Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 7, 1951
NUMBER 6, PAGE 10-11a

The Broadcast Speaks

Bob Craig, Lufkin, Texas

In the May 3rd issue, the Gospel Broadcast jumped with zeal upon the narrow and already overcrowded back of the Gospel Guardian. This came to light in an article from the pen of brother Clarence Gobbel titled: "Watchman, What of the Night?' It was all rather a surprise in view of the fact that Eugene Smith, who edits the Broadcast, has stated over and over again that his paper would never engage in what he has referred to as "squabbling and wrangling." Maybe he hasn't changed much, after all. But let's get to the article.

This article sounds a note that is just a little foreign to some of the previous writings of brother Gobbel. In times past he has been seeking information and laying down principles that are known and used by all of us. But now he comes boldly with assertion on top of assertion that appear to be nothing but personal prejudices. Notice a quotation from his article:

"It is also true, as can be verified by many others, that the very same preachers who are today criticizing the manner in which churches are busy in supporting mission work, have never held a mission meeting at their own expense, and have been known to belittle the idea of their ever being expected to do so. These same preachers have never, and I am convinced will never preach for a small, weak congregation unable to pay them large sums for their work. And how many of them have ever volunteered to preach to foreign peoples? It is not my contention that these or any other preachers should go at their own expense, but they should be careful lest their manner of criticism of what is being done; discourage the doing of it.'

In the above quotation brother Gobbel has written harshly and rashly. I am calling on him for proof that I, and hundreds of other preachers like me, who hold to the Bible position being defended by the Guardian, am among the number that he talks about when he says: "have never held a mission meeting at their own expense . . .' and "have never, and I am convinced will never preach for a small, weak congregation unable to pay them large sums for their work." Now, suppose for a moment that he were able to prove his contention (which he can't) just what would he have accomplished? Would that settle the issue concerning "Centralized control and oversight?" No, I'm afraid it wouldn't and he knows that it wouldn't. This is only brought up for the purpose of arousing prejudice against our position.

He then asks the question, "How many of them (preachers that hold to the Guardian position—B.C.) have ever volunteered to preach to foreign peoples?" He implies that there are none. I can point out a few to him that are now preaching, or have been preaching, in foreign lands, who hold the same position that the Bible and the Guardian does, and there are perhaps many others who would admit such positions if they could do so without having their support cut off. Brother Gobbel is garbling the issue.

"If and to the extent we listen to such editors and publishers as those who edit and publish the Gospel Guardian, every effort put forth by churches today to support gospel preaching at home or abroad, would be discouraged to a large degree. This is said in spite of their assertion that they are not against preaching the gospel anywhere at anytime.'

Brother Gobbel admits in his quotation that he shouldn't be saying what he is, but he'll say it anyway The Guardian has continually advocated preaching the gospel at home and abroad; also congregational cooperation; but we have always insisted that it must be done according to New Testament principles, principles that brother Gobbel himself believes in.

Then brother Gobbel tells us that many of the congregations of Arizona were started in the same manner that the Guardian is criticizing and his reasoning suggests the question, "Was all this wrong?' I know nothing about the situation in Arizona but I just wonder if brother Gobbel realizes what he is saying. I want some information, brother Gobbel. Did the small congregations of which you speak, have their beginning as the congregations in Germany did? If so, what church was the centralized administering headquarters for them? What church took the so-called oversight of Arizona? To what church were all other churches instructed to send their funds for the "work in Arizona?' I would like to have the answers to these questions, brother Gobbel. Brother Gobbel then suggests that since the work in Arizona did not develop a centralized machine or association there is no danger of any such thing occurring in the present missionary set-up. It just brings to my mind the idea that when the above questions are answered, we will see that the "work in Arizona" was not parallel to the "work in Germany.'

We find though, that brother Gobbel has been reading some fair literature and more than that even commends highly what he has been perusing. The book? "The New Testament Church' by Roy E. Cogdill. The only thing he dislikes about it is the removal of one statement that was wrong and was admitted to be wrong by brother Cogdill, marked out of all the remaining books of that edition, and revised in the sixth edition of the book, which is now off the press and in the bindery.

It was called to the attention of brother Cogdill that a misstatement had been made in lesson 14 (brother Gobbel says lesson 10 but he's mixed up again or else one of brother Smith's printers made another mistake). He acknowledged the mistake and made the above restitution. The statement: "Funds for the poor saints in Judea were placed in hands of elders of Jerusalem Church to be administered by them,' which is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from that particular scripture, (Acts 11:29 30) brother James Bales to the contrary, notwithstanding. Even brother Showalter, in an editorial January 30, arrives at this same conclusion. He says, "I gave scripture, in my editorial showing that relief was sent to the elders in Judea.'

But brother Gobbel says, not so. He agrees wholeheartedly with the book when it was in error and then jumps to something he knows nothing in the world about. "It is rumored,' he says, "that a new edition is being issued in which this page is completely revised.' Now, brother Gobbel, let a young preacher warn you against believing and certainly in retelling rumors. Let me assure you (and I speak with a certain amount of authority, since I was in charge of the reprinting of the book) that it teaches exactly the same principles that it always did and principles that the majority of the brethren believe, whether they practice them or not. Only the one sentence has been changed. Brother Cogdill, brother Tant, I and a multitude of others still believe in preaching the gospel at home and abroad. We still believe in cooperation of local churches. And we still stand defiantly against "Centralized control and oversight.'

Brother Gobbel, I call on you and others like you throughout the brotherhood, to forget personalities and restudy the issue in the light of principles that we all believe. Recognize the fact that there are dangers that have in times consumed portions of the Lord's church, and may, if not checked, do the same again. Arise with us and take heed to the warning signs that are posted throughout the New Testament, prepare ourselves, and then when the question comes, "Watchman, what of the night?' we can safely say, "All is well."