Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 6, 1951

Hogland-Gage Debate

Judson Woodbridge

Ward Hogland of the Park Hill church of Christ in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, met Ralph Gage of the May Avenue church of Christ (Anti-Bible school congregation) of the same city in a debate at Sallisaw, Oklahoma, October 9-12. The debate was held in a tent on the church grounds. Large crowds attended. The classes and women teachers were discussed.

As usual 1 Corinthians 14 came in for its share of discussion. Brother Hogland showed that this chapter was written to govern the use of spiritual gifts in the church and didn't apply to assemblies today; and that the women of that chapter were wives of the prophets who were uttering prophecies. That the women in this assembly could not even "grunt"—"utter a sound—emit a voice." (Thayer) This would forbid their singing if this chapter governed women today in the assemblies. He showed that the participial form of the same word is used in Eph. 5:19 about singing.

Then to show the inconsistency of the "anti" position brother Hogland for argument sake granted that 1 Corinthians 14 did govern the assembly today. This would not keep the women from teaching a class in a school which was held before this assembly came together. Gage was pressed to give his scriptural authority for the erecting of a church building. He stated that such was not scriptural or unscriptural. Brother Hogland then made a list of things that Gage did which were not scriptural or unscriptural, and yet he was not willing to have a school on Sunday morning to teach the Bible. 1 Corinthians 14 didn't apply to the school, so Gage should be willing to put it in the category of his not scriptural or unscriptural things. The inconsistency of the "anti" position was clearly seen. Brother Hogland asked him often to tell just what he was objecting to, and what he was dividing the body of Christ over. He never answered! The truth of the business is no "anti" can.

In the discussion brother Hogland referred to the prayer meeting in Acts 12 where Rhoda went in and "confidently affirmed" that Peter was at the gate. Here was a woman in the assembly talking. Brother Gage showed his confusion by saying Rhoda spoke in a church assembly, and that this had nothing to do with the issue!

Brother Hogland is logical and forceful in his speaking. This was the second time I had heard him in a debate. Truth will not suffer in his hands. It was a pleasure for me to moderate for him in this debate.