Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

Here And There

Conway Skinner, Mayo, Florida

It has been adequately proven that in his late years Daniel Sommer ceased his complete opposition to Bible colleges, and began rather to oppose their basic evil — the soliciting and accepting of church funds. Yet, in the minds of most, the very word "Sommerism" conjures up the thoughts of a group of people that are totally in opposition to the establishment and maintenance of such schools. And those that know these facts also know that the word "Sommerism" is a "loaded" term, much as is the term "Campbellite." Those who use either of these expressions usually have the intention (or so it seems) of throwing up a wall of prejudice in the thoughts of their hearers.

I deeply feel that brother Athens Clay Pullias' use of "Sommerism" at a Lecture Program this year was so intended. His use of that expression in the course of his lecture would make a "Sommerite" of such men as James Cope (present president of a Bible college) and Irven Lee (who has spent a great portion of his life in Bible school work). Dear reader, I bid you read further, for who knows, you may be a "Sommerite," too.

Brother Pullias had been assigned a subject pertaining to the vital need of fund raising in order that Bible schools might continue to operate. In his own adept way, he quickly warmed to the task. Near the beginning of his lecture he pointed out that for the good of the brotherhood, the majority of school funds should come from Christians; for surely, those who contribute the most will have the greatest influence upon what the school will stand for.

But this led directly to the closing point: that "Sommer-ism," which had once so injured the growth of the colleges, was now rearing its ugly head again, for there are still a great number of brethren who would impede the progress that the schools are making. Then brother Pullias (in as near exact language as my memory can now provide) said, "In fact, everyone who opposes support of the colleges IN ANY FASHION (emphasis mine, C. S.) is guilty of Sommerism."

WAKE UP, brethren. Here is the same old pitch being made by a person in an extremely prominent position. "Let's put the colleges in the church budget." And if you oppose, you are a "Sommerite." Yes, you really are, because one of "our" college presidents said so.