Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 18, 1957
NUMBER 11, PAGE 6-7b

The Moore-Kirkland Debate

Clyde O. Moore, Lufkin, Texas

On the nights of April 29-30, May 2-3 it was my privilege to moderate for Bro. Elmer Moore in his debate with Mr. A. J. Kirkland, Missionary Baptist. Even though the weather was bad, good crowds were present every night. The Baptist people attended well. Brethren everywhere would do well to secure the services of Bro. Elmer Moore in defense of the truth against the teachings of Baptist doctrine. An unusual thing about this debate was that Mr. Kirkland wanted to debate the subject of Apostasy first. This was done, but Mr. Kirkland felt defeat so bad in this that he spent the remaining nights of the discussion trying to patch up the miserable job he had done. On the last night of the debate, when Mr. Kirkland was in the affirmative on the subject of "The Plan of Salvation", he spent the last ten minutes of his speech in preaching a good old Baptist sermon, then quit five minutes before his time was up. You could almost see him breathe a sigh of relief when he sat down. During the course of the debate, Mr. Kirkland ignored the two main arguments of Mr. Moore. Below are some of the blunders of the debate that Mr. Kirkland became involved in.

1. Mr. Kirkland, by implication, took the position that Solomon was not a child of God. Hence, the book of Proverbs was written by a child of the Devil.

2. He took the position that a child of God already had his inheritance but that it was not revealed. First, he admits that one can have a thing in a sense and not actually possess it. Second, if this is not what he meant he has a man possessing a thing that has not been revealed. Yet, revealed means, "to have knowledge of", so the child of God has his inheritance but he has no knowledge of it. How does one know he has it if he has no knowledge of it?

3. He admitted that I proved that one could "err from the truth". Let James says that one who errs from the truth has his soul in danger. (James 5:19).

4. He said that I didn't introduce one scripture that had to do with a child of God, yet in answer to a question the first night, admitted that the brethren in Rom. 8:12-13 were "Blood bought children of God." Here Kirkland admitted that Elmer proved what he said he didn't.

5. He accused Elmer of being dishonest when he said that 1 Cor. 11:32, said, "That ye MAY not be condemned with the world." He said that his Bible didn't read like that. This is the reading of the ASV. When Elmer had no chance to reply, he indicated Elmer was dishonest for changing the Bible, yet the next night admitted that he knew that was the read of the ASV.

6. He said his Bible didn't read like the ASV, yet when he got in trouble on John 5:24 he read from the ASV. It seems that the "DR." likes the ASV when it helps him, but not when it doesn't.

7. He took the position that the sins of the child of God were fully paid for. Let he said that God chastises the child of God for them. The "DR." never did tell us why God would whip one of his children for something that was fully paid for.

8. In answer to a question he said that a child of God could do anything under the sun and still be saved. That is better than Catholic indulgence. The Baptist child of God has his license paid for in advance.

9. He said that the inner man, the one born of the spirit, could not sin, but that the child of God could. Re therefore takes the position that (1) the child of God is not the inner man, and (2) the child of God is not born of the spirit. In fact, he argued in such a way, to show that the child of God was not the flesh man or spirit man. We left the debate without Mr. Kirkland having told us who the child of God was.

10. He said that life was something that one experiences. If every child of God has eternal life now as a present possession, every child of God has experienced eternity now.

11. He said the difference in the branches that were cleansed and the ones that were not cast off and burned was FRUIT-BEARING. It seems that the good "DR." may see the light yet.

The Following Are On The Plan Of Salvation:

1. He admitted that "unto" was a good translation in Acts 2:38. Unto means, "in order to reach an unreached object." Hence he admits that Baptism is in order to reach an unreached object, and that object is remission of sins. He therefore admits that baptism is in order to the remission of Sins.

2. Even though he signed an agreement to answer questions, he refused to list the following in the order of their occurrence: Preaching, hearing, conviction, turning to God, Faith in God, Salvation, Repentance, Faith in Christ, Love, Baptism, Confession. He couldn't afford to inasmuch as he had already taken the position that faith in God and Faith in Christ were the same thing. By refusing to answer he was dishonest.

3. He said that one was saved by a live faith, yet when it was pointed out that the Bible taught faith plus works made a live faith, he said that faith was a work. This is true, but fatal to Baptist doctrine.

4. He said that belief and love was the fruit of the new birth, therefore according to Mr. Kirkland, one is born again before he believes, yet he argued that 1 John 5:1 meant that one was born again WHEN he believed.

5. He said that one is saved by believing and that he puts on Christ in baptism. Hence he has a man saved out of Christ and contrary to Paul in 2 Tim. 2:10.

6. He took the position that the church was in Christ. He then argued that one had to be in Christ before he could be baptized into the body. Fantastic, and in direct opposition to Paul in Eph. 1:22-23.

7. He said that the expression in 1 Peter 3:21, "like figure" KJV or "after true likeness" ASV was from Tupon in the Greek. This is a notable example of the "DR'S" ability. It is the exact opposite, Anti-tupon.

8. He spent the first three and one half nights trying to make the audience laugh. Then he spent the last ten minutes of his last fifteen trying to make them cry. From one extreme to another, not only in his doctrine, but also in his delivery.

9. He said that the expression in 1 Cor. 11:32, "That we should not be condemned with the world", in the Greek was a "Future Absolute." Yee when he was challenged to produce ONE authority that said so he couldn't. When it was pointed out that the word was 1st Aorist, passive, subjunctive, Mr. Kirkland said it set a thing that is absolute and cannot come to pass. Yet, the subjunctive mood is the conditional mood and admits that it can come to pass. Once again this shows the scholarly ability of "DR." Kirkland.

We have tapes of the debate and if anyone would care to have them just send your name and address to: Mr. Elmer Moore, 1002 Union Road, Lufkin, Texas. If you have a debate scheduled with Mr. Kirkland you would do well to get these tapes and study them. We believe that much good was done by this discussion, but I predict that it will be a long time before the Antioch Baptist church of this city will have another debate.