News And Views
Notes Of Interest
The West Harris Street church is a new congregation now meeting in Spur, Texas. This congregation numbers about twenty and started meeting last February. They have purchased their own building already. In spite of many obstacles before them, this is a determined group and their future looks bright I have just concluded a meeting with the Central church in Louisville, Kentucky. It was an enjoyable meeting and they said that the attendance averaged better than ever. Central is a small church, but made up of some fine people, who love and stand for the truth. Ben Shropshire is the preacher and he is a credit to their work. It was a joy to be in Louisville again and see so many there with whom I have labored in days gone by. There are some able and faithful preachers in that city. The lines there have been severely drawn between churches involved in liberalism and those who stand for the "ancient order." The future of the Taylor Blvd. church hangs in the balance at the present time. This church has long been a tower of strength in that city. In recent years, however, things there have undergone quite a change. Harold Hazelip, the preacher there for the past seven years, has managed to move them a long, long way toward complete acceptance of liberalistic views. He has worked slowly, but steadily, and more or less undercover. He has attended the Baptist Seminary and the Catholic school there on and off during his years there. Just how much the modernism of these schools, especially the Baptist Seminary, has affected Hazelip and inspired his change is a matter of uncertainty; but all along with his schooling have come his changes. Once he was a capable and fearless young preacher who stood in all the power of truth. But NOW he is quite different. He does not even sound like the same man. At one time he was unashamed and unafraid to openly advocate and publicly defend any position he espoused. He has not openly advocated his complete acceptance of "Institutionalism" and the other related errors, but has proclaimed that it is all a "matter of opinion" — which is nothing more than a deceptive dodge to hide his real feelings. The church there is in a real struggle and the future is very uncertain. If the people could really see Hazelip for what he is and what he is doing, no doubt the majority of them would repudiate him completely. May God grant to the faithful His blessings as they AGAIN attempt to salvage the church from the ultimate fate of modernism. Yes, I say AGAIN, because they had almost the identical situation there several years ago when James Arthur Warren, a more open and advanced modernist, was taking the church to the same sort of fate. Truly history does repeat itself. The Lord willing, I shall assist the Country Club church in Tucson Arizona, in a meeting, October 8-15. L. L. Stout is the preacher there. Yater Tant is scheduled to assist the Floral Heights church here in Wichita Falls in a meeting October 15-22 Roy Cogdill has recently been with the Blue Ash church, in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, in a meeting. Leo Plyler is the preacher there. Before this, Cogdill was with the new church in Washington, D.C. He goes next (October 1-8) to be with the Central church in Pampa, Texas. The demands for his services are greater than ever and he has a solid meeting schedule for three years ahead.
Policy Of Gospel Press
The Gospel Press continues to be a constant embarrassment to some who must accept it (they dare not oppose it openly!), but who want to restrict it to their concept of operation. Reuel Lemmons is one who has no little trouble trying to explain their policy and their actual practice. He comes face to face with the inconsistency of the two now and then and feels compelled to speak out and say something to ease and soothe his conscience and that of others. He recently published a statement by the "Board of Gospel Press" in which they state that the GP is to be "supported entirely by individuals!' Lemmons attempts to use this statement of mere "policy" to prove what their practice has been, and thus seeks by implication to make liars out of all who give facts to prove that the GP has both solicited and received support from churches. It has supposedly always been their "policy" to secure individual support for their organization and work, but it certainly has not always been their practice; and Lemmons knows it — at least, he could know it if he would but accept the facts! Every now and then the operation of this modern "missionary society" comes in for some severe treatment because of its bold and audacious efforts to solicit and receive funds from churches. When this exposure is pretty widely given, it proves embarrassing to Lemmons and others who are trying so hard to hang precariously up on "top of the fence." It disturbs their balance considerably. So to ease and soothe Lemmons and his kind, the "Board of the GP" waves this official policy statement around like a flag and it more or less calms these "nervous" fellows down like a tranquilizer. At least, it gives them something behind which they can hide.
While the GP sets forth the policy "To operate supported entirely by individuals," this is not what they have practiced, nor what they will practice in the future The promoters of this modern-day missionary society have no scruples whatever against church support of their organization; so why should they sit back and allow other human organizations to exploit church treasuries while they get nothing therefrom? They realize that one is as entitled to such revenue as the other. However, to try to keep Lemmons and the very small minority who seemingly share his views along this line, appeased (until the forces spearheaded by the Gospel Advocate can bring all this crowd into their "orbit"), they wave the policy statement around. Hiding behind this "policy" the GP goes right on moving more and more toward open church support. And this will sooner or later be the open and recognized practice of the GP. The people are being conditioned for this in rapid fashion. While I am no prophet, I will venture the prediction that Lemmons and the others who seemingly share his views along this line, will surrender the fight on this front without ever really firing a shot, and move right into the GA fold.
The "policy" is that "The GP will not solicit funds from the treasuries of congregations for the support of its work." This ambiguous statement makes Lemmons happy and with such a "policy" statement he seeks to nullify all the facts of contrary practice by the GP. Look at the statement of "policy." What does it really say? It only states that they will not "solicit funds from the treasuries of congregations." Does this exclude them from seeking funds from congregations or urging the support of churches for their organization?
Lemmons affirms that he is interested in the GP "being — and staying — a private enterprise." In his concept of this organization, to solicit funds from treasuries of congregations removes it from the so-called "private enterprise" status and puts it in the realm of a missionary society. Lemmons avows with great fervor that "we have no use whatever for a missionary society. " According to him, all the GP lacks being a missionary society is to solicit funds from treasuries of congregations. He refuses to recognize it as such without this qualification, and looking merely at the "policy" statement, he stubbornly ignores the facts of practice along this line. Truly he must want to be deceived in this regard. He is fighting a losing battle (and I hate to use the word "fighting," for his efforts have been more along this line of sheer begging than fighting!) along this line; and the day is not far off when Lemmons will accept this modern-day missionary society, support from church treasuries and all! The "middle-of-the-roaders" and the "fence-straddlers" have never stopped nor even hindered much the march of digression or innovations. How can they fight? They are too busy holding on to their precarious perch!
News Of Moves And Meetings
Tom M. Roberts will begin work the first of November with the church in Whitesboro, Texas. For sometime Roberts has been with the church in Newport, N. C., where he has done a good work. The church in Whitesboro is small and struggling, but they are determined and putting themselves to the test in bringing Roberts in to help them. They will have a big load — but they can and will handle it. The Westside church in Irving, Texas, will help with Roberts support for the rest of 1961. In 1962, West-side in Fort Worth and the church in Alameda, California, will join Westside in Irving and Whitesboro in supporting Roberts. The Cause in this area will prosper, and it is a delight to see people with such faith and courage.
Robert LaCoste has left his work with the church in Clearwater and will begin labors with the Temple Terrace church in Tampa, Florida. During the past year with the Clearwater church, there were 35 responses to the invitation. Ernest Finley, of Tulsa, is to assist the Westside church in Irving, Texas, in a meeting, October 29-November 5 During the latter part of October, Carroll R. Sutton is scheduled to help the Central church in Owensboro, Kentucky, in a meeting. Grover Stevens is to be with the church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, October 9-18. During the last of September, Robert Jackson assisted the park Hill church in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in a series of meetings. Oaks Gowen assisted the Jackson Heights church in Columbia, Tennessee, and the West End church in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in meetings during the last of August and first part of September. Hershel Patton has recently been with the Eastside church in Russellville, Alabama, in a meeting...... Bill Cavendar helped the Westvue church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in a meeting the latter part of September. Charles F. House, P. O. Box 641, San Luis, Arizona, is in desperate need of some support in order to allow him to continue his work among the Spanish people in the area of Tecate, Sonoyta, and San Luis. He has been engaged in this kind of labor since 1954. From all reports he is deserving of help and is recognized as a man sound in the faith. Due to unfortunate circumstances, one of the churches bearing a major part of his support had to stop such immediately. This left House without the time and opportunity to raise the support elsewhere. Is there some church in a position to help him in any amount. If so, contact him at once. There have been 29 baptisms in his work already this year. Surely this effort needs to he continued and is deserving of adequate support.
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The Lines Are Drawn
It is always a great triumph for Satan when he can drive the wedge af division into the church. He has done it again! After the manner of a hundred years ago, brethren are becoming so wedded to the "idols" as did Ephraim, that they will have no fellowship with those who will not approve them. Then it was the Missionary Society which brethren loved more than the peace and fellowship of the saints, and any man who would not approve of this man-made institution was blacklisted and avoided as if he had a plague. Now, it is the benevolent society and the evangelistic society in varying forms which men have organized and vowed allegiance to at all costs. These they love more than the peace and fellowship of the church, and God help the man who refuses to approve all this. He is whispered about, reported, misrepresented, charged, indicted, tried "in absentia," condemned, and sentenced to the ecclesiastical galleys. When he has rowed himself to exhaustion going around and around trying to find out "whodunit," the self-appointed protectors of the church, the band-wagon riders, and the "Me too-ers," compass land and sea to brand him as having "gone off with error" and get him fired from his pulpit or his meetings cancelled. His friends and brethren of former years hear the reports, raise an eyebrow, express a muffled "Ah!" that such a fine gospel preacher should so depart from the "faith" as to oppose the doing of so much "good," and go about their pursuit of happiness and security without ever knowing that they have been victimized by the old propaganda trick of TRANSFER OF IDENTITY: the good done is identified as the doer of good, and anyone who disapproves the doer (the man-made institution) is counted as opposing the good done (evangelistic and benevolent work).
(Yes, we had a meeting cancelled last week which had you to understand been scheduled over two years, and this was not the first such.) — J. Ed Nowlin, Glenwood Hills Echoes, Decatur, Georgia.
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Compromise is the very soul of diplomacy; it is the oil which eliminates much of the friction of society. Everyone recognizes that compromise is necessary; no one can have his own way in everything. In our social contracts, we are constantly being called upon to yield something. Labor and capital are continually compromising. Marriage is nothing more than a compromise. Without the willingness of both parties to give and take, no marriage could be successful.
Compromise has come to play such a prominent role in our activities that oftentimes it is taken for granted. Indeed, in some cases, we unconsciously resort to it to settle our differences. Therein lies one of the greatest dangers confronting the church. For, ALTHOUGH COMPROMISE IS NECESSARY IN MANY FIELDS, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE FOR IT IN RELIGION. Yet, it is one of the favorite devices of Satan.
There can be no compromise for us in our service unto God. If a thing is wrong, it must not be tolerated. Religious doctrine is either true or false; there is no middle ground. The majority of denominations have some truth mixed in with much error, and thereby deceive many. To accept anything less than the whole TRUTH is to compromise with error.
No wonder, then, Christ was so plain in his writing. "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24) — A. E. Holt in "The Life Line."
A man found a little animal (less than the size of a half grown mouse) and began to strike it, and every blow he struck it, it doubled in size. He took a club and beat it, and punched it with a rail until it blocked the highway and obstructed the traffic in the community.
A venerable old man came along and surveyed the situation, and advised him to leave off striking the animal and let it alone. This advice was taken and the huge monster began to diminish in size. It grew smaller and smaller until it was less than when he first found it, and crept off in the woods and was gone.
The old man then began to explain; "It is important for you to understand these animals, for you will meet with them many times in life. Failure to know how to treat them will bring you much trouble. Always let them alone and they will be harmless. Their name is STRIFE! — via "The Observer," Indianapolis, Ind.