Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 20, 1950

Shall Warnings Go Unheeded?

Luther Blackmon, Rusk, Texas

Stanton called Lincoln a fool. Said Lincoln, "Mr. Stanton is an intelligent man. Perhaps I had better do some investigating. He may be right." I am beginning to wonder about some of these fellows that write in the Gospel Guardian. Brother Jack Meyer in his characteristically charitable manner has just about said that some of them are liars and hypocrites. Now that might not be so bad, because it is just barely possible that brother Jack, smart man though he is, might be wrong; but several people have sided with him and "endorsed" what he said. His article even made the editorial pages of the Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation. One of my preacher neighbors put the article on the front page of his church bulletin and sent me a copy of it.

I am concerned about this, because I have been running around in the company of Cled Wallace a good deal here lately. He preaches for the church that "sponsors" my work, and if he is morally decadent and doctrinally unstable, I am glad for Brother Jack to expose him—even if he does have to use some strong language in doing it, as for example, "false accusations," "this again is false," "false picture of the Italian work," "untrue and weak effort...," "anti-foreign evangelism," "sarcasm," "ridicule," "slurring," "pay lip service to the great commission," and "doctrinally unsound as those who would cut Acts 2:38 out of the New Testament."

Now to the uninitiated this masterpiece by brother Meyer might seem a little harsh at first glance. But there are two mitigating circumstances that place it in an entirely different light: (1) it was written about a fellow who writes for the Gospel Guardian, and (2) it has been given gleeful endorsement by some preachers who always manifest a spirit of fairness and Christian love.

One Point Not Clear

There is one thing that bothers me a little yet though. Perhaps brother Meyer could help me clear that up. He said, "money, not only from Antioch, but over a wide area was sent to the church in Judea, to be dispensed under the oversight of the elders for benevolence. Acts 11:27-30 See also the many references to the money being raised by Paul as in I Cor. 16:2. If that could be done for benevolence, could it not be done for evangelism?" I suppose brother Meyer means that the Gentile churches' sending money to the elders in Judea to relieve the poor saints in Judea furnishes a precedent for some church to gather or receive funds from many other churches and spend it to support "missionaries" working under the oversight of the "sponsoring" church in some field foreign to both "sponsoring" and "contributing" churches. If that is what he means, then I missed the point.

Now, brother Meyer, if that can be done on a small scale, such as is now being done by some of the churches, could it not be done on still a larger scale with better results? How about the Lubbock church or the Brownfield church taking over (with the consent of the contributing churches of course) all the "missionary work" being done by the churches in Texas? They could put two or three elders on the pay roll to look after the work in these foreign countries, and these elders in turn could make periodical reports to the contributing churches. How about it? Would this be "abusing" it? If so, wherein would the "abuse" lie? In the size of the program? In the amount of money expended? There are some of us who believe that the only way to maintain congregational independence is to keep the congregations independent in their functions as well as their organization. We would like more information on this.


As to the charge brother Meyer makes that some who have criticized some efforts in foreign fields are "anti-foreign evangelism" and "just poking fun," the Lord will have to judge. I don't know what is in their hearts. But I do know that time has vindicated the judgment of some who have criticized certain "missionary" efforts in the past.

In a recent issue of the Gospel Digest appeared the following news item: "Word comes from a reliable source that Arthur T. Phillips and Vernon Lawyer have been rather intensively teaching the premillennial theory to the native teachers and students at Nhowe mission in Southern Rhodesia. George Hook, Boyd Reese, and Torn Ward at Nhowe are opposing this teaching. And were telling us just a year or so ago that it would be a hundred years before premillennialism could ever be an issue in Africa."

Certain papers and preachers among us are "cracking down" on these premillennial brethren now; but it is a little late to shut the stable door. The damage is done. If some paper had questioned the soundness of these preachers a year ago, he would no doubt have been labeled "anti-foreign evangelism." I heard brother E. W. McMillan make a speech at Abilene in February. He said in substance, "I want to take back something I said to you standing right here two years ago. I told you then that I was not afraid of the premillennial issue in Japan. I did not think that it would cause us any trouble. I am here to take that back and to tell you that it has been introduced in the work where 0. D. Bixler is the leading influence."

Two years ago the work in Japan was criticized by the writers of the Bible Banner because of the connection with 0. D. Bixler. Brother McMillan defended the connection. Now he admits he was wrong. That is all a man can do; but it ought to teach us a needed lesson. A heretic is a heretic no matter where he is, and sending him to a foreign climate won't cure him.