Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 31, 1960

Beyond The Horizons

By Wm. E. Wallace, Box 399, McAlester, Oklahoma

Research Among Southern Baptists

The Southern Baptists are experiencing movements within ranks. They have not been free of internal controversy. Members of the churches of Christ frequently get the idea that we are the only religious group plagued with internal problems of controversy, division and fellowship. With regard to Baptist problems one Baptist observer states, "We will have to have self-examination and self-criticism. This will lead to some controversy and opposition but it is to be expected. And I submit that it is much better to have it than to continue toward a crystallization of error-within-truth as our traditions lead us." Where there is the right to examine and criticize, controversy and opposition are inevitable.

Lee Gallman, a prominent Baptist educator, suggests six areas of researching for Southern Baptists. His observations are informative as to what goes on in Baptist ranks. Read Gallman's suggestions carefully:

(1) Our separateness needs to be re-examined on a basis of what we believe to be our place among other Christians. We have lost some of our most intelligent young men because they refused to be shunted off to a side-stream of Christianity.

(2) We must re-study the trend toward sameness into which our well-developed program leads us. Many would like to develop greater individuality but the pressures of conformity are too great.

(3) Our doctrines need fresh study and statement. Some are stated in the context of the 1830's. They need to be examined with a sound Biblical exegesis.

(4) Our views about the Bible need fresh insights. Discoveries have been made which intelligent people cannot ignore.

(5) We should re-evaluate our church polity. Are conventions and associations usurping the autonomy of the local congregation?

(6) We must get the truth across to our people about our roots. It is folly to continue to claim succession.

— Bulletin, Seminary Extension Department, October 1959

We hope that the proposed re-examination will lead the Baptist farther away from their roots and traditions and closer to the New Testament order of things. Calvinism does not have as strong a hold among Baptists as it once did. Such admissions as, "It is folly to continue to claim succession" give us more reason to believe that Baptists can be reached with the truth. The recent squabble in Little Rock, Arkansas, in a Baptist association, should help awaken many Baptists to the fact that their conventions and associations are indeed usurping the autonomy of the local congregation. One Baptist congregation was voted out of the Pulaski County Baptist Association for failure to contribute financially to the association. Another congregation, which had set up operation adjacent to the property of the ousted group, was voted in. Politics, civil suits, and division surround such convention and association activity.

The Baptists need to do a lot of researching and reexamining. As long as they are willing to do so we have reason to be interested and glad.

Types of Catholic Persecution

The United Evangelical Action of November 1959 carries an article entitled, "The Truth About The Protes-

tent Situation in Spain" by an "anonymous Spanish Chris- tian." The following means of persecution from Catho-

lic backed authorities are listed: Non-Catholics are prohibited to

(1) identify their churches by any outward sign,

(2) advertise their services either by press or radio,

(3) circulate Bibles or portions of the Bible without Roman Catholic notes,

(4) distribute tarets and other evangelical literature on the streets,

(5) have private schools to educate their own children,

(6) teach in public schools,

(7) be officers in the armed forces,

(8) operate their own hospitals,

(9) establish old folk's or orphan's homes,

(10) broadcast the gospel over Spanish radio stations.

(11) rent public halls for "special gatherings," and

(12) operate public evangelistic book stores.

All of this goes on with the approval and backing of

the same hierarchy under which American Catholics serve.

Roman Catholic bishops in America and Roman Catholic bishops in Spain serve under the same pope. These things

should be considered in the forthcoming presidential cam- paign. How can it seem strange to anyone for freedom loving Americans to oppose a Catholic candidate for pres-

idency in the face of Roman Catholic bigotry and perse- cution in Spain? Catholics boast of great numbers of con-

versions in this country. They can proselyte and convert people in a free country like this. But non-Catholics do not have any reason to glorify in Spain because Catholic-

backed persecution and oppression will not let them pro- selyte and convert. So long as the Roman Catholic hier- archy supports and encourages such curtailments of human rights in other countries, all the arguments minimizing the dangers of a Roman Catholic president belong to the naivete.