"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.6
May 1942

We Stand Where They Stood

Joe W. Crumley

Cold, hard, and glaring is the historical, journalistic and Biblical testimony, attesting first; the furtherance of general apostasy, and second, the unmistakable, conscious, avoidable and inexcusable inconsistency characteristic of the Christian Church of the past thirty years. Of this the youth of the body is not fully cognizant; but the aged among them, for the most part hark back to the previous and more healthful, days when gospel, not current events were the sermons, when congregational singing rather than cantatas were in vogue, and when men were the overseers and not figureheads guided as puppets by the wealthy, political, or personally ambitious women.

E. B. Barns in the January issue of the Christian Standard, 1910, gives under the caption of "The Weakness of Union Evangelism," a scathing, yet scholarly denunciation of union meetings. Expressive of the "Standard's sentiment of 1910, it is diametrically apposed to the policy of that same paper today.

Here is where the digressives then stood.

"In every union meeting there are two serious defects which are without justification, and at the same time, they are essential to a union meeting. The first is the preaching of a partial gospel, and the second is, the manner in which the Church is, unwittingly, let us hope, ignored." Where Barnes was bringing his pen to bear in opposition to the present "Union Meetings," his language could not have been more descriptive and appropriate. The "serious defects" which are without "justification," and which are "essentials to union meetings," are absolutely prerequisites to the proposed "unity meetings." Such meetings thrive on a "partial gospel." When Bro. H. Leo Boles presented such a meeting with an array of Biblical and historical evidence, unveiling the wedge of division in the form of mechanical music, organizations on scriptural government, et al., proving that the sin of division existing between the two bodies lay at their door, since such division was consequent to the introduction of such by them he was dubbed in Murch's article, "Straws in the Wind" as the equivalent to a Methodist Bishop. When Foy E. Wallace, Jr. upon the request of Brother George Pepperdine, attended a private interview in Los Angeles, he advised a debate instead of a "Unity Meeting" and said "What the West Coast needs is a good debate. How about it Homer?" (asking Homer Strong of the digressives). Strong's reply was, Foy Wallace, I wouldn't meet you any where, any time, on any proposition." Brother Boles will not be invited to the May "Unity Meeting" (if they can find some church digressive or pre-millennial enough to have it in their building), and Brother Wallace will not be asked for advice about it.

Barnes certainly saw his brethren, (Witty, Murch, and Strong) reflected in the sectarians of 1910. Hear him. "When such preachers, are brought face to face with the charge of preaching an expurgated gospel, they confess that such a method, (preaching only these things on which we agree) is a necessity to a union (unity) meetings." "I summon my faculties, now discouraged and broken, for a final assault, and beg that at least one twentieth of the time devoted to the exposition of a theory concerning the work of the Holy Spirit be given to the importance of the baptism of believers. I am told that to do so would give offence to a large number of persons engaged in the meeting."

If offence is to govern what is transacted in union meetings, why wasn't Barnes' conscience considered? He was offended when truth was smothered and theory made the paramount issue. If whether or not people become offended is to govern the course of present-day efforts at "unity," why aren't our feelings given at least some consideration? If we could employ "one twentieth of the time" devoted to social mush, back slapping, and flowered compliments, in exposition of Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16, such meetings might accomplish some good. But these scriptures are relegated, as though they are part of Christianity or Unity. Such attitude was met with stern opposition by the Christian Church in 1910. Hear Barnes:

"There is little difference between the higher critic who reduces the Garden of Eden to an allegory, and the critic who reduces any important command of scripture to a nonentity."

Do they insist that they believe Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 are "important scripture commands?" Then as such they are important to "unity" and should be freely discussed in the meetings for that purpose. Will they say that discussions on such scriptures are detrimental to their purpose in the meetings? Then we insist that if scripture, "handled aright" is detrimental to our purposes and endeavors, our purposes and endeavors are unscriptural.

With reference to "union" or "unity meetings, we, as Barnes, "feel that if some vital matters were emphasized more, and some fine speculation held in reserve, the meetings would have been (and will be) more profitable:" But it is self evident that the silence of "vital matters" is in keeping with denominational "tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice" policy, covering subversive activities of proselyting. A good example of this is seen in Horse Cave, Kentucky.

The "Christian Standard" in 1910 severely condemned "Union Meetings" principally on the ground that it necessitated an "expurgated gospel" and "the church being ignored." They withstood sectarianism with holy vigor, and exhibited indignation at the suggestion of restricted speech in such meetings. But they fell into sectarian conformity as Eve into her disobedience. Now they would give to us, as Eve to Adam, the fruit which they eat, but by themselves once forbidden. But I fear, lest by any mean, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so our minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 2. Cor. 11:3. They want us to eat what they refused, in disgust, in 1910. We are not so gullible as were they; neither do we "trim our ways to seek love" of denominationalism. We now stand where Christian Church preachers admitted they should stand, according to Barnes, in the Christian Standard.

Hear him again: "A union meeting sounds good to the ears of our people. It promises great things but when every such meeting closes, every disciple confesses to a sense of disappointment" So with the "Witty-Murch" Trojan Horse. The sound of clashing armor within the beast gives forth no uncertain warning, that every one inviting it into their gates will be bound for disappointment. Witty-Murch and cohorts regret the unfortunate and unexpected clashing of that armor and are aware that failure rather than success will be the end of their schemes. Their victim has been forewarned. The "straws in the wind" article evidences forcibly their recognition of this fact. It reminds one of the boy [who was] whistling his way past the grave yard to keep up his courage.


(Joe Crumley is one of the many capable young preachers of this decade, the son of the late and loved J. W. Crumley of Oklahoma, than whom there was no stronger defender of the faith. It will surprise Murch and Witty to learn just how many such strong young men there are in the church who are unmoved by their propaganda and who regard Murch's "straws" as utterly ridiculous.-Editor.