"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.VIII No.II Pg.33b-35a
October 1945

The New Campaign Of Calumny Part 2

November 29, 1944

Elders Norhill Church of Christ,

Dear Brethren:

Due to the heaviest commitments in the history of our congregation for next year, we regret that we shall be unable to help Norhill with the proposed meeting in the Music Hall during the month of January with Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

We appreciate your asking us, and we pray God's blessings upon you and your great congregation in the work of the Lord.

Sincerely yours,

Signed: Fletcher W. Dailey, Elder, for the Elders of Central Church of Christ, Houston, Texas.

* * * *

Dec. 19, 1944

Mr. C. L. Patterson, 7112 Dallas,

Houston, Texas

Dear Brother Patterson:

To you, Brother M. E. Reddick, Brother Fletcher Dailey, Brother Lawrence Rutledge, as elders of Central Church, and to Brother Burton Coffman, as minister of the church, I am addressing this letter. There are no copies being mailed or shown to anyone. If I know my own heart, I am thus approaching you brethren as a friend of Central. Shortness of time alone forces me to use this method of approach, instead of talking with each of you face to face.

I know full well that each church is free under God to run its work without outside interference and meddling, and that others should be most careful about making suggestions and appeals such as will be made in this letter. On the other hand, in this city we are a community of congregations. We should feel free to help each other avoid pitfalls. I am taking the liberty of asking you to reconsider a decision, because I believe the decision in question will rebound to your personal and congregational hurt, to the hurt of the future relations among the churches of Christ here. My testimony, Brother Patterson, comes from one who has only goodwill for Central. I have preached in a meeting there, and know Central to be a good church; have said so publicly and privately; have defended Central and boosted her against some criticism. This move I am making is in the hope that you will not without any necessity whatever put a club in the hands of any who might seek occasion to put the wrong kind of a mark on a church which has a great future and which can be of great benefit in stimulating all the churches to more ambitious work, provided the church can have the right confidence in Central.

Yes, as you are already thinking, I have reference to your late decision not to stand with the other churches of the city in the January Music Hall meeting, in which Foy E. Wallace, Jr., has been engaged to preach, exposing modern millennial theories. Central gave as a reason, previous commitments.

My hope is that, since Central is having such large contributions, according to the representations of your own members, you may be able to find some way to contribute at least a token payment, so that you may be able to say truthfully that you are supporting the effort. But if Central is unable to contribute, at least, let us say, $50.00, more or less, may I ask you this: cannot Central officially support the meeting with your moral support?

In our meeting last week at Pierce and Baldwin, of leaders of Houston churches, I made that request publicly of all churches (of which there are only three or four) that had indicated that they could not support the meeting because of heavy financial obligations. That night two of these churches served notice that they would back the meeting with their moral support, and one of them indicated it would probably do so financially. In addition to that public request, I think enough of Central to make this private appeal to each of you.

It has fallen to my lot to head a committee that will advertise this meeting. It is our ambition—frankly expressed—to let the world know that all churches of Christ of Greater Houston are backing this endeavor. Such an approach to the world will make a strategic effect on the world, for the sake of the influence of the gospel. As it is, enough churches are already in, financially and morally, for us to put the matter on a basis of a union meeting of practically all churches. If any church declines to cooperate, we are not going to feature and advertise that, as we are not seeking to divide the cause here. But you can see that if, for example in our radio and newspaper advertising, we can say that all churches are backing it, that will carry tremendous public appeal. And this is for the church, and not for any individual.

Centrals money isn't necessary, and to be quite frank, it is my judgment that this meeting is going to cause such response that enough people are going to flood the place to guarantee a huge attendance if not a single member from Central comes. That, Brother Patterson, is my sincere belief. However, if Norhill and the other churches, with their "commitments" are adding this meeting to their budget, it would be not unfair for Central to bear some expense. And Central members will be helped by attendance. But, whatever Central does, the meeting will go right on to a blazing success. And if two or three churches decline to cooperate, that probably will make the other churches work harder and may even generate more vigor—of a kind, but of a kind which I do not desire.

But I am thinking of two big points. First, the effect on the unity of all these congregations of any single church refusing to officially have a part in this effort Second, in view of the fact that this meeting is dedicated to "exposing modern millennial theories" (this to be our advertising theme, along with the fact that this is a union meeting) I do not want anyone to have any excuse for putting a question on Central as to these matters. I think I can assure you of this: it is not the desire of the leading spirits of this meeting to do this. But I devoutly believe that Centrals refusal to be an official party to this meeting will raise the question, and put Central somewhat by herself on these matters. Now get me straight on this: I am not saying that such will be just; I am only seriously predicting that result. A number of things will combine to produce this result, and I think you know exactly what they are

As a friend of Central, I would like to appeal to you along this line: regardless of how it may irk you that brethren over the country will so interpret your decision, if you make it stick, why not rather face the question realistically, and face life as it is and not as we think it should be. Central right now faces its brightest future. It is overcoming some old handicaps, and is now preparing to step out into the fore of our strongest churches. It has not reached the place where it can deliberately ignore the confidence of brethren. When it would be so easy to go in with the other churches of Christ and back this effort morally and publicly, and, perhaps, even to find some way to have a part in the whole program financially, why not officially do that—that is, the leadership of Central as a unit—and remove any doubt, and any possibility for misunderstanding.

Regardless of what any of you individually in Central may think of the speaker for this meeting, he certainly is a specialist in this field. He is a top-flight platform speaker. He is the choice of the churches of Houston. And I do not mind saying that he would be my individual choice. The whole gospel will be preached, for the full presentation of refuting modern millennial heresies will present the whole gospel. Premillennialism denies the gospel. It is, thus, heresy. I believe that. So I teach. In a ten nights debate that Wallace had with Tingley in Birmingham, Ala., I saw the charts he will use in this meeting, and they will be a "liberal education" on the subject. If you brethren will back this meeting—allow us to include Central in our publicity and really encourage your congregation to attend—Wallace will disarm any prejudice and more than repay us for the time, money, calling off our night services January 28, and everything.

Now my appeal is before you. Instead of hoping you will stay out so we can have a way of clubbing Central and talking behind your back; I choose to make this appeal to your face. And I repeat and insist that I am coming to you as a friend of Central. This is a critical decision. A step in the wrong direction will hurt Central irreparably, and do a long time hurt to the unity and confidence of the churches in this city. As one who tries to see the thing from Centrals slant, and also looking at the vineyard of the Lord here as a whole, I earnestly ask you to get together, reconsider this decision as to its effect on the gospel here, and agree to stand with us in this united effort and united stand against modern millennial theories. Nobody has put me up to this. This is from Jack Meyer to Central.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Signed: Jack Meyer.

* * * *

December 27, 1944

Mr. Jack Meyer Harvard & Sixteenth, Houston, Texas.

Dear Bro. Meyer:

In reply to your letter of December 19th, with respect to Central Congregation participating in the Wallace meeting sponsored by Norhill congregation, in addition to our letter to the elders of Norhill, we wish to state:

1. This congregation appreciates any suggestions and constructive criticisms from any one; but we very deeply regret our inability to respond to your wishes in this matter. As you doubtless understand, we have the right as a congregation to participate, or not to participate financially, in this meeting, and without further expressing our reason therefore, and in so doing we do not deem that we are guilty of any doctrinal error.

2. As to the pre-millennial question, this congregation has long since endeavored to comply with the admonition of James 2:18, "and I will show thee my faith by my works." More than four years ago Central Congregation, for the purpose of owning and holding its property, and the carrying on of its secular business, was incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas. Its Charter expressly declares against all premillennial theories, and further expressly affirms that Christ is now upon his throne and ruling; our Charter further prohibits anyone holding the pre-millennial theories from participating officially in the affairs of this congregation. Our Charter further provides that such restriction is fundamental, and not subject to change. We have been informed that Centrals Charter is in all probability the first Charter or Deed, in the history of the Church, containing such provision.

The Charter of Central Congregation is on file in the office of the Secretary of State at Austin, Texas, able and indestructible monument to the position of this congregation on the premillennial question. Central Congregation purposely and unanimously wove into the title of all the real estate it now owns, or may hereafter acquire, the above restriction against pre-millennialism, as well as restrictions against other false teachings and practices.

3. We have not knowingly permitted anyone to preach or teach anything in this congregation that is not in complete harmony with the provisions of the New Testament as expressed in our Charter. Our present minister, Brother Burton Coffman, has preached many sermons in condemnation of the pre-millennial theory, and in our recent meeting by Brother G. C. Brewer, the greater part of three of his sermons were in criticism and condemnation of the pre-millennial theory.

With the above conclusive facts, it is our opinion that no one can misunderstand our position on this heresy.

With kindest personal regards, we are,

Yours in Christ,

L. P. Rutledge, M. E. Reddick, C. L. Patterson, Fletcher W. Dailey, Joe B. Foster, Elders, Central Church of Christ, Houston, Texas.

* * * *