"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.XI Pg.2-3
June 1942

The Jorgenson Protest

Attention is here called to the photographed letter to a radio station at Louisville, Kentucky, on page six of this issue. Read it. It is, indeed, a very revealing letter, renouncing as it does the fellowship of those churches known to all as the churches in Louisville that stand for New Testament teaching.

A brief history of things will not here be amiss. It is known by all who are informed on the Premillennial-Boll defection, that a Boll party, a premillennial church (no matter what else it may be called), has for years been in the offing. It is now in definite formation. The evidence of its emergence appeared in the early 1930's. It was in 1932 that a series of encyclicals were issued from the Boll headquarters in Louisville, entitled "A Doctrinal Manifesto," by R. H. Boll, "The Latest Creed," by Stanford Chambers, and "What To Preach," by H. L. Olmstead. The editor of the Bible Banner was at that time the editor of the Gospel Advocate, and replied editorially to the three decrees in the order referred to. Protests came from certain of our own brethren, including G. C. Brewer and S. H. Hall, who had been regarded by many as sound and safe leaders in the church. Hall sent an airmail letter from California virtually demanding that such exposures of Boll be stopped. He and Brewer exchanged letters and held conferences on proper ways and means of disposing of the editor. They objected vigorously to continued exposures of R. H. Boll and his party. Their objections were ignored and the exposures of Boll and his party movement continued. The Winchester debate followed, in which Boll, Jorgenson, Janes, Chambers, Friend, and the whole Louisville group, rallied around Charles M. Neal to bolster up his effort to defend the Premillennial-Boll teaching and practice. This was the debate that G. C. Brewer tried to "dissuade" me from holding. S. H. Hall condemned it and would have nothing to do with it. But Boll-Neal & Company went down in defeat. From that day until now they have spent their time trying to repair their broken-down fences, and Brewer and Hall have spent most of their time trying to help them do it by criticizing all who have opposed these men, their party and their teaching.

The thing that Boll and Jorgenson have for so long sought to conceal from the church as a whole is that there has been no fellowship between them and the true churches of Christ in Louisville. Brethren in other parts who did not know these facts have extended fellowship to these men by giving them appointments and in financial contributions. Some who did know it, and do know, still do so through the influence of some of the preachers like the two mentioned herein who have tried to persuade the brethren that it was all a personal matter and should be ignored. Thus Jorgenson and Janes are still receiving a fellowship in various ways among churches over the country which they do not receive from the recognized churches in Louisville, a fellowship they do not deserve and cannot scripturally be given from the churches elsewhere.

But the final effort to vindicate Boll, Jorgenson, Janes and party came from Clinton Davidson and his New Christian Leader movement. That movement was somewhat of the "composite beast" character—it had multiple heads and hoofs and horns and tails and toes. One of its angles was definitely to vindicate R. H. Boll and his party in Louisville and J. N. Armstrong and his school at Searcy. That movement was stopped—and it will go down in history as one of the most insidious attempts to destroy the church by propaganda that has ever been known.

And now—after some of us have for several years been vilified and scandalized because of opposition to and exposure of these very things, E. L. Jorgenson himself writes the manager of a radio station, "confidentially" telling him his objections to the faithful churches of Christ in Louisville and their preachers, in a protest against their use of the radio facilities. Do you ask what is the ground of Jorgenson's protest? Read his letter, on page six—the grounds of objection as stated by the dear, sweet brother himself are doctrinal. He wants the radio station to stop the preaching of gospel preachers like Cecil B. Douthitt, Morton T. Utley, Robert Williams—why? Because "they do not represent the churches of this area even in doctrine, much less in spirit and attitude." Do you get that? Cecil Douthitt preaches for Haldeman Avenue church, the oldest church of Christ in Louisville—the church that M. C. Kurfees labored with and preached for over a period of forty-five years. Morton Utley preaches for the Bardstown Road church, one of the best churches known. Robert Williams preaches for Atwood, a newer congregation. These churches and these preachers are known and recognized as being loyal to New Testament teaching. But Jorgenson has now put it in the record that the barrier between these churches and the party headed by R. H. Boll and himself is a doctrinal barrier. Now, what becomes of the propaganda that the whole thing was a personal difference, just a private feud? What will Brother Brewer say now, since he has told everybody all over the United States and Canada, that would listen to him, that it was all just a personal fight, and he assured them that he knew!

Let it be further observed, in the Jorgenson letter, that the gospel preachers representing the Haldeman Avenue, Bardstown Road and Atwood churches are "repugnant" to him, and to something that he calls "a great body of disciples" in that area, meaning, I suppose, those churches controlled by R. H. Boll and himself. He refers to the loyal churches there as "a schismatic element." He calls the gospel preachers who labor with them "dogmatic" and "sectarian" and "bitter" (along with some other "sweet" names) and brands them as being out of fellowship with him and his body of disciples "even in doctrine," not to mention "spirit and attitude." I should say not! If I were he, I wouldn't mention it either!

Friends, that is E. L. Jorgenson talking—the real E. L. Jorgenson, the purveyor of the sweet spirit, with his make-up off!

Finally, in an effort to prove that such preachers as Douthitt and Utley, and such churches as Haldeman Avenue and Bardstown Road, do not represent "a great body of disciples" in Louisville, Jorgenson says, "you can check" what he says with "Mr. Gregg, of the Council of Churches." He proposes to prove by the Louisville Council of Churches that Haldeman Avenue and Bardstown Road churches are not real churches of Christ and that Douthitt and Utley are not representative preachers of the gospel! That is E. L. Jorgenson talking now—the real E. L. Jorgenson. It is the same E. L. Jorgenson that engaged the Christian Church preacher, Lappin, to "represent" him and his "great body of disciples" in a meeting with his Highland Church. He is the same E. L. Jorgenson that helps Murch and Witty in their National Unity Meetings. This E. L. Jorgenson (the real one some of you have not known before) fellowships the "Council of Churches," a denominational organization in Louisville like the Ministerial Alliance, and puts that organization on the witness stand to testify against true churches of Christ and faithful gospel preachers; and he, this same Jorgenson, fellowships the Christian Church and its preachers, like Lappin, even to the point of engaging them to hold meetings for his church—but he does not fellowship churches of Christ like Haldeman Avenue, Bardstown Road and Atwood, nor gospel preachers like Douthitt, Utley, and Williams—no, not even in doctrine! That's what his letter says. Lappin and his Christian Church, and Mr. Gregg and his Council of Churches, are included in Jorgenson's "great body of disciples" in the Louisville area, but churches of Christ like Haldeman, Bardstown and Atwood, with their gospel preachers like Douthitt, Utley, and Williams, are not included in his body of disciples. We knew it all the time, but just want everybody else to know it. Remember, it is E. L. Jorgenson speaking, explaining the difference between the Boll party in Louisville and the churches of Christ.

The truth is finally out—and Jorgenson has told it. We have contended all the time that Jorgenson and Boll think more of the whole sectarian world than they do of the simple churches of Christ and plain gospel preachers.

The Jorgenson letter of protest is a virtual edict of withdrawal, a fiat of disfellowship. No sectarian alliance in any town or city has ever made a more underhanded attempt to get gospel preachers off the air than Jorgenson has made to put our churches and preachers off the air in Louisville. As in 1918, he drew the line of withdrawal over his own preaching of these false doctrines, he now draws that line again—this time, not against a few in his congregation who tried to save the church from his heresies, but against every faithful church and gospel preacher in the whole wide world. It amounts to that very thing. In view of these facts, established first by the evidence of a series of events and a chain of circumstances over the years, and now by the evidence of Jorgenson's own written statements, will our elders and preachers in the loyal congregations over the land continue to give appointments to E. L. Jorgenson, extending him a fellowship which he not only does not receive but actually renounces in Louisville, continue to buy his books to place money in his hands with which to wreak wreckage in the church, and otherwise assist him and his colleagues who are and have for years been bent on destroying the true churches of Christ as they now exist and as we believe them by New Testament right to exist? Will the brethren continue to aid Jorgenson, Janes and Boll in these and other ways? I cannot believe they will.

It is sometimes said, as an alibi for buying the Jorgenson hymnals for use in the churches, that it is a commercial matter on the same basis as buying books from any commercial firm. That sounds reasonable, as a "fair trade" speech—but will it bear scrutiny? If you knew that a commercial firm would take the money paid for a product and put it into an organized effort to destroy what you are doing, would you buy his product and pay him the money for it? If you would, and are not my brother, I would call you a fool. When it is evident that every purchase of the Jorgenson hymnbook by faithful churches of Christ is but a contribution to a group of men bent on the destruction of the Cause we uphold, it ceases to be a commercial matter and becomes a principle. As a proof of the attitude they hold toward the very mission of his hymnal, it has been given much publicity as "a noble symbol of unity" between churches that use it, even Christian Churches, and the group that publishes it. Is that commercial? Does it not reveal that Jorgenson himself regards his book as a symbol of something wherever he is able to introduce it? Every order sent to E. L. Jorgenson for his "Great Songs Of The Church" places money in his hands to disseminate false doctrine and promote his destructive work in the church. The men who form the party to which he belongs have long been bent on the destruction of the church as we know it, believe in it and preach it. They should be quarantined by the churches everywhere as they have been by the church in Louisville. It is time to localize this poison.

Premillennialism as a doctrine, we are told, is now a dead issue in the church. That is not true. It is working in devious ways its heresies to promote. It is seen in the attitude of many preachers and brethren toward certain faithful men and important issues. There is a knowing understanding of certain attitudes by groups of men. There are pass-words, so to speak, an "Open Sesame" or a shibboleth that goes with certain circles, schools and sentiments, organized or unorganized. These things represent an insidious and sinister working of error and evil. There must be a constant watching. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It is no less the price of the truth, which is more precious than liberty, and of the church, equal in value with the precious price heaven paid for its purchase—the blood of the Sovereign's incarnated Son. To faithful men, elders in the church, God committed the trust of watching it. "Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood. I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Wherefore watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish every one night and day with tears." Such an appeal from an inspired apostle of the Head of the church cannot be passed up with a mere assenting nod or some insignificant gesture. It is Paul's charge to the elders, carrying even more weight of responsibility than Paul's charge to Timothy. Preachers must preach the word—but the grave responsibility of shielding the churches from influences within and without has been placed upon the elders of the churches. They dare not shift it nor shirk it. They deserve and should receive the faithful, full-time cooperation of every member in such a task now before us—a fight for the survival of the church and its purity in preaching and practice. These are not false alarms. The influences are not always readily discernible, and may lie dormant awaiting a favorable atmosphere in which to spring up and grow, but they exist as actual and potential influences. The Head of the church commands His servants, the elders, to "wherefore watch ye." How? Keep the door open to faithful men who firmly preach the plain word of God. Keep it closed to those who don't or are uncertain when they do. And against these dividers of the church and the entire party of appeasers, let us rise up together, elders and preachers, and in concert say—THEY SHALL NOT PASS!