Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 5, 1954

"The Herald Of Truth" -- A Great Octopus

Win. E. Wallace, Akron, Ohio

-Is the "Herald of Truth" a society? Is it an organization separate from the church? Is it an organization smaller than the church in the universal sense but larger than the church in the local sense? The following excerpt from "Preachers of Today" fairly well defines it:

"After several years of careful planning, he (James Nichols) and James Willeford led in launching a nation-wide radio broadcast over the ABC network, called 'The Herald of Truth.' Hundreds of congregations and individuals contributed to this work and the broadcast is presented over more than 150 stations across the nation each Sunday. It is the largest effort ever attempted by the churches of Christ and costs more than $285,000.00 annually. The response to undenominational gospel preaching has been heavy and from many parts of the country. The entire work is under the supervision of the elders of the Highland Church, Abilene, Texas." P. 251.

What do we have here?

1. A nation-wide broadcast.

2. A nation-wide broadcast supported by congregations and individuals.

3. A nation-wide broadcast supported by congregations and individuals under the supervision of the elders of one congregation.

4. The largest radio effort ever attempted by churches of Christ, under the supervision of one church of Christ.

5. Churches of Christ attempting the largest radio (and now TV) work ever, through the oversight and supervision of the Highland Church in Abilene.

6. The Highland Church in Abilene supervising a work that churches of Christ are doing, nationwide. Note that word, nationwide. It is not a local work that Highland Church itself is doing, but a nationwide work that churches of Christ do through the oversight and supervision of the Highland Church in Abilene.

7. A work, or society composed of hundreds of individual and congregational contributors, nationwide, under the eldership of the Highland Church in Abilene.

8. A nation-wide work or society, designed to depend upon a network or society of contributors, placed under the oversight of the Highland Church in Abilene.

9. Broadcasts over 150 stations situated over the nation, supported by contributors situated in the same places over the nation, supervised by an eldership in one locality.

10. Contributors, individual and collective or congregational, nation-wide, are working under or representing elderships in various localities and are working through one eldership — Highland Church in Abilene.

Brethren, does the putting of a brotherhood or universal operation or work like this under the eldership of a local congregation make that operation, society, or work scriptural?

E. R. Harper has dug up the Houston Music Hall Meeting again in a wild attempt to justify the local elders at Abilene becoming general or universal. Cecil N. Wright did the same thing a few years ago when he and Yater Tant were involved in a controversy over the cooperation question. Brother Tant did a good job of exposing the fallacy in Brother Wright's thinking. The Firm Foundation printed a tract of Brother Wright's articles with the inscription on the front cover "Hear Both Sides"! If they had wanted the brethren to "hear both sides" they would have put Brother Tant's articles in there too! Brother Harper is doing exactly what Brother Wright was doing — shooting in the dark. They cannot justify this general eldership business by the scripture so it seems they will shoot wildly hoping to hit a spot somewhere that will drive home a point that is not even parallel to what they strive to defend. With reference to the kind of strategy used by E. R. Harper, Foy E. Wallace had this to say:

"Precedent. It is palpably weak to offer to affirm that something is as scriptural as something else. Nothing is scriptural unless it is. There is no as' about it. That is mighty poor logic, and men who are always doing it are afraid of their ground. It is time to quit talking about who did this or said that, and start giving scriptural precedent for the practices that are being promoted. It is time to quit careering around all over creation and cite the scriptures to prove the practices." (Torch, September 1950, Page 27.)

These words of recent time from the pen of a most capable warrior, expose the fallacious principles upon which Brother Harper and others stand today in their "palpably weak" defense of the "Herald of Truth."