Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

"Power-Seeking" Texas Eldership

Wm. B. Wallace

In Abilene Texas August 1964, 300 or more brethren from "most parts of the country assembled at the invitation of the Highland Church of Christ elders." In this meeting the brethren were given a mission to perform on return to their respective areas. The mission: Sell a plan "to saturate all of the English speaking population of the world with the Herald of Truth."

Centralization, centralized control indeed, continues to develop. The Highland elders have become so powerful and influential as to call in 300 people from all over the country, give them instructions, and send them out to influence or pressure the churches all over the country. The Highland elders seek to "saturate all of the English speaking population" — imagine any one of the local elderships in New Testament times having such power! This developing centralization of power in the local eldership is a near copy, almost a reproduction of the big metropolitan bishoprics of the second and third century which spearheaded the early church into the apostasy. By the 9th century this apostasy formed into the Roman Catholic Church.

In TORCH magazine, September 19:0, page 30, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., observed, "And when churches of Christ arrive at where all this centralized cooperation propaganda is leading, they will have become carbon copies of the Christian Church. Who in the name of reason, or religion, or even popularity, wants to be that?"

See how far centralized cooperation has gone! Elders of Highland call in 300 workers, charge them with a mission, and send them home to propagandize brethren into particular plans in which result more in building Highland's power than in saving souls.

The power to saturate the whole English speaking world is a power which can and will be used to direct the thinking of the brotherhood as Highland elders think best. It is a power God never intended for one congregation to have. It is a power which Highland elders appropriate by taking advantage of congregations' zeal for souls and their susceptibility to evangelistic propaganda.

The ever increasing power of the Highland eldership will be handed to succeeding generations of elders who will move in the same directions as the big metropolitan bishoprics of old — Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome.

The Highland elders have moved slowly into a great power centralization. They are getting ever bolder in seeking for and grasping more money and more power. Many brethren who at first thought the "Herald of Truth" to be an innocent form of congregational cooperation are beginning to see the ends to which the money and power concentration in Abilene is now leading. Now is the time to accelerateour opposition to the Abilene missionary society. Let us point to the New Testament way: Churches as individual candlesticks (Revelation 2:5) can saturate the whole world with the gospel without merging under a central lighthouse, and there are enough individual candlesticks to provide light in all the places the Highland elders propose to saturate. The individual candlestick way is God's way! The world was once saturated in this way! (Colossians 1:6, 23). This way is the way to keep the church as the church instead of a digression.

— 1606 S. Belmont Indianapolis, Indiana 48221