Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1960

No Paper Next Week


Following our traditional order of publication we take a "breather" the first week in July. Your next Gospel Guardian will be dated July 14.

Church Of Christ Hospitals

Agitation continues to increase for "Church of Christ hospitals". This is all in keeping with the "social gospel' emphasis which has lately been so observable in the preaching and writing of some of our more liberal brethren. Here is a quotation from a recent issue of the bulletin published by the Riverside Drive congregation in Nashville, Tennessee; Robert Jackson is the preacher:

'The Prophet' And David Lipscomb College

April 17-21 David Lipscomb College had their annual lectureship. I am sure you will hear of the great good that was one. However, I think all need to hear what was prophesied the last day.

'The Prophet' was brother Marshall Keeble. Brother Keeble stated, "Brother B. C. Goodpasture calls me 'Prophet Keeble' ever time I walks into his office'. It was at this time that he made his prophecy.

The Prophecy. "I prophesy that we'll have Church of Christ hospitals in the next few years."

'The Prophet's Authority'. Brother Keeble here made mention that Jesus healed people of their physical ills as well as their spiritual sickness. He said that he had much rather be shot by a Christian nurse and cut on by a Christian doctor than any sectarian of like profession... This was his authority for the churches of Christ building hospitals.

Standing With 'The Prophet'. On the platform with Brother Keeble were Brother A. C. Pullias, Brother B. C. Goodpasture, Brother Willard Collins, and Brother W. Cato. All looked on approvingly.

What does it take for people to see the departure that is being made? By the same reasoning (?) one could justify the churches of Christ building a Church of Christ Jail. This way one could be arrested by a Christian, put into a Church of Christ Jail and have a Church of Christ Counselor (this we already have) to give counseling to the unfortunate. And if he should die in jail, he would have a Church of Christ Jailer to administer the last rites.

No, Brother Keeble, it doesn't take a prophet to prophesy the hospital move. When we hear men like Brother Pullias plead for churches to support the college, and preach that "There Is No Pattern", and the people believe him. We need no prophet to tell us what is in the future for the church. History will tell us!

It is going to be highly interesting now to see how quickly the liberal brethren "flop" on this issue, just as they did on the orphan home issue, and as they are in process of doing on the "college in the church budget" issue. In a way one can feel a degree of sympathy with some of these brethren. They were once strong and vigorous in their condemnation of all departures from "the pattern". But the pressures became too great. Little by little they began to go silent on such things as institutional orphan homes (by the way, whatever happened to Roy Lather?). The more timid of them felt it necessary to line up and send in their "confessions of guilt" to the columns of the Gospel Advocate and to prove their "orthodoxy" by going all out in wild and vicious charges against brethren who continue to preach what they once preached. Others have simply held their peace, and have ceased to preach what they say are their convictions on these things.

But let nobody be deceived. The church-support-of benevolent-societies was the BEGINNING, not the END, of the battle. Those who were able to hold their noses, stultify their conscience, tacitly deny the preaching of their whole life-time and swallow that capsule are beginning to realize now that they have swallowed a terrifying array of "things that go along". They are now "hooked" (to mix the metaphor a bit), and the line has been jerked taut. Some few will struggle desperately and no doubt will free themselves from the trap; but we anticipate that most of the "poor fish" will scarcely even put up a struggle. They have already been convinced that such was hopeless. As one of the elders of the Broadway Church in Lubbock told a friend in the Caprock congregation some time ago, "You can't lick us; we're too rich!"

And so the band-wagon picks up speed as it rolls so merrily along — church support of benevolence societies; church pooling of resources under a single eldership, as in Herald of Truth; church contributions to advertising societies such as Gospel Press; church contributions to Christian colleges; Church of Christ Hospitals; church youth camps; annual Youth For Christ state meetings; and who can tell what projects will be clamoring for church support a generation hence? Maybe 'Prophet Keeble' could look into his crystal ball and come up with some ideas.

As of right now there are a considerable number of brethren who go along with the "church support of benevolence societies" who say they are conscientiously opposed to church support of the colleges. But how long will that opposition last once Goodpasture publicly commits the Gospel Advocate to a drive for such support? Just let it be noted that "anti" can as easily and quickly be applied to one who opposes church support of colleges as to one who opposes church support of institutional orphan homes. Does it make much difference whether one is labeled as "anti" education or "anti" orphan?

And then will come the Church of Christ hospitals. And who wants to be smeared as an "anti sick people"? Then when the fine congregations advertise for a preacher, and say "no anti need apply", do you suppose they will specify which "antis" are barred? Will it be only the "anti-society" "anti-institutional orphan home" brethren, or will they also mean that to include the "anti-education", "anti- hospitals", "anti-drinking", "anti-dancing", "anti-Mason", "anti-social gospel" preachers?

Yes, we believe the "Church of Christ Hospitals" will really widen the breach, and will be a great forward stride in drawing the line of demarcation between the "Church of Christers" and those faithful brethren who are content to be Christians only.

— F. Y. T.