Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 1, 1982
NUMBER 26, PAGE 8-11a

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, 4882 University Dr. Wichita Falls, Texas

News Of Moves

Jimmy Tuten has moved to St. Louis, Mo., where he will labor with the Spring and Blaine church.... Jim Gabbard is now working with the University Drive church in Portales, New Mexico... .Robert C. Welch is going to move to Springfield, Mo., around the first of the year to labor with the church there. He is with the Mound and Starr church in Nacogdoches, Texas.... After four years of work with the Southside church in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, Robert Bolton is to soon move to work with the church In Lancaster, Texas....A new congregation has started here In Wichita Falls. Actually, as I write these words, it has not really started yet; but it will have its "official" beginning October 21. The new church is being formed among the members of the Floral Heights church. About twenty of the most faithful families will an with this work. Of course, they will start with nothing in a physical or material way; but they do have the potential in members to build a good, strong, solid church. The new group will be meeting temporarily in the Ben Milam school building in the Faith Village section of town. Sunday services will be at 9 A.M. and 10 A.M.; and at 6 P.M. They will meet on Wednesday evening at 7:30. I will be working with this new group. Should you be in our city, we would be happy to have you with us at any service. For further information you can contact me. A new congregation in this city has been needed for a long time, and I think that this is a great step forward for the Cause of Truth in this area...I am to assist the church in Denton, Texas, which meets in the Woman's Forum Building, in a gospel meeting, the week of Oct. 22-26. Glenn Shaver is the preacher there....I am also scheduled to help the church in Dumas, Texas, in a meeting scheduled for November 12-18. Derrel Shaw is the preacher there now....M. M. Chaffin, who has been working with the church in Canoga Park, California, for several years, is desirous of moving to work with another congregation. Brother Chaffin is a good solid man. He knows and preaches the truth. His address is 7054 Winnetka Avenue.... After eight years with the church in Crane, Texas, David Bonner has moved to work with the church in Portland, Oregon.. He will be supported in his labours in Portland by the church in Crane.

Smoking And Premature Births —

"A preliminary finding of researchers indicates that premature births occur more frequently among mothers who smoke than among the non-smokers. In addition, birth weight was found to be inversely proportional to the reported amount of smoking: the greater the smoking, the lower the weight at birth. This was one of the early findings of a collaborative research program on the causes of reproductive failure, being conducted by leading U. S. medical centers and the National Institute of Health. Thus far, data have been compiled on 23,000 expectant mothers and 17,000 children.' — Parents Magazine, September, 1962

Pepperdine Extension School:

Is It The College? Is It The Church? (Is It Neither? Both? Or A Hybrid?)

I have a little folder advertising "Courses in Religion," "Start Sept. 10, 1962, for college credit," it says. It Is "Accredited thru Extension School Pepperdine College, Los Angeles, California. Classes to be held at Church of Christ, 601 MacArthur Blvd., San Leandro, California."

I read this and wondered: who is teaching this "religion" -- the college or the church? I finally decided it was the college in Los Angeles teaching in the church building in San Leandro. Then on page 2, the application for enrollment was addressed to "Pepperdine Extension School, 801 MacArthur Blvd., San Leandro, California." My confusion increased. It says "Pepperdine," but the address is the church's. So I re-decided that they are one and the same — that Church of Christ is a Pepperdine Extension School. But then I thought, "no, if they were the same, they would not have made the distinction on page one."

I hoped a "Description of Courses" on p. 3 might clear It up. Course 5A was "The Bible in Survey," so I thought, "well, that sounds like a church teaching Jesus Christ." Course 51 was "General Psychology" so I recalculated that must be the college teaching Freud and other philosophers. Course 145, "Personal Evangelism," however, again made me feel it might be the church.

Tuition expenses were "$28 per semester unit for courses taken for credit." I knew a church would not charge money to teach God's word, so I felt this must be the college. But then I wondered what the college was doing taking over the church's property. Had the church sold the property? This was indeed a bewildering entanglement!

This situation poses some serious questions.

1. Does this not mean the church is not sufficient to perform its God-given mission of teaching? (A college must do it for them.)

2. If false doctrine were taught, would the college fire the instructor or would the elders withdraw from them?

3. If the church, rented the property to them,

a. would the elders have any authority over what was taught?

b. would the church rent it to others?

4. If they granted USE permission because "Religion" was taught.

a. could others receive such permission?

b. does such grant constitute a contribution to the college?

5. If the college and the church could cooperate to teach psychology, could they teach other "-ologies"?

6. If an admission charge could be made for activity in the church's building, could admission be charged for other activities?

7. What scriptures in the New Testament would answer these questions and regulate the affairs of such church-college marriage?

8. Could a church ever object to putting the "college in the budget" after getting tangled up in this arrangement?

Brethren, this is not an isolated case I recently received mail from a college in Michigan asking us to announce the speaker for a church in Santa Ana, California, during their regular Wednesday evening services of Aug. 3.

Brother C. R. Nichols used to say, "Let the church be the church" and Foy Wallace added, "and make the college be a college." That is good advice, but what one reads today makes it difficult to know which is which.

— Bill Fling, Bulletin, West Anaheim, Calif., church

"Take Me Out To The Ballgame"

On the message board was the customary greeting to organizations which purchase a block of tickets to a game: "The Dodgers welcome the following to Dodger Stadium....Anaheim Chamber of Commerce....Ralph's Super Market....West Covina Church of Christ...." An air of nonchalance prevailed as this history making announcement was flashed before the eyes of over thirty thousand people. They seemed completely unimpressed by the church in the grandstand. Little did they realize that this was possibly the first time in its history that the church of Christ had assembled in a baseball park to witness a ballgame.

Surprised? You really shouldn't be. This is just another milestone on the road some churches have been travelling for years. The West Covina Church of Christ was merely participating in another form of "social fellowship." Since the church received the credit for ordering the tickets, it seems safe to assume that it paid for them. Most people agree that it is scriptural to use money from the church treasury to finance the activities of the church. Those who endorse the use of money from the church treasury to build kitchens, recreational halls and to pay for the utilities used at "church socials," should have no objection to using this money to purchase baseball tickets. One is as authorized as the other. They are all forms of "social fellowship" and if the church has the right to finance one type of "social fellowship" it would have the right to finance every kind, provided it is not inherently sinful.

"There must be some mistake." Granted, but it was not made by the Dodger Organization. Someone ordered a block of tickets for the West Covina Church of Christ. I would like to think that some enemy of the church was attempting to revile it publicly, but knowing the digression of some churches into social activities, makes this unlikely. Brethren have contended for some time that anything the individual can do, the church can do. Churches have sponsored hot dog suppers, coffee breaks between Bible study and worship, and youth camps. In view of this is it really unusual for a church to attend a ballgame?

Why do we object to this? For the same reason we object to other forms of "social fellowship" mentioned. Jesus Christ, as the head of the church, assigned it a spiritual work to perform. Since He did not authorize "social fellowship" as a work of His church, to practice it one must go beyond the doctrine of Christ. We oppose this for the same reason we oppose every other addition to the inspired teaching of God's Word. (2 John 9)

Brethren, "grievous times" have come in which men "are lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God." (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

— David Harkrider, Rose Avenue bulletin

An "E Change On "Segregation"

Bro. Muse Challenges Brother Clyde Muse, preacher for the church at Beech and Southern, one of the churches of the Negroes, wrote an article "challenging" the Wendell Avenue church as follows:

"Challenge To A Motto: The motto which appears in the Wendell. Ave. church bulletin to the effect that the congregation will gladly give scripture for everything they practice or else quit it, or if it can be shown by the scriptures that there is something they should practice and are not they will begin immediately in light of current conditions in race relations is ridiculous. The congregation is segregated, on the basis of race alone, which is admitted to be wrong by the preacher, unless he has changed! This they need to quit. The fact that brethren all over are generally silent on the matter is something that ought not to be. We would welcome the opportunity to show the congregation that this practice is wrong. Let's see how long the invitation will be in coming!!!"

I called bro. Muse when I read the article and reaffirmed "our position" and invited him to point out our error in an article which I would publish in our 'bulletin. His article follows:

"Response From Wendell Avenue: On Tues. morning, Sept. 11, brother Grover Stevens, preacher at Wendell called my home in response to the article published in last week's bulletin concerning their "proposition" as it relates to the race problem. The result of the conversation was that I was to submit a series of articles for publication in the Wendell Ave. bulletin with bro. Stevens having the right to review or not review the article as he deems appropriate. Although my personal preference in the matter would be to present in person a series of lessons on the subject, this may or may not be permitted as the elders of the congregation think best. In any event, I submit the following for publication and consideration.

"The Veil Shall Be Taken Away: In one of the clearest and most forceful of Paul's declarations as to the abrogation of the law of Moses, he used the words of the above caption in 2 Cor. 3:16 to show what happens when one who places his hope in that law turned to Christ. AlI the forces that had tended to obscure the individual's vision, (the veil) is taken away in Christ.

"Today there are conditions of heart that are opposed to all that truth and righteousness stand for, which because' of the "veil," many are unable to see. Clearly it should be the objective of every Christian to unmask all forms of sin, in order that those caught in its grasp may recognize it and free themselves therefrom,

"I submit that HATRED and INJUSTICE are two such sins that have for generations been hidden by the veil of segregation. But as it was with the law of Moses, when the veil is taken away, all true Christians will see them for what they are and will immediately busy themselves to free themselves. Today the problem is much the same as it was in Paul's day, that is, it is always easier to continue to preach and practice that that has been accepted as a way of life than it is to oppose what is to some, as dear as life itself. Then too, because of the elasticity of the English language many words have a variety of meanings. It is therefore easy to convince oneself that segregation as he believes and practices it, is entirely proper. That is why the "veil" must be taken away. To say that segregation means the right to house my family and provide for them separate and apart from those that I do not choose as my personal friends, is but to apply the veil, for it does not mean that in our society. It actually means that in some instances one cannot entertain or have social intercourse with some that he may actually choose. This is not the justice for which a Christian must contend. Hatred of mankind is wrong regardless of the reason. Through segregation, as it is practiced in the Lord's church, hatred and injustice are not only maintained, but are to some extent encouraged.

"Who can accurately estimate the number of ignorant and bigoted individuals that have become members of congregations throughout the south, simply because the church is SILENT on the issue. Let anyone who thinks there are 'none, even in Louisville, teach a few lessons or preach a few sermons that do more than just mention segregation in passing and see what happens. `Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away'."

s/ Clyde Muse Reply To Brother Muse's Challenge

I believe that bro. Muse is wrong in making the charges he has against the Wendell Avenue church, and also in the attitude he manifests. His railing talk and unfounded charges against this congregation and brethren in the Lord in general indicates that it is He who is guilty of prejudice and hatred, and will result in much harm to the church and to the very cause which he desires to help.

There are several races of people — the Red, Yellow. Brown, White and Black. (Negro is from Spanish and means black, and it in turn is from the Latin word "niger.") I do not know of any congregation among the White people that either HATE or MISTREAT any of these people. Most White churches do everything they can to HELP the other races. I know of at least two congregations within a hundred miles of here that have, or have had, two or more Negro families as members. One Negro man became bed-fast and White brethren mowed his lawn regularly and sat up with him in his home in shifts when they were needed. The Negro people were the ones who urged the congregation to help them start a congregation of their own so they could be with and reach their own race of people.

This points up the fact that each race has its own peculiar characteristics, habits, nature, personality, culture and customs, and that these factors produce a natural affinity and sympathy for those of a race, and a corresponding line of separation or segregation. That is the reason that Mexicans usually have a natural filiations and desire to associate socially with Mexicans, Indians with Indians, Chinese with Chinese, and Negroes with Negroes, and Whites with Whites. I am sure that this is the reason that there were churches of the Gentiles during the first century. (Rom. 16:4) This was not due to HATRED on the part of the Jewish Christians, but rather to the natural accord produced by like traits and characteristics as mentioned above. I do not say that there is no racial hatred, because I know there is, but I do say that such is not true of the Christians at Wendell Avenue and I do not believe that such is true of God's people generally as bro. Muse charges. I deplore and condemn the acts of hate and retaliation which are done by both Negroes and Whites, and Indians, and also because of religious hate, such as has been done by the Catholics in some foreign countries.

I most certainly deny the charges that bro. Muse has made. He has offered absolutely, no proof whatsoever that we teach or practice anything in our daily lives or in our worship that is contrary to the scriptures. Bro. Muse, I call upon you to either point out something that we teach or practice for which we do not have scriptural authority, or else retract your charge.

— Grover Stevens. Taken from Wendell Ave. bulletin, Louisville, Ky.