"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.III No.X Pg.10-16
May 1941

The Subversive Character Of The Murch-Witty Meetings


There has never been a movement in the history of the church on this continent with more sinister designs than the much publicized Witty-Murch Unity Meetings. The Bible Banner made this charge at the beginning, when these socalled "national unity meetings" were announced. We have been told not to judge men's motives nor impugn their purposes, because the Lord only knows whether men are sincere or hypocritical. But Jesus said, "by their fruits ye shall know them" he did not say that by their fruits he should know them, he said "ye and by their fruits we do know them. With the history of digressive designs back of us, in the virtual theft of meetinghouses all over the land, divided churches and misplaced confidences, brethren who have seen or read the past to any profit will repose no confidence in Witty and Murch.

The letter which appears below in the article by Brother B. C. Goodpasture, which is copied from the Gospel Advocate, furnishes a clear case of the designing character of these meetings. Brother Goodpasture makes some excellent remarks, containing timely truths. One point, however, is being overlooked. The proponents and opponents of these Unity Meetings are all speaking of the desire for Christian Unity. The Lord's prayer for unity is repeatedly referred to as not having been answered. We hear prayers for God to answer the prayer of his Son. That sounds like these "unity meeting" preachers have a better standing with God now than his own Son had then, for they are praying for God to answer the prayer of his Son! For their information, the prayer of Jesus has long been answered. He prayed that the apostles should be one. They were one. He prayed that all who believed on Him "through their word" might also be one. All that believed on him "through their word" were one. They are still one. Christian Unity exists wherever Christians are, whether few or many, who believe on Him through the word of the apostles. We simply mean to say that Christian Unity does not depend on what the digressive Christian Church is going to do about anything. Does Christian Unity depend on what the Methodists are going to do about sprinkling for baptism? Neither does it depend on what the digressives are going to do about instrumental music, missionary societies, delegate conventions, open membership, women preachers, women pastors, women elders, vested choirs, union meetings, Thursday observance of the Lord's Supper, Junior churches, consecration of infants, modernism, and a thousand things that would separate them from simple New Testament churches if instrumental music in the worship had never been heard of. If they, like Ephraim, are joined to their idols still Christian Unity exists in the church, large or small, where Christians follow Christ and His apostles, "through their word." The Lord's prayer for unity was answered before the Witty-Murch meetings were born, and the best that can be said for the Christian Church is that it is a digression from that unity an apostasy from the New Testament order of things.

In this department also appears an article from Brother John Allen Hudson, of Los Angeles, California, under the title "Unity Meeting Decline." Brother Hudson says some good things. I have personally seen him in action with a few digressive preachers when he made "the fur fly" and I know he can do it. But it occurs to me that in the letter sent to these digressive leaders over his signature there is a super-abundance of love making. The gobs of love with which these digressive "brethren" are being anointed everywhere seems to me to be rather superfluous and gratuitous. It is fine to love when it is the time to love. But a dose of love is not the medicine these Witty-Murch Meetings need now. Jesus loved the Pharisees but there were occasions upon which he did not take any time out to tell them so the occasion required something else.

Brother Hudson states that we regard the Christian Churches as our brethren in Christ. I will venture the assertion here that three fourths of the members of the Wilshire Boulevard Christian Church in Los Angeles have never obeyed the gospel. Large numbers of them came one way or another from the denominations without obedience to the gospel, many of them went into the Christian Church on marriage compromises. In my home city, Oklahoma City, the pastor of the First Christian Church stood in the baptistery and apologized for immersing a man by saying that there were members of that church who had never been immersed, and some who had not received baptism in any form, and they were all welcome, but that he immersed those who wanted to be! That is the situation in all of the large Christian Churches and most of the small ones. On what basis then can the blanket statement be made that we regard them as our brethren in Christ?"

Suppose the organs in the worship should be removed. What of the other innovations? And what of that majority in the Christian Churches who have never been converted to the gospel and have never obeyed it? Suppose the "two groups" united, there would be an incompatibility as great as if a union should be formed with any other protestant denomination. Union is not unity, and Christ did not ask the Father for union. He asked for the unity of all who believed on Him through the apostles and He got what He asked, Unity. It is automatic. When individuals in the denomination called the Christian Church, or any other denomination, believe the word of the apostles and obey it, their unity with the New Testament church will be immediate. Why "Unity Meetings?" The idea is itself unscriptural.

Back to the designs of the digressives, including Claud F. Witty, in these mush meetings. Read the letter from the brother C. R. Elerich of Columbus, Ohio. Brother Witty claims to represent churches of Christ. These meetings are widely publicized as getting the two groups "Christian Churches and Churches of Christ together. Yet Brother Witty did not even consult any loyal church in Columbus. "The Church Of Christ" mentioned in the announcement is a digressive church wearing that name! Brother Witty knew this. He went to Columbus and consulted with the digressives about this "Unity Meeting" but did not go around the loyal brethren at all to even find out whether they wanted such a meeting or not. It is in this high-handed, arbitrary manner that the Witty-Murch Meetings are being forced upon brethren in various sections by Claud F. Witty. He is the one that is responsible, led around by the nose by James DeForest Murch and W. R. Walker of the Christian Standard.

The Columbus case is an example of the sinister designs of this group of men upon the churches of Christ. Brother Witty has proved himself a traitor to the church. He is not going to the digressives, he is already with them, and our prediction is that he will not long be identified with churches of Christ at all, unless someone can show him his sin, or something happens to check his course.

It is more and more evident that churches of Christ have nothing to gain by these love-making meetings, and Christian Churches have nothing to lose. Loyal brethren everywhere are being more and more convinced of this.

The digressives went out—let them repent and return. "They went out from us because they were not of us; if they had been of us they would not have gone out from us; but they went out" (Jno. 2:).

James DeForest Murch and W. R. Walker will not succeed in their designs on churches of Christ. Claud F. Witty will not succeed in victimizing the loyal churches and selling them down the river." The battle against digression has been too long and hard to surrender it to Witty, Walker and Murch. The National Unity Meetings will not succeed. They Shall Not Pass! F. E. W.

The Columbus (Ohio) Unity Meeting

Another "unity meeting" has been announced. This one is to be held on May 13 and 14 at Indianola Church of Christ," Norwich and Indianola Avenues, Columbus, Ohio.

This "Indianola Church of Christ" is the "Christian Church" where W. R. Walker serves as "pastor."

The following letter from Brother Elerich will throw some light on local Columbus conditions as related to the "unity meeting":

1373 East Hudson Street, Columbus, Ohio, April 30, 1941. In view of the publicity which has been given by the Witty-Murch forces to the "unity meeting" to be held in Columbus on May 13 and 14, I wish to make the following statement in behalf of the congregations of the church of Christ in this city, located at 28 East Seventh Avenue, 1290 West Broad Street, and Mount Vernon Avenue, near Taylor (colored):

Brother Witty's announcements through various papers that the sessions were to be held at the Church of Christ on Indianola Avenue may be misinterpreted by some brethren as meaning that this is a loyal congregation adhering to the New Testament doctrine, without additions, instrumental music, societies, etc., which is not the case. The "pastor" of the Indianola Church is W. R. Walker, who is prominent in the columns of the Christian Standard, published at Cincinnati, Ohio.

No loyal congregation of the church in Columbus was consulted relative to this "unity meeting," and none of the local preachers of the gospel were invited to have part in the discussions.

C. R. Elerich.

Assuming the correctness of the foregoing statement, it seems that the loyal churches in Columbus have not been dealt with fairly in making the arrangements for the "unity meeting." They have had a problem thrust upon them without their consultation or consent. If our memory is not at fault, about the same thing was done to the loyal congregation in Lexington, Ky., last year. Evidently the Christian Church on Indianola Avenue was consulted about the matter. Are the local churches of Christ to be dealt with as inferiors? Are they to be ignored in the matter? Are they to have these meetings brought to their midst regardless of their local problems or wishes? We are not even suggesting that they had the remotest desire to cooperate in these meetings. We do not know. But on the basis of common fairness it would have been just and proper to have consulted them. As it is, these loyal congregations in Columbus have been laid under the necessity of making an explanation to keep the record clear. If unity of the Christian Churches and the churches of Christ in Columbus is even a remote purpose of the proposed meeting, we utterly fail to see even the slightest evidence of tact and brotherly consideration in the "approach" that has been made.

We have never been enthusiastic about these "unity meetings." We have never expected much good to come from them. This does not mean that we are opposed to Christian unity. That unity among those who profess to be the followers of Christ is highly desirable, no one acquainted with the Scriptures will deny. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Ps. 133:1.) Some things are good that are not pleasant, and some things are pleasant that are not good; but unity possesses the rare quality of being, at the same time, both good and pleasant. It is "like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion."

There is great power in unity. The early church was of "one heart and soul," and it was able to meet all opposition; ancient Israel divided, and fell before her enemies. "Every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." (Matt. 12:15.) Rome divided, and fell. The kingdom of Satan, if divided, would suffer the inevitable results of strife. The opposing parties, in any division, neutralize the power of each other and tend to be mutually destructive of each other. "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another." (Gal. 5:15.) Even brethren in Christ, by bitter strife and contention, can destroy each other. The forbidding spectacle of a divided church discredits the teaching of Jesus in the eyes of the world. It nullifies our Lord's claims to the divinity of his mission. In the night before Calvary, Jesus prayed fervently "that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me that the world may know that thou didst send me." (John 17:21-23.) Anything that prevents or mars the unity for which Jesus prayed is a sin against the world, the church, the Son, and God the Father.

No one should fail to encourage any scriptural effort toward unity among brethren, but it should be remembered that any unity attained on grounds other than those revealed in the sacred oracles is not worth the time involved in its attainment. Any scheme of union which ignores the causes of division is foredoomed to failure. We cannot get rid of effects without removing causes. If the Christian Churches wish to be united with the churches of Christ, they will have to give up the innovations which have brought about the division. The churches of Christ occupy the ground upon which they stood before the division came. If unity is not desired to the extent that there is a willingness to give up instrumental music, the societies, open membership, and other suchlike Romish and denominational practices, all hope of success is out of the question. If they are willing to do this, it will not take long to let it be known. If they are not willing, why, the waste of time? Why not get down to business, or quit? Much as we desire unity, we cannot surrender principle to have it. We cannot be found seeking peace at any price.

So far we have been unable to see any "visible results" of the "unity meetings" which would justify their existence. We believe that the same effort and time used in preaching the primitive gospel would be productive of a great deal more good. Besides, it seems likely that these meetings are producing more problems among us than they are solving. -B. C. Goodpasture, in Gospel Advocate.

Common Ground Rejected

As we hear much these days about so-called "Unity Meetings," I thought you might like to read an account of such a meeting attended by my brother, M. C. Kurfees, in Nashville, Tenn., February 18, 1909. I just happened to notice this in one of this memorandum books, in which he made notes and comments on various matters, and the following is a copy of what he wrote concerning that conference:

"I received a call from Nashville, Tenn., to attend a conference with `some brethren favoring societies and organs,' which they had requested of those opposing these things; and boarding the 8:24 A. M. train Wednesday, February 17, 1909, I arrived in Nashville at 3:15 P. M. the same day. The conference was held at Dr. Cowden's residence on West Broadway, beginning at 10 A. M. Thursday, February 18th, and continuing till 4 P. M. the same day.

Of those favoring the divisive things in question there were present Brethren R. Lin Cave, Pendleton, McKissick and J. B. Biney, accompanied by R. R. Hamlin of Ft. Worth, Texas, and J. B. Cowden of McMinnville, Tenn. these beside Dr. Cowden himself.

Of those opposing these things there were present Brethren E. G. Sewell, E. A. Elam, J. C. McQuiddy, W. T. Boaz and myself, these besides Miss Emma Page, the stenographer.

The purpose of the conference was "to see if we could find a common ground on which all can work and worship." All present expressed themselves freely and the conference took on the form of an informal and at times desultory discussion of our differences. It was not a question whether either side was right or wrong in its position on any matter, but whether there was a common ground accepted by all and on which all could work and worship in harmony.

After much discussion, Brother J. B. Briney made a speech suggesting a common ground and used Bro. Pendleton and myself to illustrate his point. He said in substance that Bro. Pendleton might be preaching with a church on one street using an organ, and I might be preaching with another on another street not using an organ but here in another part of the city a work is needed and it is proposed to start up the work at that new point. Bro. Pendleton goes over there to work and Bro. Kurfees goes there to work, both with the understanding that the organ and societies are not to be used in that work at that place. `Now I maintain,' said he, that there is common ground and that both can work in harmony on that ground.

No sooner did he take his seat than I was on the floor with a prompt acceptance of the common ground suggested, heartily endorsed the suggestion and agreed to co-operate at any time and any place on that ground.

Several speeches followed and they claimed that they would still have the right to retain the organ and societies back at Bro. Pendleton's regular place of worship, but we replied that that had nothing whatever to do with the cold fact now admitted by their side that leaving the organ and societies out removes the barrier to union and co-operation and leaves us with a common ground where all can work and worship in harmony.

They gave evident signs of disturbance and restlessness under their own suggestion of a common ground and their admission that all could stand in harmony on that ground, but we pressed the point with increasing emphasis and would not permit them to lead us away from the issue, nor from the fact that a common ground had been found and had been suggested by them.

Bro. Briney attempted to rally from the effects of the turn of things by charging that I was not accepting the proposed common ground, except to work there "in that ten feet square," where Bro. Pendleton and I had been supposed to go to the common ground, but I promptly replied that he was mistaken-that I was willing to accept that ground, which he, himself, had suggested, anywhere and everywhere; not simply there "in that ten feet square," but in Louisville, in Nashville, in Vine Street, or anywhere, whether "ten feet square" or a thousand or a million miles square. At this point Bro. McQuiddy said: "Brother Kurfees, you would be willing to spread that ground all over the earth, would you not?" to which I gave a prompt affirmative reply.

We carried the point triumphantly in accepting their own suggested ground, but they refused to abide by it and insisted on holding on to the uncommon or divisive ground and building it up, too.

The conference adjourned with their rejecting the common ground suggested by themselves, and with our hearty acceptance of it."

That is the record of that "Unity Meeting," as recorded by M. C. Kurfees.

-Fraternally, J. F. Kurfees, Louisville, Ky.

"Unity Meeting Declined"

The following letter speaks for itself.

Mr. Merle Applegate, Figueroa Christian Church, Los Angeles, California.

Dear Brother Applegate:

Pursuant to the meeting between certain preachers of the Christian Churches of Southern California and certain preachers of the churches of Christ of this area on Wednesday, January 27, churches it was at that time decided by the preachers of the churches of Christ that they would not consider entering a meeting in California with the Christian Church folk until they had first met among themselves and gone over the whole matter. This was done, as we clearly stated to you in the January meeting, that we might present a united front to your approach toward us. We did not want to do anything that would cause disagreement among our own group. In the January meeting we declined a unity meeting, but we did agree to a full and frank discussion of the issues.

In a meeting attended by several preachers and leaders of the churches of Christ of Los Angeles on March 14, 1941, the matter of the proposed unity meeting with the Christian Church people was discussed and the consensus of opinion was as follows:

That we should show every kindness and consideration to these brethren and that we should welcome the opportunity to discuss our differences with them, but we should inform them with firmness that we could not enter into a meeting with a view to compromise of the issues that separate us.

That the contemplated meeting should not be called a "Unity Meeting" or conducted along the lines similar to meetings held in the East. A real unity meeting could not be held until the dividing elements have been removed so that the churches of Christ and Christian Churches could all become one group.

That in such a proposed meeting we take it for granted that brotherly love exists on both sides; that we all desire unity; that we all appreciate the value of the united front to the cause of Christ; therefore, the occasion should not be a fellowship dinner or goodwill meeting for the purpose of promoting union by overriding the differences, but the meeting should be a serious-minded affair for the purpose of determining what is right and what is wrong with reference to the issues involved.

That the leaders of the Christian Churches should understand before such a meeting that the purpose is not to try to persuade people of the churches of Christ to fellowship them in spite of the innovations. Either innovations must be removed or else it must be proved to our satisfaction that they are not sinful. They should not try to persuade us to compromise principles which are vital to us. If they were entering such a meeting with representatives of the Methodist Church, they would not want the Methodist people to try to persuade the Christian Church people that they should fellowship each other in spite of their differences on the subject of baptism.

That both sides should enter the meeting with the realization that the issues dividing us are either right or wrong. There can be no half-way position or compromise. If they are definitely proved to be right, both groups should immediately adopt them. If they are definitely proved to be wrong, those who tolerate them should immediately drop them, then there would be immediate unity automatically.

The question of respect for the authority of the New Testament Scriptures in matters of worship, doctrine and practices in religion is the question at issue. The innovations that are now a curse to the Christian Churches are only symptoms or results of the disease that has existed for man years. Large portions of that body have been carried away into liberalism of theological infidelity. They have sowed to the wind and reaped the whirlwind. The uninformed masses of laymen and the remaining leaders who still have faith in the Word of God should return all the way to the New Testament position before they too are swept away by the current of modernism and disrespect for God's authority which breeds first innovations, then brings liberalism.

Since we do decline a unity meeting, but are willing to discuss the differences that divide us, I think the next step toward a practical meeting on the subject would be for a few representative men on each side to get together and decide what type of discussion may be had strictly on the points in question, whether a public debate or informal discussion by representative men. There probably should be a series of meetings, either in the form of public discussions or informal proceedings relative to the vital points at issue.

We regard the people of the Christian Churches as brethren, but they are brethren who are being led astray by a serious error which prevents their churches from being loyal New Testament churches. Therefore, we feel very kindly toward the individuals, we love them but we do not love their error. Although we love such brethren we are not expected to love them to the extent of fellowshipping them in their error any more than people of the Christian Churches would be expected to fellowship people of denominations who refuse to obey the simple ordinances of baptism.

We are hopeful that continued prayerful study and discussion of the matters involved will be beneficial to all concerned.

Fraternally yours, -John Allen Hudson.

"What Is The Unity Movement?"

I received by mail a leaflet bearing the above caption, purportedly prepared by Brethren Claud F. Witty and James DeForrest March. I suppose the leaflet has been pretty well distributed throughout the country. Its avowed purpose is to explain what they mean by "The Unity Movement." They quote "Lockhart's principles of interpretation," and "Dungan's Hermeneutics" to establish an author's right to explain the purpose of his movement, as he is supposed to know better than others what his purpose is. No one need dispute their claim regarding the purpose of The Unity Movement, but any one has a right to question its feasibility, its expediency, its consistency, its possible results: also, its scripturalness. They claim "friends" who approve the movement as "a good thing:" they also admit "enemies" who regard it as "a dangerous experiment." An "experiment" is the proper name for it for there is no scriptural precedent for such "conferences" to decide and determine what rules shall govern churches of Christ.

They "examine" such scriptures as: 1 Cor. 1:10; 3:4; Isa. 1:18; Prov. 11:14; 6:16-19; Matt. 59; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4:3, to establish the doctrine of unity and peace: all of which are acceptable. But they did not examine 1 Cor. 4:6, "That ye might learn not to think above that which is written;" nor 2 John 9, "Whosoever goeth onward, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God"; nor 1 John 4:6, "He that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error"; nor 2 Tim. 4:3, "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20.) "The prophet that shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, even that prophet shall die." (Deut. 18:20.) Why did they ignore these scriptures in their study of unity?

Paul warned the elders of Ephesus: "After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:29-30.) "There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceiver— teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." (Titus 1:10,11). "There were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies-and many shall follow their pernicious ways." (2 Pet. 2:1-2.) With these warnings, Paul prescribes the fortification: "Take heed unto thyself, and to the doctrine, continue in them." (1 Tim. 4:16.) "Hold the traditions which thou has been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." (2 Thess. 2:15.) "Holding fast the faithful word, as he has been taught." (Titus 1:9.) "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me." (2 Tim. 1:13.) "The things which ye have learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with thee." (Phil. 4:9.)

The leaflet suggests that the scriptures dealing with unity and peace are being ignored by them who are taking no stock in their Unity Movement: but are they not tacitly ignoring these other scriptures bearing upon "sound doctrine, abiding in the doctrine of Christ, not thinking above what is written?" "All scripture" is necessary to make the man of God perfect. God surely desires that his children "live in peace," but not in peace with error and infractions upon his principles of doctrine. I quote from the pamphlet: "In studying this scripture in the light of the Restoration Movement as inaugurated by Thomas and Alexander Campbell and their co-laborers, we saw plainly that something was wrong." Is that their manner of testing the virtue of doctrine? Is that what Paul taught? Did any inspired writer recommend "The Restoration Movement" as a criterion to guide Christians in their work and worship? Is not "The Reformation Movement" of Luther, et al, as authoritative as Campbell's "Movement?" Were Campbell, Scott. Stone, Smith, inspired men any more than were Luther, Zwingli, Huss, Calvin? Such an appeal to "The Restoration Movement" by disciples is disgusting.

The Campbells were "men," and made errors as do all men. They were just emerging from the depths of denominational errors and spoke and wrote many things in the early days of their study that they later repudiated. No one knows how much more they would have rejected if they had continued to live and study. They were farther advanced in study than were the reformers in Luther's time, but they were far from being complete in knowledge. Our brethren reveal their foolishness every time they appeal to "The Restoration Movement" for any sort of bolster for items of faith and practice. Christians should have enough sense to go over the heads of Campbell, Luther, Jerome, and all other great teachers and not stop short of the place Timothy was instructed to tie his faith: on the teachings of Paul and his associate apostles. Also, a great play is made Anon "Our Plea." That means no more than the "Plea" of sectarianism. The disciples of Christ have no "plea" except "That which is written."

All Christians should deplore the divisions that are now in the Lord's church, and they do. But the warnings of Christ and his apostles lead us to expect such difficulties because of the ever present evil men, who "Creep in unawares" to teach things they ought not. Paul said: "Their mouths must be stopped": and when faithful men essay to do that "mouth stopping," the cry is raised of "persecution: rights of conscience; causing division:" and timid elders just back away and let them have it. Some

"fight the good fight of faith" as arrayed against "opinions, traditions, expediency." Then who is guilty of causing division? This leaflet correctly says: "When one fights against what God teaches in his Word, he fights against God." That is fine. How is this? "When one fights against what God has not taught in his Word, he is fighting for and with God." The leaflet proceeds from this important thought to "consider conditions as they are known to exist among us in the world today."

I give this quotation from the leaflet:

'In the state of Illinois there are three towns of five or six hundred inhabitants each, some six miles apart on the same railroad. In each of these, besides two or three denominational churches, there are a 'Church of Christ' and a 'Christian Church,' meeting a few blocks apart. At the hour of worship thirty or forty people sit down at the Lord's Table in each of the buildings, two preachers stand before two audiences and preach two sermons of equal merit, etc." Then they ask: "Why is this? Do they worship different gods? Do they read different Bibles?" Why do these two men who are apparently striving to bring those two groups of worshippers together ask such questions? They both know very well why. They know, and we all know, that those two groups of people would be worshipping together in peace and unity if one of them did not insist on the use of unauthorized equipment in their worship which the other group is afraid to use without God's sanction.

One group "fights against the things God has not taught in his Word," and are accused as trouble makers, when there would be no trouble at all if all were satisfied to "not think above that which is written." The group which "goeth onward, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ" does not have God with them, so why should the other group or any one desire to worship with them? If they wish to worship where God will be in their midst, they should leave the added equipment, and go worship with the ones who are satisfied with what the Word has authorized. If these two self-appointed "reformers" really desire that those two groups become one, why do they not properly diagnose the case as "unscriptural practice," and prescribe the remedy of "cutting off" the offending appendixes so the "body" could get well? The only way to heal a sore is to "remove all foreign substances," then apply the healing balm, and all will be well. A sore will not heal while foreign substances remain. I am confident that Brethren Witty and Murch both know just where the trouble lies: but Witty is too timid to assert his "scientific findings," and Murch cannot afford to retract his previous diagnosis.

They present a "five point approach to unity" for consideration. The first point is, "Prayer," which sectarians prescribe to the alien sinner as an antidote for sins, disregarding obedience. Second: "Survey. Seeking to determine how much we have in common in faith and practice." That also is a sectarian tactic used in all their "union meetings," and fits in very nicely into this "Unity Movement." The sects will spend weeks in a union meeting being careful to not mention controverted doctrines, and then return to their several places of worship just as far apart as ever. That will very likely be the final result of this "Unity Movement," or they will both be with the innovators. If, they expect to remove the difficulties, they will have to bring them out into the open, discuss them, measure them by the Word of God, agree to discard from both sides every thing unscriptural.

But will they do that? Have they been doing it? When certain brethren with good intentions attempted to pull those skeletons from the closets and dissect their, properties they have met with stern rebuke and were not invited again: If those two groups of worshippers, not only in Illinois, but in almost every hamlet. are ever to iron out their difficulties, they will have to apply the iron to those points wherein the trouble lies, and not continue to boast of the things wherein they agree. Christians can fraternize with Catholics, Jews, Mohammedans, by such a policy. "Friendliness" is the third point, which needs no comment, except that "The friendship of the world is enmity with God." Forth: "Co-operation: In enterprises which will not do violence to our personal or group convictions." Why, I would ask, should brethren in Christ harbor "personal and group convictions?" All "convictions" should emanate from the Word of Truth and that will not produce "personal; and group convictions." The introduction of those things that "The Word of God has not spoken" is all that works such divisive convictions. Leave those things off and you will not have unscriptural "convictions."

"Study and discussion," is the fifth point. What will be discussed, if not the differences? They are already "one" on undisputed points. Murch is afraid to discuss controverted points with one who will stand for Truth, and Witty is afraid to insist on such a discussion. Some man taught those divisive ideas, and then the division came. It was not here before. Who was to blame? Was it he who "fought against what God has not taught in his Word?" God will answer that query in the judgment, and you will be there. -James T. Amis, Springfield, Mo."

"Departing From Unity"

We hear much today about the subject of unity among the people of God. That God hates division among his people one cannot deny, in view of his revealed will. Division is listed among the lusts of the flesh and, therefore, is carnal. The apostle says, "For to be carnal minded is death," while to be spiritually minded is "life and peace." Anyone who teaches a doctrine, or advocates a theory, or conducts himself in his or her personal life in such a way as to cause division and offenses contrary to the teaching of Christ, is guilty of the terrible sin of division. We are taught that we are to "all speak the same thing" and "be of the same mind and the same judgment." We are to "mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them." But there are certain things which are essential to maintaining peace. We must observe those principles that make for peace.

Jesus made peace. The angels who announced the birth of Christ heralded him as "The Prince of Peace." They said of him, "Peace on Earth, good will toward men."' Jesus is the author of peace; he purchased it and left it with men. He said, "My peace, I leave with you." "In the world, you have trouble," he further said, "And I, if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me." At the time, Jesus uttered these words; men were divided into warring groups, religiously as well as in social and civil life. From all these various groups men would be drawn unto Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. In him they would have peace and have unity. To this agrees the testimony of the Apostle Paul in these words, "But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain, one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Cross, having slain the enmity thereby; and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were night." This language is so plain, that one would need help to misunderstand it. There is but one place, where men may find unity in matters religious, and that is in Christ; in his body, which is the church. This peace and unity was purchased with the blood of Christ in his death upon the Cross. Jesus said, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."

In Jesus' prayer for unity, when he uttered these words, "That they all may be one as thou Father art in me and I in thee, that they may be one in us," was a prayer offered in 'view of his death and the unity and one-ness that would come as a result of that death. Paul says, "To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself," God was in the death of our Savior, and in that death, he was "reconciling the world unto himself," "in one body by the cross." If men are reconciled to God in that body, then they are one, and therein is the unity for which Jesus prayed. We so often hear comments from pulpit and press, which would lead one to think that Jesus prayer, in the 17th Chapter of John, for unity, is still un-answered. His prayer was answered long ago, and is answered today. If men depart from that unity in Christ, then the only thing they can do to again enjoy that unity is to return to that place, where it is found.

Maintaining Unity. Since Jesus brought peace and unity in His death, and since we are all one in Christ, then we must maintain that one-ness and unity. The Apostle says. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bound of peace." This is a challenge to disciples of Christ to maintain that peace. We must endeavor to keep that unity and peace. How may we do it? By first maintaining these seven points of unity, which follow the apostles exhortation for peace. We must speak the same thing in teaching and doctrine. The preaching of the Gospel makes for peace. It is known as the Gospel of peace. The Gospel of Christ never has, or never will, divide Christians. Division comes as a result of preaching things, apart from, in addition to, and contrary to, the doctrine of Christ. Unity is based upon the teaching of Christ. Unity must first be in Spirit. The teachings of Christ make for humility and meekness and tenderness of Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, all of which grow out of the Spirit and make for peace among the people of God. Division comes as a result of a wrong Spirit and may be classed among the lusts of the flesh. We are to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. When we walk after the Spirit, then will the God of all peace comfort us and keep us ever in his peace.

Follow after things that make for peace. By doing this, division cannot invade the Body of Christ. All too often, trouble comes to us because we do not "follow the things that make for peace." Many times, locally in congregations, where matters of judgment and policy are the only issues under discussion, many times we do not follow things that make for peace. We become stubborn and self-willed, determined to have our way in the matter. The result is division. Then too, had brethren who comprise the "Disciples of Christ," the "Christian Church," followed the things that make for peace, and endeavored to keep that unity of Spirit in the bonds of peace, they would today be enjoying that peace and unity in Christ. To follow the things that make for peace would have ruled out the many innovations which invaded the church and divided brethren. There is but one thing left to be done, if they would enjoy unity among God's people, and that is for them to return to that place and to those premises from whence they departed, and where alone unity and peace in Christ can be found.

Brethren talk and write about the "Unity Movement" as though in this movement was the first and only attempt at unity. Jesus bought unity with his blood. It is in the Body of Christ, based upon the teaching of Christ. It has never been a "lost art," it is not something to be created. It is possible to all people. Every man, who preaches the Gospel in its purity and entirety, pleads for people to be one in Christ Jesus. The "Unity Movement" was begun some 1900 years ago and has never stopped in its workings. I believe in it, and I am anxious to have all people come to that unity of the Spirit and to that bond of peace, which can be found only in Christ. Because one is not personally a party to the "Unity Movement," as carried on by brethren Witty and Murch, does not mean that they are opposed to unity or that they are not working for unity. All true Gospel preachers have been working for it in every sermon they preach, and meetings that they hold. I am inclined to think, it is that constant, personal, continuous effort in preaching and living the Gospel of Christ, that will effect unity. The call of the Gospel is a call to peace and unity in Christ. When brethren are divided and alienated, it is because someone has departed from that unity in Christ. May God ever help us to be humble, earnest and ever following in life and teaching, those things which make for peace. -James A. Scott, Long Beach, Calif.

"Fourth National Unity Meeting"

Announcement of this meeting, the fourth of its kind in as many years, has come to me, and along with the announcement, a four page folder explaining the aims and purposes of the meeting, which is to be a two-day meeting in which "twelve men from the Christian Church and twelve from the Church of Christ will take part in these meetings." In this meeting "a panel discussion" will be held on Monday "in a quiet room alone-and freely discuss such questions as the use of instrumental music in the public worship of the church, the missionary society, and such other questions as we may see fit." Just who the twenty-four men selected are and the purpose of the discussion behind closed doors, we are not told; nor are we told who made the selection or formulated the course of procedure. But from the explanatory folder enclosed with the announcement, I take it that Brethren Witty and Murch arranged the program.

The explanatory folder reveals that in the minds of the sponsors of this unity movement, there lingers two suspicions: (1) That there are those among the opposition to their program, and the uninformed of the nature of it, who are suspicious that their explanation does not explain in truth, and to allay this supposed suspicion, some authorities are quoted to prove that they know better than anybody what they mean by what they say. (2) There are some in one or both churches who do not believe in unity of Christians, and to remove this disbelief, a number of scriptures from the New Testament bearing on that question, are cited. All of which, I affirm, every Christian in the land believes whole-heartedly. This scribe does 'not object in the least to brethren meeting together to discuss their differences, anywhere, any time. He would make it even broader than that by including any who are not brethren doing so. He would gladly accept an invitation to take part in such a discussion, if it were possible. And his sole effort would be to learn the will of the Lord on the question discussed.

When quite a young preacher I was invited to appear on a program sponsored by the Christian Church. purportably, for the same purpose as this one. I accepted. To this day I have been unable to see how I could have been more considerate of the feelings and aims of those who were anxious to teach me. Of the speech itself, I kept well inside the limits of facts and scripture statement. I know I did. The Chairman's wife replied to it publicly enough to be heard all over the house, in one sentence. She said, with emphasis, "That man is a self-made ignoramus." On several other occasions, I have had similar invitations to speak to paper-reading audiences, and have always accepted. One of such came from as a good a friend as I have ever had. He said he did it in the hope that he could teach me the truth. When it was over, we were still good friends—and I was still ignorant! But none of these meetings were held behind closed doors.

After nearly a century of prayerful study of the questions to be "studied" in this meeting, which have been open to the public, how may we expect better things to come from a discussion behind closed doors? My belief that instrumental music in the worship, and missionary organizations are unscriptural is not based on the wisdom of man, but upon the word of God. Am I now expected to surrender to the opinion of men? I fear that I will be found a dull student! Had the brethren now sponsoring this unity movement lived in Texas during the '80's, and had they deplored division as they now seem to do, they would have been walked over by the Christian Church as were those who could not then crucify their faith. Then, the pleadings of thousands to retain the fellowship and preserve the unity of the body of Christ, were of no avail. Their prayers went unheard, and their fellowship unwanted. The prayer for unity had been prayed long before, and was as appealing as it now is. Then, it was ruthlessly spurned. Does it have greater appeal now? But that prayer went unheeded and unanswered for the sake of the very things now to be studied prayerfully. Brethren, the road of broken fellowship which the Christian Church has traveled is still visible. You must know what broke the fellowship, and knowing it, you also know what will re-weld it into a glorious whole again.

Union is sweet, far sweeter to those who have possessed it and lost it, than it is to those who have never tasted its sweetness. But its sweetness could not be restored by a "negotiated peace." It must come by the individual surrender route. We cannot trade the peace of God for the peace of men. If it is the desire to revive this peace so long lost, I point to the still bleeding fragments to the things which broke it, and exhort you to stay the blood and heal its hurts by removing the things which broke it. I still have confidence in the power of a faith that will work by love to accomplish this blessed desire if allowed to work. To you who admit that the instruments by which the fellowship was broken are instruments of preference, we say once and for all we cannot exchange faith for preference. -M. O. Daley, Rock Springs, Texas.

"A Faction Of Digressive Disciples"

Just recently I read the February Bible Banner with your gracious invitation for any and all true Christians not pussvfooters—to have our say concerning the Murch Witty milk-and-water compromise movement for unity of a faction of the Digressive Disciples with Christians who have not digressed from God's Word. At first their promotional arguments sounded plausible, since we were encouraged to believe that the New Testament would be studied as the basis of unity; but, in most cases "our" self-appointed spokesmen acted like "softies," fooling around on teeter-totters rather than proclaiming God's perfect terms of unity-which is the only kind of religious unity that should interest us. It might have been different if "our" speakers had been Wallaces, a Hardeman, a Lewis and a Porter. But now it is too late to establish confidence on our part toward those who would entice us away from our great work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to attend a conference with crafty opponents in the plains of Ono. As many of the

"progressives" as are genuinely sincere in wanting to help rebuild the walls of spiritual Zion can and will do so, personally, in man-to-man talks with loyal gospel preachers in their own localities, and will not need any sort of "catholic council" to interpret the Word of God to them. We do not ask them to "join us," but only to obey God and fully respect His authority, ascribing all the glory to Him. The Murch-Witty fiasco has not done this, but clouded the issue with ceremonial unity in pious platitudes that did not begin to remove the causes of division or even to analyze them openly and objectively in the light of Scripture. What human innovation have the Digressives offered to give up for the sake of unity?

The history of the Christian Standard and Christian Restoration Association's phony fight against the United Christian Missionary Society's modernistic dictatorship over the Disciples is revealing. I saw personally in 1926 and 1927 and read from papers of various groups after I came clean from even passive acceptance of human innovations in 1928, that the self professed "new loyalists" of the Memphis "theatre meeting" at the International Convention of 1926 and of the anti-U.C.M.S. North American Christian Convention at Indianapolis in 1927, were lacking in genuine loyalty to God's Word or else they would have severed all relations with that atheistic U. C. M. S. papacy a long time before 1941. They have stultified themselves by clinging to the fiction of unity inside the International Convention while fighting like cats and dogs for twenty years or more, having numerous local churches split over the issue.

I assure you of my whole-hearted agreement with you in your announced objectives in the great fight you are making for doctrinal purity of the true churches of Christ. I have lost many personal friends in the past by following God's Word above all human relationships, and will continue to "obey God rather than men," not letting any man or group of men have "strings" on me religiously. During my five years as Bible teacher and evangelist in the Philippines, I went out of my way to let Don Carlos Janes know by personal letters that I took no stock in his premillennial vagaries. From my childhood I have understood the Scriptures plainly to mean that Christ's coming will usher in the beginning of eternal joy with Him in glory — not any super-Hitlerian world empire in the flesh.

My work in the southern Philippines was located about five hundred miles distant and in a different language from that of the Cassells around Manila. I had no part in or sympathy for the errors with which they were charged in a previous issue of the Banner. They are able to speak for themselves, being answerable under God to the Southwest church at Los Angeles, as we were to the church at Graton. California, and you are to your home congregation in Oklahoma City while preaching in various parts of the great worldwide field where the only foreigners are alien sinners without regard to race, color, or national residence.

Therefore, as one who wants to "hew to the line and let the chips fall where they may," I wish to congratulate you and other stalwarts who are upholding positive truth and opposing the errors, of various isms, hobbies, human innovations, vvorldliness, compromise and softism in general. The truth must be told, even if it hurts. True Christian love in preaching the truth seeks to save people out of their sins and errors—not to coddle or appease them in their wrong-doing for fear of hurting their feelings. I thank God that we still have many brethren capable of wielding the Sword of the Spirit as a surgeon's knife to remove harmful growths from the body of Christ so skillfully as to save the various members that have spiritual life enough to be saved by any means. I want to do all I can in this great work, humbly and in fear of God. May He bless you to be wise and faithful and enduring for many years of soul-saving labor yet to come. -Orville T. Rodman. Oklahoma City, Okla.

Approved By Practice

In the 12th chapter of the Roman letter, verse two, we have this statement: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The word prove in this statement has a significance that all should get. Weymouth, in his modern speech new testament translates it: "So that you may learn by experience what God's will is." Again we might say: "That you may demonstrate in your lives what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." There is a valuable lesson to be learned from this plea of the great Apostle.

First, demonstrations are much more effective than any other way we have of setting a thing forth. The familiar saying: "I'd rather see a sermon, than to hear one any day" is still true with practically all people. The influence of a man may be felt as a result of teaching by word of mouth alone, but it is always much more potent if he teaches both by word and deed. Neither of these, however, should be emphasized to the exclusion of the other. The apostles were men whose lives were characterized by holiness, but they also were men whose tongues were aflame with the words of truth. Artificial piety will not replace the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Nor will the preaching of the Gospel take the place of a clean and holy life. They are unalterably joined together.

Second, we are made to know the value in a thing by having the experience more than in any other way. I may believe that I know the value to be derived from the public services of the church, but unless I have experienced it I do not. Giving of our means to the support of the church helps us to more fully appreciate the work and to enter with greater zeal into it, but if we do not give, then the benefit is not ours. Advertising companies realize this. Hence, oftentimes they give away great quantities of goods. Why do they do this? That people may experience the benefit there is in the product. We can experience the benefits to be derived from christianity only having a part in it.

Third, Preachers talk about being sound in the faith, colleges write and talk about being sound in teaching, and I am disposed to believe that in most cases they are telling the truth. I yet have a great deal of confidence in the truth and uprightness of my brethren in the Lord. But there are ways and means apparent to all that would put these things beyond all reasonable doubt, even to the most skeptical.

Here is the way it might be done in accordance with the thoughts already presented. If a preacher wants to be known among the brethren will soon find out about it without any statement as to his soundness. If he will reprove, rebuke, and exhort all who are in error, his name will never be brought up for discussion as to his soundness.

If each college will employ a staff of teachers known among the brethren for their steadfastness, they will have the full endorsement of all faithful brethren everywhere. By previous conduct some already have records that may be questioned. If you would remove this, arrange for the editor of the "Bible Banner" to come there and deliver a series of lectures on themes that have brought a doubt. Or better still, arrange a debate between Brother Wallace and Brother Boll, and have it in the college auditorium. You can remove the question mark, If you really want it removed. A restoration of confidence would be along step in the right direction. -Oscar Ellison, Norman, Okla.

Sighting-In Shots

I drove by a place of business in the beautiful hills of West Virginia and noticed this in large letters over the door. "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy." Under it the information appeared that "We close on Sunday." My friend, you used the wrong text. You should have said: "We close on Saturday or selected another text. It would have been as logical to have quoted the law pertaining to the passover, feast days, or new moons and then, said: "We close on Sunday." The sabbath was a Jewish memorial day, and has nothing whatever to do with the new covenant under Christ. Christians do not observe the sabbath. The first day of the week is the Lord's day and was never called the sabbath by the authority of Christ. It is a new day with an entirely new meaning and does not suggest the sabbath. A new and an entirely different law governs its observance is commendable to close a place of business on Sunday for good reasons that could be given but the fact that God commanded the Jews to "remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy" is not one of them. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come: but the body is Christ's." (Col. 2:16, 17). "Let no man therefore judge you." Why the Therefore? Because he who circumcised us with a circumcision not made with hands "blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross:" (Verse 14 The sabbath belonged to this "bond written in ordinances" which has been blotted out. We have a better law than the law of Moses and a better day than the Jewish sabbath. We should possibly not expect an ordinary business man of devout character to be possessed of very much information along this line when even the preachers, who ought to know better, talk piously about "the Christian sabbath." It is important to "hold the pattern of sound words." The popular use of the term sabbath to describe the first day of the week is out of harmony with "sound words." No inspired writer ever called the first day of the week the sabbath. -Cled E. Wallace.