Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 18, 1958
NUMBER 33, PAGE 4,8a

Comments On Some Articles


Next Issue

Our next issue (January 1, 1959) will carry a four page article by Roy E. Cogdill giving a full explanation of the negotiations for publication of the Cogdill-Woods Debate, with documentary evidence as to the numerous efforts made by Woods and Goodpasture to avoid publication, or to delay it interminably; together with a refutation of the wild charges made by them in an effort to discredit the book now that its weighty effect (so devastating to their liberalism) being so widely felt throughout the nation. Read Brother Cogdill's article and you will understand why the liberal brethren were thrown into such a panic by the publication of the book.

There are a number of fine articles in the Guardian this week, but we want to comment on some things suggested in three of them — the articles by Bryan Vinson, James A. Allen, and Lloyd Barker. These three articles all serve to point up with emphasis and force the fact that has not yet registered in the minds and hearts of many sincere Christians, namely, that a determined effort is under way to "liberalize" the church of Christ, and to bring about a far more relaxed and lenient "doctrinal" stand among the congregations than has been the case hitherto.

Vinson's Article

Brother Bryan Vinson has clearly pointed out the absurdity in the "restrictive clause" recently proposed by A. C. Pullias and given editorial sanction in the Gospel Advocate. The only thing the clause restricts is opposition to benevolent organizations — any benevolent organizations, be they Catholic, Jewish, or Mohammedan! It would be wonderfully interesting to see "member of the bar" Pullias try to argue a case in which one of his "restrictive clause" churches was being sued for possession of the property.

Actually, what is happening here is that Goodpasture and Pullias have begun to fear that a veritable tidal wave of law-suits may be in the offing in the years immediately ahead — and they are shrewd enough to realize that thousands of congregations NOW have "restrictive clauses" in their deeds which, if tested in court, would inevitably prohibit these churches from supporting the "organizations" which the Gospel Advocate seeks to promote and permanently fasten on to the churches. Time is short! Before court actions become general, congregations must be persuaded to CHANGE the restrictive clauses they have been using for all these years. Otherwise, the "benevolent organization" congregations by the hundreds are going to find themselves in most serious jeopardy of losing their buildings. The restrictive clauses, for the most part, were incorporated into their deeds before the benevolent organizations came along. The churches have gradually accepted the benevolent organizations but it has never come to a court test yet! Goodpasture and Pullias are desperately trying to find some way to (a) relax the restrictive clauses enough to permit contributions to benevolent societies and Christian colleges, (b) and yet keep them strong enough to exclude the Missionary Societies. Let no one mistake or be deceived as to the ultimate goal they have in view. Only the incorrigibly naive can fail to see it.

Allen's Article

The article by James A. Allen further points up the existence and growing power of the "benevolence societies" which have fastened themselves on the churches. This meeting in Nashville is not the first national meeting of the representatives of these organizations; they had a similar gathering at Abilene Christian College last year, and may have had otters even before that.

Are these orphan homes merely the "systematic organization" of the work of a local congregation? Do they exist "exactly like the Bible classes"? If so, then what on earth are the superintendents of such groups doing in a meeting such as they are having in Nashville? Who would be willing for a national gathering to convene composed of "Superintendents of Church of Christ Sunday Schools" to discuss curricula, financing, discipline, teacher training techniques, and other common problems? And all this with the object in view, either stated or clearly implied, of forming some sort of national organization to promote the work of the Sunday Schools?

If, on the other hand, these orphan homes are NOT a part of the church, but are separate individual organizations (like Gayle Oler says they are), then they have every right on earth to convene, to adopt laws and bylaws, a constitution, pass resolutions, elect a national president, secretary, board of directors, and govern themselves in any fashion they see fit according to the laws of the land.

But who then would say they should solicit church contributions?

Whichever view one takes of the matter, there is a clear violation of truth. IF the orphan homes are "the church at work", such a national convention as this is out of order; but IF the orphan homes are not "the church at work", but are private individual enterprises, then they do have the right to form such a national organization — but they have no right to seek church support!

Barker's Article

Lloyd Barker is a student at Harding College, Searcy, Arkansas. He has proved himself a young man of considerable courage and unshakeable integrity. In the face of terrific pressure he has not yielded his convictions, but has contended for the "all sufficiency" of the church — both among students and faculty. Ponder well this revealing statement from Barker's article:

"There are many preachers and some faculty members here who endorse instrumental music in worship or a missionary society for church cooperation."

He does not say whether the "many" preachers are among the students or among the visiting preachers who come on the campus. We would guess they are both. For there is a growing liberalism on the campuses of most of the colleges, and clearly evident in the pages of some formerly loyal "gospel" .papers which is headed unquestionably toward a breaking down of the barriers against both instrumental music and evangelistic and benevolent organizations to do the work of the church. We have seen the results of this kind of liberal teaching all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In Florida we talked with some young men who argued strongly that "there is no pattern " in Biblical examples, hence there is no real authority for insisting on a weekly partaking of the Lord's Supper; in California, we found young men (graduates of some of our Christian colleges) who are contending that the church has the right to go into business (raise money through investments and business ventures) partake of the Lord's Supper on Thursday night if desired (and once or twice a year rather than weekly), and use instruments of music in any service except when the Lord's Supper is eaten. In Tennessee we found young brethren who insist that the Bible does NOT "set forth patterns" for us to follow, but only gives broad general rules. Baptism may, or may NOT, be essential to one's salvation; it all depends on what is in the man's heart. In Texas we found numerous instances of the same liberal trend; but we were astounded there to find it among a number of older brethren, and by no means confined to the college boys or recent graduates from the colleges.

Orphan home support, the Herald of Truth, instrumental music for church weddings and funerals and church socials the exchange of pulpits between gospel preachers and denominationalists — these are not the problem we face! These things are but symptoms of the deeper and more deadly trouble — the encroaching virus of liberalism.

-F. Y. T.