"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.IV No.XI Pg.8-9a
June 1942

Brother Janes' Affliction

Ted W. Mcelroy

An epidemic of certain kinds of sickness is sweeping a portion of the brotherhood. Brother Janes must have had an attack, when he read my effort on "Menaces to Mission Work." Brother Janes got so sick that he vomited a tirade of assertions and accusations in my direction. The root of Brother Janes' trouble is lack of proper regard for God's authority; there are two prominent heresies springing from this same root: i.e., a one-man mission society and premillennialism. Coming from this same root (lack of respect for the word of the Lord), and breaking to the surface now, is union with Christian Church digression in its entirety.

In the first place the one-man society sponsoring and promoting gospel work is unscriptural within itself. This system practiced by Brother Janes is contrary to the New Testament order, hence his activity is impure in its beginning. There is in Brother Janes' missionary maneuvers an inherent unscripturalness, and there is just no way to fix it or remedy the situation without abolishing the de-facto society. Only an arrogant disregard for divine authority will allow a man to perpetuate such work; and it is not at all surprising that Brother Janes holds the premillennial speculation, which is just another symptom of the same disease-lack of respect for God's law and His authority.

The article written by me sometime ago and printed in the Bible Banner on "Menaces to Mission Work" brought forth the following wail, which wail merely reveals the weakness and unscripturalness of a certain portion of our so-called missionary activities. The following letter is given in full to show the disposition, attitude, and position of one of the biggest promoters of mission work in the church. The letter is its own accuser, and carries with it its own condemnation, to the brethren who think and desire to be scriptural; and there is not much hope for those who don't.

Dear Brother McElroy:

Under the title, "Menaces to Mission Work," in the "Bible Banner" of June, 1941, you write: "Sometimes premillennialists are sent as missionaries to new territories. * * * Personally I had as soon see a Methodist who believed in infant baptism sent."

Though good and sincere brethren may honestly differ on what the Bible teaches on some matters (as on the eldership question—whether we should have elders or not; if so, whether they must have all the qualifications mentioned or not; whether they are to be appointed or simply grow into the work; and if appointed by what method), there is no occasion for fair-minded brethren to be mistaken as to what the apostolic church believed about "pre-millennialism" (the coming of Christ before the thousand years) for the records are ample and the witnesses are such as are freely quoted to establish the reliability of the Scriptures, the action of baptism, etc.

Now if we may believe the apostolic and ante-Nicene Fathers, and accept what standard secular and ecclesiastical historians, and able commentators have said, we must conclude that the true church of Jesus Christ in New Testament times and for centuries afterward was premillennial. Therefore all the apostles (Greek for "missionaries") were premillennialists and you have unwittingly criticized and condemned the church in its earliest, purest and most successful years and have reflected on the Lord's chosen, spirit-filled missionaries, who, according to both Scripture and uninspired records, were all premillennialists.

In the next place, it occurs to mind that your being as willing to see an infant-sprinkling Methodist sent as a "premillennialist" gives your judgment no honor, but rather advertises your prejudice to your personal disadvantage. Surely a man of undenominational and non-sectarian outlook who knows the Biblical doctrine of conversion and who practices scriptural baptism would be very much more to the Lord's liking than a denominational minister who is in the dark on even so simple matters as the subjects and action of baptism.

Being a "premillennialist" would not prevent a missionary, or other person from teaching all the Bible contains on how to come to Christ, the nature, organization, and purpose of the church, brotherly love, grace, patience, morality, chastity, honesty, contending "for the faith once for all delivered to the saints," or any other Bible doctrine. It would be beneficial to him in all these and would give him a quality which would not likely be present in anyone fighting the millennial teaching of the Bible—it would tend to warm his heart, brighten his hope, keep him on the alert to be accepted of the Lord at all times and would otherwise be beneficial without in any wise being detrimental. Nor should there be ill feeling, misrepresentation or nonfellowship merely because some of God's children are not agreed on what is the exact Biblical teaching on this topic. Even if the premillennial teaching were an error, it would not properly be the occasion for a war on its holders, and those who busy themselves to stir up strife against those who now hold and teach "premillennialism" which the apostles also taught commit sin.

It would be well for you to consider also that as good, able, honorable and useful men as the Restoration movement of Campbell and Stone has produced were and are premillennialists or sympathetic toward premillennialists. Brethren writing in your strain are opposing the truth, the orthodox teaching of the first churches of Christ and condemning Christian men, past and present, of the highest type in our own "group"—dishonoring themselves and God and committing the sin of sowing discord among brethren. There should be no unholy contentions about this matter, and no schisms over understanding or misunderstanding certain aspects of prophecies. Please be exhorted to use caution and discretion and allow the orthodox doctrine of the church to stand without misrepresentation or condemnation.

Yours "in Christ,"

Don Carlos Janes.

The letter is a bold admission that its author, Don Carlos Janes, is a premillennialist; and likewise an admission that many of the "missionaries"(?) are of the same stripe, and the letter is a weak effort to justify the doctrine and those who hold it. Nothing but sheer assumption is offered in the letter to support the premillennial doctrine; an attempt is made to excuse the heresy on the ground that there are other heresies just as bad—Brother Janes says they are worse. The grounds (assertions) offered to support the doctrine and the faction have been exposed many times in the Bible Banner, therefore I shall not enter upon a repetition of that in this article.

I have not contended, neither has anyone else that I know of, that premillennialism was the only heresy in existence, or that it was the only matter upon which a man might be unscriptural. One heresy or false doctrine is just as bad as another, and gospel preachers will fight for one scriptural truth just as quick as they will for any other. The reason that we have fought on the premillennial issue is because a group of brethren espoused the heresy and outraged the purity of the church on that ground. That was the point of attack, and that is the issue where they were met and defeated.

Brother Janes appeals to the ante-Nicene Fathers, secular and ecclesiastical histories, and asks if we may believe them. In answer to that I will say that neither the Fathers nor the historians are to be used as the Christian's criterion of faith; the New Testament thoroughly furnishes the man of God unto everything that is essential. (2 Tim. 3:16-17.) And when a doctrine cannot be supported by the New Testament, it is not true, and should be forsaken.

The assertion that the apostles were premillennialists is a flight of fancy and stretch of the imagination; brought about by wishful thinking, not by the study of the word—a study of the word shows that the inspired men did not believe the premillennial speculation. When the desire is the mother of the thought, men are likely to come to any conclusion; and this is how Brother Janes reaches the conclusion that the apostles were premillennialists.

Brother Janes says, "Therefore all the apostles (Greek for 'Missionaries')—this assertion is not true, but suppose it was.

I observed in a previous article that the words "mission" and "missionaries" are not in our common Bible. I used the words in what I thought was their common usage, I thought it was the language of Ashdod, to express the idea of preaching the gospel in a virgin field, but according to Brother Janes, the expert missionary promoter, I was mistaken in the meaning of the word. He says "apostles" is the Greek for missionaries. Since the word "missionaries" is the English for the Greek word "apostles," if we have missionaries today, we have apostles today, because according to Brother Janes the words are synonymous, one Greek and the other English, and the Mormons are right if Brother Janes' definitions and claims are correct. Most missionaries (English for the Greek apostles) today have a promoter, this is Brother Janes' official capacity; it would be interesting if he would point out to us who occupied this capacity with the apostles.

Brother Janes has set himself forth as a premillennialist, and a promoter of premillennial workers in foreign fields; this brands his work as unscriptural, but his society-like activity would be unscriptural even if he had not espoused this heresy. Whoever sets himself up as a collecting and distributing agency by and through which to do gospel work, occupies the position of a mission society. All such societies are unauthorized by the New Testament, but Brother Janes, the one-man society, is not authorized by anybody. I believe that 2 Jno. 9, 11, applies to Brother Janes' unscriptural de-facto missionary society, and that those who contribute to his schemes are bidding him God's speed, and become a partaker of his evil. Brethren how long are we going to tolerate this disgraceful racket, which is reproaching the church of the Lord, and hindering pure gospel work? It is time to cut off contributions to such unscriptural work.