Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 5, 1960

Twelfth Year Begins


With this issue we begin the twelfth year of publication of the Gospel Guardian as a weekly journal, and the twelfth year of this writer's editorial connection with the paper. These past years have been crucial and critical ones for the Lord's church, but we believe the issues are now pretty well defined; the remaining problms will be largely personal and not brotherhood in scope. By that we mean this: there seems to us to be absolutely no way now apparent to avoid a definite cleavage within the church, with eventual of a fairly well-defined conservative element and a liberal element. Whether this rift develops into an unbridgeable chasm, or whether fellowship of some sort can be maintained between the two groups remains yet to be seen. Efforts on the part of some of liberal persuasion to promote a "quarantine" against the conservative group does not give ground for great optimism.

It is going to be largely a matter for each individual now to determine as to whether he will go with the rapidly developing liberalistic philosophy (not merely orphan homes and sponsoring church cooperatives, but church hospitals, church supported parochial schools, recreation centers, youth camps, and a vast array of promotional projects yet to be developed) or will remain with the conservatives. The issues have been set forth; the time for decision will inevitably come to each individual sooner or later.

— F. Y. T.


From many quarters we have been asked whether or not the person or persons) baptized on the "Herald of Truth" TV programs already belonged to the body of Christ We do not have information on that, and so can only direct the enquirers to the Fifth and Highland elders at Abilene, Texas for an answer. If the baptisms ARE of persons already in the body of Christ, then most of our enquirers seem to think the program is very near to blasphemy. For the administrator declares he is doing something "in the name of Christ" i. e. baptizing this person) which is NOT authorized by Christ. And if it be argued that this is simply a way of teaching about baptism, then by the same logic every congregation in the land could have "baptizings" every Sunday — immersing various members. elders, deacons, perhaps the preacher occasionally, and assorted volunteers from the flock.

Think what a report that would make possible! Ten thousand congregations with even ten baptisms each per week would give 100,000 "additions" per week — or approximately 5,000,000 new members per year!

We would make the Catholics turn green with envy when they saw such figures in the various journals! !

But, as we say, we do not actually know that the Herald of Truth program is actually blaspheming the name of Christ by baptizing an already baptized believer; but we have been informed by several brethren that such is the case. We would regret to think they had become that hardened and insensitive to Bible teaching; but we doubt not that some might even approve such blasphemy.

— F. Y. T.

James D. Bale's Article

In keeping with our traditional policy of "letting both sides be heard" we publish a lengthy article this week by Brother James D. Bales of Searcy, Arkansas. This is in response to an article published a year ago by Brother Lloyd Barker telling of conditions at Harding, College. The long delay (approximately a year) in publishing Brother Bale's article came about like this: He sent us the article last summer; we forwarded it on to Lloyd Barker for whatever comments he might desire to make on it (his response will be published next week); Barker sent a copy of his response to Bales; and Brother Bales then asked us to withhold publication of both his article and Barker's article until he could write another article in review of Barker's review. We waited for some six months or more, the article has not been received, so we go ahead with the publication. Look in next week's issue for Lloyd Barker's reply to this article by Brother Bales.

— F. Y. T.

Church Of Christ Hospitals

"Church of Christ hospitals" are much more in the thinking of brethren than some suppose. Brother E. R. Harper is pleading for them nearly everywhere he goes; Brother Lyle McCullom affirmed the right of congregations to build and maintain such in a California debate last summer; and more recently in the Firm Foundation Brother James D. Bales has encouraged brethren to send "medical missionaries" into foreign countries. Obviously, if a church has a right to educate and support a man to practice medicine, it has the right to supply him the necessary equipment with which to practice — drugs, medical tools, x-ray machines, and the multitudinous items that go into hospital care, including the hospital itself!

This trend is quite in harmony with the "social gospel" philosophy which increasingly shifts emphasis from the spiritual and eternal mission of the church (to save men's souls) to the secular and temporal work (to alleviate present social ills). We are confident that such hospitals, medical schools, and a wide assortment of other "good" projects will eventually be solidly entrenched in the church budgets — as will the ever growing "parochial school".

"Operated By The Church"

We have recently seen the 1960 Yearbook of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and noted with much interest an article in it written by Brother M. Norvel Young, telling of the marvelous growth of the "Church of Christ" during the past year.

Among many other great works done in 1959, Brother Young tells all readers of this Yearbook that: "More than 7,000 students were enrolled in 16 colleges operated by the church."

No, that is not a misprint! Brother Young unhesitatingly declares that there are 16 colleges in the land which are "OPERATED BY THE CHURCH".

Well, this writer, for one wants to raise a protest. Here is one member of "the church" who had absolutely no say at all in the selection of trustees for any of these institutions, the hiring of faculty or administrators, the fixing of curricula, or anything else. If "the church" is going to operate such institutions, then surely "the church" ought to have some machinery (convention, association, or what have you) by which it could have some say in how they are run. Or would that cramp the style of some who control the schools? Either "the church" ought to "operate" such colleges — or else Brother Young ought NOT to say that she does!

— F. Y. T.

Brother Otey's Thanks

Brother W. W. Otey asks us to express his deep appreciation for the birthday cards and letter, many of which contained gifts of money. He writes that he now has ample funds to provide for all his needs until fall, and "I HOPE that will be as long as I am here." he writes. He remains in the Newton Memorial Hospital at Winfield, Kansas.

F. Y. T.