Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 7, 1959

Squeeze Put On Lemmons By The "Few"

Charles H. Crider, Leaksville, North Carolina

An unscriptural practice can create strange bedfellows. The "Few" (eight men who signed a swan song, page 179, Gospel Advocate, March 19) have taken in a fellow as unstable as water, or, at least they have made him appear as such. Brother Lemmons needs to take courage and set the record straight. The following is the article concerning Brother Lemmons entitled, "Brother Lemmons and the Orphan Homes:"

"The Firm Foundation carried a series of articles by Roy H. Lanier on the subject, 'The Middle of the Road,' early in 1957. In these articles Brother Lanier condemned orphan homes not under a local eldership. Brother Lemmons commended this series of articles. Among other things he said: 'He presents what we believe to be the truth on the questions involved . . . . We do not believe his argument can be answered.' (Firm Foundation, February 12, 1957, page 98.) From this many of us concluded that he was opposed to such homes as the Tennessee Orphan Home, Potter Orphan Home and others with a similar setup.

But during the recent Freed-Hardeman College Lectures we had opportunity to discuss these matters with Brother Lemmons. We asked him the question: 'Do you believe it is scriptural for churches to contribute to the support of Tennessee Orphan Home which is under a board of directors?' He answered, 'Certainly I do. I prefer that a home be under an eldership, but I do not believe one under a board is unscriptural.' We were all pleased to hear him make these statements. They were announced publicly at the lectures." Signed: H. A. Dixon, Sterl A. Watson, Willard Collins, Ira North, Guy N. Woods, Gus Nichols, Batsell Barret Baxter, B. C. Goodpasture. (Gospel Advocate, page 179, March 19, 1959).

The "Few" are by Lemmons statement like the colored preacher was about Acts 2:38, "It just don't mean what it sound like it say". The articles that Roy Lanier wrote, and endorsed by Brother Lemmons with: "He presents what we believe to be the truth on the question involved . . . We do not believe his arguments can be answered", are what caused his separation from the Advocate.

Brother Lanier paralleled, in organization and support, the Tennessee Orphan Home with the Missionary Society asking the rhetorical question, "If it was sinful for brethren of a century ago to activate the universal church in forming the missionary society, why is it now right to activate the universal church in forming a benevolent society?" (Firm Foundation, page 133, February 26, 1957).

Well it looks as though Brother Lemmons was sitting mighty loose in his editorial "saddle" and got the squeeze put on him by the "Sanhedrin". I suppose he will now become one of those "unchangeables" and find his place among the stars. However, if Brother Lemmons maintains his rating, he will have to make one more concession: He still "prefers a home under an eldership" but Guy Woods, the "circuit rider" for the "Few", is positive that such cannot Scripturally be. He says that would mean elders would be over more than one body — the church. Brother Lemmons, why don't you speak forthrightly and quit being a puppet? you have ability, but there is no place so despised as the ground on which the "Few" have placed you. How can you hold up your head without first speaking plainly as to where you stand and why? If you don't quit whipping the devil around the stump, he is going to catch you and your paper!

The "Few" calmed your anxiety on what you thought was a "threat to the whole church". Lets see if you will go as far as the man that heads up the "Few": Brother Dixon believes in church support of Colleges and church support of the Gospel Press society. Brother Dixon, when asked, said he would not endorse me as a preacher because "he sometimes writes for the Guardian". I would write for the Advocate but for some reason it will not publish what I write. I would be happy if it would print this article: For disagreeing with the Generalissimo of the G. A., Brother Lanier got the "ax" and you know he was a tall tree in the goodpasture; but just simply wasn't the kind of wood desired and a guy can't deny that. Well when Brother Dixon was asked if he would endorse me "as a man" he gave me an unqualified recommendation. That is good because my home (which sometimes I occupy) is just across the road from his. Brother Dixon, I deeply appreciate your recommendation: It is good to know we feel like each other is a gentleman, as I am sure we will live neighbors again some day.

Seeing that, according to brother Dixon and myself, we are both gentlemen, I will proceed to show that he endorses church support of Colleges and the Gospel Press Society. Two questions: To the Gospel Press Society, have you received church support since your inception? Brother Dixon, has F.H.C. received church support since you have been president? I dare say neither the Gospel Press nor F.H.C. will deny receiving support from churches. Here is a statement from Brother Dixon that shows he believes in church support of Colleges and the Gospel Press.

"As I stated publicly here during our lectures we do not solicit funds from church treasuries. We have in a very few instances received voluntary contributions from churches but in no instance do we solicit from them. We do believe that churches have the right to contribute to any good work of their choosing and we believe that educating boys and girls while saving their faith constitutes a good work. For that reason we are willing to accept any contribution that they may send. This does not mean, however, that we believe that the school should be fastened upon the churches and we do not intend to do so." (Gospel Guardian, page 13, May 30, 1957).

All Brother Dixon wants is church support, he doesn't care about fastening the College to the church! Brother Dixon says Schools such as F.H.C. and the Gospel Press are good works. Therefore, his conclusion would have to be that churches have a Scriptural right to support both. Brother Dixon, preaching the gospel is a good work is it not? Why do you object to the supporting of missionary societies from church treasuries? Or do you? Brother Dixon, if on voluntary basis, do you believe churches can scripturally support the Gospel Press? You have stated specifically that you believe in voluntary church support of Freed-Hardeman College. Please tell us the difference in that and voluntary church support of missionary societies. It is not "post hoc logic" to say your statements add up to voluntary church support of missionary societies. Maybe you just better tell us the difference in voluntary support of the Gospel Press, Freed-Hardeman College and voluntary support of Missionary Societies!

Brother Dixon, the "few" and brother Lemmons have formed quite a polyglot. Now you get busy and tell us if you are for voluntary church support of missionary societies. You influence too many young people not to set forth your real convictions in terms that no one can misunderstand. You just might as well get with it: you have hopped in a boat that is headed for rough water with a strong gale blowing.

I am asking brother Tant not to publish this unless he is willing to give you equal space. I am sure you will be equally as honorable.