Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 14, 1959

They Haven't Forgotten Their Protection In 1933

Earl Robertson, Monticello, Kentucky

In 1933 a debate was conducted in Winchester, Kentucky between Foy E. Wallace and Charles M. Neal on "The Thousand Years Reign Of Christ." The first part of the debate was conducted in the First Christian Church of Winchester; the latter part elsewhere, because of the resolution of the Official Board of The First Christian Church. This Resolution was made because brother Wallace was reading from a book that Neal had written and was really pressing Neal about the division that he had caused over his speculative teaching. This, of course was too much for the Christian Church, in that they had, just a few years prior, split asunder the body of Christ over introducing the instrument of music in the worship of the New Testament church. So, what Wallace said about Neal splitting the church could, with equal force, apply to the Christian Church. When the Official Board would not permit the debate to continue in the First Christian Church building, Wallace said: "The Official Board of the First Christian Church does not want me to expose him. There is a reason. I will do it anyway. I will." And he did!

Since this time, the school in Louisville headed by the late R. H. Boll, "supported by congregations and individuals among the Churches of Christ" (premillennial that is), has moved to Winchester, Kentucky. According to a message from the Pastor of the First Christian Church, Monticello, Kentucky as is given in The Bulletin Of First Christian Church. Monticello, Kentucky March 15, 1959 there is to be a "joint Preaching Rally which will feature speakers from the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ" at the Southeastern Christian College, in Winchester, Kentucky, March 17-19. Here I give what he says about it:


I want to take a few moments of your time to tell you about one of the most unusual and thrilling stories of our generation! This coming week a Preaching Rally is being held on the campus of Southeastern Christian College, in Winchester, Kentucky. The College is supported by congregations and individuals among the Churches of Christ. BUT you say ... what does this have to do with us? Simply this, it may mark the beginning of a happy and lengthy fellowship with some of our non-instrument brethren. Yes, this is a joint Preaching Rally which will feature speakers from the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. In other words, this is a combined effort of our brethren and our non-instrument brethren. THIS MAY BE THE FIRST SUCH GATHERING: BUT THE LORD WILLING, IT WILL NOT BE THE LAST! Friends, this is a great opportunity to prove our scriptural UNITY. . . . Friends, this is a worthwhile effort at achieving the kind of spiritual unity for which our blessed Lord prayed!"

So, "spiritual, scriptural unity" is what they are planning to achieve in this Preaching Rally. I wonder if Ephraim is no longer joined to his idols? (Hosea 4:17.) What is their idea of scriptural unity? Do they mean they are going to appeal to the scriptures to justify their actions? I hope this is what they mean. There is no scriptural authority for either Instrumental Music in Christian worship or the doctrine of Premillennialism; so, in order to have scriptural unity they must take a stand upon nothing more or less than the word of God. To teach either Premillennialism or try to justify instrumental music in Christian worship they must go beyond that which is written. (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9.)

Will the premillennial group give up their premillennialism in order to have the Christian Church with them? Or, do the Christian Churches embrace this false doctrine? Will the Christian Churches give up their instrumental music for this "spiritual, scriptural unity"? Or do the premillennial groups accept instrumental music in their worship? Could it be that both groups will compromise: "Don't preach against our premillennial views, and we will remain silent on your instrument of music"; and "Don't you preach against our instrument of music and we will not preach against your premillennialism." Just what course will be pursued?

It has long been known that when once you take a step that is not according to God's word others in that same direction come just a little easier. Not long after Neal met Wallace he was back in Winchester giving lectures on prophetic subjects in the Baptist Church. Where is he today? When Instrumental Music and Societies came they were just a beginning of a great departure from God's simple truth. Brother J. A. Allen wrote in the Gospel Advocate, October, 1931, as given in The Voice of the Pioneers on Instrumental Music and Societies, by John T. Lewis, which is very fitting for our day. Here it is:

"No man who respects the word of God can remain with the transgressives. The organ and man-made societies do not constitute this trouble, but are merely symptoms of it. Their trouble is in the heart. They do not have the right attitude toward the word of God. The organ is one of the first steps. Others are, women preaching, open membership or receiving people without baptism, running with sinful denominations and going into "union meetings" with them. Then come evolution, modernism, skepticism, atheism. Many of them are now as far as skepticism. The same spirit that will take the first step will land in atheism." (Page 11.)

This has been the very path traveled by these men, and no doubt others will continue to follow. It is sad indeed to know brethren that will stand for a while, and then the opportunity comes to compromise and away they are gone. For brethren to warn the churches against such he is immediately branded as "ramble-rouser", anti, negative and church splitters. It is very easy to detect modernism and unbelief; it will be in his speech, writings and actions. And to climax it all some will come out like James P. Sanders did some five years ago. This really shows just what the Christian Church will fellowship. Here is Sanders' statement as given in the Preceptor, Volume 4. January 1955:

"The church of Christ identifies itself as the only true church. It does not recognize those outside its membership as Christians and refuses fellowship and cooperation with other Christian bodies. Fellowship is, therefore, extended to those who are loyal to the sect and its interpretations, rather than to those who are loyal to Christ. This ultra-sectarianism comes of pride and results in the death of the Spirit.

"The church of Christ holds to a Pharisaic Biblical literalism that blinds its members to their mission in today's world and makes it impossible for them to meet modern problems in an effective way. The Bible becomes a blueprint with exact details for all work and procedures. Nothing can be done and no procedure used for which the 'blueprint' does not give example to command. Such literalism not only stymies the activity of the church but leads to endless and futile quarrels about insignificant details and methods. The non-instrumental aspect of worship is one such result, but hundreds just as unimportant and irrelevant to the world's need, could be listed.

"I am changing to the Disciples of Christ to find more freedom of life and work and to find more spiritual compatibility in Christian service."

Viewing some of the past, just what do you expect the result of the Preaching Rally to be? Will there be "scriptural, spiritual unity"?