Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 2, 1964

Campaigns For Christ, International

Hoyt H. Houchen

Until recent years when brethren have absorbed the practices of the denominations, faithful brethren depended upon the word of God to guide them and they were able to see the sharp line of demarcation between the Lord's church and denominations. The faithful did not hesitate to expose and condemn denominational practices in the light of God's word, pointing out the difference between the church of Christ and denominations in such clear and unmistakable language that it would take help to misunderstand.

The A. C. M. S (American Christian Missionary Society) was formed at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849, and it was vigorously opposed by the spiritually stalwart. Mechanical instruments of music were introduced into worship and the wheels of digression were turning fast. Out of these innovations, the present day Christian Church evolved. It and all other denominations exist as a consequence of the ideology that we do not have to have Bible authority for what we do. Denominationalism is featured by its human names, human worship, human doctrines, and human practices. Denominations have their various organizations through which they work. The Baptists have their B. Y. P. U. (Baptist Young People's Union), the Methodists have their Epworth League, and the Christian Church has its U. C. M. S. (United Christian Missionary Society, referred to by its opponents as "You see a mess and I see a mess"), and the C. E. (Christian Endeavor). Such societies have always been regarded as distinguishing marks of the denominations. "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt. 7:16) Only until late years, members of the church of Christ would expect to find these societies only in the denominations. Sad as it is, however, the price of truth has been lowered by many of our brethren and what was once considered to be a rank denominational practice has now been galvanized into the church in many places and woe be it to the man who dares to oppose it. The Herald of Truth organization, a "brain child" of two young preachers is an example of the desire to be like the denominations which have "The Lutheran Hour," "The Baptist Hour." and "The Catholic Hour." It is a centralized organization through which churches do their radio and television work, and it operates upon the same principle as the societies among the denominations. They both have one thing in common — neither has any scriptural authority.

The following is a quotation from a Lubbock newspaper: "A. C. McIlroy, minister of the Petersburg Church of Christ, will speak at a dinner meeting of the Congregational Cooperation Committee, on behalf of Campaigns for Christ, International, at 7:30 p. m. today at the Chicken Village.. Campaigns for Christ in Lubbock, has headquarters in Lubbock. The committee is composed by two men from each church of Christ congregation in Lubbock. It will recruit teams for the campaign....The first campaign is planned for January, 1964. Thirty requests for campaigns have been received from different parts of the world."

It is obvious that we now have another society emerging within us, a full-fledged missionary society. There is the H. O. T. (Herald of Truth), and now the I. C. C. (International Campaigns for Christ) is making its debut. Where is the scripture that authorizes a "congregational cooperation committee" or any other kind for churches of Christ? Where is the scripture that authorizes a sponsoring church through which churches of Christ are to do their work? Where is the scripture that authorizes any work of the church to have its headquarters anywhere?

From the Christian Chronicle, April 14, 1963, we quote: "By coordinating the idea of evangelistic and personal work campaigns under one leadership the elders of Vandelia Village envision systematic and hence more fruitful approach to world evangelism." So, the H. O. T. oversees radio and television work for churches of Christ, and now the I. C. C. will oversee "gospel meetings" (campaigns) for churches of Christ. In viewing this latest enterprise, we recall from history that the very inception of the American Christian Missionary Society was based upon the idea of "a more fruitful approach to world evangelism." This emotional appeal was outstanding in the speeches of J. B. Briney in his defense of the Missionary Society in the Otey-Briney debate.

The Vandelia elders, Lubbock, Texas, "have estimated that $1,500,000 will be needed to cover expenses for the next three years. This will include salaries, advertising, tent, transportation, audio-visual needs and related expenses." (Christian Chronicle) Here we go again! Another begging campaign is under way. Overlooked is the fact that every effort to organize the church universal has resulted in organizations unknown in the New Testament. The "organize the brotherhood" conception was the very embryo of Roman Catholicism and from which have come the denominations. Overlooked are the Bible passages that teach that elders are overseers only of the congregation in which they have been made elders, directing the affairs of that congregation and no other, minding their own business. (Acts 14:23; 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2, etc.) I. C. C. is just another step toward Rome. What is next?

— 2859 Grape, Abilene, Texas