Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 4, 1950
NUMBER 1, PAGE 5,10c

They Do Not Believe In Literature

Chas. M. Campbell, Akron, Ohio

A fast fading faction in Akron which is opposed to "uninspired literature" in the study of the Bible, classes for Bible study, and women teachers, circulated a booklet by Van Bonneau of Dodson, Texas with the following Solomonic statement stamped on the fly leaf.

"The Church of Christ at 620 Johnson Street, Akron, Ohio is distributing this booklet as a means of teaching New Testament doctrine in the matter of church assemblies and the public conduct of women. We do stand ready to study the Scriptures with anyone, and we purpose to be guided by the Scriptures. Therefore, if anyone has any questions to ask concerning this book, we are ready to defend the teaching contained herein both publicly and privately."

Now, I wonder who inspired Van Bonneau. There is no denying that the literature thus circulated is je june indeed, but it is literature, and I suppose that not even the anti-literature element would deny that it is uninspired. No wonder the faithless few are about to become extinct. Their fatuity and fanaticism are destroying their own faction.

Church champs—or chumps?

"Chapel at Brown and Vine Friday won the YMCA church basketball championship by defeating South Akron Church of Christ

The "Church of Christ" referred to is digressive lock, stock, and barrel. Therefore one is not surprised at their clowning in the name of the church. Truly enough, there should be a law against it; and there is. It is in the New Testament in the divine legislation by which the Lord emphatically and specifically declares the mission of the church. The one difficulty is; the digressives simply do not pay any attention to the New Testament wherein it disagrees with their practices, which is just about ten ninths of the time. However, there are those nearer to home who do not use mechanical music in the worship, etc; who report their success in church athletics with glee.

"To Hugh Hemmingway goes the credit for the nice scoreboard used in our basketball games. He made it and brought it down to one of our games. It was an immediate 'hit' with the spectators as well as the teams. Glenn's interest in sports stems from his father." This is from "Tuning In Detroit" in the Christian Leader of March 7th, 1950.

Surely no one can object to boys engaging in a game of basketball, nor should we be concerned seriously about where it "Stems" from in a lad, but where it "stems" to is altogether a different matter. When it "stems" into "the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood," then it is high time for some spiritual horticulture in the region where the fad is in fashion, and some very close pruning should characterize the operation lest the situation reach the point where its tendency to unscriptural innovations cannot be stemmed.

Digress means "to turn aside." That is exactly what the members of the church in Detroit did when they substituted sports for spirituality. In the light of this fact, a pertinent proposition is, who are the digressives? How far must the mission of the Lord's church be perverted and misrepresented in order for a congregation to be justly classified as digressive? Where did the original "digressives" get their ideas for engaging in sports, etc? Where is the authority in the New Testament for a congregation selecting and supporting a basketball team? Or is it now unnecessary to have New Testament authority for what the church practices and participates in? What are the preachers in Detroit doing that they do not call attention to the facts in the case?

Such unscriptural and unjustifiable practices among professed Christians could be stemming from the lethargy of some of the latitudinarians among the preachers of the Motor City themselves. One of them has been notorious for his love feasts with the digressives in the plain of Ono, another tells the congregation for which he preaches, "if you want anything, ask me; I know far more about the affairs of the church than the elders." Another refuses to allow elders in the church where he preaches, and another wrote a scurrilous letter against the elders in a church, because they had objected to his bringing a sympathizer with premillennialism into the congregation, and aided and abetted in their impeachment which was accomplished through a common sit-down strike on the Lord's day in desecration of all for which he pretends to contend. The fact is, all of these have been known to dilly-dally with the digressives and to compromise with the Bollites, so we should not be too surprised at some basketball where there should be some bombardments. However, there are some preachers around Detroit of whom we have a right to expect better things and things which accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Nut Sunday

On the television program "Life Begins at Eighty," a spry old spinster who is celebrated for her wit and sense of humor, was heard to quip: "Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Nut Sunday." I thought how appropriate the idea if applied to Easter. Historians are unanimous in declaring its origin to have occasioned great controversy, and the date of its celebration to have been decided by post-apostolic authority. It is without foundation in the word of God, and the time of its celebration depends upon the motions of the moon within the "Easter Limits"—March 22-April 25. Prior to the Council of Nice, the day was celebrated on the same date annually, but this caused it to fall on Sunday only once in six years. This was changed during the Council to its present arrangement. Therefore, it cannot be an anniversary; for anniversary means: "the recurrence in each year of the date of an event."

So, historically it is unjustifiable, lexicographically it is false, mathematically it is impossible, and Biblically it is without foundation.

Yet, on this day, Easter, those who deny the one act wherein the resurrection of the Lord is portrayed—immersion, orate on the glory of the risen Lord, those who will not celebrate the Lord's supper upon the first day of the week—the day of the resurrection, must rush the matter by observing it on Thursday preceding Easter. They say that it is in recognition of the time of its institution, but why be concerned about observing the time when the Lord said to observe it? Members who do not love the Lord enough to assemble with his disciples regularly, will put on their new buttons and bows and strut like peacocks upon entering the church house about ten minutes late. They will not be back until Christmas (they observe all the farcical folklore in religion), but they think themselves Christians; and the preachers who will be so unfortunate as to preach their funerals will be told in solemn voice and serious tone: "he, or she, was a member of the church and a good Christian." How sagacious the saying of the spinster when applied to Easter, Nut Sunday? I'll say!