Vol.X No.XII Pg.4
February 1974

Australian Trip (Part 1)

Robert F. Turner

Late in Dec. 73, bro. Harry Pickup, Jr., and I returned home from a preaching tour of Australia that took us over thousands of miles in New So. Wales, Queensland, Victoria, W.Austr. and Tasmania. We worked in 15 different cities, preached in a total of 15 one-week missions (Austr. for meetings), conducted 5 day-time special studies several days in length, participated in two public debates (Harry had a two-session discussion with a Holiness preacher on Holy Spirit and I had a one-period discussion with a U.S. institutional preacher on sponsoring-church arrangements); and both of us were in various places for additional appointments to preach or meet in homes for Bible discussion. We worked together in a few of these efforts, but were in separate works most of the time in order to cover a wider field.

The story of the church in Australia was told in articles published in TRUTH and GOSPEL GUARDIAN following my trip there in 1971, and will not be repeated here. To me this trip was something like that proposed in Acts 15:36, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. This trip was initiated by invitation from Australia, and made possible by the cooperation of Australian preachers and brethren who brought us on our way with the most admirable show of love and fellowship. Finances were from U.S.

There are about sixty congregations of the Lords people in Australia, and one-third or more of these are out-spoken in their desire to remain free of liberal and institutional developments. Others have sound conservative elements — brethren who want to worship God according to the N.T. pattern and take the gospel to their lost neighbors — and who chafe under the free-wheeling domination of U.S. preachers and their U.S. elders. Many Australian pulpits are now closed to conservative preachers (US and Austr.) — not because of understood and espoused doctrinal differences, but because of U.S. imported quarantine and prejudice. Had it not been for the serious consequences of such an attitude, one could laugh at being treated almost like an ogre, for no other reason than the propaganda of liberal preachers. Beware!! The Antis are coming! ! On several occasions American-trained Australian preachers made obvious attempts to demonstrate that they were anti-Anti when it was apparent they did not know enough about the issues to offer an intelligent comment. These were young men, with U.S. financial support in the balance; and even then I was happy to see their inherent honesty often outweighed the imported prejudice. Truth is powerful anywhere.

Bro. Pickup and I did not take the issues to Australia. We made much the same points on the organization and work of the church (as called for in gospel meetings) as did many earlier U.S. preachers, even many who had been supported by U.S. sponsoring churches. (See early editions of Truth In Love, published in Melbourne by bro. Tom Tarbet.) But as replacements came from rapidly digressing U.S. churches, the promoters came to Australia. (Continued, next page.)