it is anti-religion or impractical and I strongly disagree,’ said Cartwright.” Ralph wrote: “He implies that humanism is not anti-religion by stating that some think that it is.” Bible-loving people need to know about humanism and Ralph provided some quotations from Humanist Manifesto 1 and 2 in his reaction to the implied defense of humanism.

It is entirely possible that if many more Christians had studied humanism and spoken up on similar occasions like Ralph did (back in 1983, in this article), some of the present difficulties being experienced in our society could have been avoided. I have scanned Ralph’s article and you can read his reaction by clicking H-E-R-E.

Author: David Lemmons

Preacher for Maple Hill Church of Christ near Benton, KY. Married to Diane for 44 years. Father of Heather, Aaron, and Rachel. Grandfather of Maverick, Serenity, and Cannon.

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