The Church And The Herald Of Truth
Some brethren have contended that supporting the Herald of Truth and benevolent institutions set up to do the work of the church are not matters of faith, but rather of indifference. Some have allowed brethren the liberty to support these institutions individually as long as it was not pushed upon the congregation for support. That brethren who are back of these institutions do believe that their support is a matter of faith has become evident.
Bro. W. F. Cawyer, an elder of Highland Church in Abilene, Texas, sponsor of the Herald of Truth, in a report published by the Central Church, Portland, Oregon, makes the following report:
"W. F. Cawyer, Abilene Texas, assisted our brethren in Yuma, Arizona, in a gospel meeting closing May 19. Yuma was taken over by the "anti" element several years ago, but our brethren "pulled away" and have now established a loyal, consecrated and devoted church of the living God known as the Central Church of Christ, 643 Second Avenue, Yuma, Arizona. These brethren meeting at the above location are worthy of your confidence and cooperation. During the few days we were with them, we learned to love them because they are determined to establish a congregation of people that God can be well pleased with."
Several years ago, the church in Yuma adopted the principle of not supporting these institutions from the church treasury. Those who wanted to, supported them on an individual basis. Brethren on both sides of the issue continued to meet and work together on this basis.
In 1963, Bro. Ronnie Clark, who had been attending Broadway Church in Lubbock while attending Texas Tech,- returned to Yuma. He placed a check for $5.00 in the contribution earmarked for Lubbock Children's Home specifying that it be sent through the treasury of the church. The elders asked him to mail it directly to Lubbock. Bro. Clark refused, and again put the check in the contribution with the same stipulation. Again it was refused. As a result, several members revolted against the elders (one elder was Bro. Ronnie's father) and started meeting with the church in Somerton, Arizona. A few weeks later, when this pressure did not move the sound brethren in Yuma, the liberal group "pulled away" and started meeting in the old Episcopal building in Yuma, calling themselves the Central Church of Christ. Bro. C. W. Clark, one of the elders, went with them. Shortly after they started meeting, they started advertizing the Herald of Truth in the Yuma Daily Sun, and had Bro. Cawyer for a meeting, hence the report from Bro. Cawyer concerning the "antis" taking over in Yuma, and the liberal brethren "pulling away." You will notice that Bro. Cawyer places his stamp of approval on this division! According to Bro. Cawyer, Central is now "consecrated," "devoted" and "loyal," and by implication, the Fifth Avenue congregation from whence they came is not. In Bro. Cawyer's opinion, were these brethren "consecrated, devoted and loyal" before they divided the church and went to Central? Are the members left at Fifth Avenue not "consecrated, devoted and loyal" since these brethren went away, inasmuch as they do not support the Herald of Truth? If Fifth Avenue started supporting the Herald of Truth, would Bro. Cawyer then refer to them as "consecrated, devoted and loyal" too? He called one elder at Fifth Avenue "Diotrephes in the presence of witnesses because said elder refused him permission to speak at Fifth Avenue on the Herald of Truth when the issue was causing trouble! It seems, that according to Bro. Cawyer, any congregation is "consecrated, devoted and loyal" if they support the Herald of Truth, regardless of what else they may teach or do, even to the dividing of the church.
Brethren, I think it is plain who is responsible of dividing the church. These brethren think more of an institution of men (the Herald of Truth) than they do the church of the living God. Once men have started institutions of their own making, nothing is so important to them as the creatures of their own making. As was so aptly stated by Bro. Reuel Lemmons in the Firm Foundation of July 23, 1963, "When such is done these projects usually become the front line of defense, and you can criticize the church without a challenge, but if you criticize the project your name is Ichabod."
— Rt. 1, Box 570A, Yuma, Arizona