Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 11, 1956
NUMBER 23, PAGE 1,11b

Here And There With Guy N. Woods (III.)

James W. Adams, San Antonio, Texas

The leading champions of the centralized control and oversight arrangements of our day which have disturbed the peace of Zion and threaten a disruption of fellowship among God's people defend their "idols" not on the basis that they are scripturally conceived and fashioned, but rather by an effort to discredit the opposition. The principal defense has been "inconsistency, insincerity, and lack of agreement among themselves." Brother Woods has from the beginning prosecuted his efforts along these lines. His speeches in Birmingham faithfully conformed to this pattern.

"No Agreement Among The Opposers"

Said Brother Woods, "There is absolutely no agreement today among the opposers." This charge was followed by a list of alleged disagreements most of which had reality only in the imaginative genius of our talented brother who "has had 100 debates-20 of them with the Anti-Sunday School brethren." I say without fear of contradiction that without a single exception every position attributed by Woods in his list to "the opposers" was a misrepresentation. Here is the list: (1) The church sustains no obligation to the orphan and the aged; (2) the church sustains an obligation only to its own; (3) the church obligated only to children of Christian parents; (4) individuals only have any obligation; (5) institutional homes should be under a board; (6) they should be under elders.

Let us look at Woods' charges. (1) No one argues that the church sustains no obligation to the orphan, the widow, and the aged. This is a base, wilful misrepresentation on Woods' part. He knows better. (2) It has been suggested that the champions of institutional benevolence cannot find a single example of the church as such including in her benevolent program any save the "saints." Brother Woods did not attempt to find such an example. It has never been argued that under no circumstances could a church assist one not a member of the body. (3) I know of no representative brother who teaches that the church is obligated only to children of Christian parents. I think Brother Woods will agree that the church does have a peculiar obligation to such children. Further, I do not believe that one could run fast enough to get Woods to affirm that the church is obligated to care for all the world's needy. (4) This charge is the same as number one only from the individual standpoint, and is, as number one, a willful misrepresentation. (5) and (6) These charges highlight Brother Woods' confused state of mind. He got his own crowd in this category. "Old Reliable's" scribes are the ones that feature these disagreements. All of which brings up another interesting point.

Having said of the "opposers," "They find a bond of union only in opposition," Brother Woods brazenly admitted that the pro-institutional group also are divided. "But," said he, "We are different." He explained this "difference" by saying, "We accept the responsibility." By this he implied that those who differ from him do not accept the responsibility of the care of the needy. In this, he falsely accuses his brethren in Christ. There is hardly a man who would not gladly compare his record along this line with Woods. We have heard a good many things about Brother Woods through the years, but none that indicated unusual philanthropic tendencies on his part toward the widow and the orphan. Will Brother Woods affirm that the benevolent obligations of churches of Christ are unlimited? I should be happy to meet him on such a proposition. 'Brother Woods' "opposers" do not deny the responsibility; they simply contend that such responsibility is limited.

If disagreements among the "opposers" prove they are wrong, disagreements among the pro-institutional crowd prove that they too are wrong. Gospel Advocate scribes teach at least three different things on "equality"; they are divided on the meaning of Philippians 4:15, 16; they teach that churches may give to colleges, and that it is unscriptural for churches to give to colleges; they teach that orphan homes and homes for the aged must be under elders, that they must be under an institutional board, and that they may be under either; ad infinitum. Brother Woods is chief among this crowd in that he cannot agree with himself over a three month's period of time — see previous article on the subject of "equality." Gospel Advocate scribes find a "bond of union" only in their endorsement of human arrangements in the fields of benevolence and evangelism to supplant the divine organization ordained for such purposes.

Cardinal Doctrine

That "Ephraim is joined to his idols" is quite evident from a statement made by 'Brother Woods in his Birmingham speech on Sunday afternoon. Exhorting the people to accept his views, he said, "You want to go to heaven." Thus did he place the endorsement of institutional homes for the aged and the orphan and centralized control and oversight in evangelism — confessedly human arrangements — between a man and heaven. According to Woods, to oppose such schemes is to miss heaven. Thus does he make such arrangements tests of fellowship and becomes guilty of creed-making. Endorsement of the projects and schemes of our spiritual bureaucrats is to them a "cardinal" principle of the doctrine of Christ. The cry is, "Get in line, get on the band wagon or be quarantined." The question of our day is not, "Is he sound in the faith and pure in life?" The dividing line is drawn by the question, "Is he for The Herald of Truth and 'our' orphan homes?" Yes, "we are on the march," but where are we going?