Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 22, 1951

"Don't Offend"

Sterl A. Watson, St. Louis, Missouri

Some people call us Campbellites because they know it irritates us. They know better. We repudiate the title and try to correct those who attempt to attach it to us. Few of us preachers call the names of denominations from the pulpit. We have learned that it sometimes gives unnecessary offense. Though they expressly avow their denominational names, we try to give them the truth in as inoffensive way as possible. Denominational folk seem to enjoy high sounding terms and titles. Especially is this true when applied to their preachers and leaders. The idea of every Christian simply being a voluntary servant (bond-slave) of Christ does not appeal to untaught people.

The word reverend is one of the sweetest words in our language, when scripturally used. When our friends spell the word with a capital "R" and apply it to preachers—we explain to them why we do not so use the word. We do not dislike the word, but the use that untaught folk make of it. Radio announcers are very considerate when the matter is explained to them. They refrain from the use of such title. I have not found an announcer that was an exception. They courteously use the name or title we suggest.

Is it easier to get an idea over to unbelieving radio announcers than to members of the church? Looks as if we could learn as easily as they. You wonder what I mean? Just this, "We are turning out too many doctors." In a recent issue o f the Firm Foundation a brother from Searcy, Arkansas, reports that Dr. Bales, will be on a large radio hook-up. About four times the "Dr. Bales" is so referred to. I love brother Bales and believe he is a sincere servant of God, but a little warning around some of the schools might do no harm. I appreciate 'brother Bales' scholastic attainments. However, the Firm Foundation is a religious paper and most of its writers are simply brethren. If I can keep an unbelieving radio announcer from referring to me as Reverend Watson, the brethren around these little schools can correct the children there on this Doctor mania. There are legions of us that turn disgustingly sick under the diaphragm at the frequent abuse of the word Doctor in our ranks.

There are plenty of teachers in our schools who discourage the use of the term Doctor as it is being used. Therefore, it's not a matter of jealousy. Some of the best educated gospel preachers have warned in print and from the pulpit that this is a denominational trend in the wrong direction. Jesus Christ is the great physician and all Christians do well if they make good nurses. If high educational terms hold precedent over Bible terms around our schools, they should quit advertising them as placing special emphasis on Christian living. We reject the term Reverend as applied by the denominations and some of our preachers parade the term Doctor without a blush. If a Christian has merit above Bible requirement, the brethren will manage to find it out. Nothing would be offered for print in this matter if this were an isolated case. However, it is so widespread that many frown and shake their heads. If this is a brainstorm, it is destined to rage in my head till someone points to Bible authority for it. If you want to find softness and opposition to plain preaching just visit the churches located close to some of the schools that have a lot of Doctors. Thank God, this is not the case with all the schools. Let no man think that I am not a friend to Christian education . . . I have proved that beyond a question of a doubt. Should you doubt it, just get in touch with W. Carl Ketcherside, 7505 Trenton, St. Louis, Mo. What many of us oppose is this denominational clap-trap. If things keep up at present pace, we will soon have Doctors instead of gospel preachers. Already, a meetinghouse is unpopular and some are being replaced by "church plants." May God bless this world with more humble gospel preachers and an adequate supply of modest meetinghouses.