Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 21, 1963
NUMBER 29, PAGE 6-7b

Campaigns For Christ --- International

Billy W. Moore

In September 12 issue of the Gospel Guardian I had an article entitled "Helping The Restoration(?)" regarding the recent promotion of the Vandelia Village church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, which at the time of the previous article was known as "personal evangelism with an international scope," and appeared to be another in the ever growing number of sponsoring church arrangements, but which since that writing has developed into a full fledged Missionary Society known as Campaigns For Christ — International. Since I had noticed this promotion already, and because of later developments, I felt that further observations might be in order, (Incidentally, in the other article I gave the cost of this promotion as $500,000, but that figure should have been $1,500,000. My mistake, but only a million dollar mistake, and some brethren seem to think that a million dollars is next to nothing, especially if the great brotherhood will supply it.)

First, I wish to say that I do not question the good intentions of the elders of the Vandelia Village church, nor other men connected with this promotion. In the bimonthly "Newsletter," printed by the Campaign, we are told that "Out of deep concern for the chaotic conditions of the world, and the need for a program of evangelism worthy of the cause of Christ (Emphasis mine, BWM) ...." this Campaign For Christ program originated. Thus I admit their concern for the souls of men. In "Newsletter," No. 2, they said, "With an understanding of the need and the challenge of `Go forth therefore and make all nations my disciples....' (Matt. 28:19-20), the Elders of the Vandelia Village Congregation accepted the responsibility of oversight for a concerted effort of evangelism which would be called CAMPAIGNS FOR CHRIST — INTERNATIONAL."

Evidently the elders of this church feel that in the past centuries Christian people have not had a "program of evangelism worthy of the Cause of Christ," hence, they have begun such a "worthy" program. How brethren insult the good, loyal, faithful gospel preachers, elders, and other consecrated Christians of generations past, and even the apostles and early workers in the Lord's church! Is not the Lord's plan of evangelism "worthy" of the cause of Christ? Perhaps the elders of Vandelia Village church could tell us what is wrong with the Lord's plan of evangelism, where each church preaches the gospel to the very best of its abilities, and each Christian teaches his friends and neighbors the gospel of Christ. This worked in the first century, why will it not work in the 20th?

We are told that it was "With an understanding of the need and the challenge of `Go forth..'...." that the elders of Vandelia Village accepted the responsibility of oversight for this Campaign For Christ — International. However, it seems to me that if these elders were motivated with an understanding of the need of doing "all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17), and would accept the challenge "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Pet. 4:11), they would never have "accepted" the oversight of anything except the church where they are members, and its work.

In "Newsletter," No. 2, we are told that this concerted effort of evangelism will be "called CAMPAIGNS FOR CHRIST — INTERNATIONAL." In the first "Newsletter," Bob Hoover (Campaign Coordinator, whatever that is) says, "CAMPAIGNS FOR CHRIST — INTERNATIONAL has established an office in the Briercroft Office, Park Building, 57th Street and Avenue Q., Lubbock 12, Texas." So you see, it is not just a "sponsoring church," it is not just a church at work, it is another missionary society; another Herald of Truth, except that this one will work "house to house and by pulpit preaching" instead of via radio and TV, of course both are using the printed page.

If you are thinking that this is not a society, then note these observations: Campaigns For Christ — International (I) has established an office; (note: this is not the office of the church, but of the CFCI. (2) Has a Director, Ivan Stewart, who resigned as preacher for the Netherwood Park church in Albuquerque to accept this position; (3) Has a Coordinator, Bob Hoover, preacher for the Vandelia Village church; (4) Has overseers, the elders of Vandelia Village (at this writing I am not sure whether the Director coordinates the overseers, or the Director directs the Coordinator; whether the Coordinator oversees the Director, or if the Coordinator coordinates the Overseers; whether the Overseers direct the Coordinators or the Overseers oversee the Director; or perhaps the Director directs the Overseers and oversees the Coordinator....but it gets rather complicated when men leave the simple New Testament organization, and set up super organizations after the wisdom of men); (5) Has a treasury, for the Vandelia Village church has set aside $13,000 for the campaigns; (6) It will receive support from individuals and churches. An all out effort has been made for individual solicitation, but churches can support it; Vandelia Village is doing so. (7) This society has sponsored a dinner-rally. This took place at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, Friday, August 16, 1963, 6:30 P.M. This dinner-rally was used to inform those who came of the "Who, What, When Where and Why" of the Campaign. It was promised that: "The aspects of fund-raising to support this great program will be explained but no solicitation will take place at the dinner." Since the "dinner-rally" a solicitation has been sent to the church of Christ, in Harrison, asking individual support.

Now what do you think about this Society? Is such a promotion as this just the work of the Vandelia Village church? Who can believe it? Do the elders of that church have a scriptural right to oversee this promotion as elders of the Lord's church? Since this is supposed to be just the church at work, and the work of the church, since when has it been scriptural for any church to sponsor a dinner-rally? Could a Bible Class sponsor a dinner-rally to raise money? Where is the scripture?

Speaking of scripture, the CAMPAIGNS FOR CHRIST — INTERNATIONAL does claim to be scriptural. In "Newsletter" No. 2, I read, "It is scriptural — it is proven." This statement was made by Ivan Stewart, Director. But unfortunately the scripture reference was not given. It is easy to assert the scripturalness of a thing, but an entirely different thing to cite the scripture. All of us know that it is scriptural to teach "publicly, and from house to house." (Acts 20:20) But where is the scripture for this super organization, to be supported by individuals and churches, for the purpose of sending out teachers who will teach from house to house and from the pulpit? This is exactly what the Missionary Society of 1849 was established to do. If the Missionary Society is unscriptural, then Campaigns for Christ International is unscriptural. In the first "Newsletter," page 4, under the heading, WHY — INDIVIDUAL SOLICITATION? Four reasons are given, the fourth being "It is scriptural — Acts 11:27-30." This is not given as scriptural foundation for the Campaigns, but as scriptural foundation for individual solicitation.

Not being a prophet I cannot speak with regard to the outcome of Campaigns For Christ — International, but as I continue to study my Bible I see nothing akin to it in the New Testament, and as I recall no generation of the church has been so successful in preaching the gospel to the world as was that generation.

I do predict that we shall be seeing many of their "emblems"....a globe with a cross centered on it, surrounded by the words CAMPAIGNS FOR CHRIST — INTERNATIONAL, and in three colors; red, white, and blue. At least they are patriotic.... but still not scriptural.

— Capps Road, Harrison, Arkansas