Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 18, 1970
NUMBER 7, PAGE 10-13

Gospel Guardian Tell-Al- Gram

William E Wallace — News Editor

Clyde Strickland, — Reporter; 417 E. Groesbeck, Lufkin, Texas 75901 Gospel Meetings:

Bill Cavender of Port Arthur, Texas, was with the church in McAlester, Okla., March 30th through April 5th for a gospel meeting. Then, beginning April 6th through the 12th, he was with the church in Savanna, Okla., for a meeting.

Two were baptized in Globe, Arizona, and one was restored at the 14th and Blackfoot church in Hereford, in the exchange meetings conducted by Robert J. LaCoste of Globe and Robert W. LaCoste of Hereford recently. Two were identified with the congregation meeting at Blackfoot in Hereford on April 5th.

W. R. Jones did the preaching in a gospel meeting April 26 through May 1st for the East Houston church of Christ in which four were baptized.

The church in Alta Loma, Texas, conducted a gospel meeting April 27 through May 3rd in which Joe Fitch, Burnet, Texas, did the preaching.

The church of Christ meeting at 604 Pine in Woodville, had Johnny Stringer with them May 3rd through the 8th for a gospel meeting. Johnny is from Port Arthur.

Pat Farish, preacher for the Castleberry church in Fort Worth did the preaching in a meeting May 3 - 8 for the Matthews Street church in Bay Qty. Lanny Farish is the preacher there.

James W. Adams of Nacogdoches held a short meeting for the church in Alto, May 4th - 8. His theme for the meeting was "The Organization of the Church." Bruce James is working with the Alto congregation.

Eugene Britnell, Little Rock, Ark., did the preaching in a gospel meeting May 11 - 17 for the Castleberry congregation in Fort Worth, Texas.

The church meeting at 126 Mimosa Lane in Mesquite, had Hayes Reneau of Gladewater with them for a gospel meeting May 11 - 17.

A gospel meeting was conducted by the church in Zavalla, June 1 - 5, in which the following speakers participated: Oliver Murray, Jim McDonald, J. B. Jordan, William Wallace, and Charles Robinson. Each of these men is from Lufkin.

Tom Roberts of Crockett did the preaching for a meeting with the Chandler Highway church of Christ in Tyler in April, in which two were baptized into Christ.

The church in Jefferson had Tom Roberts of Crockett with them in a gospel meeting May 24 - 29.

The church of Christ meeting on Highway 287 in Groveton has planned an unusual gospel meeting there beginning June 28 and continuing through July 8. This meeting is unusual in that four different speakers, all brothers in the flesh, Cecil, Don, Lewis, and Mike Willis, will each alternate from night to night in preaching the gospel. Groveton is the "home town" of the Willis brothers, and their parents, Brother and Sister O. J. Willis, worship with this congregation.

Bill McQuiston will do the preaching in a gospel meeting in Jacksonville (the Southside congregation) June 21 - 27.

Baptisms And Restorations

One was baptized and one identified at Bellaire in Houston, Sunday, April 19th. — Eight were identified recently with the congregation meeting at 500 N. Somerville, Pampa, Texas. — Two were baptized and two restored to the Lord at the Westside congregation in Irving, Texas, Sunday, April 12th. — One placed membership with the Castleberry congregation in Ft. Worth, April 5th. — One was identified with the Westside church in Ft. Worth, April 12th. — One was identified with the Southside congregation in Pasadena, April 19th. — Four were baptized into Christ at the Rivera Street church in El Paso during the month of March. — Three were baptized and two restored at Caprock in Lubbock, March 29 and April 12th. — Two were baptized in the meeting in which W. R. Jones did the preaching at the West Orange congregation recently. — Two were identified at Bellaire in Houston, May 10th. — One was baptized and one identified with the congregation meeting at 500 N. Somerville in Pampa, Texas, May 3rd.

Preachers Moving

H. L. Bruce, Mt. Pleasant, Texas, is moving to Colorado Springs, Colo., about June first to work with the faithful group there. — Bob Craig, after about two years with the church in Lake Jackson, is moving to Austin, June 1st, to work with the congregation meeting at South 5th and Brodie Sts. Bob's home address will be 4501 Ramsey, Austin. — Bob Franks plans to move from Lafayette, Louisiana, to work with the Westside church in Fort Worth. No definite date has yet been announced for his move. — John Iverson will be moving to Tyler, about August 17th to work with the Garden Valley Road congregation of that city. — Oliver Murray, who has been working with the Garden Valley Road church in Tyler will begin preaching for the church meeting on Linwood Drive in Nacogdoches the first of July. Oliver begins a gospel meeting in Broadus, June 12 - 17. Also, he is scheduled to be with the Mount Olive church of Christ near Fayette, Alabama, July 26 - August 2nd.

The Bonner-Dunning Debate

On the nights of April 20, 21, 23, and 24, David Bonner, who works with the Sixth and Meredith congregation in Dumas, Texas and Dwainne Dunning, a conservative Christian Church preacher and teacher in one of their church supported colleges, met in debate at Dalhart, Texas. The first two nights Bonner affirmed a negative, namely, that the use of mechanical instruments in accompaniment of songs of praise to God are unscriptural. The last two nights Dunning affirmed their use to be scriptural.

I will not here attempt to give anything like a full review of the debate, but I do wish to point out a few things.

Bonner had his material well prepared and much of it illustrated with charts. He did a superb job in presenting the truth the first two nights and in answering error the last two nights. In my estimation, he is as well qualified to meet a man on this question as any man I know.

It was evident that Dunning did not come to Dalhart to try to convert anyone to his position on the instrument. He was there in an effort to work out something he called "unity" and "fellowship" between the two "segments of the Restoration Movement." He plainly stated that he did not care whether others agreed with him or not. He just wanted all to agree to "have fellowship" in disagreement. Needless to say that he met with dismal failure before the people who heard him. But if some of these liberal preachers would debate him, (and he says that about twenty have refused to meet him, some of which are "big names" among the liberals) I predict he would have a field day with them. They have laid the ground work, and a man like Dunning could convince many in these liberal churches that his plea for "unity and fellowship" is the desirable thing.

Around 100 attended the debate each night, most of which were from conservative churches. A number of preachers attended, all of whom were in agreement with Bonner. So far as we were able to determine, not a single member of the large "Conservative Church" in Dalhart attended. Dunning openly stated his disappointment in this. I did learn that one or two from the liberal church attended one night. So Bonner had plenty of support, but Dunning was mighty lonely. (The reverse of this was true in their Scottsbluff, Neb. debate last November, except for five or six brethren with Bonner.) Even his moderator, Sam Meyers, preaches for a "non-instrumental church of Christ." Sam and Dunning both speak highly of Carl Ketecherside, and if I got the picture right are his strong supporters.

In his affirmative, Bonner constantly appealed to the scriptures for his authority. He showed that every passage in the New Testament that mentioned the subject specified vocal music, that none mentioned mechanical music; and concluded that the mechanical music in praise of God was unauthorized, thus unscriptural.

In rebuttal, Dunning essentially argued if God's silence did not give consent, that at least it did not condemn the practice. He said that silence might mean one of several things. Then he listed five things as follows:

1. Maybe God did not think it important enough to speak on.

2. Perhaps God was happy with what was already known on the subject. (Here he made reference to what was known of praising God with instruments in the Old Testament.)

3. Possibly the record was lost.

4. Maybe no one could read the record.

5. May express contempt.

Dunning then concluded that we could not know which of these things God's silence meant, and that therefore each ought to let the other believe what he liked on the subject without affecting our fellowship with one another.

Dunning frequently made reference to "The Restoration Movement" and "Restoration Principles." I doubt that he would admit this, but it seemed to me that his uppermost concern was to see "The Restoration Movement" unified. He frequently quoted: "Where the Scriptures speak we speak, and where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent." Then he would conclude that Bonner was violating that principle in that the Bible was silent on the subject of mechanical instrument in praise of God, but that Bonner spoke on the subject; the Bible said nothing on the subject, but Bonner said it was wrong to use the instrument in praise of God. Therefore, Bonner spoke where the Bible was silent. I would say that that is some interpretation of that slogan!

Dunning said that men of the past never opposed the instrument from a scriptural stand point. He mentioned Moses E. Lard specifically and said: "Lard was not interested in Scriptural argument; he was obviously interested in shooting off his mouth. His arguments are basically used today."

After arguing for two nights that the silence of the Scriptures give consent to the use of the instrument, finally on the third night he began arguing that the Scriptures are not silent on the subject after all. He argued that if a word is used in both the Septuagint and in New Testament Greek, they must have the same meaning in both places. He then showed several places where "Psallo" and "Psalmos" did include the instrument in the Old Testament.

Bonner effectively exposed his argument by showing the word "Ekklesia" was used in both the Septuagint and the New Testament, but certainly had reference to different things. Bonner quoted from many scholars to show that the word "Psallo" does not inherently include an instrument. He showed that the word does mean to "pluck, twang," etc., but that the instrument "plucked" had to be named in a given context.

At the beginning of his first affirmative, Dunning said: "David and I have altogether a different approach to the Scriptures." During the debate this was evident. Then near the conclusion of the debate, Dunning showed what the Scriptures really mean to him in that he said: "My admonition is this — get your nose out of Christ's book and lift up your eyes to Him."

Dunning would love to get some of the liberal preacher, like J. W. Roberts, J. D. Thomas, and James Bales (all of which he says have refused to meet him) in debate. He could "make hay" with their audiences, and he knows it. But I doubt that he will be interested in debating Bonner or any other conservative preacher again. He did sign propositions with James Lusby of Pampa, Texas. But no dates were set for the debate, and I seriously doubt it will ever come off.

Jesse G. Jenkins, 1813 Carlton, Denton, Texas 76201

Terry Partain:

"I will be moving to Dyersburg, Tenn. during the last week in June to work with the Lake Road church. I had decided at first not to renew my subscription to the Guardian but since the quality of the articles has been upgraded so, I hate to miss it. Here's my $5.00 for another year."

Newton, N. C.

"The Newton Church of Christ had its beginning on March 2, 1969, meeting in the home of Brother and Sister Jerry E. Wright. There were eleven members and nineteen in attendance. In July, 1969, the brethren in Bell, Florida sent Brother Roscoe Knight to work in an eleven day meeting. During that meeting the church was given the use of a building formerly used by colored brethren. One was baptized and three restored.

"Since the meeting five have been baptized into Christ and one deceased, leaving the church with twenty-one members. The attendance for each service averages from twenty-six into the thirties. Brethren, there isn't another congregation (not under liberal influence) within fifty miles of us.

"We have contacted Bro. Kenneth R. Morrison of Greater. Continental Investment Company to construct our building. In order to finance this building, we are issuing $40,000.00 of coupon bonds at 7% interest, semiannual. These bonds are of all denominations from $50, $100, $250, $500, and $1,000. Maturity dates are every six months from November 1, 1970 through May 1, 1980.

"Brethren, you can help to carry on the Lord's work in this destitute area by investing in these bonds. There is no greater cause, no higher purpose, that anyone could invest in. We here at Newton are doing all that we can. Won't you help? Please contact the Newton Church of Christ." — Giles M. Painter

E. Paul Price, 434 Lester Blvd., Duncan, Oklahoma 73533

"In a recent issue of the Gospel Guardian there was an announcement concerning a debate to be between the Southside church of Christ and the Jesus Name Church in Duncan. This debate was to have been in July with David Bonner and R. C. Wise debating six different propositions. Three nights of the debate was to have been in the Jesus Name Church building and three nights in the building of the Southside church. Propositions were agreed on, arrangements were made, Southside even changed a meeting which was scheduled for the first week in June for the debate, but as things stand now there will be no debate.

"In the last night of the Price — McCord debate in Comanche, Oklahoma they were hurting so much on the baptismal ceremony proposition that R. C. Wise issued a challenge from the floor. Mr. Wise was in no way involved in the first debate. Now, the Jesus Name Church in Duncan refuses to endorse Mr. Wise according to the agreement made with him and the local preacher. The local Jesus Name Church had Mr. Wise in Duncan preaching on the radio for them until they found out about the debate. They have now either fired the local preacher Mr. Black or he resigned, taken their radio program off the air, and the local preacher has moved from town without letting me know his address and phone number. Thus far I have been unable to locate him. So, there will be no debate.

"David Bonner will be with the church here in a meeting July 6th-12th. All are invited to be with us at this time. Southside has made progress in the midst of much opposition. There are three churches in Duncan supporting institutionalism, recreation, kitchens, and the sponsoring church concept. These three churches will not defend publicly what they are teaching and practicing. Also, there are two churches that do not have classes. They are divided on containers and are not in fellowship. This indeed is a hard and difficult field to make the kind of progress that a preacher would like to make. However, those who think that opposition to the institutional doctrine is dying out should compare today with the late fifties in this state. I was in the state in the fifties and I am here today and I say that much progress has been made since that time. There are many faithful churches today as compared with just a few in the fifties. Thank God for those who love the truth more than they do fine buildings and popularity. Visit with us on South Hwy. 81 while in Duncan."


"They would like a man to begin with them as soon after the 12th of July as possible. They are able to put $60.00 per week toward a man's support and furnish him with a three bedroom house. This is a good sound church, standing ready to accept all of God's word and only that. Many of them have a good working knowledge of the word and a man will do well to consider working with them. The church meets at 714 Calhoun St. Anyone who is interested in contacting them may do so by calling (904) 457-9742 or writing P. O. Box 217, Perry, Fla. 32347:' — J. P. Poppell.

Otis Jordan:

"July 31, marks two years labor with the Perry, Florida congregation. We feel we have had a profitable work having had 12 restorations, 1 to be identified, and 4 baptisms.

"In January I received an invitation from the West End church in McMinnville, Tenn. to work with them. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to move there. I will be moving the last of July. I leave here feeling I am leaving some of the best people in the church, and therefore have sorrow in my heart. But we feel we will find the same in McMinnville. We go there with determination to do all that we can for the Lord, which has been our goal here."