Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 16, 1954
NUMBER 32, PAGE 3,13b

Which Way Is The Tide Moving?

Charles H. Grider, Newport. North Carolina

Are we drifting? Or, have we drifted? If one will only review the writings of many of the brethren he can determine for himself whether we are drifting or if we have already drifted.

There are some places along the Atlantic Coast, at certain times, the tides will keep rolling in but the water level will be lowering. Unless one watches the markers he will think the water is rising.

I wonder if the church is not reaching that stage. We have become a mighty people, it seems the people of God would sweep across the whole earth like a mighty wave; that nothing could stop us, that sectarianism, denominationalism and every other ism would fall before our onslaught.

But like "the mother of harlots" came forth from the ashes of pagan Rome, centro-institutionalism rears its ugly head from the battle grounds of yester-years. Like the beast that appeared to be "smitten unto death; and his death stroke healed" it comes forth with power and poise, disguised as Mrs. Sympathy, her mission to help the helpless, to preach the gospel to the poor; Speaking with honey from "Pious Farm" dripping from her lips until opposed, then she hides behind beguiled or bewildered editors and quotations marks. The honey from her lips turns to deadly venom for anyone who asks her to give Scripture for her existence.

Did you know if one opposes programs such as "Herald of Truth" and refuses to contribute to them, he is not a Christian. Neither is the church that refuses to contribute to it a church of Christ; and preachers and churches that are afraid to contribute to such are unworthy of wearing the name of Christ. Who believes this? Brother Logan Buchanan, of Dallas, Texas.

I take it that Brother Buchanan will not fellowship a person who is not a Christian, neither will the church where he preaches fellowship a church that is not a church of Christ.

Is it possible that Highland Church in Abilene and the preachers she has hired will go along with Brother Buchanan? Would it be unchristian to ask these questions? Brother James Nichols, James Willeford and Brother Harper do you acquiesce in this sentiment of Brother Buchanan? Do you refuse to fellowship one who refuses to contribute to "Herald of Truth"? Do you consider 1080 churches to be the church of the Lord and the rest imposters?

According to Brother Buchanan the "Herald of Truth" is strictly a matter of law; that is the way God said preach the gospel. Hence, he removes it from the realm of expediency. If it were in the realm of expediency, there would be some liberty. Brother Buchanan did you really mean that you are making this a test of fellowship? That is what you implied. However, one ear is willing to hear you, and would that you explain why those who refuse to support "Herald of Truth" are not Christian, not churches of Christ before you go through with this excommunication.

Oh! I must not forget to tell where Brother Buchanan made these statements. Someone might think some "cantankerous old maverick" was just coming out of a horrible dream. (Wouldn't it be fine if it were just a dream!)

In the December 10, 1953 issue of Gospel Broadcast, there is an article entitled "The Herald of Truth" by Logan Buchanan of Dallas, Texas. Here are 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and the last two paragraphs of this article:

"Herald of Truth Exalts the Church"

"In every possible way, the church is exalted and magnified. Many preachers report unusual success in mission meetings due to the network program. It is a dream come true.

"The church of the Lord is engaged in a WORLDWIDE BROTHERHOOD ACTIVITY, (his article is entitled THE HERALD OF TRUTH, C.H.C.) when it tries to carry out the Great Commission, which says `Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel ...' Mark 16:15. Our vision has been too low and too short to do much about this in years gone by.

"Now the church is known in every section of the nation, and the people are receptive to the truth — partly due to the Herald of Truth.

Can Churches Cooperate?

"Churches must cooperate, to succeed. A church-member who is such a 'cantankerous old maverick' that he can neither get along nor work with other church-members, is not a Christian. A local church which has to `go its own way,' and is unable to be in work with other churches and have fellowship with them in worthy enterprises, is not a church of Christ. (At least one of Brother Buchanan's WORTHY ENTERPRISES is the Herald of Truth and is the church that refuses to support it not a church of Christ? C.H.C.)

"Jesus says ALL believers should be one (John 17: 20-21), in order to influence the world. This means active cooperation with one another. (Evidently he is still talking about the Herald of Truth. C.H.C.) When we are not able to 'have fellowship' with one another, we are not in fellowship with God, either — 1 John 1:6-7. (According to Brother Buchanan's implication one is not in fellowship with God if he refuses to contribute to the Herald of Truth. C.H.C.)

"For preachers and churches to be afraid to follow this example for fear 'it might develop into something big and bad,' is unworthy of those who have named the name of Christ. (He is still talking about the Herald of Truth. C.H.C.)

"Do not fear to follow the Bible, and pledge your giving to a church like Highland, for a work as worthy as the Herald of Truth broadcast."

Brother Buchanan would have one to believe that the "Herald of Truth" is the best, and the cheapest way to preach the gospel over the radio and TV. He uses post hole logic, vilifies the brethren and churches that refuse to contribute to Herald of Truth, misapplies scriptures, excommunicates and refuses the right of wearing the name of Christ to all who will not help in what he calls "worthy enterprises," "WORLD-WIDE BROTHERHOOD ACTIVITY."

Brother Buchanan, in his article, removes "The Herald of Truth" from the realm of expediency. It is no more left to the judgment of the elders at Highland Church as to what they think is the best way to preach to the world. la implies the churches that refuse to contribute to the Herald of Truth are not churches of Christ; their members not worthy to wear Christ's name, they are just "cantankerous old mavericks."

I suppose the elders at Highland endorse what Brother Buchanan writes in regard to the "Herald of Truth."

Brethren! you can see what kind of tactics Brother Buchanan used. Did you think they would come so soon? Will the great men of Abilene permit the wedge to be driven that will again divide the body of Christ?

Some preachers among us can mark on their sermon outlines "cry here" and let the tears flow like falling raindrops. The issues before us cannot be settled by "crocodile tears" and sentimentalism. The only way to settle any issue is to bind where God has bound, loose where God has loosed. Where there is liberty do not strive to take it away, where there is no liberty do not strive to take, or give it.

P.S.: I am sad indeed! I just read Brother Harper's "last article" to the Gospel Guardian!

Brother Harper, I too, am "stuck off down here in North Carolina with a church with less than a hundred members." However, all of us can't be "Big Preachers"; some must build up the church to over one hundred so preachers like you will come to places like North and South Carolina and many, many other places.

As of now I don't suppose you would be interested in coming to North Carolina to work seeing there is only one or possibly two churches that have enough members for you to preach to. Brother Harper we need preachers badly here in this state but now that you have drawn the line between "little preachers" and "Big Preachers" I suppose we won't be getting any of the would be "Big Preachers."

Brother Harper, you place the Judgment Day before everyone that does not agree with you. One statement in your last article will make every Christian drop his head and cause his heart to bleed. That is, your challenge to all who will not endorse the "Herald of Truth." When YOU stand in judgment what kind of an answer will you give for challenging the people of God to divide? Is "Herald of Truth" all that important to you? Missionary Societies and instrumental music were that important to the "progressives." Did they not claim to have the greatest number? Did not they say, "let us see you do something without our progressive programs"? Did they not make the same challenge that you have made?