Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 30, 1961

More On Personal Exploitation At The Expense Of Christ And The Truth

A. Hugh Clark, Lubbock, Texas

(Editor's note: Some weeks ago one of the Lubbock, Texas, liberal churches sought to draw a great crowd to their services by bringing in some visiting "celebrities" to attract attention. Brother Clark commented on this cheap sensationalism in his bulletin, and pointed out that God's drawing power is the gospel of Christ — not athletes, en- tertainers, or financial wizards. This criticism of their antics led the liberal brethren in Lubbock to reply. Brother Clark here responds to their reply. If the souls of men were not at stake this Lubbock exegete — whoever he is — might well be nominated for some sort of Academy Award as the comedian of the year! It is a revealing commentary on the dismal bankruptcy of liberalism to see them dependent on such Biblical "scholarship" as this brother presents in defense of their escapades.)

The effort in the Vandelia Star to answer the criticism in these columns of their advertisement of two "celebrities" as "come-one' to get a crowd for September 24, the day of their BIG DRIVE for Bible school attendance, instead of simply making appeal to the eternal importance of these engagements, was both pitiful and amusing.

The Purpose Of Miracles

We learned from the writer of the article, whoever he was, the article was unsigned, that the purpose of the miracle of the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple was God's big show to get a crowd for Peter and John to preach to. Read it and blush for shame in their own bulletin of October 6, inst.

Of course, we had always thought that, AS THE BIBLE SAYS, this and all the other miracles were wrought by the apostles to "CONFIRM the word" when it was preached by them, (Mark 16:20; Heb. 2:3-4; etc.) not just to "get a crowd!!" Now comes this ingenious exegete and informs us that this miracle was performed, to use his own words, "To get people of the world, (worldly minded) to assemble at one place where the gospel of Christ could be preached to them!" In other words, to get a crowd together!

Appeals To Acts

He then recited the beginning verses of Acts 2, concerning the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, closing with the statement, "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together....", and he went on to say he was sure, "These same self appointed guardians of the faith (and I think he meant "me") would have been far more vociferous concerning the events in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit appealed to the people of the world (worldly minded) to assemble at one place to hear the gospel of Christ."

And again I say, a good many of us had always thought that, AS THE BIBLE SAYS, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles was to qualify and enable them, (Jno. 14:25-26; 16:12-14; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8; 2:4; Gal. 1:11-12; etc.) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to preach and make known the gospel.

But now we learn (?) that it was only to get a crowd of the worldly minded to preach to!!

A cause must indeed, be hard pressed for support when those involved find it necessary to resort to such ludicrous measures, and to "wrest," the above named passages, "as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Pet. 3:16)

Success Conceded

We will say however, that if the intent and purpose of the Vandelia church in advertising and bringing these two "Notables" to the city WAS TO GET A CROWD OF THE WORLDLY MINDED on the day of their DRIVE, by their own reports in their bulletin they succeeded. But what was it really forth? They had, according to their report, 1440 present on the day the "Notables" were there, and the following Sunday by their own report, they had 669. Now, that was a considerable slump! SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY ONE DIDN'T COME BACK the very next Sunday AFTER THE SHOW WAS OVER!! And the attendance has been about like that with them ever since. Which proves the point of my criticism, in the first place, which was and is, that you do not accomplish spiritual ends with CARNAL MEASURES.

One Encouraging Point

There is only one encouraging consideration in this whole matter. We have heard repeatedly from this same camp of present day offenders in the church, that the church has always done many things for which there was no authority in the Bible, and that indeed, it is not necessary to have such authority, either by precept or example, i.e., pattern. But, the implication of the whole article under review here, is that, at least that writer, thinks it is necessary and is disposed to try to give such authority by both precept and example, even though in doing so he makes a "monkey" of himself. But enough, at least for the present!