Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 24, 1960
NUMBER 29, PAGE 4,13

A Plea For Simple Honesty


The Gospel Press

A few weeks ago we carried a short article by brother Charles A. Holt in which was quoted in full a letter from brother Paul Hunton, vice-president of Gospel Press, in which churches throughout the nation were asked to give their fifth Sunday (October) contributions to Gospel Press.

Please consider that letter alongside the following paragraphs from an article five years ago entitled "Another Door Of Opportunity Is Open Before Us," appearing in the Gospel Advocate of September 15, 1955, and jointly written by John H. Banister and M. Norvel Young:

"The Gospel Press will not infringe upon the work of the church, but is simply trying to do the same thing other gospel papers are doing. Instead of trying to publish our own paper, we will publish the articles in large national magazines which already have their circulation built up into the millions. Contributions will be solicited from individual Christians only. They will not be accepted from churches. Of course, churches may want to buy reprints or tracts as they buy other literature from publishing companies.

"An editorial staff has been selected to prepare the articles. The following men have agreed to serve: Batsell Barrett Baxter, Willard Collins, Frank Pack, John H. Banister, Homer P. Reeves and M. Norvel Young (chairman). All the articles that are prepared must be given final approval by the directors before they are published. An office has been established at 2102 Jackson Street, Dallas, Texas, and we hope there will be many requests for tracts and other gospel literature. We plan to turn these requests over to the nearest church to follow up these leads." (Emphasis mine, FYT).

Now, putting Paul Hunton's begging letter side by side with the unequivocal statement from the Banister-Young article that "Contributions will be solicited from individual Christians only. They will not be accepted from churches," we think some questions are in order:

1. Why did the original incorporators of this organization pledge themselves NOT to accept church contributions? Did they believe such would be a violation of scripture? Did they feel that to seek church contributions at that time would prejudice the acceptance of the organization by faithful Christians? Did they honestly believe that an organization such as they contemplated, soliciting church funds would be parallel to a missionary society? Or, if not parallel to the Society, so nearly parallel to it that thousands of sincere brethren could not be made to see the difference?

2. Why seek church contributions NOW? What has changed the picture? What has happened to make it right (and expedient) to solicit church contributions now when it was either not right (or not expedient) to solicit them five years ago? Do they feel that brethren NOW are more willing to accept a missionary society type organization than they were five years ago?

It is our conviction that a bit of simple basic honesty is called for in giving answer to these questions. If brethren Banister and Young (as well as Baxter, Collins, Pack, and Reeves) will speak forthrightly on these matters, explaining the reason for the change in policy (or is it change in conviction?) of the incorporators, we believe it will serve to clear the air, and to let all of us know exactly what the situation may be.

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"California Christian Foundation"

While we are on the subject of honesty, we call your attention to an article appearing elsewhere in this issue in which brother T. J. Moon takes exception to some comments on an article by brother Claude E. Worley in the Gospel Guardian of September 22. In all fairness to brother Worley we must say that we believe the announcement made at the Pepperdine Summer Lectureship on August 11, and which brother Moon quotes, confirms exactly the point of Worley's article — namely, that there is some sort of tie-up between Pepperdine College and the "Pacific Christian Foundation" a private corporation established to further the interests of the Christian (digressive) Church.

In fact, the announcement cited by brother Moon sounds even more ominous than the newspaper accounts from which brother Worley got the information for his article. According to the announcement there will be three trustees on the Foundation from Pepperdine College, and six trustees from the Christian Church. Pepperdine College will receive one-third of the monies disbursed by the Foundation and the Christian Church will receive two-thirds.

Now, in view of the disillusioning experience all of us have had with this previous Foundation with which brother Young was connected (Gospel Press), and the deceitful way in which this agency was promoted among the brethren, we think it in order to ask a few questions about "California Christian Foundation:"

1. Will this California Christian Foundation solicit contributions from Churches of Christ as well as from Christian Churches and individuals?

2. Do the six trustees from the Christian Church have full and unequivocal information that the Pepperdine College Bible Department teaches that the Christian Church is an apostate body, teaching and practicing that which is contrary to God's Word? (Or is this the teaching of the Bible Department of Pepperdine College?)

3. Is there any kind of understanding (either explicit or tacit) as between the three trustees from Pepperdine and the six trustees from the Christian Church that Pepperdine College Bible faculty will NOT seek to turn its students away from the Christian Church?

4. Can brother Young and the other trustees from Pep perdine College in good conscience urge their Christian friends to make contributions to the California Christian Foundation, knowing that two dollars out of every three contributed will go toward the building up of the Christian Church? If we are reminded that one dollar out of every three will accrue to Pepperdine College, We ask "Shall we do evil that good may come?"

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Present Issue

Good brethren need to realize that the present struggle in the church of our Lord is NOT over whether orphan children should be fed (whether in institutional homes or otherwise), but is a titanic battle seeking to determine whether the churches of Christ in our day shall be brought into "new frontiers" of organizational and promotional territory. The battle is being waged ("without restraint") by the liberalistic brethren on every possible front — some seeking to find scriptural grounds for their promotions; some seeking to forge new and novel laws of interpretation of the Bible; some appealing to the traditions of the past; some working on the emotions and sympathies of tender-hearts and others pushing ahead with ever new and exciting projects for church support and participation.

It is time to call for a simple, honest statement of objectives and intentions from the brethren that want to engage the church in these new ventures. Where do they want to draw the line? Where call a halt? And why not say, so that all can understand, exactly where the stopping place is!