Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 20, 1958
NUMBER 26, PAGE 2-3b

Browsing Through Old Papers

Wm. E. Wallace, Fort Smith, Arkansas

I get an occasional note of encouragement from Brother C. D. Plum. He is one of the "older" timers who was once associated with the Gospel Advocate but cannot now go along with that paper because of its liberal drift. Brother S. E. Berkley of Fort Smith called my attention to the following article by Brother Plum which appeared in the Gospel Advocate, March 8, 1934. It is a good one.

"Is The Church of Christ Anti?"

The question, "Is the church of Christ anti?" has been asked so frequently of late that a few words now seem in place. For some reason, enemies of the truth take delight in speaking of the church as being "anti." If this is so, we should not be ashamed to admit it; if it is not so, we should not be afraid to deny it.

What is the meaning of the word "anti"? John tells us: "That antichrist shall come." (I John 2:18). The meaning of "antichrist" is: "Opponent of Christ" — that is, one opposed to Christ. Doctors tell us much about antitoxin. The meaning of "antitoxin" is: "Opponent of toxin" — that is, something opposed to toxin. Then "anti" means "opposed to something" — against something. Is the church of Christ "anti"? Is it opposed to something? Is it against something? Yes, and a thousand times yes. Certainly the church is "anti" (opposed to) everything Christ is opposed to. The church stands for everything Christ stands for.

The church of Christ is "anti" unscriptural teaching, of any shade or grade. And why not? Are we not sufficiently warned that if man or angel preach a perverted gospel, he will be accursed? (Gal. 1:1,9) Are we not warned that "whosoever transgresseth (goeth onward) and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God"? (2 John 9.) Why should we not be "anti" unscriptural teaching?

We boldly proclaim that the church of Christ is "anti" evolution — opposed to the theory of evolution as taught by either the "atheistic," "theistic," or "agnostic" concerning the origin of man. Atheistic evolutionists deny the God of the Bible. The theistic evolutionists deny the Mosaic account of creation. The agnostic evolutionists teach that someone, or something, started man as a little "germ" millions of years ago; but who or what it was, they do not know, and they cannot find out.

Moses wrote that "God created man in his own image," and Christ endorsed what Moses wrote. (Gen. 1:26,27; John 5:47) Then, to be in harmony with Christ, the church is opposed to the abominable theory of evolution concerning the origin of man.

The church of Christ is "anti" (opposed to) any service rendered to God according to the doctrines and commandments of men. The ideas of man may be all right to govern things over which God has made him ruler, but in his relation to God the prophet said: "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jeremiah 10:23). Jesus, too, has amply warned us that "in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

It may also truthfully be said that the church of Christ is "anti" denominational. The church of Christ is not a denomination and is strictly opposed to denominationalism. It can be said of the church, even as David's aid of himself: "Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." (Ps. 119:104) It is often argued that when Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches," he means denominations were the branches. Such cannot be. We do not have a denomination in existence today that was in existence then; they were not born until about fifteen hundred years later. But Jesus was speaking in the present tense: "Ye are the branches." The followers of Christ, to whom he was speaking, constituted the branches, not denominations yet unborn (John 15:5,6)

The church of Christ is "anti" (opposed to) unscriptural methods of supposed induction into Christ. The law of induction into the church includes, on the part of the sinner, faith in God, Christ, and the Bible (Heb. 11:6), repentance of sins (Luke 13:3), confession of Christ (Matthew 10:32, Rom. 10:10), and a burial in water for the remission of sins (Col. 2:12, Acts 2:38).

Some of those religious people who once stood wholeheartedly for New Testament teaching, even as the church of Christ still stands, have digressed so far from the faith that in some places they admit people to their fellowship even upon sprinkling. What a shame! Yes, indeed, we are "anti" such procedure as this.

The Christian Church, and other denominations, claim the church of Christ is "anti" missionary. This is not true. The church is "anti" human missionary society. The human society is an unscriptural organization. The church is the divine organization to carry gospel news to the world. (Eph. 310) The apostolic example is: From the church direct to the missionary. (Phil. 4:15,16). It is not through a human society, which is a middleman that eats up much of the money that deserving missionaries should have. When a dollar goes "in" a missionary society, it comes out "cents-less."

The church is "anti" mechanical music in the worship of God today. We shall thus remain until we have authority from Christ for its use. Christ's solemn example was "singing a hymn," not playing one. (Matt. 26:30) The apostolic command is: "Singing and making melody in your heart." (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). We are warningly told that "God gave us all things that pertain unto life and godliness." The very absence of God's authority, through Christ in the New Testament, for mechanical music in church worship is sufficient evidence that such music does not pertain unto life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) Then why use such music and be sorry later?'

The church of Christ is "anti" festivals for raising money to carry on the Lord's work. The Lord revealed a different way to get money to carry on his work. We are told as Christians to lay by in store on the first day of the week as the Lord has prospered us. (I Cor. 16:1,2) This is quite different from having a big supper, with work and worry, or taking a collection every night there is a meeting. In short, Christians are told to "purpose in their hearts," "give cheerfully," and "give as prospered." (2 Cor. 9:7) Christians are taught to abound in the grace of giving. (2 Cor. 8:7) At these church feasts people pay dearly, sinners among the others, to, satisfy their god, which is their belly. Paul says that the ones who do this are "enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction." (Phil. 3:18,19) Most assuredly the church is opposed to this.

Indeed, the church of Christ is "anti" (opposed to) monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual observance of the Lord's Supper. And why not? By precept and example we learn that this Supper is observed weekly. (Acts 20:7; 2:42) Profane history is full of proof showing that the early Christians were very exact in observing this "spiritual feast" on the first day of the week. And why not be punctual in observing this feast, when the dying Lamb, in almost his dying words, said, "Do this in remembrance of me"?

The church is likewise opposed to "worldliness" in the lives of the members. The beloved apostle said: "Love not the world." (I John 2:15) It was James who said: "The friendship of the world is enmity against God." The Christian is in the world, but the world must not be in the Christian.