"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.IV No.X Pg.3b
May 1942

A Formal Dedication

The general run of religionists of our time and country go in strong for dedications. They formally dedicate everything from babies to pipe-organs and apparently get as much thrill out of it as a pretty lass gets out of a new Easter outfit. I clipped the following from a San Angelo paper:

"Crane, March 28. (SC)-The Rev. J. D. Mahaffey, Ada, Okla, will begin a revival meeting at the Assembly of God Church Sunday night. The new church of the Assembly of God will be formally opened Sunday at 2 P.M. with the Crane Ministers Alliance in charge. The welcome address will be given by W. V. Stell, mayor, the Rev. R. V. Wood will extend, greetings from the Church of Christ, and music by the First Baptist Choir. Greetings from the Baptist Church will be by the Rev. Philip Brown, and music and greetings from the Methodist Church will be given by the Rev. Arthur Shaw and choir. Greetings from the Tabernacle Baptist Church will be by the Rev. M. M. Griggs and choir. Supt. L. L. Martin will bring the address for the school."

Now this "Assembly of God Church," a title unnecessarily verbose, has as much right to exist and go into the dedication business as any other modern religious setup with a human origin and a stranger to the scriptures. As we view the matter it is unscriptural in origin and heretical in doctrine and practice. I take it that even the Baptist Church in Crane would say as much. If the pastor of the Baptist church in Crane is willing to affirm that the "Assembly of God Church" there is scriptural in origin and sound in doctrine, he should quit the Baptists and join them. As for "the Rev. R. V. Wood" he does not claim to be "the Rev." and he did not "extend greetings from the church of Christ" in Crane or anywhere else. I happened to be in Crane in a meeting at the time and know that Brother Wood was not there when that particular church was "dedicated." Further, he did not agree to do what the program announced that he would do. He does not even hold membership in "The Crane Ministers Alliance" which was "in charge." Putting his name on such a program may be taken as a gesture of good will and friendship, and entertaining the "broad" views that are current these days, they may be at a loss to understand why we feel compelled to decline such honors. We like people and like to be liked as much as anybody. I even enjoy being bragged on betimes and might even dish out some of it judiciously as bait. But when it comes to passing out greetings and pronouncing blessings on a religious movement which we consider subversive of gospel principles, there is just not enough rubber in our conscience to stretch that far. There are no doubt many excellent people in that church, as in all churches and no churches, as people are generally judged. We would not be personally rude or unkind to any of them and court their friendship and goodwill. We want them to come and hear us preach and go away feeling that they have been benefited. We cannot, however, compromise our convictions, nor would we ask them to do so. Sectarian churches and sectarian doctrines are wrong. Loyalty to the word of God comes first. To surrender it is too high a price to pay for either friendship or fellowship. We cannot pay the price. In view of what I know about denominations and preachers generally, I feel certain that behind all the back-slapping and greetings in a formal dedication like the one described above, some serious and disquieting reservations went unexpressed. I suspect that the preachers did not say all that they thought. I know those Baptist preachers didn't. There is too much politics and not enough religion in an affair like that to appeal to a man who gets what I do out of the New Testament.—C. E. W.