Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 20, 1968

The Arlington Meeting, Or Encouraging Discussions

John Bullock

A few weeks ago a group of preachers, twenty-six in all, half "conservative" and half "liberal" met in Arlington, Texas, and spent about three days studying the differences between the two groups and to seek ways of "attaining and maintaining fellowship." We understand that this was the second meeting of this kind. The other gathering took place about a year ago, and in a different section of the country. We feel encouraged over the fact that men still seek unity, and that men on both sides of the "issues" have met these two times in an effort to bring about this unity. However, we are of the persuasion that many other brethren besides those who have already come together meet in like gatherings all over the country, and perhaps seek strong and able churches to arrange these meetings between the two divergent groups.

Faithful brethren should always seek gatherings which are advantageous to projecting truth, whether it be with our brethren who differ with us, or our denominational neighbors about us. The law of the average assures us of the good that come from such meetings when solid and faithful brethren declare God's will to others, and this was surely the case when these brethren met a few weeks past, and a year ago. We can see an "open door" for faithful men in such discussions, for God's Word will "not return unto him void."

Surely the brethren who are identified as "conservatives" — who met in this recent meeting to explore our differences and discuss ways by which we might enjoy the unity all desire, would not compromise or yield any part of truth. It seems incredible that such men would compromise with truth who have during the past years "gone through the fire" for truth and righteousness. Many have been abused, persecuted, tormented, and all because they would not join in the ways of digression and sell out for some popularity. Faithful brethren have experienced some very trying times as the church moved through this crisis. It has called for every fiber of our courage, every resource of our God-given wisdom, every capacity of our intelligence, but through the strength received from the Almighty, many have stood the test. Thank God for such men! We have learned of a few sound preachers who turned and joined up with those who are identified as "liberals", and these men either sold out willingly, else they must have always lacked acuity in the fundamentals in matters pertaining to the work of the church. They apparently had a predilection all the time for a more popular brand of gospel, and the institutional brethren offered a fulfillment of their desires, therefore, they turned to the other side.

Let us pose this question: Why did the brethren who differ with us seek a meeting with us? Those who said of us, "they will die on the vine before long," and "they are like the anti-class, they'll never grow", etc., etc., etc. We believe they see they were mistaken, and by seeking a meeting with us is a tacit admission of them that they witness our growth and expansion throughout the country. They are cognizant that their digressiveness is leading to complete apostacy, that is, this is being expressed by some of them. Then too, these brethren know assuredly that we have the Word of God for our every belief and practice.

We have no concessions to make for this unity we all seek, and these brethren who have "gone beyond that which is written" must give up their unscriptural practices in order to achieve unity. I know that all of my faithful brethren share my feelings in such matters. We may have erred in possessing the wrong attitude at times, and let's all pray that God will forgive us of that, but not one of us should compromise to unauthorized practices that plague the church of our Lord today in many places. Let us suggest more meetings like the one held in Arlington, only let brethren in every place seek such meeting with our brethren who differ with us. It is possible to gain a few honest souls in such endeavors. Let us seek strong and able churches that are faithful in these matters to earnestly solicit brethren to arrange for more of such meetings as the one under consideration.