Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 23, 1955

Of Several Things


"Decency And Order"

For many months now we have been receiving bulletins, newspaper clippings, private correspondence, and a great number of reports, in one way or another, of the "sickness" in the Central Church in Amarillo, Texas. This is one of the great churches of Texas, and certainly has in it some of the finest Christians on earth. The church has had a glorious history of work in the past. She is capable of great accomplishments for the cause of Christ.

After carefully studying the condition there, we determined to give publicity to the trouble, not because of any special feeling about Central Church, but because what is happening there is typical of many congregations where the "majority rule" virus gets in its deadly work, and where untaught and overly ambitious brethren are put into positions of authority and responsibility. A "worldly" element, which has been in that congregation for years, but which was not strong enough to gain control, finally achieved dominance. And the result is that the church has been in a seething turmoil ever since.

We pray that sound sense and Bible teaching may yet save this congregation from the complete apostasy which its present course is almost certain to bring.

Cogdill-Woods Debate?

In the exchange of articles in this issue between W. L. Totty and Jack L. Holt, several things are said relative to a discussion between Guy N. Woods and Roy E. Cogdill. In spite of the fact that Woods feels Cogdill is "not a representative man," we still believe a debate between these two brethren would be a truly representative debate. If each of them could have the endorsement of a good congregation in some city like Dallas, and fair propositions could be arranged setting forth the three-fold nature of the present problem before the churches (orphan homes, Christian colleges, and centralized evangelistic cooperations), the discussion would go a long, long way toward resolving the problem, promoting unity among Christians, and setting before all the exact teaching of the Bible.

Brother Woods not long ago issued a challenge in the Gospel Advocate for a written discussion. He, therefore, is not averse to a debate. We are certain Cogdill is willing to participate in one under the proper circumstances. What do you say, brethren? We would like to hear the judgment of others concerning this thing.

Brother Reese's Article

Elsewhere in this issue we carry a short article from Brother John F. Reese, an elder in the Highland Church at Abilene, and the one who has charge of the office work for Herald of Truth. We are delighted to receive this article and others from him; and we invite any other Highland elder to feel perfectly free to submit material. This shows brethren are studying. And once we can have a calm, unbiased, earnest study of the question, we feel no anxiety as to the ultimate outcome.

For Brother Reese's help, we offer the following comment on his article: If we understand his point it is that the same charge we make against Herald of Truth (a centralized agency through which thousands of congregations cooperate) could be made with equal force against the Gospel Guardian. The differences are here:

1. The Gospel Guardian is a private non-profit business enterprise selling its merchandise to the public; Herald of Truth is a cooperative undertaking of 1080 churches for preaching the gospel to the world.

2. Under its charter and by-laws the Gospel Guardian is prohibited by law from either soliciting or receiving contributions from a church; Herald of Truth MUST receive such contributions. Thus, Gospel Guardian is in no sense an "agency through which the churches work," and is prohibited by law from being such; while Herald of Truth cooperative arrangement exists for the sole purpose of providing an agency or means for congregational cooperation in radio preaching.

3. There is certainly no objection to Highland Church's sending 1300 gospel preachers out into the world to preach the gospel. But Highland Church is not doing that, nor can she do it. It is not the preaching of the gospel that is objectionable; but it is the ARRANGEMENT under which it is done — i.e. 1080 congregations pooling their resources under one eldership for the doing of a work to which all the contributing churches are equally related.

We appreciate Brother Reese's willingness to study the question, and to submit comments that he judges to be on the issue. We would that all brethren had the same earnest desire to investigate, seek, and learn God's will. When the Abilene discussion takes place this fall, we anticipate that hundreds, if not thousands, will have the question of how churches can, and can not, cooperate settled positively, definitely, and once for all in their understanding. We urge all others who read these pages to give the same thoughtful study to the question which Brother Reese is obviously giving. It is TRUTH we all desire. That truth is in the Bible. We have but to study it with an open mind to arrive at certainty as to its teachings on this question.

Abilene Debate -- November 28

Brother Harper and the Highland elders have set November 28 - December 1 as the date for the Tant-Harper discussion in Abilene. Tremendous interest is already being shown in the discussion. With notice this far in advance no doubt many hundreds of gospel preachers will be able to arrange their schedules so as to attend. This writer is prayerfully and confidently looking for­ward to full and complete agreement being reached in Abilene. It will certainly be one of the most significant and critical weeks in the history of the church in our generation.

— F. Y. T.