Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 3, 1967
NUMBER 13, PAGE 6b-7a

Voices Of Concern - Or First Century Church Of Christism Examined

Floyd D. Chappelear

The book Voices of Concern seems to have stirred up quite a fuss in some circles. Justifiably so in some cases but not so justifiably so in others. For, as the scribe once said, "there is nothing new under the sun." With that thought in mind, we can see that the book expresses no new thing at all and therefore is not as worthy of our concern as we might think it is. Had there been a first century counterpart to Robert Meyers the book might have been published nearly two thousand years age.

But, perhaps there was such a man. And, if there was, could it be that he compiled such a book and that the book was lost to future generations? (A fate very likely to befall the current book as the things said do not seem to express any new or original thoughts.) Below we shall give some imaginary readings from the compilation of one Roberticus Myerio, a sage of the first century.

I am a former Church of Christ preacher of some reknown. As a skilled polemic I found myself in great demand. Good debaters were of much value in the Church of Christ movement, and I was one of the best. My specialty was in the field of Biblical Hermeneutics and in it I was unsurpassed in ability and in the willingness to "put down" those who would argue that the Bible was not the Word of God. After extended mingling with the world I began to draw myself away from the Church of Christ creed which demanded purity. I reasoned that a little social drinking, mixed swimming, and some dancing could not be at all that bad.

I did not drop away from the Church of Christ denomination all at once. No, I fell into the company of brethren who felt they could use someone of my ability and reknown. These same brethren felt they could overlook my new-found pleasures as long as my presence could hurt the influence of the school in which I had formerly taught. Soon, however, I had progressed so much in my open-mindedness that even these brethren had no further use for me. When I could no longer work with them I drifted to Thessalonica and fell in with some free-thinkers who took great delight in my intellectual progress. Not long after that I found that I could minister best by devoting my life to the freeing of those poor underprivileged beings who were being offered to the lions in Rome. A noble calling indeed. At any rate, I am indeed pleased that I through my own intelligence found my way out of Church of Christism.

(For Demas hath forsook me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica. II Tim. 4:10)

As I see it, the chief difficulty of Church of Christers is their inability to see the worth of other religions. They are so narrow minded in their view of what is acceptable worship to a Supreme Force. "Sincerity is not enough in worship," so they say. Why is it that they cannot see the value in appreciating a god who is not so legalistic? Their legalism has caused more than one individual untold harm. As for their treatment of me and my fellow craftsmen, one has but to consult the record for an accurate account. They seem not to be ashamed at all in their views. The cause for intellectual and religious freedom, however, will win out and soon even they will see that a loving God cannot care what form our worship to Him might take.

(For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no little business unto the craftsmen. Acts 19:24)

I, Hymenaeus, too have a few things to say about Church of Christism. The religious leaders of this faction of Christianity are too bent on using only "proper" terms and appellations when referring to deity. Further, they are burying what little intellectualism they might have in their nations. One man, claiming to an Apostle of God, wrote an epistle to the little band of Christians at Corinth entreating them in the name of Jesus Christ to free themselves from moral impurity (Or, at least what he deemed to be impure) and from a terrible sin he called factionalism. It seems when Alexander coined the phrase "Attend the sect of your choice" this man nearly went wild. Perhaps it was jealousy which caused him to behave so. I am pleased that I am no longer bound to this narrow Church of Christism.

(Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered unto Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme. II Tim. 1:20)

Now, let us catch a few words written by that intellectual powerhouse Roberticus Myerio himself.

In this collection of writings we are pointing out the dangerous trends taking place among some of the more "orthodox" Church of Christers. Especially damaging is the brain drain taking place among those who preach the plan - and not the man, Christ Jesus. In this definitive work you will find the thoughts of some of the best brains in and out of the brotherhood. Some of these men are still in Church of Christism, some have left it or have been forced out of it by vindictive souls, and a very few have never in actuality been a part of formal Church of Christism. All in all, however, their writings should be considered carefully by all of us that we might take steps to stop this terrible exodus from our brotherhood of some of the best brains alive.

Among our writers you will find such men as Alexander the Coppersmith, Diotrephes, and the noted scholar Gamaliel. Sadly, we were unable to print the stories of Ananias and Sapphira as they passed away prior to completing their manuscripts. Even though we were unable to include their documents we are sure you will find the ones included quite thought provoking.