Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 31, 1952
NUMBER 38, PAGE 6,12b

"As Wise As Serpents . . ."

. J. Russell, Durant, Oklahoma

The Roman Catholic Church in our little city, which has been in past years the weakest religious body here, but which in recent months has experienced phenomenal growth and popularity, is as wise as a serpent but far from being as harmless as a dove. Through a propaganda agent, comparable only to those employed by the Communists, this apostate institution, with seemingly an innocent cry of "A Picture of Christ in Every Business," has succeeded in placing a life like picture of Christ (?) in about every office and business house in town, as well as in a number of denominational church buildings. This was all done through the agency of one woman (a Roman Catholic) with the priest and the Roman Church staying well in the background.

By this simple plan the Catholics in our town have completely cut the ground from under those Protestant preachers who wax eloquent in opposing the idols of the Catholic Church. For now the Catholics have only to point to the pictures placed over the numerous pulpits and say, "That picture looks much more life-like than our marble statues!" Being as wise as the serpent who fathered her, the Roman Church has in a very subtle way obviated one of the most effective criticisms against her. It is truly amazing to notice how deep is the sleep of denominational preachers who are supposedly the avowed enemies of this "mother of harlots."

This same propaganda agent almost succeeded recently in another similar campaign when a number of slow thinking "do-gooders" were about to enter into a Christmas parade headed by the Roman Catholics. This would of course break down much public opposition to Romanism, and would have paved the way for an exclusive parade in the interest of the Catholic Church only. The following statement was mimeographed and mailed to every denominational preacher in town. I learned later that the statement was a subject for discussion in the "Ministerial Alliance" in our town. What effect it had I know not. Suffice it to say the Christmas parade was not held. Here is the statement:

A Christmas Parade?

The Roman Catholic Church thrives on that which makes a great show of pomp and splendor.

"The Roman Church in America has a great gift for showmanship, and its ceremonials and costumes lend themselves naturally to pageantry in the grand manner. Ten thousand Quakers can live in an American community all their lives and not attract half the attention that ten thousand Catholics do, especially if the Catholics have an energetic bishop who understands modern publicity methods." (American Freedom and Catholic Power - page 11.)

"The American people take delight in big shows, and the hierarchy in recent years has learned to give them the kind of displays they want." (Ibid, p. 12)

"Publicity worth millions of dollars in revenue and good will is given to the Catholic hierarchy every week by the newspapers and magazines of the country. Protestant leaders and Jewish rabbis are accorded kindly treatment also, but not quite such pronounced reverences, and they are relatively drab and prosaic figures compared to the colorful costumed leaders of the Catholic spectacles." (Ibid, p. 12)

The above is illustrative of how the Roman Catholics gain popularity in this free land of America, and those familiar with their tactics know that the author quoted has described their methods with accuracy and clearness.

A propaganda campaign is under way in our city in which public sentiment can be swayed favorably to such parade of showmanship as will be seen in a proposed Christmas parade for the purpose of "exalting the birthday of Christ." Such stated purpose is quite misleading; the real purpose of the proposed parade is to gain advertisement of the Roman Catholic Church.

As the "picture of Christ" campaign was a Catholic effort to break down public opposition to Roman idolatry so will the proposed Christmas parade be a similar Catholic effort to influence public opinion. The following exchange of letters will set this forth more fully:

The Issue

Rev. 0. J. Russell Church of Christ Durant, Oklahoma Dear Rev. Russell:

I went by your office and you were not in, so I am mailing you a copy of a plan for a proposed Christmas parade.

It is our hope and prayer that you will cooperate with us.

With every best wish and prayer;

Sincerely, Ora O'Riley Miss Ora O'Riley 1028 W. Main Durant, Oklahoma Dear Miss O'Riley:

I am in receipt of your letter of November 4, and will hasten to say that I regret deeply the fact that I was out of my office when you called. I would much prefer a personal interview to correspondence when matters such as you propose arise.

I am somewhat surprised that you as a Roman Catholic will "hope and pray" that I, whom you consider an unregenerate soul, will "cooperate with you." According to your belief, the Roman Catholic Church is the one and only true New Testament church. Your position puts my brethren and me out in the cold where according to your own authorities we are without Christ and without hope in the world. I am quite certain that one in your position must be keenly aware that the Master stated: "He that is not with me is against me." (Matt. 12:30) Hence, you would have an "anti-Christ" cooperate with you in a parade, held as you say to exalt Christ!!! Certainly you have been instructed by your "infallible interpreters of the Bible" how that great Book warns against those who teach a contrary doctrine. (2 John 10, 11) It seems that I see quite an inconsistency in what you teach and what you practice.

Now, with the foregoing being true you can see that I would of necessity be forced to decline your offer to cooperate in your proposal. Notwithstanding this however, there would follow another reason for declining the invitation extended: to celebrate the so-called birthday of Christ, when no such command is found in the New Testament. The Lord never once told men to celebrate his birth, but contrarily his death. This we choose to do as did the early Christians on the first day of the week." (Acts 20:7)

How can we consistently believe the Bible and follow the New Testament pattern if we join in a celebration of "Mass for Christ" (Christmas), which originated with Rome and not the Bible?

I hope you can see the reasons why we will not be able to cooperate with you in your "propaganda campaign." Please feel free to call on me at any time for discussion of these issues. In fact, I would be happy if you would bring your priest with you on such occasion. I believe firmly in frank and open discussion of religious themes...Call on me if all is not clear.

Very sincerely, 0.J. Russell