Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 25, 1960
NUMBER 16, PAGE 8-9a

Beyond The Horizons

By Wm. E. Wallace, Box 407, Poteau, Oklahoma

The Passing Of William H. Alexander

Bill Alexander was probably the best known preacher in the Disciples of Christ denomination. Few preachers excelled him in oratorical ability. He was hardly surpassed in promotional aptitude. His liberalism and innovational spirit were extreme. He travelled far from the fundamental roots of the restoration heritage.

I followed Alexander's career with interest from the time I delivered newspapers to his door in the early 1940's until his death in the airplane accident in April. Alexander took the First Christian Church in Oklahoma City on the liberal train to ultra-extremes in doctrine and in church function. The extravagance of the ultra-modern edifice erected in Oklahoma City under his promotion testifies of his liberalism.

Alexander was an entertainer. He made an effort to become a politician. He ran for Oklahoma's senatorial office but was defeated by Mike Monroney. He spoke at the Republican national convention in 1956.

The promotional and liberal spirit of this man lives on. After his death it was revealed that the First Christian Church in Oklahoma City had a "$400,000 life insurance policy on Mr. Alexander with the proceeds designated to apply to the realization of his dream of building a million dollar youth center in connection with the church."

It is hoped that the attention pointed toward the promotional extremes of Alexander will serve to help show our brethren that they cannot successfully compete with denominational innovations, and thus discourage them from trying.

Constitutional Requirements In Catholic Countries

The constitution of Argentina states: "To be eligible to the office of President or Vice President of the nation, a person.... must belong to the Catholic Church...." In Paraguay the constitution says "The President of the Republic must ....profess the Roman Catholic religion...." In Spain the constitution declares that "to exercise the office of Chief of State as king or regent, it shall be profess the Catholic religion...." — Dr. W. A. Criswell in Baptist Standard, April 27, 1960.

Constitutional Change In Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic's National Congress is considering a constitutional amendment which will allow religious organizations, which were formerly banned, to operate. The move is interpreted by some as a rebuke to the Roman Catholic Church.

Big Business For Baptists

The Southern Baptist Convention met May 15-21 in Miami, Florida, E. S. James, editor of Baptist Standard says, "It is in this assembly of messengers that we decide on the plans and policies of the Southern convention. We are in big buiness, and it is good for as many as possible to be there to help in their formulation."

The Baptist World Congress will meet at Rio de Janeiro, June 26-July 3 "for worship and fellowship together." An editorial in The Baptist World reports that the general chairman of the Rio planning committee "believes that it can be the greatest thing that has happened for Kingdom advance since Pentecost." The congress is a means through which the Baptist flex their evangelical and missionary muscles. In the words of The Baptist World editorial, the congress will be "a demonstration of the worldwide scope of our Baptist faith."

These denominational assemblies create a great deal of enthusiasm for the participants, especially among the delegates. The enthusiasm generated by the events assures the policies, principles and patterns of the assemblies wide acceptance among cooperating congregations. Thus it is that these denominational assemblies determine the nature of the functions and of the beliefs of the individuals and churches involved. The denomination is a church of the convention rather than the church of the New Testament.

Denominationalism is big business, denominational assemblies are big business, denominational promotionalism is big business. The church you read about in the New Testament knew nothing of this sort of big business, yet the gospel "was preached to every creature which is under heaven."

The kind of big business seen in these denominational assemblies is the sort of business which led to the emerging of the Roman papacy. Protestant denominational assemblies are removed from Catholic councils only in their loose structure and weaker authoritative thrust.

National Association Of Evangelicals

Another denominational big business assembly was conducted in Chicago, April 25-29 by the National Association of Evangelicals. Forty denominations were represented in this convention. This convention was billed as a "spiritual oasis" and constituted a rally for the more conservative segments of Protestant Christendom.

"NAE embraces within its organizational framework fifteen commissions and affiliates that run the gamut of evangelical interest from Christian Day Schools to World Relief." The NAE Statement of Faith which appears in United Evangelical Action, a monthly published by NAE, sets forth the conservative nature of the organization. The statement follows:

1. We believe the Bible to be inspired, the only infallible, authoritative word of God.

2. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

4. We believe that for the salvation of lost sinful regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are some matters relating to the personal return of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in which the NAE probably errs, but the statement of faith reflects a healthy attitude toward the word of God.

Of course it is to be understood that the National Association of Evangelicals, with its "constituent groups" are religious bodies unknown to the New Testament. The Lord's body is not made of such constituent elements.

Nevertheless, we have reason to be thankful that there is a reactionary spirit, such as is seen in NAE, against the liberalism and modernism of modern theology. Our appeal for the restoration of the ancient faith, our plea for respect of the identifying features of the New Testament church are best received in a conservative, evangelical atmosphere.