Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 26, 1949

Does "Hard" Preaching Pay?


For several years there has been a discussion within the brotherhood as to the relative merits of "hard" preaching in comparison with "persuasive" preaching. By this latter is meant the type of preaching that never refers to a denominational church by name, uses the Dale Carnegie "method of approach" psychology, seeks never to shock or offend anybody, and in general tries to "love" sectarians into Christ rather than to teach them by a stern contrast of truth and error.

Lately there has grown up a rather definite school of thought in certain sections (see below) that a "new era" is dawning among the churches of Christ. In this new and enlightened age the emphasis is to be put on worship, work, love, and fellowship. The old "doctrinal" emphasis, it is felt, was all wrong. We must seek a new way of winning people to the Lord. Men who emphasize the old "doctrinal" teachings must give way to men who preach "love" and "fellowship".

Well, we've had occasion recently to see some "hard" preaching results close at hand. Down at Lufkin, Texas, the church of Christ has had a daily radio program for many months. The radio stations there (two of them) have put no restrictions on the brethren. In the matter of calling the names of denominational churches and preachers, Roy Cogdill, William Thompson, Jr., and Luther Blackmon have not been at all hesitant. They have read from Baptist manuals, Methodist disciplines, Catholic Catechisms, over these stations, telling the people exactly who it was in Lufkin that taught such doctrines. They have referred to these denominational churches by name, and have read the Bible in direct contradiction of the teachings of these churches. Now that is about as "hard" preaching as even the "hardest" among us have ever desired or attempted. So we were grateful to have a chance to weigh the results.

We found the town of Lufkin in a seething ferment because of such preaching. Men on the street-corners were discussing the matter; denominational preachers were preaching about it in their pulpits; the Assembly of God pastor, after consultation with the other sectarian preachers in town, went on the air over both stations to try to prove that "the so-called church of Christ was started by Alexander Campbell after he had been withdrawn from by the Baptists." He warned all the denominational people to stay away from the services of the church of Christ, and to ask their own pastors rather than those "hard" preachers any questions they might have in mind as a result of the sermons of "these Campbellites".

And The Result?

In about one year's time something like a hundred people from denominational churches have become obedient to the gospel of Christ. The Lufkin church has held eight gospel meetings within the town and its immediate environs within that year, most of them being conducted by the local preachers. These people who have been baptized into Christ are taught; they have not "cast their lot with the church of Christ" because they were friendly with the local preacher nor because they enjoyed the "fellowship" of members of the church. They are Christians because of a deep and overwhelming conviction of the truth as it is taught in the New Testament.

We merely cite this as a case in point. We believe there is ample evidence from all over the world to show that the preaching that is truly effective is "doctrinal' always, all ways, and forever!

—F. Y. T.


We Are The Only Christians

Recently we've seen a statement from a West Coast teacher and preacher which gave him approval to ant expressed complete agreement with the old T. B. Larimore declaration that "we do not claim to be the only Christians, but we do claim to be Christians only."

Now if Larimore meant by that statement what the face of the statement seems to imply, and if he meat by it what many preachers today use it to mean, then we emphatically declare ourselves to be in total and absolute disagreement. For with all our heart we do believe that "we are the only Christians".

By the "we" in that expression is meant those of us who have (1) believed in Christ, (2) repented of our sins, (3) been buried with Christ in baptism "unto" the remission of sins. We believe there is no accountable human being on earth who has not done this who can rightfully wear the name "Christian". This is the old old "plan of salvation"; those who obey it are the "only Christians—Brother Larimore and anybody else to the contrary notwithstanding.

We conceive it to be possible, of course, that some member of the church of Christ may apostatize and join some Methodist, Baptist, or Catholic church. In fact we know some who have. But they were Christians before they were Baptists, Methodists, or Catholics. No Baptist preacher, following Baptist usage, can ever baptize a man into Christ. For Baptist doctrine and Baptists practice require the man to confess a false belief as prerequisite to his baptism—that his sins are already forgiven. No man confessing that, and believing it, can be baptized into Christ, no matter how many times he may be immersed.

—F. Y. T.


William Miller, father of Adventism, set three separate dates as the time for the Lord's return-1841, 1844, 1845—and missed every time!