"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.III No.XII Pg.8-9
July 1941

The Digression Of The Digressives

Homer Hailey

It is doubtful whether many are taking very seriously the "Witty-Murch" Unity movement, at least among the thinking members of the church. It is true, all who love the Lord want unity, but there can be no unity at the price of compromise. It is difficult to understand why members of the church cannot realize that there is only one of two alternatives to be taken in the present movement; either compromise on the part of the church, or complete rejection of all innovations by the "digressives."

Another difficult thing to see is that our brethren do not realize that "conversion," "unity," and such things are not mass accomplishments. These are individual problems, which must be brought about by the convincing and turning of individuals. Unity in the church is the result of each individual respecting the wishes of the Lord, and as an individual, submitting himself to His wishes. To accomplish the end of our desire for unity, each member of the Christian church must be brought to see the error and sin of innovations, and as an individual moved by conviction, persuaded to give them up and take his stand for truth. Most of us see this, all should.

The magnitude of such a task can clearly be seen by a brief Study of the present condition and practice of the Christian Church. Although it is possible that most preachers have in their files many such clippings as the following, yet I venture to offer these as evidence of what the Christian Church is doing today in its practice. Instrumental music is by no means the real issue; it is simply a phase of the issue. The issue is the authority of Jesus Christ in all matters religious. This, as is readily seen from the following clippings and practices, is practically rejected "en toto" by the Christian church.

Dance Interpretation of Hymns Pleases Congregation at Columbia

Columbia, Mo., March 11 (A-P). The interpretation of hymns through the dancing of 15 pretty girls drew praise today from church-goers who witnessed the "experiment" at the First Christian Church here last night.

The girls were from Christian College, alma mater of Sally Rand.

Before 300 persons, including most of the elders and deacons of the church, the dancers from Christian college swayed and glided to piano and vocal accompaniment, their movements and ensemble formations symbolizing supplication, humility and prayer.

"Any unfavorable reaction would come only from those who didn't witness tonight's presentation," said Lieut. Gov. Frank G. Harris, President of the board of trustees of Christian College and a member of the church's board of elders. "I'm sure none in the audience was unfavorably impressed."

No, I suspect that none of those present were unfavorably impressed, for a Christian who has any respect for God and for spiritual worship, would not have been there.

The following is taken from the "Topeka Daily Capital," May 11, 1941:

Mothers Will Conduct Service At West Side Christian Today

"Mother's Day will be observed at the West Side Christian this morning. Mrs. C. A. Hale, Mrs. Maxine Bair, Mrs. Hazel Shanton, Mrs. Thelma Talbot and Miss Lorraine McCormick are arranging the song service. Mrs. N. P. McComas, Miss Audry Hick and Miss Mary Jane Fredrick will have charge of the Communion Service. They will be assisted by a group of young ladies of the congregation. The Rev. G. D. Noland will speak on the subject, 'To Every Mother's Son.'"

"The baptismal service which was to have been held tonight has been postponed one week in order that the congregation may join others of the city in hearing Dr. E. Stanley Jones at the high school auditorium. The young people will attend the service at the First Presbyterian Church at 5:30:"

Now what do we have? That which no true Christian mother would desire, a day in which Christ should be worshipped dedicated to her Mothers conducting the communion service. The baptizing of individuals postponed in order to hear a sectarian preacher lecture. The "young people" as visitors and guests of the First Presbyterian Church. Suppose the instrument should be removed, how much nearer would such a group be to real respect for the authority of Christ and the Bible?

Memorial Day Service At West Side Christian Church

"A special memorial Sunday service for all patriotic organizations of Topeka will be held at the West Side Christian Church, Sixth and Lindenwood, Sunday, May 25th, at 10:30 a. m.

The Rev. G. D. Noland, pastor of the church, will have charge of the services, which will especially honor (10 names follow).

Special music will be featured by the church choir and Mrs. Thelma Talbot, musical director. Taps and echo taps will be by the Veterans of Foreign Wars buglers. Memorial sermon will be by the Rev. G. D. Noland."

West Side Christian Will Observe Children's Day

"Children's Day will be observed at the West Side Christian Church this morning. A program under the direction of Mrs. O. W. Blair and Mrs. Clyde Longbotton will be presented. A playlet, "God's Flower Garden," will be featured."

Now, just where is the Lord to come in? "Mother's Day" with mothers "officiating;" "Memorial Day," honoring war heroes, and their many organizations, with "taps and echo taps" by buglers of a secular society; and "Children's Day," featuring "playlets." The "Inn" had nothing on the Christian church, there is no more room for him in one of its services than there was for Him in the Inn.

These last three are the programs of one congregation in Topeka, Kansas, and that the "conservative" congregation of the Christian church of that city. The next two will present a couple of interesting things of the First Christian Church of that same city. Someone might ask brother Witty where he expects to squeeze the Lord into their program, even if he should get the instrument out having considered the "Worship program" of dancing and special events, have a look now at their method of supporting their work, and of entertaining a "Bible Class." The following is taken from the Topeka State Journal, June 17, 1941:

Topeka Church Has 125 Dinner Reservations

"Members of the First Christian church, 622 Topeka, met one week ago, almost baffled by the problem of meeting church obligations with a dwindling church treasury. (it probably never occurred to them to try the Lord's plan. H. H.)

Today a new idea is paying dividends—the money will come rolling in, committee workers can guarantee.

For the church, next October, will serve the first. $5-a-plate dinner in the history of Topeka churches, according to Mrs. J. H. Casson, 1267 Tyler, chairman of the reservations committee. It will be a fine turkey dinner, better than ever before; the date probably, will be October 17.

It's a scheme of the church finance committee, and the women's board will be in charge of the dinner,' Mrs. Casson said. The plan was approved by the church board and the pastor, the Rev. C. O. Stuckenbruck, just one week ago-and we already have 125 reservations.

We usually do have a turkey dinner, each fall, but we've never charged over 50 cents before. We hope to make this a very good menu. We ought to, for $5'."

Now, if you can beat that one, just write and tell these folks about it, and I am sure they will use your idea. Members of a wealthy church, in a capital city, who cannot give a measly $5 bill for the support of the church work without a turkey dinner! Mrs. Casson certainly spoke one truth, when she said "It's a scheme of the church finance committee," for it was certainly no part of the Lord's program.

And did you notice the prominence of women in all of these "programs" and "schemes?" All of them run by women. Brother Witty is working with the wrong group in dealing with the men. Women run the Christian church, not men.

And now, one more, this also from the Topeka State Journal, taken within the past six weeks. It shows the type of recreation sponsored by one of the former elders, if not still an elder, and a teacher of the young people's Bible class.

Hoe-Downs, Square Dances At Party

"Dr. Smith's Bible class sponsored a rural barn party Friday night at the Zinn Brother's farm on the old Burlingame road. Old-fashioned hoe-downs and square dances were in order. Caller for the square dances was M. T. Brook. Rural rhythm was furnished by a 3-piece orchestra... About 75 people attended."

Now when one adds to these departures from worship, practice, and recreation, the Christian church's attitude toward sectarian fellowship, infant church membership, missionary organizations, bazaars, Modernism, and their general attitude toward the Bible, what is there left to appeal to? The Christian naturally asks, "What fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?". Where can unity exist between the church and such practices?

Someone might casually suggest to brother Witty that instrumental music is only a small "pebble" in their love feasts now; the real boulder is "infidelity," rejection of the authority of Christ and the Bible in their faith and practice. Truly, the Christian church has sent "an ambassage after him, saying, We will not that this man reign over us."