Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 22, 1959


Big Churches Are Soft

J. Lee Hines, Garland, Texas: "For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Jehovah; that say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" Isa. 30:9,10.

BALES-THURMAN DEBATE. Two representative men, Dr. James Bales, of Harding College and Bill Thurman, Professor of Greek in Texas University, engaged in a debate on Premillennialism, December 20-22, 1958, in the Dallas Memorial building, because there was no "place" for them in any of the church houses of Dallas. I attended several sessions of this debate. The audiences were exceedingly small. Few preachers and elders were present. The debate was almost a secret affair, for it seems that Bill Thurman did all the advertising that was done, one squib in the Firm Foundation and two in the Dallas News. It seemed to me that the BIG churches, through silence, boycotted the discussion...What a contrast to the PAT. BOONE et al show which attracted more than 15,000 in the same building, not many months ago! Has the time come for the CHURCHES OF CHRIST to treat honorable discussions as the rest of the denominations? and I mean just that.

PREMILLENIALISM is a deadly foe along with materialism and other forms of infidelity. In 1934 I spoke from 3 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of old Pearl and Bryan to a filled building, on the subject of PREMILLENNIALISM (Dr. Wood, J. E. Blansett, Frank Mullins and their kind were there) and a bit later I engaged Frank Mullins in a debate on the subject at Peak and Eastside. Also I carried the fight to the air over WRR. It was this kind of attack that drove the future kingdomists to their own buildings; but within the last ten years, it seems to me that the churches are again being saturated with this theory. The idea is, 'Let them alone, and they will soon die."

BROTHER BALES did a good job. Brother Thurman is confused.

Claude E. Worley, 809 N. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, California: "On November 30th, 1958, I concluded a 2 weeks meeting in Woodburn, Oregon. There was good interest and attendance shown by the members of this congregation, and by outsiders. There were from five to ten from the denominational world present at each session. Several of these could see and admitted their religious error. There was a Lutheran minister present at most of the meetings, a man that had preached for twenty-five years. Private discussions were had with him, and he was greatly disturbed over his spiritual condition, by his own admission. It was indeed unusual that these denominationalists present desired the whole truth as revealed in the Word of God, without favor. They were, however, unwilling to make the change until they could study it further. This small congregation in Woodburn is forced to start a building program immediately, as they are losing their meeting place in the Armory January 1, 1959. They are a hard working, enthusiastic, and loyal Church; and are worthy of the prayers of the brotherhood. Brother Choice Bryant was the former minister at Woodburn before going to Springfield, Ore. At present they have no regular minister.

The Church On The March

Jack Huff, Poteau, Oklahoma: "While visiting some relatives last Lord's Day, we attended the services in one of the large congregations in central Oklahoma. I heard the preacher on two previous occasions and was very much pleased that we would get to hear another splendid lesson from the book. A great disappointment came. The preacher spoke for about three minutes and introduced one of the elders and told about what a fine character he was and how he had grown in the faith. The elder gave a report on the budget for the coming year and told how much had been designated for mission work, vacation Bible school, preachers salary, Benevolence, training teachers, advertising etc. All of this was fine and the brethren are to be commended for their interest in planning the work of the Lord.

But here is the disappointment: When he came to the benevolent part, he said that "some of the brethren" did not believe in helping orphans and that among this number there were none who would adopt an orphan into their homes. Of course he did not say who the brethren were that did not believe in helping orphans. They never do. I do not believe that we have any members who do not believe in helping orphan children. If I knew of any who were so selfish, I would go to them and talk to them about their souls. I know of many (they are legion) who do not believe it is scriptural to send money out of the church treasury to another organization to do the work of the church. They do not need to be admonished along this line and they certainly should not be misrepresented.

Another disappointment: Another speaker appeared before the audience and announced that there would be a film shown the next Wednesday night and ask that the women bring pies and cakes, and after they had shown the film they would eat. He stated they should have a lot of pie and cake left from the Christmas holiday. This was one of our large congregations that is on the March. My teen-age Son (he is 17) said, "Daddy I wish we had gone to the Methodist church." No comment."