We Also Bleed
It gives us no pleasure to publish bro. W.F. Cawyers account of digression in the Highland church, Abilene. It gave us no pleasure to discuss the error of the Herald of Truth arrangement with bro. Cawyer some 12 or 15 years ago, when he traveled in the interest of that project; nor to warn bro. Williford that their course was attracting the liberal, not the conservative, well-grounded brethren. We knew, 25 years ago, the agony of decision such as bro. Cawyer must have recently made; and our hearts ached because men like bro. Cawyer, E. R. Harper, James Williford, and others seemed blinded to the almost certain outcome of the path they followed.
And our hearts bled, and continue to bleed, for the hundreds of churches divided over such projects; the sincere Christians contemptuously branded Anti, and cast aside because they can not conscientiously support such; the souls LOST in the Herald of Truth issue. (We bleed too, believe it or not, when we see an ungodly spirit manifested on the part of some who oppose these multi-church arrangements, with their unscriptural human institutions. (As the Highland debacle unfolds we will see further evidence that H. of T. is an institutional entity, not the church alone.)
Bro. Cawyer says, Your money is being spent by staff members going all over the nation defending the irregularities of the program, instead of preaching the gospel, the purpose for which you sent your money. This is not NEWS bro. Cawyer. Every open-eyed observer of history and human nature knows that the institution is usually defended above the gospel. How do you think the H. of T., the general welfare institutions, the Colleges, etc., pushed their way so effectively into church budgets? By open financial records? By honestly facing issues? By scriptural justification in honorable discussion? No, bro. Cawyer, it was by policy that sacrificed Gods plan in order to defend man-made arrangements.
In your article you say, We built an image for the church only a part of which remains until this day. And I suspect this is a big part of what trapped Highland. For several decades the image-builders have been busy, determined to impress this materialistic age with— what else— a materialistic image. This spirit has built unnecessarily ornate buildings, softened the preaching, encouraged the social gospel and promoted a public-conscious rather than a God-conscious church. It has been a big factor in the development of churchhood WORLDWIDE projects— and I write with no desire to detract from the many who sincerely desired to save souls. But our institutions had to be protected— and this meant dont rock the boat. So, quarantine the objectors, build an unrealistic public image, court big-moneyed churches even if you do not like their modernistic trappings. And Highland was corrupted by the forces she sought to use. The world flavored the salt because of policies of men rather than of God.
We bleed for bro. Cawyer, for the Highland church, and for hundreds of churches influenced to ignore this nightmare and continue in error.