Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 4, 1954

Where Do We Go From Here? — Women Preachers

Robert C. Welch, Louisville, Kentucky

The cry has gone out with incontrovertible evidence that we are gradually taking up all the ways of the digressive church. Churches of Christ are building their missionary societies under different names, the schools are becoming a necessary part of their work, their charity work is growing more and more into a denominational combination of churches for such work. And now we are developing women preachers.

Sermons have been heard a few years ago pointing to the extremes of the digressives. In those talks it was pointed out that they started with instrumental music and the societies. It was argued that once the gap was left down for innovations, anything could come in. Then it was pointed out, in proof of the premise just stated, that among other things they have been developing a female ministry. The premise seemed good then, and it is still being proved true. For the second time in a hundred years churches of the Lord are drifting in the same pattern. The following article will show that we have already come to the practice of the female ministry.

"'Gospel Of Divine Love' To Be Television Theme"

"The 'TV Sunday School' programs taught by Mrs. Gayle Oler each Sunday morning at 10:30 over WFAA-TV, channel 8 in Dallas will have as its theme for January - March, 'The Gospel of Divine Love.' All of the lessons will be taken from the gospel according to John, and will feature such topics as 'God Revealed in Christ,' 'Jesus Uses His Authority,' 'Jesus and Nicodemus,' 'Jesus and the Samaritans,' 'Christ the Living Bread,' 'Can This Be the Christ,' 'The Man Born Blind.' 'The Good Shepherd,' 'The Raising of Lazarus,' 'Jesus Faces the Cross; 'The New Commandment,' and 'Jesus Strengthens His Disciples."

"Interest in the 'TV Sunday School' is increasing, and since many hospital rooms are equipped with television sets, this program affords opportunity for Bible teaching to many who would not be able to attend regular services because of illness." (Boles Home News, Dec. 25, 1953)

Sister Oler may be a very good teacher, this writer has not had the privilege of hearing her. No one questions her right to teach children. The beginning of her TV work was announced to be addressed to the children who did not attend Sunday school. This writer wondered how long it would remain limited to children. Now it comes out that her lessons are also addressed to those in hospitals who are not able to attend regular services. If hospitalized men and women make up the listening audience of Sister Oler on these subjects which would make a good meeting schedule for Brother Oler, may not Uncle Ben and Aunt Suzie who are too tired to go to church listen with as much profit? A common complaint against the broadcast of radio sermons at the hours of church worship is that negligent members will stay at home and say that they worshipped by hearing Brother So-and-So. Now they will be privileged to stay at home and listen to the lesson of Sister Oler, and they may derive so much more good, for their "minister" preaches such deep sermons, while Sister Oler speaks on their level, presenting lessons the children can understand.

A humble suggestion seems to be in order. Sister Oler is given her time by the TV station to preach to the shut-ins. Could not the "Herald of Truth" make some kind of deal with her so that she could get on a nationwide network? Either name, "TV Sunday School" or "Herald of Truth" would work acceptably. The "Herald of Truth" wants a million dollars from churches to put on their program, but if they could get Sister Oler to do their programs it might be donated by the stations. WHAT A SAVING!

Having no opportunity to see the Dallas program, this writer wonders if Sister Oler teaches as a representative the churches of Christ, or as a representative of Boles Orphan Home. If she teaches as a "minister of the churches of Christ" do they support her as she gives so much of her time the preparation and demonstration of these lessons? If she represents Boles Home in these lessons, who supports her? If she is supported by Boles Home, and the churches support Boles Home, what is the difference between this arrangement and that of a preacher supported by a church supported missionary society? Does anyone know when the text of her "TV Sunday School" lesson to shut-ins will be taken from 1 Timothy 2:8-15? It should be interesting.

Now that we have women preachers on television, where do we go from here? It seems that television would be a good medium for having some scantily clad lasses to interpret some of the Biblical stories by ballet and other appropriate dances. It seems that digressive churches have been known to have this kind of "teaching" also. What church of Christ, orphan home, or glad tidings organization will be first to launch a drive for funds to televise such a highly interesting program on a nationwide basis? You might make a start by engaging only one or two stations. WOMEN PREACHERS? WHERE TO FROM HERE?