Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 23, 1961
NUMBER 29, PAGE 5,12c

Going Onward

Connie W. Adams, Newbern, Tennessee

"Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." (2 John 9) For many years, gospel preachers have cited this passage when dealing with innovations of every shade. The practice of instrumental music, fairs and suppers to raise money, choirs, Ladies Aid Societies, Missionary Societies and a host of similar things have been condemned by this passage. Now, many of the practices we have condemned in sectarianism are being done by brethren who are more interested in the "nations round about" than they are in "thus saith the Lord." It is the purpose of this article to point out some things which are taking place in some churches of Christ. Such things in y ears past occurred only in isolated instances. Now, they are commonplace. Such things are found among the churches which are leading the institutional procession.

This does not mean that all congregations which favor the Herald of Truth and the church support of benevolent institutions, are guilty of all of these practices. Yet there is no denying that all of these things are part and parcel of the same sickness.

J. D. Thomas, of Abilene Christian College, issued a report of some of the features of the 1961 ACC lectures. In it was a suggested list of committees for the "smooth operation" of large congregations. Here is the list: The Evangelism Committee, The Education Committee, The Worship Committee, The Membership Oversight Committee, The Local Relations Committee, The Finance Committee, The Worship Arrangements Committee, The Zone Activities Committee, The Fellowship Committee, The Caring for the Ill Committee, The Welfare Committee, The Physical Arrangements Committee, and the Building and Grounds Committee. The same church which has all this also has 17 elders with a Chairman of Elders, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary, 31 Deacons with a Chairman of Elders and Deacons, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Assistant Secretary.

FAREWELL TEA: "Vultee Church of Christ, 895 Murfreesboro Road, having farewell tea 2:30-4:30 P.M. Sunday honoring Elder Houston Ezell, Mrs. Ezell who will be leaving March 13 enroute to Seoul, Korea, where they will assist in Church of Christ mission work for the next four to six months." From Nashville Banner, March 4, 1961.

"CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP." The Procter St. church in Port Arthur, Texas, recently had a great "youth meeting." Various subjects were announced. It was stated that following the lunch hour there would be "Christian Fellowship" from 1:00 to 3:00. Notice the list and the application of the word fellowship.

Monday — Softball, Volleyball.

Tuesday — Movies

Wednesday — Miniature Golf

Thursday — Bowling

Friday — Skating

Certainly we have no objection to wholesome recreation for the young, but to label such as "fellowship" is to misuse that Bible term. Yet more and more this is the sense in which brethren are using it.

From the bulletin of the Springfield, Tenn., church, we quote the following: "We received a letter from Brother Paul Hunton, Vice President of the Gospel Press, acknowledging the contribution of this congregation given to Brother Shumann Brewer in support of advertising the Church of Christ in magazines." Now what is the Gospel Press? It is a human organization with a President, Vice President and board of Directors. The purpose of it is to teach the gospel. When churches contribute to such for the purpose of teaching the gospel, they are supporting a missionary society. That's what the Gospel Press is. Here is a church which thinks it can preach the gospel through a human organization. It is not the only one contributing to this missionary society either.

From "The Way of Truth," bulletin of the 6th Ave. church in Jasper, Alabama, edited by Gus Nichols, Vol. 1, No. 19, page 3, Nov. 18, 1860, we quote the following without comment: "Then Wednesday night we baptized Dale Aldridge and Jo Nell and Judy Hicks, the latter being identical twins. They had a twin baptism. Brother Nichols buried and raised both of them at the same time which was very beautiful and impressive to the congregation assembled for the mid-week service. Each put an arm around the other's waist; then Brother Nichols stretched forth his arm behind their necks and gently buried them both and raised them up with apparent ease and simplicity. Brother Nichols says this is one of the incidentals connected with baptism which may be made to conform to human preference and desire, just like being baptized in a baptistry."

From Nashville comes this from the bulletin of the Jackson Park church: "Last Wednesday a large class of young ladies who work in the Art Department of the Madison church visited Jackson Park to see our classrooms and observe some of the children's classes. Mrs. Drewitz who heads the department at Madison was in charge of the group and was shown our rooms by the various department supervisors." Here is a congregation with an "art department," whatever that is. And this is the Madison, Tenn., church which is paraded before the brotherhood as the "marchingest" church of all. From such information it is not too hard to determine the direction in which it is marching.

Baseball anyone? The following is from the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Wednesday morning, July 26, 1961: At O'Brien Park - 7 - Getwell Church of Christ vs. Park Ave. Baptist." This was on the sport page under "Recreation Baseball."

Those who still are concerned with the purity of the church as set forth in the New Testament deplore such antics among people who profess to follow the authority of Christ. Many of these quotations reveal the hold that the social gospel concept has upon some of these liberal churches. I know there are some who have been told that some of us are just a bunch of cranks born in the objective case and kickative mood, that we are just "antis" who are raising a fuss because we can't have our way, that we make laws where God made none, and that we are against orphans and old people and perhaps less complimentary remarks. But friends, the institutionalism of the day which many of us do oppose, goes hand in hand with the practices we have herein reported. It is a package deal. Sooner or later those churches which support the human organizations are going to have to swallow these things or else be ostracized. The whole problem is related to an attitude toward the authority of the scriptures. What say you, are all of these things authorized for the church? If so, where? Beloved, think on these things.

(Continued on page twelve)