Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 17, 1960

More --- On What The Church Does From High Authority

W. C. Hinton, Jr., Atlanta, Georgia

Two articles have appeared in the Guardian concerning what brother Young had to say in the encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year. In it we see the thinking of some brethren as they seek to make "unholy alliances" between the church and many enterprises that ought to remain in the realm of the individuals that desire to see a certain work carried on. But from the standpoint of influence and "position" of preachers as they are classed by men who try to show respect of person, I am sure that we have others who are recognized as equally "authoritative" as brother Young. Take, for instance, brother B. C. Goodpasture: now here we have someone whose very word is taken as law, even when it conflicts with the Word of God. Brother Goodpasture writes for encyclopedias too! Submitted below is part of an article entitled "CHURCHES OF CHRIST" which bears his name as author. It is found on page 423 of the World Book Encyclopedia, Volume C, 1960 Edition:

"Organization. There are about 18,000 independent Churches of Christ, with about 15,000 preachers. A group of elders presides over each church, and a group of deacons serves each. Most of the churches are in the southern and southwestern United States, with the largest number in Texas and Tennessee. The churches conduct extensive evangelical programs. They support about 200 workers in more than 50 countries. They also operate 4 senior colleges, 10 junior colleges, more than 20 Bible Schools, and several orphanages and old-age homes. The churches publish a number of periodicals and religious papers." (Emphasis mine, WCH)

If it was official before under brother Young, it is REALLY OFFICIAL now! But we are not shocked for we have become reconciled to the fact that there are men in the brotherhood who claim to preach from the Word, and do but only up to a point. They preach faith, repentance, baptism, with great force and justly, showing the authority for such — the New Testament says so. But let these same men come face to face with the fatherless and the widow and they get to work to establish and maintain "church" homes to care for such and teach and preach that it rightly is the work of the church. They are so concerned about the advancement of these human organizations that they will sever ties that before united them with other preachers who now do not see as do they. "Endorse these homes and works and thou shalt be blessed" is the cry. All this is done without one word from the Holy Word that will allow such contrivances. The proof text is — "It does not say you can not do it." But does the Bible say you can not sprinkle for baptism? Does the Bible say that you cannot play the instrument in worship? Does the Bible say that you cannot have someone else worship for you?

When will we get back to the real spirit of Christianity of each one living for Christ, and others seeing the godly deeds done by the Christian glorifying God on high? When will we quit trying to sub-contract our particular work to another firm (the church) and try to go to heaven on that basis? There is a way to live, act, work, and worship and it is all found in the wonderful Word of God.