Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 19, 1951

Past And Present

Luther Blackmon, Houston, Texas

Brother Glenn Wallace voices a sharp protest at an article in the Gospel Guardian in which I expressed some concern over an item in the budget of the Central Church in Cleburne, Texas. The item said, "Abilene—$1,000.00.' I said I wondered if the Cleburne church (Central) had again decided to support the colleges from the treasury of the church. Brother Wallace says he can relieve my anxiety. He is happy to inform us that the money went to the building fund of the College Church and not to the support of the school. He further assures us that he has substantial "evidence' that the Central Church has never, as a church, supported the school, G. C. Brewer to the contrary notwithstanding.' Of course I have not preached for the Central Church and do not have the kind of evidence Brother Wallace says he has, so as far as I am concerned, it is just his word against brother Brewer's. Brother Brewer says when he was Centrals preacher they put A.C.C. in the budget of the church for $1,000.00.

But suppose they did support the school in the past, asks brother Wallace, why charge them with their past? And how would I like for someone to be forever reminding me of my past? Well that would be pretty bad, but if I manifested the attitude toward those who condemn the sins of my past that some brethren manifest when a voice is heard protesting the "college-in-the-budget," I should not be too surprised and hurt if somebody got the idea that some of my past was present.

Let me explain once more that my reference to the incident in the history of the Cleburne Church was called forth by the attitude of one of the elders of that church, brother Otto Foster, toward some issues which I discussed in a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, not many months ago. I spoke on the danger of our becoming too institutional minded. This, of course, involved a discussion of the church-school question. About the worst thing I said about the school was that it is a human affair, while the church is divine, and that the church is quite capable of accomplishing its divine mission, without the aid of any human adjuncts. I said I preferred "Christian" schools to others but let us keep them out of the church. Brother Foster was present that night and was obviously very displeased with my speech. He took some twenty minutes after I sat down to say so. He said I was lined up with a crowd that is opposed to our "Christian colleges" and named some men who were not there to defend themselves. Said we had not been to college, but that we should not "fall out" with those who have. It occurred to me that he was unnecessarily "techy" at the mention of church supported schools for a man who believes it is unscriptural: (Come to think of it I don't believe I ever heard him say he thinks it is unscriptural.) Brother Foster said, among other things, that he had not changed his mind about many things regarding the work of the church in fifty-seven years. Brother Foster was elder in Central Church in Cleburne when Brother Brewer says they put A.C.C. in the budget for $1,000.00. All this made me wonder about the item in the budget, "Abilene—$1,000.00." It is assuring to know that I was wrong. My apologies to the Central Church on that point.

Now while brother Glenn has the gloves on maybe he would like to defend Centrals method of doing mission work. I don't have to wonder about this. I, along with several hundred others, heard brother Foster say, in Phoenix, that "if some churches around here have money they don't know how to spend, if they will send to Central, we will spend it for them in the work of the Lord.' This is almost verbatim. This the very thing that Lubbock and Brownfield have backed away from and say they do not want to do. Does the statement of brother Foster represent the attitude of the Central Church in Cleburne? If brother Foster, or Brother Glenn Wallace will affirm that "It is scriptural for one church to receive and spend the money contributed by many churches in evangelizing the world,' I am sure someone can be found who will deny it: