Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 8, 1956

What Next?

C. D. Crouch, Baxterville, Mississippi

It is a bit difficult to write a heading that will adequately cover all I want to say right now. "The world do move" might be a fit heading, and the question above is also appropriate. Nowadays we have "marching churches," and "young preachers who have visions," and so, we need not be surprised at anything. Some of the preachers who have "visions" are now talking and writing about "God's priority list," and they are telling us "who do not have visions" what is and what is not "high on God's priority list."

Perhaps too, it was through some such "vision" that we are now informed who "have the best minds in the brotherhood." And since these who have "the best minds in the brotherhood" have stamped the word "APPROVED" on what is claimed to be "high on God's priority list," those of us who do not have the "best minds" are supposed to go along with the "best minds" and never ask any questions about the scripture authority for that which is claimed to be "high on God's priority list."

One singular thing about some of these "preachers who have visions" and perhaps possess the "best minds" in the brotherhood, is that they are all pretty much like the Irishman who became offended at the elephant, and remarked: "You two-tailed mountain of meat, if I knew which end your head is on I'd knock your brains out." These fellows who "have visions" and the "best minds" don't seem to know which way they are going. The truth is that when men tamper with the gospel in an endeavor to improve upon the Lord's ways, they pervert the gospel, and get farther away from God. They travel somewhat like a certain kind of fish!!! Too much confidence is being put in these "best minds," and too little effort is being made to learn what the will of the Lord is. "God has spoken unto us," and what God has spoken unto us is addressed to our common understanding. He didn't address the gospel to "best minds" with instructions to said "best minds" to relay the gospel to the common people, in "broken doses" adapted to the understanding of ordinary people. No, God did not give a revelation in that way. He has spoken unto us; and we, who do not have the "best minds" can understand all God wants us to understand.

The following appeared recently in a church bulletin which I received:

"We hear that a man in a Texas city would not consent to having his name placed before the congregation to serve as an elder. This was his reason: I drink quite a bit and love to dance. I am also inclined to gamble and my attendance is not what it should be. My Bible teaches me that an elder should not do these things. I'd rather be just a faithful, humble, consecrated member of the church and let some one else serve as an elder."

Time was, when had I heard someone make such a statement, or read it somewhere, I would have thought someone is trying to be funny. But, today, we have all sorts of preaching and all sorts of teaching, and we need not be surprised if some one actually thinks he can drink, and dance and gamble, and still be a faithful, humble, consecrated member of the church." Maybe he has been taught that way. The simple truth is, many preachers are "devising schemes" and "projects" and endeavoring to enlist all the churches in support of them, which are as far wrong as anything that misguided brother is supposed to have said!!! And we are having all sorts of things preached nowadays. And with some teachers in "our" theological seminaries teaching the young men who go there what and how to preach, teaching as they are, we may expect anything to be preached from here on. Little Boy Roberts, of ACC, teaches that the church at Philippi just kept an "account" of moneys received from other churches, and gave said moneys to Paul, and he proposes to prove it "by the Greek." (Phil. 4:10-17.) In which case, of course, Paul did not seek a gift from them, but he did want the "fruit to abound to their account"; that is, Paul wanted the "account" to run as large as possible!!! Of course, such an idea is not to be found in any English translation of the Scripture; but with a PhD. and a "Greek major" many things are possible!!! And since "we" want the "Sponsoring Church" type of work to go on, and since some folks who do not have "the best minds in the brotherhood" keep insisting that "scripture authority" be produced, well, it seems that something must be said!!! What next?

Then "Little Lord Fauntleroy" Lanier admits that in the days of the apostles the churches did send contributions directly to the preacher in the field; but, he has found that it is not wise to do so now. Well, those of us who do not possess "the best minds in the brotherhood" still believe it is "wise" to follow an example approved by the apostles. Yet, with that sort of teaching being put forth by those who are teaching in the theological seminaries, where young preachers are being taught how and what to preach, what may we expect the young preachers to preach in the next few years? It may be that that Texas brother had been taught by some of them already, that he can be a "faithful, humble, consecrated member of the church," although he could not "be a scriptural elder" while drinking, dancing and gambling!!! Well, what next?