Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 5, 1957
NUMBER 18, PAGE 6-7a

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt - P. O. Box 493 - Florence, Alabama

News From Here And There

Robert F. Turner has moved from Gladewater, Texas to San Antonio to labor with the West Avenue church in that city .... David Allan has moved to Midland, Texas to work with the Fort Worth and Jax Streets church. He moved ,from Chickasha, Oklahoma . . . . H. Osby Weaver is now living in Kilgore, Texas where he is working with the new Central church. Weaver lived in Brady, Texas before his move .. .. Otis Moyer will soon move to work with the church in Bellflower, California. He has been working with the church in El Centro. William S. Irvine, who has been preaching for the Bellflower church for sometime has had to give up "full-time" preaching due to throat trouble .... Bill J. Humble will soon be moving from Kansas City, where he has been laboring with the Brush Creek church, to Louisville, Kentucky to work with the Wendell Avenue church. Robert C. Welch, who has been with the Wendell Avenue church for five years is now laboring with the Oak Grove church in Louisville . . . . Forrest Moyer is moving back to Tucumcari, New Mexico. He was with the church there for several years before moving to California. He has last lived in Napa, California . . .. George H. Stephenson, who has been with the Union Avenue church in Memphis for several years will soon move to Lubbock, Texas to serve as regular preacher at the Broadway church. M. Norvel Young, who has been with the Broadway church for years, recently resigned to accept the job as president of George Pepperoni College in Los Angeles . . . . Perry B. Cotham has moved from Duncan, Oklahoma to work with the downtown church in Grand Prairie, Texas .... W. C. Hatcher is no longer associated with the church in Garland. Texas, but is now engaged in holding meetings full time . . . . In a recent issue of TIME magazine there was a write-up of Norvel Young and his work with the Broadway church in Lubbock . . . . Now and then someone writes in and objects to my references to churches sponsoring camps or some kind of recreational activity. A few times some have written in to tell me that such was not true in some particular case. Like Will Rogers used to say, "All I know is what I read in the papers." If such reports are not true; if these churches are not really sponsoring and conducting such things, then the brethren ought not to talk like such is true. They not only talk LIKE such is true, but they say in the reports that I have QUOTED in this column that such is the case! If the brethren who are conducting these things do not KNOW just what is going on, then who does? Now to show you what I mean take a good look at the following which is QUOTED from the Christian Chronicle, July 23, 1957.

"Kingman. Kan. — The fifth annual Young People's encampment sponsored by the Kin-mar church will he held this year August 5-10. It is designed especially to serve the local youth and the small congregations in this area whose activities for their young people may be limited because of small numbers."

Now what does that say? Can we depend upon what brethren tell us — even those who favor such things? This tells us that this camp is "sponsored by the Kingman church." Not only that we are informed that it is "especially designed to serve the local youth and THE SMALL CONGREGATIONS in this area whose activities for their young people may be limited." Now if that does not spell "church sponsored camps" and "church sponsored recreation" then I can not understand plain language. I wonder if Bro. Reuel Lemmons, editor of the FIRM FOUNDATION, would approve and recommend this arrangement? Brethren, it is later than we think and there is a lot more of this sort of thing going on than we are willing to recognize. When the church is connected with such things; when camps and recreational activities are advertised from the pulpit and through church bulletins; when the-things are said to be "sponsored" by the church or under the direction of the elders of some congregation, how in the name of reason can we long keep the things from being recognized for what they really are — church related and church-sponsored activities?

Church Baseball Team!

On page 2 of a bulletin received from a congregation in Texas this past week, was this announcement: "OUR BASEBALL TEAM NEEDS A SHOT IN THE ARM. An enthusiastic group of fans backing them from the stands might help. They play on Monday nights at Brackenridge Park." Paul's admonition to Timothy, perhaps, ought to have read something like this: 'Play ball. Be on your toes either at bat or on the field. Watch that denominational team — do not allow a single man to reach first base. This teaching is necessary for the time will come when members of the church will not give the attention to good ball playing that they should." — Taken from Crawfordsville Commentator, Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Thus again do we see another indication of the way the church is being prostituted to serve social ends. These church-sponsored ball teams are a lot more numerous among us than many dare think. Even one is too many! Yet some want us to sit by and keep quiet while the church is thus destroyed. Sleep on, brethren, and so shall our destruction come!

The last of May, I received a five-page letter from Bro. O. J. Henley, one of the four elders of the Central church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He seeks to defend all the social activities being conducted by churches, the orphan homes as well as nearly everything else anyone is doing. He thinks that all is bliss in the church and that nothing is wrong anywhere — except it be the GOSPEL GUARDIAN and anyone else who would criticize anything being done. Let me give you a few quotes from his letter:

"The writer came out of the Presbyterian church 36 years ago. I have observed the Church of Christ quite closely over these many years. Have been an elder in the church over 20 years in Tuscaloosa, and know something about congregations that are making progress throughout the United States. I subscribe to the Gospel Advocate and have for over thirty years. I read the News and Notes, every one of them, in fact I read all of the articles in the Advocate, and have just completed reading the May 20th the 23rd issue of the Gospel Guardian.

"I read your article headed Reading The Bulletins." It appears that you are the critic of the churches, at least some of them.

"The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, the University Church is located within one block of the campus, is doing a wonderful work. Is it better that the church be interested in young people and do something for them to keep them interested, or let them go off into denominationalism or die to the church. I daresay if you were a preacher at the University Church, it would soon fold up, there would be no church there to which boys and girls attending the University could attend."

(He then goes on to defend the church conducting social activities for the young folk, seemingly with the idea that if such is not done they will all depart from the faith. He also tells me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing a piano into the church building for a wedding. They do this there and he assures us that they never permit it "to stay over the Lord's day." Wonder why? Why not leave it in the building for the next wedding? Then he offers his ideas about fellowship halls. He says, "I am vitally opposed to cooking meals and selling them." It is all right to cook and eat in the church building as much as desired just so long as the meals are not sold!)

"The four elders of the Central church in Tuscaloosa are as strong as any elders to be found anywhere . . . . There will never be anything of a digressive nature take place in the Central church. There hasn't been for 25 years and there will not be for the next 25 in my opinion. Every member is solid in the faith."

(I would like to suggest to this elder that he quit following the Gospel Advocate and try reading and following the New Testament awhile. I am sure that he thinks that his close reading of the GA guarantees that nothing "di"gressive" will ever enter into the Central church, but that may be the very means by which such shall enter! If what this elder says in his letter can serve as any sign of what is taking place in the Central church, they are already on the road to digression and do not know it. AND HE NEVER WILL FIND IT OUT READING THE ADVOCATE!)

(The man next gives several paragraphs about Childhaven and his idea that "Barney Brock and his wife . . . are doing more in the service of the Lord than anybody I have ever known." After a tirade about this he says: "The Gospel Guardian will never change the Central Church in Tuscaloosa or thousands of others.")

"Someone sent me the issue (of the Guardian, Holt) that I have. I don't know whether it is a subscription or not. If I receive another copy, I shall cancel it, because I do not want to be a partaker with confusion and a good portion of the Gospel Guardian is devoted to destruction rather than building up. That is my opinion about it, and I have not place for it in my home."

(Indeed, it is plain to see that the Guardian will never change him! He refuses to even read it. He has read ONE copy and he can tell all about it. He is right when he says that a good portion of the Guardian is "devoted to destruction." That is right and we admit it. We are "devoted to destruction" of sin, error, digression, innovations and every semblance of departure from the truth. Since he is interested only in "building up" about everything, he can't be expected to appreciate it. The church does face perilous times when men like this serve as elders!