Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 20, 1961
NUMBER 49, PAGE 8-9,13

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, 4662 University, Wichita Falls, Texas

News Of This And That

Houston Gately Has Moved From Irvine, Kentucky, Where He Has Labored For Over Six Years, To Swainboro, Georgia. There Are Only Two Or Three Members In This Town Of About 5,000 People. There Is Not Another Congregation Within Thirty Miles. Jere Frost And The 77Th Street Church In Birmingham, Have Been Instrumental In Getting Things Started In Swainsboro. The 77Th Street Church Will Support Gately. Do You Know Anyone In This City Whom Gately Should Contact? If So, Write Him At P. O. Box 471....Information Needed: I Am Very Concerned With Learning About Any And All In The City Of Wichita, Kansas, Who May Know The Truth And Who Might Be Interested In Helping Establish A Church There Which Will Stand For The Truth And Against The Innovations And Digressions Of The Day. Surely There Must Be Some There, But I Only Know Of One Family. Can You Help With Any Information Along This Line? Do You Know Of Any Likely Prospects There? Do You Have Any Suggestions To Offer Concerning This Matter? Let Me Hear From You...."Workbook On Current Issues," Is The Name Of One Of The Latest Publications I Have Seen. The Lessons, In Outline Form, Were Prepared By James P. Needham. They Are Full And Offer A Lot Of Study. The Subjects Are As Follows: "A Study Of Attitudes," "The Church And Her Problems Through The Ages;" "Present Day Problems And Their Historical Settings;" And Four Lessons Under The Heading Of "According To The Pattern." It Is A Mimeograph Booklet, But The Work Has Been Well Done. Robert M. Atkinson Has Prepared A Series Of 13 Sets Of Questions Based On These Lessons, And They Add Greatly To The Value Of The Booklet For Class Use. It Is Published By Bobby K. Thompson, 14601 N. W. 2Nd Ave., Miami 68, Florida. It Sells For 500 A Single Copy. In Lots Of Twenty Or More It Is 350 A Copy.... Eugene Bethel, A Fine Student And A Good Writer, Has Printed A New Tract — "The Sponsoring Church." It Is A Dandy Treatment Of The Subject And Is Deserving Of Wide Circulation. His Other Tract On Current Questions Is "Missionary And Benevolent Societies," And It Has Been Widely Used With Good Results. Both Tracts Sell For 50 Per Dozen Or $2 Per Hundred. There Is Only One Objection To The New Tract — The Print Is Too Small To Be Readily Read; Yet It Is Clear And Neat. Those Really Interested Will Read It. I Could Wish, However, That The Print Were Larger And Hope Eugene Will Make This Change In The Second Edition. Order Both Tracts From The Author, Box 83, Tuckerman, Arkansas ...."Kickoff Dinner!" Do You Know What Such A Thing It? Well, I Note That They Are Getting More And More Frequent Among The Liberal Churches. Some Of Them Can't Even Have A Meeting Anymore Without First Having A "Kickoff Dinner." The Faith Village Church Here In Wichita Falls Has Such A Dinner Scheduled For This Week In "Preparation" For Their Meeting Village Church Here In Wichita Falls Has Such A Dinner Engaged George Bailey, Who Is Getting To Be An "Old Hand" At Speaking For Such Dinners, Rallies Of All Kinds, And Other Such Affairs. Wonder What Goes On At One Of These Things? These "Kickoff Dinners" Sound About Like Some Civic Or Professional Club Function. Imagine Churches, Claiming To Be Churches Following The Nt Order, Engaged In Such Secular And Worldly Performances!....It Was Recently My Sad Duty To Help With The Funeral Of A Close Friend, A Good Man, And A Faithful Christian — J. O. Franklin, Of Mt. Pleasant, Texas. He Was A Deacon And One Of The Main Stays In The Southside Church. He Loved And Stood For The Truth, And He Will Be Missed Not Only By His Good Family, But By That Church And By Me....It Was My Pleasure Recently To Attend The First Night Of A Meeting Conducted By The Church In Cooper, Texas. Paul Brock Was The Preacher. James Pleasants Labors There Regularly. I Had Not Been To Cooper In Several Years. It Was A Delight To Find A Good, Solid Church. They Have Fine Facilities And The Church Is Making Progress. Bill Cavender, David Harkrider, And W. R. Jones Helped Establish The Cause So Solidly In That Place.... My First Meeting This Year Will Be With The Timberline Drive Church In Lufkin, Texas — April 16-23. I Assisted This Good Church In Two Meetings Years Ago And I Look Forward To Being With Them Again.

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Setting The Record Straight

Please read carefully the following from Lawrence L. Smith, Bursar at Abilene Christian College:

"I have always been puzzled as to why preachers and others would make statements about matters which they had not taken the time to investigate. This problem of whether or not a church should contribute to a college is a rather old one and has been discussed for years.

..................."I have been here 34 years, and I am closely in touch with the college finances. I do not know of a single contribution having been made by a church. I know that it is the policy of the board, and has been for many years (in fact, ever since the problem came up the first time), not to receive contributions from churches. The employees of the Development Office are instructed not to solicit or receive such contributions.

"Several years ago, Bro. Alexander was working in the Development Office, he took it on himself to solicit funds from the churches and even put an ad in the paper to that effect. When this was found out, he was called in and reprimanded strongly because of it. This and some other matters resulted in his finally leaving the employ of the school. If anybody would bring up that case, it would only go to prove that we do not approve of the solicitation, or the receiving of church funds by a college."

The above is a portion of a statement written by brother Smith in March of this year. It is noted that he ONLY speaks of the practice of ACC and not of the beliefs or convictions of the administration or faculty. However, it might be inferred from his remarks that some there do not believe it is scriptural for churches to contribute to colleges. It is certain that some on the faculty believe and even teach that churches may, yea, even should contribute to such schools as ACC. J. D. Thomas is a notable example of this....I frankly state that it comes as a surprise to have one in brother Smith's position write that he does not "know of a single contribution having been made by a church" to ACC during his 34 years there! Furthermore, he says that "the employees ....are instructed not to solicit or receive such contributions." He states this as the practice today. Can this really be the case? I do not intend to reflect at all on the word of brother Smith, but I can't help but wonder about this matter. There certainly are a lot of people who have the wrong opinion about this matter. Do you KNOW of any instance where ACC has either solicited or accepted a contribution from a church? I realize that one isolated case will not nullify their practice nor statements, but I have been of the opinion that such was fairly generally practiced. I am always glad to stand corrected on any matter, and while the statement was not written to me, I have received a copy of it and pass it on for the record. Although this is only a matter of "policy," which could be changed at anytime, it ill-behooves any of us to misrepresent the matter in any way....It is a fact that cannot be gainsaid that at least four other colleges accept, and in a measure solicit, funds from churches. Maybe their practice has put all others under suspicion of the same thing. I think that there is no doubt that the practice has the endorsement of most of the ACC faculty and that in the event such a matter was discussed in classes the students would be taught that such is perfectly scriptural. So far, however, for some reason (s) they seem to be unwilling to practice what they really believe in this regard.

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The Star Fails To Show

I see by the Christian Chronicle that they had "6800 Crowd LA Auditorium To Climax Pepperdine Lectures." This was supposed to be the "largest gathering in West Coast brotherhood history." This shows that a gathering at Pepperdine is considered a "brotherhood" affair; that whatever that college does the "brotherhood" is doing; and any accomplishment of this human institution goes down in "brotherhood history." These schools and colleges seemingly can not be separated from the church in the thinking and practice of most brethren. This great crowd must have made a terrific impact on the emotions of the West Coast brethren, and, of course, will "prove" the value of this school to the brotherhood. How else could the poor, helpless "brotherhood" get such a large gathering of members of the church together? This many people certainly would not "rally" to a gospel meeting conducted by any church; that is, unless there was some major attraction or drawing card like Pat Boone! Even then churches can not compete with the colleges for getting out the crowds. These colleges can conduct "gospel meetings" and brethren swarm out for such occasions. What is the difference?

Now there must have been a lot of disappointed people present on this occasion when the "star performer" failed to show up I Yes, they had supposedly engaged the world-famous member of the church, the idol of thousands of teen-agers and perhaps some not teen-agers; but brother Boone failed to show "because of a commitment in Jacksonville, Florida." Wonder how many of this 6,800 came just to see and hear brother Boone "lead the great audience in congregational singing?"

In Jacksonville, Pat put on a show in the Coliseum, and one of the liberal churches advertised this show in the church bulletin! Well, why not? Is there really a lot of difference in advertising entertainment whether put on by a civic club, college or church? It is still entertainment in each case! Maybe the mere fact that the chief performer in this case is a member of the church "sanctifies" the entertainment so that the church has a SCRIPTURAL right to announce and urge attendance at such.

Later on in the Chronicle article, this significant fact is given: "Persons attending the Shrine Auditorium gathering contributed over $7,000 to further Christian education at Pepperdine." Here we get to the "meat in the cocoanut." $7,000 for a one-night take is not bad at all. Nearly as good as Oral Roberts can do! We are also informed that "this amount was added to over $10,000 previously contributed during the week." So this "gospel (?) meeting," netted this human institution at least $17,000. That is ample reason for putting on such an affair. It pays rich dividends!

The more I see of these college lectureships, the more I am made to wonder about them. I have had some misgivings for several years. What right does such a human institution have conducting such a series of gospel services anyway? If one such institution has a right, then why would not all others have the same right? Why not Paden Construction Company put on such an affair? With the prospect of a $17,000 take it would likely encourage many concerns to get interested in this source of revenue. Another thing, just what is the real purpose of these affairs? They have become more and more popular thru the years, and every college among "us" just has to have one each year; and some now have two or more. Whatever else may be said for these lectureships conducted by the colleges, they do serve the interest of the particular school in at least two ways: (1) They help publicize and popularize the school; and (2) they afford a psychological and emotional time, when brethren get worked up and enthused sorta like people at a "healing revival," for arousing the brethren to provide FINANCES for the school. Frankly, I do not recall ever attending a single lectureship conducted by any college 'during which there was no appeal made for money! Do you? In some of them this has been the main feature. And everyone is made to feel more or less like an ingrate of the worst sort and like one who absolutely does not believe in so-called "Christian education" (a term now used almost exclusively for what schools and colleges give) unless he contributes to the school — without which the Cause of Christ world have long since sunk into oblivion, according to the views of most of the avid supporters, those enamored with and wrapped up in these human projects. Personally, I resent all these implications, just like I do the same sort of thing when played up by those who would "pressure" money out of people for the benevolent societies and the Herald of Truth.

A hundred years ago, the church suffered a division and the forces of liberalism took nearly everything with them. The schools were greatly instrumental in the success of this effort. At least, all of them were staffed by liberals and they all went with the digression. Their influence was terrific and telling. In more recent times we have seen liberalism sweep again through the ranks of God's people and do it divisive and devastating work. Where are the schools and colleges this time? While there are many more schools today, they are all (with but one lone exception as far as I know) in the very forefront of the effort to sell the churches on institutionalism, modernism, and liberalism. Frankly, I find it very difficult to work up much enthusiasm and concern for even this one lone exception which is still staffed by as faithful and godly men as can be found, men who know, love and teach the truth; When history, past and near present, screams so loudly that in only a relatively short time this college (perhaps under new and different control) will no doubt go the way of all the others. Yes, I confess that I personally find it hard to encourage anyone to make contributions to such, especially in the way of trust funds which will remain to be used by future administrations.

I know, love and deeply appreciate the men connected with Florida Christian College. I am indeed thankful for what they mean to the Cause of truth. I admire their tremendous devotion to their work and all of them have made and are making real sacrifices that such may continue. This touches me, as it does you, and with this in mind, it is hard to keep from getting "worked up" in every way to help in their work. But that nagging doubt and wonder is still there. Why try to build today that which may seek to destroy me and the truth tomorrow? Why should one underwrite (financially or otherwise) a human project of such uncertain future and potential danger to the Cause of truth, which may very likely attempt to destroy the Cause of truth tomorrow?

These words are from the heart as I more or less talk with the readers of this column about a matter of no little concern to me. (Let the enemies of truth capitalize on this as they will.) I have seldom voiced, and have never written publicly, these thoughts to anyone. I certainly speak these words to help and not harm any righteous endeavor. I have no desire to go "off the deep end" on this or any other matter; but am greatly concerned about these questions. I speak, if I know my heart, as a friend to FCC, and certainly as a friend to the people who operate and control it; and this moves me to express my fears and doubts along this line. What do you think? Perhaps some of you can be of help to me in this regard. May I hear from you even if to correct and rebuke me. I should be delighted to hear from any and all about this.