Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 17, 1964
NUMBER 32, PAGE 4,10a

A Worthy Suggestion From Bro. Lovell


Late last summer brother James Lacy Lovell, editor and publisher of a West Coast journal named "Action" made a suggestion which we wish heartily to endorse and approve — for all those who have thus far participated in the many brotherhood appeals which seems to multiply with every passing day. Brother Lovell suggests that if:

. . . some sort of a plan can be worked out where we can consolidate many of our major brotherhood needs such as sending missionaries, Bible correspondence, medical and school work, etc., we can fulfill all of them on the same basis, and at the same time eliminate tremendous travel expenses and travel time salaries. Many of the present requests which flood every church today would be largely diminished ...

"I would like so much to hear from elders, preachers and others on this matter. What criticism do you have? Don't write and tell me the "trend" is wrong. The "trend" in appointing elders is what finally produced a pope. If some soul might be saved in hell, I would say let's go get him. The sky is the limit if there is no violence to Scripture.

Brother Lovell has served for many years on the Board of the Directors of Pepperdine College, and has used his tremendous zeal to promote all the great "brotherhood projects" which have characterized these last few years. Through his journal, and every way at his command, he has backed the Herald of Truth, the Manhattan Project, the campaigns for Christ, the Million for the Billion, the Gospel Press Advertising Program, Cows for Korea, Operation Exodus Long Island, the Worlds Fair Church of Christ Project, and no doubt twice that many others that we do not recall at the moment. His zeal is commendable.

And in his plea for some sort of a "United Appeal" or "Unified Promotion" for the Churches of Christ we feel he is moving in the right direction — right, that is, for that great host of brethren who are more interested in "getting the job done" than they me in doing "God's work in God's way." The Christian Churches some forty years ago, or more, did exactly what Brother Lovell now sees as a wise and proper move for the Churches of Christ — that is, they unified their various promotions and projects, societies and endeavors, and came up with a new and far more efficient "United Christian Missionary Society." this super organization they combined the facilities of most of their formerly independent and separate organizations, on the ground that such a move would (1) be more economical, (2) eliminate rivalry, (3) eliminate too many appeals, and (4) further unity. The Christian Standard bitterly opposed this move on the ground that these were "dangerous trends! But the promoters of the "Unified Promotion" won out — and the Christian Church moved inexorably toward an open rupture in their ranks, a cleavage which exists to this present day.

We see no logical ground at all on which the brethren who have supported Herald of Truth and other such "brotherhood projects" can object to Brother Lovell's plea. His position is well taken, and completely reasonable. Of course, for the sake of the "form" of things it will probably be necessary to have some eldership somewhere sponsor the appeal, and have control of the funds. They can carefully evaluate the appeals of each individual project asking for support, and apportion the available funds out on what seems to them to be a fair and logical basis. That way would give the 'little project" a fair shake and assure that the lion's share of the "brotherhood" money did not go by default to the project with the slickest promoters and the highest paid advertising agency — as has often been the case these past years.

Is some "do nothing" brother ready to cry "Missionary Society?" Well, just let him cry! As brother Lovell so beautifully says "You can throw up the old Missionary Society screen and squawk as loud as you like, but I do not believe you can punch an unscriptural hole in it. He feels that this "Unified Promotion sort of plan would mean a tremendous saving in that there would be only three or four "brotherhood appeals each year; and that much effort (and irritation) would be avoided.

Why do we approve and endorse Brother Lovell's plea? Our reasoning is very simple. We believe that this would be a long, long step (and one that nearly anybody could see) toward the building of a centralized controlling agency for the churches of Christ — and would widen and make much more clear the distinction between those thousands of Christians who are determined to "walk by faith and the even more thousands who are generally unconcerned as to the "how "way or "method of doing God's work. This would tend to dispel the general confusion and uncertainty now everywhere so evident. Many sincere people are unable to see anything wrong with Herald of Truth, and are supporting it. But when Brother Lovell's suggestion is implemented there are great numbers of these people who will have no difficulty at all in seeing what is wrong with it! And once they see that, they will be able to understand what is wrong with Herald of Truth. For the two are on the same basis; if one is right, both are right. If one is wrong, both are wrong. That is why we would like to see Brother Lovell's suggestion put into effect. And we have no doubt that many thousands of brethren would approve it and endorse it heartily. They have neither understanding nor conviction as to the nature of the church. And the quicker they move into a full-fledged unequivocal position as an open and admitted denominational body, the better for all concerned. As things stand now, many good people are deceived and deluded. Brother Lovell's suggestion will help to remedy that situation. So, more power to him! And let us hope that the crafty and cunning leaders of liberalism among us will not be able to stop him in this promotion as they will certainly try to stop him; and as they did stop Batsell Barrett Baxter in his recent plea for church support of the colleges.

- F. Y. T.