Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 20, 1958
NUMBER 29, PAGE 1,3c

"They Have Proved (?) It"

C. D. Crouch, Lumberton, Mississippi

One has but to read the history of the development of the apostasy of the latter half of the past century, and the building up of the modern denomination, sometimes called "Disciples of Christ", and he will note the various schemes that were advanced, tried out and abandoned, adopted again, modified and changed again, are the very schemes used in the present apostasy from the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ.

The first Missionary Society of that apostasy was organized in 1849. It was more than a half a century before the present United Christians Missionary Society was developed as it exists today. In fact, it was not until 1917 that the present UCMS came into being. The matter of "co-operation" of the churches was an issue all through the years. Many schemes were advanced, and tried out, and some of them abandoned. The same plan that brethren are advocating and pressing today, viz., Sponsoring Church plan of co-operation was tried out, and in some instances, it developed into the State Missionary Society. All of these schemes were introduced and developed as "expedients". But, all departures from the ancient order of things were begun as "expedients". Infant baptism was introduced and at first defended as an "expedient".

Hurtful "expedients" are now being pressed upon the church of our Lord. It seems that it ought to be possible that something could be done to bring to a halt the present very rapid development of another very real apostasy. Those of us who have labored long in the kingdom are grieved over the havoc that is being wrought in the church today. And still there are those in the church that seem to be determined to press their opinions, "expedients", even though it brings division in the church, and wrecks many congregations.

"The Herald of Truth" is one manifestation of the Sponsoring Church type of "co-operation". It is in simple truth, a broadcasting Society. Of course, its adherents do not admit it. And some of its supporters have "proved(?)" that it is entirely scriptural and right, that is, they have proved it to the satisfaction of all who want it that way. I think I have read every argument that has been put forward in its behalf, and I make bold to say they have not proved their contention. Perhaps, though, the people of the United Christian Missionary Society agree that they have sustained their contention. Its supporters tell us it is an "expedient". They inform us that it is in the realm of "human judgment," and that we have "general authority" for it. Frankly sophistry, is all that I have seen set forth in support of Herald of Truth. One church says: "It affords us an opportunity to help carry out the great Commission of our Lord." Another "We feel that we are assuming the responsibility under the Great Commission". And other churches give expression to the same sentiment in slightly varied forms of words. The opinions of men is all that can be claimed for the set-up. They merely assert that it is in harmony with the scriptures.

Suppose it has been proved that it is scriptural and right for one church to take upon itself a work that requires the help of literally hundreds of other churches to carry on — a work under the Great Commission, and that by thus turning over to that church the moneys required by the Sponsoring Church, and that all of the operation has the approval of God. Then it follows with the force of a demonstration, that the United Christian Missionary Society will have to make only a few small alterations to make their enterprise also scriptural.

Somebody page James DeForrest Murch! Just a few years ago he and Claude Witty put forth considerable effort to bring about a union of the two segments of the "Restoration Movement". They had several meetings, as I recall, and some publicity was given to their efforts in some of the papers. The time was not ripe for such union, I suppose. Now, however, conditions seem to be different! Let the United Christian Missionary Society call its final meeting, then and there write out, sign, seal, and execute its Last Will and Testament, and thus forever cease to exist. Then, upon the remains of said organization, organize itself into a simple church of Christ. That latter work has been done, you know, by brethren who wanted to establish a new church. The elders and deacons have been selected and agreed upon before there was ever a meeting of the church "as a church." And that among "loyal brethren" too. If I were a member of one of the big "D" Disciples churches I would work heartily and zealously for the demise of the UCMS and for the organization of a church of the said Society. They could then, as a church, take over all the Missionary enterprises of the Society and the brethren have already proved that is right and scriptural! They have done so by the same logic they have used to prove Herald of Truth is scriptural. They have "proved"(?) that Herald of Truth is not a society, and that 1080 churches can contribute to the support of a scriptural work that a church may do! And when the UCMS ceases to exist (?) as a society, and organizes a church to take over, it is no longer a MISSIONARY SOCIETY — just a church doing the work of a church! It is only "carrying out its obligations under the Great Commission"! It operates then as a church, and not as a missionary society. The new church then can carry on the Missionary enterprises that the UCMS was carrying on before its demise, and members of the "Churches of Christ" have shown them how to do it!

Of course, there may be some small difficulties in the way of converting the UCMS into a local church, but surely there are no insuperable obstacles. There is so much to be gained! According to the Federal Census report for 1936, the big "D" Disciples had 1,196,315 members in that year. Maybe they have grown some since then. And if 'we" can just succeed in getting them to abandon the United Christian Missionary Society, and do the very work they are doing through one local church — like "we" do through Herald of Truth, look what gains "we" will have made! Wouldn't "we" be "on the march"! But, isn't it a painful thought that we did not have such wise men in the church in the latter half of the past century, as we have now? If Tolbert Fanning, William and David Lipscomb, James A. Harding and E. G. Sewell, and a vast host of other great and good men could have only had the mental ability of these giants of today, all of the division, and heartache of the past century could have been avoided!

But keep it in mind brethren, that it has been proved (?) that Herald of Truth is not a broadcasting society! And by the same logic it has been proved that the UCMS can disband as a society, and organize a church, and the church then can take over the Missionary enterprises of said Society.

The little matter of instrumental music in the worship need not be an insurmountable difficulty to effecting a union of the "Churches of Christ" and the big (D) Disciples. If the latter group can gain 1080 churches by such a move, possibly they would be willing to abandon the use of the instruments! One thousand and eighty churches to send funds to the new church, the members of which are 'experienced" in missionary work, (and maybe a few more than that 1080) would have quite a "pull" in favor of abandoning the use of the instruments! Wouldn't "we" be "on the march", then? And wouldn't the big "D" Disciples also be "on the march"? And it has all been so clearly proved (?) to be scriptural!!