Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 17, 1959
NUMBER 19, PAGE 3b,5b

They Make It A Test Of Fellowship -- Letters

11th & Willits, Abilene, Texas

(Editor's note: The following two letters show that the institutional brethren are making an acceptance of their "expedients" a test of fellowship. The 11th and Willits Street church in Abilene, Texas, withdrew their fellowship from Brother Neal Smith in North Carolina solely (so their letters reveal) because he did not agree with them in matters which they themselves declare to be "expedients" — not essentials. This is another example of the vicious, ungodly, and unbrotherly spirit being so widely generated among our institutional brethren. B. Rhodes, preacher for this congregation is on the faculty of Abilene Christian College, where this same anti-Christian attitude is much in evidence. Read the article in this issue by Roy E. Cogdill, entitled "A Trip To North Carolina" for further details of Brother Smith's work.)

April 9, 1959 Church of Christ

Haywood Road Asheville, North Carolina

Dear Brethren:

The church at 11th & Willits regrets to inform you that we feel it necessary to withdraw our financial support from the work at Haywood Road. It has come to our attention — and Brother Smith has so stated in a letter to us — that Brother Smith holds these views:

(1) that it is contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures for congregations to cooperate in the support of such a program as the "Herald of Truth" program;

(2) that it is contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures for congregations to cooperate in the support of orphan homes.

Brother Smith has also stated to us that he has advocated these views (privately). We do not know how many of you may agree, and how many may disagree with his views, but we do know that at least some of you hold the same views.

We believe that any further financial support from us would only encourage views which we think are definite hindrances to the Lord's work. We feel that we are too far away geographically to go into any matters of personal controversy that may exist at Haywood Road, and that we are too far away to be likely to help Bro. Smith in a study of these matters.

We pray that these views may be forsaken and that the church in Asheville may grow and prosper.

Your brethren in Christ, S/ by B. Frank Rhodes

writing for the church of Christ, 11th & Willits, Abilene, Texas

April 9, 1959 Brother Neal Smith

177 Cumberland Circle Asheville, North Carolina

Dear Brother Smith:

We received your letter a week ago, and appreciate your straight-forward reply to our questions. We are sorry, however, that you have taken the position that you have on these issues. We think that you are wrong in your position, and wish that we were close enough that we could meet with you personally and study the matter with you. As we have said before, we believe you to be a sincere young man, and believe that you are capable of accomplishing much good, but we feel that the advocacy of your views concerning congregational cooperation are divisive and a hindrance to the work of the Lord's church. Regardless of who may have been responsible for raising of the issues there at Haywood Road, the fact remains that the issues came up and that you have advocated your views.

The church at 11th & Willits decided in regular business meeting this past Sunday to withdraw our financial help to you. We regret that this step had to be taken, but we do not have any sympathy with the views you have stated, and we think that they are a hindrance to the church. We wish that you would study these issues with Bro. Love or Bro. Bob Rigdon — brethren who are close by, as you know — and come out of this error.

Your brethren in Christ, by B. Frank Rhodes

writing for the church of Christ