Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 25, 1951

Ernest Beam, Husks, And Peripheral Matters

James R. Cope. Tampa. Florida

In the December 1 issue of The Christian Forum, appears my "Open Reply To An Open Letter" and Editor Ernest Beam's answer to my article. In that article I asked Editor Beam eighteen questions which dealt directly upon passages of scripture as they related to his position that any baptized for remission of sins should be fully received and fellowshipped. He briefly dealt with part of them and then proceeded to hang troubles of the entire brotherhood around my neck and endeavors to make me defend all the brethren who have disfellowshipped each other over some "twenty-odd" (Beam's count) different issues.

Let it be once for all understood: I am primarily interested in WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES. This goes for the "fellowship issue" he is so worked up about as well as any other issue.

Instead of answering up strictly in terms of what the Bible teaches Editor Beam says of me, "If he takes the position brethren must agree everywhere or fellowship nowhere he needs new and more divisions, re-division and sub-division. If he takes the position brethren can always have, and always will disagree in many an important item, and should do so without all this dividing, he stands with brother Beam, with the pioneers, and best of all, with the revelation in the New Testament where even circumcision and law did not break up ONE BODY.

This might be a dilemma if it did not beg the question. In his endeavor to ensnare me, Beam assumes the point he has not yet proved and steadfastly refuses to attempt to prove, viz., that the use of mechanical instruments in worship and belief in the premillennial theory are UNIMPORTANT. I contend they are important; he says they are not. Anybody can see that the fellowship issue as relates to these matters turns upon their importance. Nor will Editor Beam come from behind the "editorial walls" and from the protection of "fellowship" and meet the real issue squarely and fairly?

Beam has already served warning on the foregoing question. Hear him: "To feed the people of God upon such husks, such peripheral matters, the while neglecting this great volume is one of the starkest tragedies of this whole movement. God being our helper we aren't on our way to discuss these " Poor old David Lipscomb! Editor Beam says Lipscomb was not sectarian, yet for more than fifty years he served regular meals of "husks" and "peripheral matters" everywhere the Gospel Advocate went in his efforts to stem the tide of digression with all its human inventions and innovations. Didn't somebody forsake the great volume to teach instrumental music and the speculations of premillennialism? Again, this is the issue which Ernest Beam must face to discuss fellowship" as he does.

That there be no doubt in any reader's mind concerning the importance of these matters, let Editor Beam consider and answer the following:

1. Is the reign of Christ on David's throne important?

2. Do premillennialists deny that Christ reigns now on David's throne?

3. Therefore, is premillennialism important?

1, Is the conversion of the Gentiles important? Is that which is necessary (building "e;again the tabernacle of David"--Acts 15:16, 17), to the conversion of the Gentiles important?

4. Since premillennialism denies that which is necessary to the conversion of the Gentiles, is it not, therefore important?

1. Is there a scriptural pattern for worship?

2. Is this pattern important?

3. Since instrumental music is an addition to the pattern, is it not important?

These questions involve fundamental principles. Editor Beam can render a greater service to his digressive brethren by defending their teaching and practices than he can render to the Cause of Christ by begging Christians to fellowship them.