Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 5, 1961
NUMBER 22, PAGE 4,13b

"God Bless America"


An editor meets lots of problems. So does a traveling preacher. Combine the two, and you have....well, here is a sample:

In a meeting in Washington state last month a faithful brother from Wenatchee visited the services one Sunday. He asked our judgment as to what course he ought to take in view of a situation that had developed in his home congregation. It seems one of the elders is a Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America. He conceived that it would be a worthy act to set aside one particular day as "Boy Scout Day" in the congregation. Which was done. All the Boy Scouts came to the service in their scout uniforms; the Scoutmaster (the elder) also wore his scout uniform. Came time for the Lord's Supper. The Scoutmaster presided at the table, and the Boy Scouts passed the emblems. All of which might have been accepted (regardless of the bad taste) save for one item: their hymn for the occasion was "God Bless America.

That was too, too much. Our brother voiced his protest. And was forthwith branded as an "anti." Which, under the circumstances, we would regard as a mark of distinction, worthy and proper designation for any faithful Christian.

"Abundantly Clear" — To Whom?

In a letter sent out last fall by Paul Hunton, Vice-President of Gospel Press, and addressed to "Elders" of Churches of Christ throughout the nation, we have this statement:

"In our fall campaign we are asking every congregation to give the fifth Sunday contribution in October, or give all over regular expenses one Sunday in October, or take a special contribution one Sunday in October."

A number of congregations naively took that as an appeal for church contributions to Gospel Press. We know they did, because we have seen financial statements from more than one of them in which was listed a contribution to "Gospel Press." But this was apparently not intended at all as an appeal for church contributions. For the editorial in the Firm Foundation of August 29, 1961, gives a full statement from Gospel Press reaffirming its position and declaring Gospel Press will not solicit funds from the treasuries of congregations for the support of its work" and "It deliberately limits itself to the field of such work as may be done by individuals acting in concert through a non-profit corporation."

Brother Lemmons states that "These sentences should make it abundantly clear that Gospel Press does not solicit funds from churches." He has some rather uncomplimentary things to say about brethren who had written and spoken about Gospel Press, and say they "did not know what they were talking and writing about relative to the activities of Gospel Press."

Okay. Now it is "abundantly clear" to everybody we suppose that when a letter from Gospel Press asks the elders of a congregation to "give the fifth Sunday contribution in October, or give all over regular expenses one Sunday in October, or take a special contribution one Sunday in October." this is NOT seeking a contribution from the treasury of that church!

Alan Bryan says it is not; Reuel Lemmons says it is not; in fact, the entire board of Gospel Press says it is not.

Brother Lemmons concedes that mistakes have been made and that "statements by those in authority and those without authority may not have been at all times one hundred percent in harmony with the above stated policy," but then dismisses the whole matter with a slap at those who thought churches were being solicited for contributions by saying, "However, only critics are perfect; the people and things they criticize never are."

One question, and only one, still puzzles us? WHY do they NOT beg from churches?

"Fellowshipping And Good Works — Church Of Christ"

A few years ago the Church of Christ in Morton, Texas, felt it necessary to withdraw from a couple of ungodly brethren. These men immediately set about to build a faction in Morton, which they did with the able assistance and encouragement of some of the "liberal" brethren from Lubbock. Although the orphan home and Herald of Truth issues at first were not in the picture, the liberals quickly pitched the battle on that ground; and even erected a huge sign on the property of their "Eastside Church of Christ" declaring to all and sundry that this was a "Fellowshipping and Good Works" church! — whatever that means.

We know newspapers frequently get things all fouled up, and certainly all of us have been victimized by the ignorance of newspaper editors. But making all due allowance for such we still think the following recent item from a Morton newspaper is indicative of the direction these "On the March" brethren are going:

"The General Auxiliary and Brotherhood of the East-side Church of Christ met Monday night for their monthly meeting. New officers were elected for the coming year. Mrs. E. L. Willis was elected President of the W.M.A. and Marion Mathews president of the Brotherhood.

"Other officers of the W.M.A. are Mrs. Eugene Bedwell, first vice president; Mrs. B. R. Stovall, second vice president; Mrs. Joe Gipson, secretary-treasurer; and Mrs. G. F. Cooper, Jr., assistant secretary- treasurer.

"Additional new Brotherhood officers are: Herman Bedwell, first vice-president; Russell Hudson, second vice-president; G. F. Cooper, Jr., third vice president; and Eugene Bedwell, secretary-treasurer."

About all we can think to say at such news is: "God bless America; God Save the Church!"

— F. Y. T.