Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 18, 1960
NUMBER 15, PAGE 4-5b

Two Significant Articles


We call attention to two highly significant articles in this issue, "The Social Gospel" by Ed Harrell and "A Magna Charta of Modern Faith" by Elmer Peterson. In a sense both of them have to do with the same problem, the philosophy of modernism as it finds expression in religion and in the social and political life. Brother Harrell gives the background and philosophy of the "social gospel" concept as it pervades modern religion, and Mr. Peterson deals with the same concept as it manifests itself in the modern "welfare state".

Quite apart from any controversy over unscriptural methods and arrangements, the entire philosophy of this "social gospel, welfare state" movement is one that ought to give serious concern to every student of religion and to every patriotic citizen. It is a strange and radical departure from the ideals which made this nation great it is a negation of the worth and value of spiritual goals, an emphasizing of the material over the spiritual, the temporal over the eternal, the body over the soul, Its goal is a well-filled stomach first, and spiritual objectives later, if at all.

That this philosophy has made deep inroads into the convictions of good people is very evident from the fact that scores of well-to-do Christians are giving their property (while living, and willing it after death) to promote the physical rather than the spiritual welfare of their fellow creatures. Not only are brethren doing this, but they are being highly commended for such by other brethren who ought to know better. Lavish praise is heaped upon them for such benefactions; "recognition dinners" are given in their behalf (and duly reported with pictures, eulogies, and endless flatteries in a once-faithful gospel journal, now better known as "The Banquet Reporter"); cheers and laudations arise on every hand. And, in contrast, the man who gives his money to the Lord's church is passed by in silence.

Read the articles. You will find them thought-provoking.

— F. Y. T.

Is It. "Christian" (?) Education

For a good many years we have all been subjected to a deluge of propaganda as to the value of "Christian education" — a term seized upon by some brethren to describe the training to be received in a college operated (for the most part) by baptized believers. We are not inclined at all to deny that much good has come from such schools in the past. Some of the dearest memories of life, and some of the closest friendships one can ever have will most certainly come from these college associations.

But we grow increasingly skeptical of the "Christian" flavor of that education as we see more and more of the spirit and attitude of the products of some of these schools. In many communities now we have had godly elders tell us, "the bitterest opposition the church has here comes from the ex-students of some of the Christian colleges." And they are referring NOT to the FACT that these students (being untaught in the Bible) are trying to promote church participation in unscriptural projects, but they are referring to the spirit of the students — their bitterness, their hatred of the brethren, the malicious vindictiveness, their prejudice, their animosities against all who object to what they want to promote.

Very frankly, the most "UNCHRISTIAN" letters this office has ever received have come from students of Christian colleges! Far from trying to restrain and overcome this evil attitude, some of the teachers actually encourage and foster this spirit. As a case in point, here is a letter we received not long ago from a couple of students in Harding College:

Editor, Gospel Guardian Lufkin, Texas

Dear Sir:

After being at Harding College for five years, I know wherewith I speak. Dr. Benson, Dean Sears, and Dr. Bales are the finest Christian men in the brotherhood today; therefore we Harding Students are damn tired of these articles that you publish which do nothing but cause strife among the brethren. If you and your "Gospel Garbage" as I call it, would try as hard to construct as you destroy, we would have a much stronger united brotherhood.

Therefore I would appreciate it if you would stop cluttering my mailbox with such writings of the devil and false profits.

May I leave you bastards with these parting words — Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Also don't lean over so far backward that you fall into hell."

Rev. Joe B. ____________________

(Senior, Harding College)

Rev. Charles J _______________________

(Junior, Harding College)

Out of deference to the parents of these children we withhold their full names from publication. They were on our mailing list of "preacher boys" at Harding College, and received the Gospel Guardian during the school term. Of course some readers might be a bit critical of the academic of FIVE YEARS of Harding's training, and entertain some doubts as to whether these young scholars really know "wherewith" they speak any more than they know how to spell "prophets"; but we pass over that as the lesser of the objectionable features. The thing that impresses us is the spirit of this missive. Is THIS the kind of "Christian education" being given to Harding students? And, incidentally, this is not the only letter we have received like this from a Christian college, and Harding students are not the only ones honoring us with their correspondence.

We do not know how Drs. Benson, Sears, and Bales feel about their commendation from these boys, but if this writer were to teach "Christian education" for five years to a group of students. and then find he had impressed them no more with the attitude and spirit of Christ than to have this sort of letter come from the institution — well, he would think maybe he had missed his calling as a teacher!

— F. Y. T.