Vol. 1 - No. 12

November, 1982

"It Ain't Necessarily So"

by R. L. (Bob) Craig

One of the most famous operas, that is, one that the more common person is familiar with, is Porgy and Bess. George Gershwin, writer of numerous best selling semi-classical and popular songs, was the composer of the various musical scores of that great stage production. Two, and perhaps more of the songs had enormous popular appeal: “I Got Plenty 0' Nuttin,” and “It Ain't Necessarily So.”

The “Nuttin” (nothing) song not only has an appealing melody but has an outstanding theme contained in its lyrics that ought to become a lesson to those who hear. Porgy tells what he has not -- (nuttin) -- no car, no mule, no misery, no lock on the door, no worry -- while those who have plenty have -- a lock on their door, 'fraid they'll be robbed, got to worry about how to keep the “debble” (devil) away. Yes, Porgy says, I got the sun, the moon, I've got my gal (Bess), got my Lawd, got my song -- Porgy was indeed rich! This is a song about the plain, down-to-earth, morality of not too many years ago. It seems, from that song, that Gershwin was one who had utmost confidence in the Lord, the Bible, and plain things in contrast to the “plenty” that others trusted in.

But -- and it seems like there always has to be a “but” -- Gershwin begins to show his real attitude toward the Bible in the other hummable, singable, “It Ain't Necessarily So,” and reflects the attitude of so many people today, both in and out of the church.

For instance, “De things dat yo liable to read in the Bible, it ain't necessarily so.” Then, “I takes dat gospel whenever it's pos'ble, but wid a grain of salt.” And again, “I'm preaching this sermon to show, it ain't necessarily so.”

So, the sermons are being preached today, trying to convince people that the essentiality of baptism “ain't necessarily so.” I listened to a sermon by a young preacher who used time to introduce passages about baptism but his conclusion was that the Lord was not “necessarily” interested in wet bodies but in contrite hearts.

Then I read articles by old-time gospel preachers trying to show that the many great sermons that have been preached by themselves and others concerning the sinful nature of instrumental music in worship are all to be taken with a grain of salt, that just was not necessarily so.

This list could be expanded to take up the whole paper, but that isn't necessary. You can see the point and since you can see the point surely you will heed the warning and be on the outlook for these “wolves in sheep's clothing” that would destroy the faith that has been established by a hearing of the word of God.

If it's in the Bible, no matter what it is, from the creation of Genesis one to the return to the tree of life in the last chapter of the book of Revelation, it is NECESSARILY so. If it came from the pulpits and pens of the aforementioned, then, “IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO!”