Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 19, 1959
NUMBER 28, PAGE 2-3b

Freed-Hardeman: "Christian", "Sectarian" Or "Ashdodish"?

Charles H. Crider, Leaksville, North Carolina

No question about it, Freed-Hardeman College is really "on the march": At the end of the 1958-59 school term they had a Baptist on the faculty and a Mason working in the promotional department. Just hold your breath I am not shooting at a straw man: The Baptist is Dick Stewart, a long time resident of Henderson, and the Mason is a new comer to Henderson, brother Gurganus.

The Masonic Creed teaches, when one becomes a Mason he is "born anew"; Baptists teach, when one is a Baptist he has been "born again". Gurganus is also a member of the church: It seems to me that it would be just as logical to be a Baptist and a member of the church as to be a Mason and a member of the church. When Baptists die they are "preached" into heaven; When Masons die they are said to go to that "grand lodge above"!

When you send your child to Freed-Hardeman College he will be under the influence of such men. If one desires to hire a Baptist, Mason, Catholic or what have you, in the business world, it is his business. Nevertheless, brother Dixon says he doesn't know who FHC belongs to! He is also dedicated to teaching the Bible in this school that he doesn't know who owns and refers to the school as a "Christian College"!

Brother Dixon has taken the position that churches have a scriptural right to put Freed-Hardeman in their budget, that is, if FHC doesn't twist their arm in order to get in! I still want to know, brother Dixon, if you are opposed to Missionary Societies being in church budgets? If so, please explain the difference in church support of preaching through a Missionary Society and teaching the Bible through FHC? If churches can scripturally support Freed-Hardeman College in teaching the Bible why can they not support FHC in preaching the gospel? It would be interesting to hear you explain Brother Dixon, what is wrong with the Missionary Society! Are you sure you see anything wrong? In the past I considered you a man of great conviction. Your actions in answering these and other questions will be an index to your heart. Upon what ground do you justify employing Baptists and Masons in creating the atmosphere of a "Christian College"?

Well, while we are at it we may as well go a mite further: Either FHC has taught the Henderson Church the ways of the world or the Henderson church has influenced FHC. The Henderson church, over the protest of many, ordained an active Mason as an elder. Wonder when they will install an active Baptist? It is a common practice around Henderson of calling sectarians "brother". Many good souls around Henderson deplore this condition but they are caught in mid-stream of "on the marchers".

After second thought, I doubt if an active Baptist will ever be installed as an elder seeing how Baptist preachers walk up and down the streets of Henderson challenging both FHC and the Henderson church for a debate and chiding them for some of their activities. There seems to be no "David" in the camp! Can it be there is a "golden wedge" buried in both tents?

The other day I saw a report of a church in the Northwest that had moved in a piano to be used on "Special occasions". Some would take this to mean the Northwest is extremely liberal. This same thing is practiced in Henderson, Tennessee, church and indorsed by Freed-Hardeman College. The only difference in the Henderson church and the one in the Northwest: At Henderson they move the piano in and out. Looks like they would have selected a lighter instrument! If, as they say, there is nothing sacred about the building, why do they move the heavy piano in and out? Why not just leave the thing in the building? Who will take the position it is scriptural to move it in and out but unscriptural to leave it in the building for "special occasions"?

Yes, you have the big question: How long will it be till some ambitious souls see no harm in using the piano in worship? You say it can't happen! It will happen unless both "Christian Colleges" and churches have a house cleaning from cellar to attic of the professional sectarian "promoters" and "beggars" who are entrenched and coyly couched in churches and schools. If a man be from "Gath," he could just about count them on his fingers and toes. However, if left unmolested, then what?

In conversation with brother Guy N. Woods, some two years ago, I understood him to say, "I consider a brother has just about abandoned his faith when he joins the Masonic Lodge."

From the reports coming out of Freed-Hardeman "open forum", brother Woods recently all but endorsed church members being Masons. Gus Nichols, and later, in a speech, W. Claude Hall took issue with him. I wonder if good old Gus and staunch Claude Hall do not see a dark and ominous cloud looming along the horizon in the direction in which they have been swept?

(Addenda: Since the above was written I have received a report from Henderson that Dick Stewart was baptized by Brother Dixon. Dick Stewart told a mutual Henderson friend that Brother Dixon informed him he could no longer keep him in the employ of the school if he continued to be a Baptist. Upon hearing this Stewart believed in the Lord Jesus with all his heart, repented of his sins, and Brother Dixon baptized him into Christ. Now if President Dixon will take the same firm stand with the Masons, perhaps we will learn of a prominent Henderson Mason "demitting".)