Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 15, 1959
NUMBER 23, PAGE 5-7b

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, Box 80, Florence, Alabama

News From Here And There

In the Alabama Christian Reporter, August, 1959, the monthly bulletin of Alabama Christian College, the editor, whom I presume to be Rex Turner, writes the following:

"Has Alabama Christian recently changed its policy on soliciting funds from churches? . . . Charles Holt has charged in the Gospel Guardian and in his Contender, a bulletin that the East Florence church uses to circularize the rolls of sister churches with material calculated to discredit the leaders and sow discord within those sister churches, that the college is soliciting and exploiting church treasuries...declared first step came when Board published that the school 'there is not going to be a 'center of extremism' any longer on anything".

Now how the writer of this statement can send out such a brazen falsehood is more than I can understand. I have never said anywhere that that school has changed its policy on "soliciting funds from churches." I did point out that the school was accepting contributions from church treasuries — just as many and as often as they can get. But I deny that I have ever written in this paper or in the Contender that the school had changed and now was openly and outwardly soliciting funds from church treasuries. While they do not directly solicit such funds, they will gladly accept them. This shows what they believe about churches contributing to schools. The mere fact that the contribution was sent (supposedly) without any solicitation by the college does not make it right. Oh, but they piously assert that the only reason that they accept such contributions is that they do not want to be put in a position of telling the churches what they can or can not do with their money! That is about the most pitiful quibble and ridiculous perversion of facts that I have ever encountered. It is just a matter, in their case, of going in the "back door" rather than the "front door" — and it would be a lot more honorable to just come out plainly and say that they think it is perfectly scriptural for churches to contribute from their treasuries to such schools and then solicit openly such contributions! That is what they believe anyway. Certainly it is what they are practicing!

There is more than one way to solicit funds of this kind. This school is one of the foremost leaders in soliciting funds from church treasuries in an indirect and insidious way. They accept such contributions; they advertise the fact that churches are thus contributing, thus giving their endorsement to such action (for certainly there has been nothing said by them against churches sending funds from their treasuries to such schools), and thereby they are saying to all the others "Go thou and do likewise."

The decision of the Board of that school to change the school so that it would no longer be known as a "center of extremism on anything" was done to give the school ready acceptance with the masses and with those "who are reputed to be somewhat" in the church, so that the school could get more money. This had all the appearances of being a sellout for convictions in order to curry favor of the "mighty" and encourage people to give more liberally to the school.

His charge regarding the Contender arid the use made of it is nothing less than a base misrepresentation. But even so he is guilty of doing the same thing that he claims we are doing. He uses his paper to "circularize the rolls of churches with material calculated to discredit the leaders and sow discord within those churches"; and his attack on me and the East Florence church is a case in point. I suppose he is like so many others among us who think that it is all right for them to do what they condemn in others! This school is no longer what it once was in conviction and willingness to sacrifice all else to stand for what they thought was right. Under the leadership of "Dr." Turner, who has his eye on the favor of the people and the Almighty Dollar, this school has sold out and joined in the "march to digression."

Keeping The Record Straight

We continue a review of an editorial in the Gospel Advocate, July 23, under the above heading. Be sure to read the previous article iii order to get the full connection.

Goodpasture writes as follows:

"The names of nearly all the GUARDIAN 'top brass' from Cogdill down or up, as you care to view the matter, appeared on the FCC lecture program last spring. Tant and Holt were not on the program. It is remotely possible that they were previously engaged! On the other hand the head of FCC might have seen Holts letter to Buff Scott in which he made this statement: 'I do not want a proposition which will commit me to defend any of the schools operated by my brethren. Yater shares this idea with me. I am not a defender of any one and certainly not all the schools . . . in fact, what I do know and my position concerning these schools would not allow me to defend any of them . . ."

From this misuse of some statements of mine, Goodpasture tried to make it appear that Yater and I occupy the same position that Daniel Sommer did and, therefore, "the head of FCC" could not afford to ask such "Sommerites" to appear on the lecture program. He would try to make it appear, also, that FCC and the GG are not in agreement relative to these current issues.

Now it is true that TWO of the GG staff writers did appear on the lectures at FCC last spring. FOUR of us did not appear — Douthitt, Adams, Tant and Holt. The fact that two did and the other four did not is not to be taken to mean that the other four were not acceptable to "the head of FCC." This is what Goodpasture implies in his charge. "The head of FCC" was under no obligation to have any of the GG staff appear on the program and his reasons for not asking the others are his own; but I am quite certain that the information Goodpasture mentions had nothing to do with the choice that "the head" made. I doubt that Cope had ever seen or heard of such till he read it in the GA — if he reads the GA! As far as I have been able to tell, the fact that "the head of FCC" does not agree with a man's position has had nothing to do with his appearing on the FCC lecture program. There have been men on the programs through the years with whom "the head" and others in the school were in disagreement — even on the current issues. This is said to the credit of "the head" and the school. It can not NOW be said of any other school among us. The others will only use men who subscribe to their creed.

If it helps Goodpasture's cause any, I frankly admit that I was not "previously engaged" for I even attended the lectures. Moreover, I confess that I was not asked to appear on the program! Neither were the other three men — as far as I know. But what does all of this prove? Nothing at all, and it but a weak attempt to discredit FCC, the GG, Tant and Holt; and try to make it appear that we are all at odds with each other.

The statements from me to Buff Scott are perverted and misused. They are taken from a letter I wrote Scott when I was trying to work out a proposition for a written debate about schools. I was willing, and still am, to affirm that it is scriptural for Christians to build, support and operate a school or college, in which the Bible may be taught. Scott would not have this. He insisted that I name some school specifically and defend it as an example of what I meant. I would not do this. I am connected in no way with any school and do not know enough about them to attempt to defend any one of them. Even as much as I respect FCC (and it is the ONLY school that I can recommend) and the faculty thereof, I am in no position to try to defend everything that the school has done, is doing and may do. In fact, I doubt that even "the head" of FCC would try to defend EVERYTHING done by the school. This is what I meant in the statements to Buff Scott. With this sentiment Yater was in agreement. We were trying to work out a proposition dealing only with the scriptural principles involved and did not want it to turn into a side-line discussion of any particular school.

Goodpasture also wrote this:

"As recently as April 1959, page 6, Sommer wrote the following: 'Charles A. Holt, 1957 (said) — 'I do not believe any man or group of men have a Scriptural right to form themselves into a corporate body, chartered or unchartered, for teaching God's word through that body.' That does it! If Charles isn't a 'Sommerite,' what in the wide world is he.' These modern `Johnnies come lately' should give Daniel Sommer credit for pioneering their cause. They have, as the foregoing shows. cast anchor in the murky waters of Sommerism."

This partial and misused quote from me was also taken from the correspondence with Buff Scott. I still do NOT believe that any man or group of men have the scriptural right to form themselves into a corporate body, chartered or unchartered, for the PURPOSE of preaching the gospel through that body politic! That is what I said and I will stick by it till I am shown that it is wrong. And making fun of it doesn't disprove it. Neither does calling it "Sommerism" or insulting me by saying that I am a "Johnnie come lately" follower of Daniel Sommer. If Sommer taught such, and that is what it takes to make one a Sommerite, then I will just have to confess to being one. I am not much concerned about whether Sommer taught it or not; the thing that concerns me is whether it is true or not.

I believe that the church, the local congregation, is the ONLY organization that has the scriptural right to exist for the PURPOSE of preaching the gospel. Man has no right to set up any other organization for this purpose — and when he does so it is a reflection upon the ORGANIZATION the Lord set up. Preaching the gospel of Christ belongs EXCLUSIVELY to one organization and that is the church. Whenever an ORGANIZATION is needed or involved in doing this work it of necessity brings in the church — the local congregation. Men do not have the right to build and maintain any other ORGANIZATION for this purpose, whether it is called a Missionary Society, a school or a college! Even if such an ORGANIZATION is supported by INDIVIDUAL contributions only. I did NOT say that the Christian individual has no right to utilize opportunities afforded by human organizations, which have been set up and function to manufacture goods of various kinds, publish literature, teach reading, writing and arithmetic, or other such things, to teach the gospel. Paul took advantage of the synagogue and the school of Tyrannus to do this. But Paul, and no other divinely-guided man, ever set-up a synagogue or school, or any other such human ORGANIZATION for the purpose of preaching the gospel through that organization. So, as far as I am personally concerned (and I speak for no other), if these schools were organized and set up as ORGANIZATIONS through which to preach the gospel, I would oppose them on this grounds. No other ORGANIZATION but the local church has any right to exist for the purpose of preaching the gospel.

So any person without prejudice and who is willing to be fair, can see that Goodpasture misused my statements; that we are not Sommerites nor a "Johnnie come lately" to any man's teaching or position. I freely admit that there are some problems to be solved relative to the phase of the matter discussed above and I frankly confess that I do not have all the answers. I am willing to learn and willing to change if and when I am shown to be wrong. Moreover, I am even willing to learn from the editor of the GA and I invite him to teach us if such is wrong. However, I will suggest that calling us names and perverting what we have said will not prove anything — except perhaps prove how careless they are with facts! We are interested in what the Scriptures teach and what is in harmony therewith. It matters not to me if Daniel Sommer, Adam Clarke or Charles T. Russell believed it.

Goodpasture says, "Politics is not the only thing which makes 'strange bedfellows'," In the next article I want to show some of the "strange bedfellows" in the GA fold. Truly they are a sordid lot.

TACT: Some of my friends and nearly all of my critics think that I am greatly lacking in tact — and they may be right. Anyway, the following story is very much to the point. "Some people exercise about as much tact as the young preacher at his first funeral. Being quite nervous, and not knowing quite how to begin, he, pointing to the casket, blurted out: 'What you see there is nothing but an empty shell — the nut is gone!" Well, he meant well and was trying to say the right thing.

TODAY'S CHUCKLE: "Now that we've struck oil," the farmer told his wife, "you're going to have some decent clothes" "Nothing doing. I've worn decent clothing all my life and now I'm going to dress like other women."

A BRAZEN ADMISSION: Arthur Murray, the noted dancing teacher, is quoted in the Reader's Digest as saying: "The difference between wrestling and dancing is that, in wrestling, some holds are barred." Heap big joke! It's supposed to be funny! Get it? "No holds barred." But it isn't funny that no hold is considered too immoral or indecent by those dance instructors and enthusiasts. Supervise it? Now that is a joke — you can't "supervise" sin! But if it will make them popular, let Arthur Murray and his kind teach your daughter or son, and then wonder why the world is more "popular" with them than the church is. God forbid.

— Jere Frost, the Newbern Admonisher