Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 23, 1954

Premillennialists To Operate College

Robert Atkinson. Lexington. Kentucky

For many years the campus of the former Kentucky Wesleyan College in Winchester has been for sale due to the decision of the Methodist Conference to move the college to Owensboro, Kentucky. Several weeks ago an announcement appeared in the local paper telling of the sale of a part of the ground and some of the buildings to the churches of Christ. This property was purchased by the premillennial faction and not by faithful brethren. The premillennialists plan to move the Kentucky Bible College to Winchester this fall. The Kentucky Bible College was organized four years ago on the site of the Portland Avenue Premillennial Church of Christ in Louisville. R. H. Boll, the preacher at Portland Avenue and the recognized leader of this speculative and factious little group helped to organize the school.

I have heard many comments from faithful brethren on this latest step by our apostate brethren. Some have declared that the new location of the Kentucky Bible College surely decrees the ruin of many faithful churches in Central Kentucky, and these brethren seem to be ready to throw in the towel to the premillennialists. Others suggest that there is no reason to be alarmed, and we should all ignore this latest development. I believe that the truth is to be found between these two extremes.

A Tiny College

There is no reason to believe that a great flood of preachers who have been saturated with the distorted vagaries of premillennialism will be released on this area. In fact, the number promises to be few indeed! The Kentucky Bible College in Louisville, which is a Junior College by the way, has normally enrolled very few students. The entire graduating class of 1953 numbered only four (4) students. It is true, no doubt, that the college will grow as a result of its more favorable surroundings, but the growth will be neither rapid nor prolonged. The battle line against these espousers of error has been too tightly drawn to permit that. Further, it should be noted that the faithful brethren in Louisville did not panic and become prophets of doom when the school was opened there. They realized that it posed a new problem, and they continued their fight against the wild notions of premillennialists with renewed vigor. The tiny graduating class which we mentioned before very pointedly demonstrates the success of their efforts.

Contend For The Faith

There is nothing to be feared from the premillennial false prophets if faithful brethren in this area are willing to stand for the truth. The real danger is not focused in R. H. Boll and his latest endeavor, but in the appalling indifference so characteristic of many churches in this area and the men of great influence in the churches There is the attitude, which has often been expressed in my presence, "We let them alone and they let us alone." The subject is ignored from the pulpits of many churches and in others there is pitifully little preaching done concerning premillennialism. Too few have heard it defined and fewer still recognize it for the system of infidelity, Judaism, and rank materialism that it really is. Consequently, many parents who do not realize how insidious the theory is, may send their children to this school for the purpose of keeping them close to home. They may excuse themselves at the time by assuring themselves that after all members of the church do operate the school. They may learn too late the dangers of premillennialism and suffer the fate of seeing their children set their hopes on a future coming of a kingdom which the Bible teaches has been in existence for nearly 2,000 years. We must be careful lest our own indifference and poor judgment contribute to the success of this nest of premillennialists.

If we would keep premillennialism out of the faithful churches then let us follow the divine injunctions. Elders need to be acutely aware of the responsibility their office places upon them. They need to carefully guard the flock, be careful in the selection of preachers and teachers, be watchful to detect specious error, and be ever ready to arise and cut short the speech of any false teacher who by deceit may occupy the pulpit. Preachers need to acquaint themselves with the theory that they may acquaint others with it also and be able to point out generally and specifically how it contradicts the Bible. Every Christian needs to study the Bible and be ready to detect and refute premillennialism by that Bible. That is the Lord's way of guarding against apostasy, and I would have all of us to be aware of it.

"One Man Churches" In Most Danger

The churches that are in the most danger are those that have neglected to organize themselves according to the Lord's plan. Such churches are usually disorganized by virtue of their being unorganized, and they are thus easy prey to the smooth talking, piety dripping premillennial preachers. These preachers either create confusion or help along confusion already existing in order to accomplish their purpose of taking over a church. Surely we cannot be so naive as to ignore the fact that elders have a responsibility to guard the flock beyond the measure of responsibility which is every Christians. (Heb. 13:17.) And if there are no elders, there is just that much less guarding and consequently the church is that much more susceptible to error. It is time that opposition to the Lord's plan of organization ceased and congregations took upon themselves the task of setting themselves in order! Let the "one man churches" and "anti elder cliques" of Central Kentucky go the way of every other invention of Satan, and let the churches of Central Kentucky listen to the Lord instead of to men and set about to scripturally organize themselves. We hope that this new danger soon to be in our midst will help faithful brethren to see their responsibility in this matter.

College's Support Is Unscriptural

It is worthy of note that the newspaper article stated that the college is to be supported by the contributions of 60 premillennial churches of Christ. Our wayward brethren are now in the college business and the churches themselves are supporting an institution separate from the church. Here is another example of error that they have fallen into, but unfortunately, their plan is no different in principle from many of the works which faithful brethren are promoting. This comes under the heading of "institutionalism" which is now a definite issue though a different one, and one in which the premillennialists are interested only insofar as it has served to divert from them some of the attention which they so dearly love.

But the premillennialists now have a chunk of Kentucky Wesleyan campus and they, no doubt, are planning great things. It must have been a real novelty to them to have actually purchased property. That's not the procedure they usually follow when they obtain their church buildings. Most of their real estate has been taken from faithful brethren by the cunning and deceit of their leaders. Usually a premillennial preacher occupies a pulpit under false pretenses, refrains from preaching his perverted imaginings until he builds up a following, which he does by feigned meekness and piety, and then when he has his following he issues an ultimatum to those who refuse to go along with his distorted vagaries and forces their departure. Evidently the Methodists do not believe that piety and tears are a fit substitute for "cash on the barrelhead." Ah well, now that the premillennialists have actually made a genuine purchase they may find the experience refreshing and invigorating and determine to come about all their property in a legal manner henceforth.

But premillennialists no longer have the "easy pickings" they once had. Faithful brethren like Foy Wallace, Jr. early recognized the insidious error and factious spirit of these false prophets and alerted the brotherhood. It is to be hoped that Brother R. H. Boll and his disciples will someday return their human doctrines to the Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists and other Sects from which they borrowed them, and repent. They have been the cause of much sorrow on the part of both God and man.

We hope that the University Heights Church of Christ and other faithful churches in Central Kentucky will not fail to shoulder their responsibility to continue to resist this faith destroying theory. We should keep in mind that the truth will vanquish any premillennialist. They scornfully shun debates with faithful, well informed and representative brethren. They may snipe at them through their papers or in conversation with their sympathizers, but they will not allow the issue to be clearly defined and publicly discussed. The Taylor Boulevard Church of Christ in Louisville has openly challenged the premillennialists to such a discussion for many years and so far there has been no debate though R. H. Boll and his most ardent supporters, who are most familiar with the weird imaginings of premillennialism, reside there. The church that will contend earnestly for the truth needs not fear the premillennialists, nor their college, nor anything else connected with them.

The Kentucky Bible College and our wayward brethren pose a challenge to those in this area who hold the truth. Let us meet it and with the help of God, overcome it. Certainly there is no need to panic. I wonder why the fear expressed by some brethren over this latest development was not expressed when Kentucky Wesleyan, with many hundreds of students, operated in Winchester? Is it because Methodism has been recognized by all faithful brethren as denominationalism, and denominationalism has been condemned from the scriptures from nearly all pulpits, and such is not true of the premillennialists? Then I say, brethren, that it is high time we awakened to the fact that the premillennialists, though they cling so tenaciously to the name of the Lord whom they deny to be their king, are no less sectarian and denominational, in both doctrine and spirit, than are the Methodists or any other group of people who form a human institution! May we awaken to this truth; may elders insist that the flock in their care be informed of it; may gospel preachers declare it boldly and continuously. Place the premillennialists in their proper category, denominationalists, and let them be so regarded by those who love and hold to the truth!

No doubt there are those, to whom premillennialism is just a name, who will think this article unjust and harsh. Perhaps I would have thought so at one time. But I have lived in Lexington for nearly four years now, and I have had ample opportunity to notice how the premillennialists operate to further their human cause. I have witnessed how they oppose the truth and divide the body of Christ. I know that H. N. Rutherford, the premillennial preacher at the Craner and Hanover Premillennial Church of Christ here, sought opportunity to teach the Race Street Church of Christ after the University Heights Church of Christ started and supported the church in that section of the city. His request was refused and he has been given no opportunity to take over that church. I have heard premillennialists wilfully misrepresent faithful brethren by telling others that "they don't believe the book of Revelation" when the truth is we simply don't believe what they speculate into Revelation. I have known of premillennial preachers, who seeing their error exposed, have taken refuge in affected humility, tears, and the old "tolerance" angle to seduce people from the truth and blind their eyes to the glaring falsehoods which they preach. I have talked with many premillennialists who were not concerned with the truthfulness or untruthfulness of the premillennial theory but could speak only of "dear brother pious" and "all my friends" at "my" church. Their eyes were so filled with a man that they could not see the truth. I have seen premillennial brethren side with sectarians in opposing gospel preachers on such matters as the plan of salvation.

No, to those of us who live near the seat of premillennialism in churches of Christ, this article is recognized to be neither unjust nor unduly harsh. Their hypocrisy is no less evident for all to see than was the hypocrisy of the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Jesus taught that it took the truth to save, and he did not, therefore, mince words about the hypocritical false teachers of his day who were leading people astray, and neither should we. The premillennialists have chosen to follow a digressive course, so let them, their followers, and their weak and compromising sympathizers be continuously exposed and opposed by those of us who know and hold the truth.