Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 28, 1960
NUMBER 50, PAGE 5a-7a

News And Views

(Charles A. Holt, Box 80, Florence, Alabama)

News And Notes From Here And There

Earl Fly will move in May to Tampa, Florida, where he will labor with the Belmont Heights church. For the past four years he has been with the good Valley Station (right on the outskirts of Louisville, Ky.) church, where he has done a fine work . . .. Rufus Gifford has moved to Nashville to work with the Eastland Avenue church. He has been with the Downtown church in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee for the past seven years . . . . "The Social Gospel Among Churches of Christ," is a recent publication by Robert M. Atkinson, 301 N. W. 52 Street, Miami 37. It is a 20-page letter-size pamphlet. It has some good documented material in it and Atkinson gets at the heart of the program. It sells for 50c per copy, with a reduced price for larger numbers. Order from the author . . . . March 20-27, it was my good pleasure to assist the Market Street church in Dyersburg, Tennessee in a gospel meeting. We had a fine meeting from nearly every stand point. Paul Brock Is leaving there after four yarn to move to Jacksonville, Florida. The church at Dyersburg has not yet selected a preacher . . . . The Lord willing, I shall assist the University Area church in Memphis, Tennessee, in a meeting, April 18-24. This congregation meets in a converted store building at 884 Linden, in the University Area. Don Medlin is the preacher. Do you have friends or relatives in the Memphis area? If so, please write them and urge them to attend this meeting. Do so at once — this should be out about the time the meeting starts .. . . The C. E. I. Store, of Athens, Alabama, has recently published another book entitled, "Three Defenses of Music In Worship Answered," by S. H. Hall. Bro. Hall is now 83 years old and has been a power in some respects. In the main the book has to do with some debates and written discussions in which Hall engaged. Three different and distinct positions were occupied by his opponents in their attempts to justify instrumental music in worship. In the book, Hall does a good job in exposing these positions. The book is interesting reading and the material is splendid. It would be a worthwhile addition to anyone's library. Order from C. E. I. Store. Bennie Lee Fudge, the manager, failed to give me the price of the book . . . . One of the most popular articles of recent date has been, "No Gimmicks, Please!" by Roy Lanier, Jr., of Norman, Oklahoma, judging by the number of bulletins and papers which have carried it. I agree that it merits the space it has been given. It is to the point and deals with the current danger of using "gimmicks" in reaching and holding the young, rather than the gospel. Can it be that the author of this piece is not an "anti" or hobby-rider? . . . . Did you see the picture of "Mission Work's Elder Statesman" on the front page of the March 22 Christian Chronicle? It was none other than A. R. Holton who was designated by this imposing title . . . . Have you seen any of the new, semi-dramatic presentations put out by The Herald of Truth? I have seen three lately. And, man, we have arrived! At full denominational status! The programs are copied after those by the denominations and are not nearly as good. Dr. Baxter makes a charming "pastor" and the setting of each program presents him as nothing more than a denominational pastor and counselor! It is like watching a play or movie — only the acting is not as well done. Hardly any truth gets thru to the viewing public. No doubt it is considered by most as nothing more than good entertainment. Do those responsible really think that this is the way of reach people with the truth? There is no question about it, the church is certainly "on the march"; but where to?, is the only question . . . The ambitious, to say nothing of unscriptural, plans of the "promoting brethren" never cease to amaze me. It has reached the point that we can expect anything out of them. One of the latest is being undertaken by the 10th & Gladstone church in Frederick, Oklahoma. They propose to raise a "Million (dollars, that is!) For The Billion" people in the Middle and Near East. Evidently under the prodding of Ira Y. Rice, Jr., who spent nearly five years in Singapore, this money is to be raised by 1965. Of course, it is to be "raised" by begging, beleaguering, intimidating and "pressuring" it out of other congregations! Rice has become an "expert" in "mission work" and has written a hook entitled, "We Can Evangelize The World." His zeal is commendable and is exceeded only by his lack of regard for divine authority in such labors. "Big things" is the spirit of the day. A million for Manhattan, a million for the Herald of Truth, a million for this work in the East, and thousands for many other efforts, really point up the wild and mad scramble for money — the same old root of evil! Every church in the land is a possible "victim" of some scheme to entice them out of their money. There is no end to it — and there can't be now. The "gap" is down and the entire "fence" will soon be trampled under foot in the onslaught of digression .. J. M. Powell took note of my recent remarks regarding him. He assures us that "none of these things move me." Like any sectarian preacher he is going right on his way, without regard to God or man! He tells us that he believes it is "right and scriptural for the church to be concerned with the 'whole man' — the intellectual, spiritual, the physical and social life of the individual." This is the very spirit of "the social gospel" which has all but destroyed the vitals of most denominations, and has made rapid inroads into the church in recent years. The church is to be the center of everything, and try to provide and control everything. Of course, Powell offered no proof of his belief — and it is not a "faith that cometh by hearing the word of God." Powell tells us it is "the duty of the church . . . . to provide a wholesome environment for members of the church, particularly the young people." This is it — the very seed of modernism and the social gospel! What does this "wholesome environment" include? Why, schools, colleges, camps, Hobby shops, and what have you! And Powell says he believes "the church .... is . . . to provide such." Listen to this old digressive plea: "I think it violates no scripture for members of the church to get together and play ball . . . ." There is no need to guess as to how Powell proves or establishes his faith, for he tells us in these words: "The church, if it does its duty, will do everything, that is right within itself, to hold its people together and keep them close to the Lord." (Emphasis mine, CAH) His only standard is that the thing is to be "right within itself." It is no longer a question with him of whether it is divinely authorized or not. Christ is still "the head over all things to the church." and the "duty" of the church is to be and do only what Christ authorizes. Many things are "right within themselves", such as the washing of hands (Mark 7). But this does not mean such is acceptable to the Lord. With this kind of appeal and modernism the church of the Lord is being rapidly sold into digression and apostasy. Powell is only typical of many others who are afflicted with the same trouble.

Groucho's "Reverend"

Open Letter To James Dixon, "Church of Christ Preacher"

March 10, 1960. Mr. James Calvin Dixon. 1590 West Ball Road, Anaheim, California. Dear Brother Dixon: I'm sure we have never met — that is until tonight — when you came into my living room via the Groucho Marx program. Since you were in so many homes on this program (and many of them my friends) I feel it my duty to express disappointment in you as a gospel preacher. I noticed that you were introduced on this program as a "Church of Christ Preacher"; and I found you in the book "Preachers of Today".

Why, oh why, Sir, did you stoop so low? Why did you even appear on a gambling program? When selecting a number on Groucho's "Wheel of Fortune" why did you say "I'll take the old seven"? Did this not reveal the mind of a gambler?

Why did you correct Groucho when he repeatedly called you "Reverend"? Or do you prefer "Rev."? Are you on an equal with God Almighty? (Psa. 111:9.) It's nothing short of unholy pride for mortal men to assume (or permit) such titles! (Matt. 23:1-12; James 4:10; Job 32:21-22; 2 Pet. 1:10.)

When you were asked what would you would do with your $1400 you replied, "Well, Groucho, our church needs all the money we can get; and donations are gladly received." Again at this point I was disappointed in you. When did Christ's church become "our church"? Where in the scripture did Christ teach his followers to solicit "donations" from sources other than the church? Why not follow I Cor. 16:1-2?

It was Paul who wrote: "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." (2 Cor. 4:8-9.)

Truly we are "troubled on every side" with the creeping paralysis of modernism and the "social gospel" growing rapidly (and that in the body of Christ). Many congregations have gone "entertainment" crazy! They have lost sight of the power to save (Rom. 1:16).

Does it not concern you that our cities are covered with beer dives; that whiskey can be bought in almost every town; that men and women are chained to the filthy tobacco habit; that so many curse, swear and use vulgar language; that sex is splashed all over your TV screen; that drinking, killing, gambling, crime and such like are used as a medium of entertainment through your television set?

Does it not concern you as a gospel preacher and Christian (?) when you gamble? It does me! But I'm so thankful for other preachers, faithful gospel preachers, my fellow-workers, who refuse to sell out to the devil! May God give the faithful ones strength and courage to stay on the firing line! And may God give you courage to repent. Sincerely yours, Harold Sain, via Truth In Love.

Disagreeing With The Preacher

In recent years more emphasis has been placed on the individual's studying the Scriptures for himself instead of taking what the preacher says as the final authority. Undoubtly, if this had been practiced through the years, the critical state of affairs now prevalent among the churches of Christ would have been avoided. As a preacher, we have exerted all the energy we possess to encourage individual study of the Word of God and urged every person to make un his own mind as to what is right or wrong on every issue, based on what the Bible teaches and not on what any man says. We shall continue to do this as a. matter of faith and principle. It is not now, nor has it ever been, our wish to have others accept what we say because we said it.

Notwithstanding the safety and correctness of the above-stated Principle, we believe there is a dangerous extreme people may go to because of the freedom they sense in regard to the right of individual investigation as opposed to accepting all that may come from the pulpit. This is particularly true of those who are novices in the Word of God; those who are not given to a great deal of study and those who seek to justify themselves.

When one hears preaching on some theme or point that does not suit his fancy, it is quite easy to say, "I disagree with brother Blank on that." To speak in this glib fashion under the guise of exercising one's right to study for himself is in no sense right. When one hears a proclaimer of the gospel utter that which the hearer believes to be contrary to the divine oracles it becomes the hearer's solemn obligation to point out to the preacher wherein the latter deviated from the truth. Until the hearer is able thus to do, he has no right to disagree. Those who preach the word not only have the responsibility of speaking as the oracles of God (I Pet. 4:11); those who hear have the responsibility of accepting it as the word of God (I Thess. 2:13). For one who has itching ears (2 Tim. 4:3) to say "I disagree" because the word of the message did not soothe his or her itching sensation is far-removed from the exercise of the right of private study.-George T. Jones, bulletin Henderson Blvd. church, Kilgore, Texas.

Sister Cogdill's Condition

The condition of Sister Loraine Cogdill, wife of Brother Roy E. Cogdill, remains critical, although she has shown some improvement the past few days. During the week of April 10-17 there was little or no hope for her recovery, she being conscious only for short intervals. At the beginning of the week of April 17, the doctor gave a more encouraging report on her condition. She is now in the intensive care unit of the Methodist hospital in Houston, Texas, receiving the best medical attention that can be provided. Brother Cogdill, other members of the family, and friends remain constantly with her. Brother and Sister Cogdill are sustained by their strong faith in God, the loyalty of their friends, and the prayers of all the faithful in this hour of trial. - Hoyt H. Houchen, Lufkin, Texas, April 19, 1960.