Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 27, 1967

Signs For Basil Overton

Tom Oglesby

In the April 27, 1967 issue of the Gospel Advocate, an article appeared under the title "Cretan Antis and Signs for the Time." This article written by Basil Overton, and was a cute criticism specifically to the situation in Glasgow, Kentucky, and since I am now preaching for the congregation there which he calls an "anti-church", I would like to review some of the basic errors found in this brother's reasoning.

He began by quoting Titus 1:7-11. He quoted the entire passage, but his main point dealt with the translation of the word "gainsayers". He rightly pointed out that it was from a form of the Greek word, "antilego." He then proceeded to abbreviate this Greek form and came up with the term "antis." Thus, using this passage (or rather misusing, ) he laid a foundation for designating those who oppose his institutionalism as "antis." To brother Overton I make this challenge: Prove that the "antis" there mentioned were speaking against the same kind of things that we (he calls us modern antis) are speaking against today. Certainly, they were not speaking against church support of orphan homes, since at least 1900 years passed between that time and the establishment of the first orphan home in the brotherhood. Neither were they speaking against church support of non-saints, since in all of God's Word, there is no indication that the church ever supported anyone but needy saints. If brother Overton uses the term to refer simply to someone who speaks against something, then I charge that Basil Overton himself is an "anti" and preaches for an "anti-church." Certainly, he speaks against Adultery, Catholicism, Instrumental Music in Worship, Church support of Denominational Homes, and such like. If so, then he is "anti" all these things, and following his own reasoning stands under condemnation of Titus 1.

The third paragraph dealt particularly with New Testament admonitions to perform and carry on good works. No gospel preacher who respects God's Word would deny any of these. However, brother Overton needs to realize the guidance we must accept in the performance of Good works. Paul writes that the scriptures can furnish us completely to every good work. Every good work that a man can do, through the church or as an individual, is furnished in God's Word! Let Basil Overton then find in the scriptures the good work of church support of benevolent institutions or relieving non-saints. The individual may do these things, but it is not a "good work" the scriptures provide for the church to do.

The fourth paragraph under the subtitle, "Modern Anti-Doctrines," contains many prejudicial statements similar to those made for many years by denominational preachers seeking to prove their false doctrines. His statements are an outright attempt to make those he calls "antis" appear to be the most ungodly and wicked people that have ever lived. He uses only one passage of scripture, and, true to form, plainly perverts its meaning. He writes: "The churches of Galatia were commanded to do good unto all men, especially unto those of the household of faith." Brethren, this is an absolute falsehood! He gave as proof Galatians 1:2 and 6:10. Certainly, Galatians 1:2 points out that the letter was addressed to the churches of Galatia. But turn and read exactly what Galatians 6:10 says: "As we have therefore opportunity, let US do good unto all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith." Paul very clearly includes himself in this admonition. Now the question presents itself: WAS PAUL ONE OF THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA? Paul was talking about something that he and all the Galatians as individuals were required to do. It would be better if brother Overton would quote his passages when he makes such an argument. Perhaps in typing the very verse, he would realize the fallacy of his reasoning.

Then brother Overton presented that which he entitled "Signs for the Time." Again, this was an instance of his willingness to use prejudice to influence the minds of others. The signs he proposes would, to the uniformed, picture those he disagrees with as selfish orphan haters and the worst sort of people. However, to show his inconsistency, I have a sign for Basil Overton and the church for which he preaches, and I, too, will raise the money to finance the erecting of these signs. This sign will say:

This Church Believes That We Do Not Have To Have Bible Authority For Everything We Do. We Support Orphan Homes, In Spite Of The Fact That There Is No Command, Example, Or Necessary Inference In The Bible For Doing So. Yet, We Still Claim To Be The New Testament Church.

Well, brother Overton, will you accept our sign completely free of charge? Will you even accept this opportunity to "stop the mouths of antis" by engaging a representative of the Burkesville Road church in Glasgow in a public discussion of these matters? Prove that you are able, as an elder, to convict the gainsayers. We shall see if brother Overton is willing to affirm the same things mentioned in his article when there is someone to show the greatness of his error.