Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 4, 1954
NUMBER 42, PAGE 8-11a

More On "Herald Of Truth": Truth Triumphs Over History

Logan Buchanan, Dallas, Texas

Brother James Adams, in his patient, kind, and methodical way, has been reviewing for these readers some things I said about the Herald of Truth broadcast. Although we are not very closely acquainted, I respond happily to what my brother says, for the sake of truth and for the glory of the church.

He has, in four articles, briefly referred to three verses of scripture, so I note them first:

He first suggests that some of us have "caused the sun to go backwards and the moon to reverse the tides of time," as Joshua did in Joshua 10:12. If, indeed, we could prevail with the Lord as in this example, when "there was no day like that before or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel," (Joshua 10:14), it would be a notable thing. We sincerely believe that the Lord is fighting for the cause of proclaiming the gospel to the world, and we thank Brother Adams for his complimentary analysis of the situation.

Again, he quotes 1st Corinthians 4:6 (ASV), to urge that we might "learn not to go beyond the things which are written." This is a mighty powerful verse, and its admonition must be heeded. Incidentally, I wrote to Brother Adams personally, to clear up his misunderstanding of what I said about the staunch defenders of the faith who have through the years stood for the old paths, and fought the battles of truth to keep the Lord's church firm and sound in the faith. Although I did not say that I despised these brethren, or had contempt for them,

I can see where Brother Adams (who does not know me very well), might very easily have thought that I was condemning them. It was my fault, not Brother Adams', that he misunderstood what I was trying to say.

But, while it is true that we must not GO BEYOND what is written, we must also not STOP SHORT of what is written, for James says, "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Jesus condemned people very harshly because "they say and do not." (Matthew 23:3)

Which sin is greater — to do right so zealously that you go beyond what is written, OR to object to what is wrong so loudly that you fail to do what is written? Who knows? As for me and mine, let me stay in the middle of the road, and violate God's will neither on the right hand nor on the left.

Therefore, when Paul says to "be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (1st Corinthians 11:1), and when he says that we should remember his "ways which be in Christ, as T teach everywhere in every church" 1st Corinthians 4:17), and then adds, "if any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1st Corinthians 14:37), my counsel must be to follow Paul's teaching and example. Let no man object to our doing as Paul did!

After Brother Adams, and three or four others, have written in the Gospel Guardian for four weeks in answer to my article, the scriptural basis for Congregational Cooperation stands untouched and unmentioned. Let me repeat the argument, in slightly different form, as it appeared in the Gospel Advocate, January 21, 1954:

Note how "the churches" worked together in New Testament times:

1. The Jerusalem church needed help. Paul gave apostolic orders "to the churches of Galatia" to make up a cooperative contribution to send to Jerusalem, and ordered Corinth to join in this cooperation. (1st Corinthians 16:1-3)

2. Men were chosen by letters from the churches, to handle the funds (1 Corinthians 16:3); these became "the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ," (2nd Corinthians 8:23).

3. The "churches of Macedonia" also joined this cooperative enterprise, "by the will of God," (2nd Corinthians 8:1 5).

4. The church in Corinth pledged to the fund a year before, and Paul commanded, "Perform the doing of it," (2nd Corinthians 8:10-11).

5. Titus and an unnamed brother were "chosen of the churches," and evidently by "all the churches," to "travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord," (2nd Corinthians 8:18-19).

6. The money was sent by "the churches" to the brethren in Jerusalem (1st Corinthians 16:3), evidently according to the pattern of an earlier occasion (Acts 11:27-30).

Do Not Fear This Example

Here — in this case of CONGREGATIONAL COOPERATIVE ACTION — more than one church chose a brother to go out among more than one other church, and promote a work which demanded raising funds from more than one church, which funds were sent FROM the elders of several churches TO another eldership.

Gospel Advocate, Jan. 21, 1954, p. 9

Now, if this was proper and right in the field of Benevolence, why is it not right to follow the SAME example in the field of evangelism? Both are the work of THE CHURCH.

Brother Adams also referred to one other verse, 1st Timothy 2:1-8, which says that in accomplishing the will of God, ("who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth") — "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting."

W maintain that by using a Radio network, and a Television network, God's will can be done, and God will be pleased — IF the pure Gospel is preached, and IF it be done by the CHURCH, the "pillar and ground of the truth," (1st Timothy 3:15).

Personally, we are sincerely convinced that it is TEN THOUSAND TIMES more scriptural to have the church, AS A CHURCH, perform its God-given duty to proclaim the Gospel under its God-ordained elders, than to set up a CHARTERED CORPORATION (admittedly a human institution existing without Divine Authority), such as the Roy E. Cogdill Publishing Company, to preach the Gospel to the alien through the columns of the Ancient Landmarks, and to further carry the Gospel to the church, through the columns of the Gospel Guardian.

Is It Scriptural To Use A Human Institution

How can it possibly be right for the elders of a church to take money from the church treasury and send to a HUMAN INSTITUTION, to preach the Gospel, when it is wrong (supposedly), for the same elders to take the same money and send to another congregation of the Lord's church, to preach the Gospel?

But on this verse (1st Timothy 2:1-8), we asked what it is that brethren can unite to pray about that they cannot unite to help accomplish. It seems to me (though not to Brother Adams), that he dodged the question, when he a swered "we can unite in prayer for the conversion of the heathen, but we cannot unite to act in a missionary society to accomplish that for which we pray."

We are not interested in forming a Missionary Society, of any form. If you want proof that the Herald of Truth is not anything like the Missionary Society, we suggest that you read the very excellent editorial of the venerable G. H. P. Showalter, editor of the Firm Foundation, in his issue of January 12, 1954, page 8.

When one church does its own local work, and another church in a distant part of the state or nation does its own local work, with neither of them having any interest in or cooperative action with one another, this is INDEPENDENT ACTION. This is not "uniting to act," in any sense, and certainly not in the scriptural sense.

If, on the other hand, there is ANY unity of action across congregational lines, there is a certain pooling of resources and confederation of plans necessary — but NOT to the extent of forming another organization to do the work of the church.

Churches CAN, and often do, work together, without ceasing to be local churches; and members of local churches CAN, and often do, work together without ceasing to be members of the local churches, and without becoming a part of some "super-organization."

Brother Adams Agrees With Us

Let no reader imagine that Brother Adams and I are very far separated on many points. In fact, we are very close together on this very question. For example:

Brother Adams says, "Highland Church has the right to preach the gospel anywhere in the world," (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 21, 1954, p. 5). Here we agree. No diocese limitations are to be set on the responsibility or upon the opportunities of any local church.

Brother Adams further says, ".... no one argues that Highland does not have the right to conduct a national radio program, .. . ."; and "No one argues that Highland Church does not have the right to conduct a radio or TV program in Beaumont or anywhere else in the world." He further adds, "No one known to me argues that preaching the Gospel on the radio and TV is unscriptural, nor does anyone quibble about the oversight of the listening audience." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 21, 1954, p. 5)

Here is absolute agreement between us on the RIGHT to use the networks for the preaching of the Gospel, and th RIGHT of the Highland Church to get the job done, and the RIGHT of the brethren who have had an interest in this work, to try and help. Our only difference is on the matter of METHODS. The question is not, "Is it right to put the Gospel on the networks, and should it be done?" — the only question is "HOW"?

The Name Business Is Also Settled

Brother Adams has no objection to calling this broadcast "The Herald of Truth." He agrees with us absolutely, and answers Brother Wallace's objection thoroughly. Brother Wallace thought that the name "Herald of Truth" was unscriptural (Firm Foundation, Dec. 22, 1953, page 5, column 2). Brother Adams says, "No one objects simply to the radio program of a local church being called 'The Herald of Troth'." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 21, 1964, p. 1)

When he also says that "no one argues that Highland Church does not have the right to conduct a national radio program" in the same article, we have forever settled these matters:

1. It is legitimate and in order to call a radio program "The Herald of Truth."

2. The Highland Church has the right to call their radio program by this name.

3. The Highland Church has the right to put such a program on a national Radio and Television network. The Work Is Not Too Big

Brother Adams answers many objectors when he grants that this program is not too big. He says, "No, the Herald of Truth is not opposed because of the 'bigness' of the work. The bigger the work a local church can perform, the better it is." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1954, P. 1)

Here, again, we agree. Couple this to the agreements already found, and we have clear-cut and straightforward admissions that:

1. The work ought to be done.

2. Highland Church has the right to do it.

3. It isn't too big to be right. It CAN be done, within the limitations of scripture, and by the authority of Jehovah.

Our only difference is in the METHODS employed. It is the modus operandi that Brother Adams condemns, not the people who do it, nor the work itself.

These things pretty well narrow our issues. Instead of a blanket objection to the whole program, we have now narrowed the matter down to a clear issue.

Brother Adams Endorses Congregational Cooperation

Brother Adams surprised me in saying, "No one opposes churches working together. No one opposes churches working in concert." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1954, p. 1) Now, if churches can work together, and "in concert," why is it a sin for them to share the expense of that in which they may work together, if it is a work that needs to be done? Until eternity begins, and time shall be no more, ECHO will answer, "WHY?"

If, indeed, the work is not too big to be right, and churches can scripturally work together to get it done, it would seem that our issue narrows all the more. Is there really any issue left between us?

Brother Adams States His Objections Brother Adams tells us, "It is not the bigness, but the unscriptural combination of many churches that is opposed." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1954, p. 1)

Now, if there is a RIGHT way for this work to be done, in some SCRIPTURAL manner of "working together" and "in concert," perhaps Brother Adams will tell us the better way. In the meantime, Brother Adams admits that the work is not too big to be right, and perhaps he will show us the right METHOD to use in doing this work.

Brother Adams says "It is churches combining to work through a single eldership that is opposed," (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1964). But when Brother Kendrick, of College Church, was serving as treasurer, he was vehemently opposed (on page 1), as making the work an "official" sectarian board, bigger than the local church. This is not the real objection to the Herald of Truth broadcast. If it were being done by SEVERAL elderships working "in concert," Brother Adams would REALLY object.

The Church — Or A Human Institution?

Brother Adams tells us that "we cannot unite to act in a missionary society to accomplish that for which we pray." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1954) We grant this, as an agreement, without protest. Our interest is in seeing the CHURCH, as a church, do the work of the CHURCH. We are not interested in building up any OTHER organization to carry out, or to take over, the responsibility of the church to preach the Gospel, whether it is a CHARTERED ORGANIZATION (such as the Cogdill Publishing Company), or a MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

We are not quite sure that it is scriptural for the church, AS A CHURCH, to contribute to either. Perhaps someone can enlighten us as to HOW it can be scriptural. Surely, if it is scriptural for the church, as a church, to engage the services of a HUMAN INSTITUTION to do its teaching, it is right to help a sister congregation financially, working together, and "in concert."

Brother Adams says, "Churches cannot scripturally operate to perform their own work through other churches." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1954) Perhaps, again, we are in absolute agreement. By the time Brother Adams gets through explaining how the churches can send money to the Roy E. Cogdill Publishing Company (a HUMAN INSTITUTION), without "OPERATING TO PERFORM THEIR OWN WORK THROUGH A HUMAN INSTITUTION" — perhaps he will be able to see that when sister congregations "work together" and work "in concert" — to accomplish a task in which they are both interested, they are not operating to perform their own work through other churches.

Brother Adams says that I must prove that "it is scriptural for 1,000 churches to delegate their responsibilities in the preaching of the Gospel via radio to one church." (Gospel Guardian, Jan. 28, 1954, p. 1) I am not interested in proving that ANY church can delegate its responsibility; I AM interested in proving that churches can work "in concert" and "together," and have "fellowship" in performing their work, which Brother Adams admits that they can scripturally do, WITHOUT forming any unscriptural combine or machine.

Perhaps Brother Adams would be interested in proving that it is scriptural for the churches to delegate their responsibilities of preaching the Gospel through the printed page to the Roy E. Cogdill Publishing Company (A HUMAN INSTITUTION). If he could prove that THIS is scriptural, perhaps he would be in better position to oppose the scriptural cooperation of many churches in proclaiming the Gospel over the Radio and TV networks.

Two Matters of Fact In Brother Adams article of January 14, 1954 (p. 10), he gives as a fact, a statement that is not true, and (since he is honest) tells us that it is only hearsay, not based on evidence. He says about it, "If this be true, and the source of our information is reliable, it is exceedingly questionable." The information he passes on is that Brother James Walter Nichols "in the name of a relative, is part owner of the Christian Chronicle Publishing Company." The implication is, that Brother Nichols is profiteering from the printing the Christian Chronicle does for the Highland Church.

The truth is that Brother Nichols' grandmother owns only one $10.00 share of stock in the Chronicle Publishing Company, and that this is the only relative of his who has ANY stock of any kind in it.

The further truth is, that the Highland brethren in Abilene have asked for bids to get their printing done cheaper, and have even been to Dallas seeking for lower bids. I suspect that if the Gospel Guardian would do the work any cheaper, the Highland brethren might let them have the job. Charging hearsay is pretty weak argument.

One Other Item Deserves Some Attention

In the Gospel Guardian, January 21, 1954, Brother Yater Tant says MUCH in an editorial about the elders of the Highland Church, and their dealings with Brother Glenn Wallace, and the elders of the College church.

Brother Tant says:

"The elders of the Highland Church went over Brother Wallace's head in an official protest to the elders of the College Church ...."

"Going to the elders of a sister congregation with their complaint is a clear use of the 'pressure tactics' . ."

"Is it going to be the policy of our good brethren who are bishops in Highland Church to go to the elders of every congregation whose preacher raises a question as to the scripturalness of their course?"

"To say the least, it displays a lack of judgment which is simply appalling! There is an absence of the calm, judicious, and careful deliberation which should characterize every decision and every action."

"To speak plainly, it was a mistake, a most grievous mistake, to try to bring pressure on Brother Wallace."

"They have taken an action which we believe Gospel preachers, godly elders, and humble Christians in every part of the nation will deplore and regret .... and probably resent."

"This is wrong and vicious. It smacks of Rome." (pages 4-5)

There is only one thing wrong with the editorial. It charges the Highland elders with doing what they DID NOT DO. The truth is that the Highland elders met with the College elders AT THE REQUEST OF THE COLLEGE ELDERS. The truth is that the Highland elders met with Brother Wallace AT BROTHER WALLACE'S REQUEST, discussing the things about which Brother Wallace had first written in the Firm Foundation.

Obviously, someone must be MISINFORMED about the proceedings. I suggest that Brother Tant, out of respect to the sainted memory of his Godly father, learn what he is talking about before he rushes into print with such harsh criticism and drastic judgments and castigations on the elders of Highland Church. We do not believe that even the respected editor of the Gospel Guardian is within his rights to be so "quick on the trigger" to slander the elders of both congregations in Abilene. We think some apologies are in order.

From the reports sent in to the Firm Foundation after their discussions, neither Brother Glenn Wallace, who is loved by the College Church, and respected by the Highland elders, NOR the elders of the College Church, seemed to feel that there had been anything out of the way in the actions of the Highland elders. (Firm Foundation, Jan. 5, 1954, p. 7)

Possibly Brother Glenn Wallace may have felt that the Highland elders went "over his head" in talking to the elders of the College Church AT THE REQUEST OF THE COLLEGE ELDERS, but in January 14 issue of the Gospel Guardian, he said, "The brethren who sponsor the program are my neighbors and I fellowship them. There are no ill feelings between us."

The charges Brother Tant has made, impugns the honesty of Brother Glenn Wallace, who permitted this to be published in the Gospel Guardian at that late date. I cannot believe that the elders at College Church AND Brother Wallace would BOTH misrepresent matters, if indeed the things had happened that Brother Tant charged in his editorial. The feeling between the churches in Abilene is very good, and very close. As Brother Wallace says, "I love everybody." This expresses the way members of the two congregations feel and act.

If I am misinformed about this matter, may Brother Tant and the God of Heaven forgive me for what I think of this action. If Brother Tant, through misinformation, has falsely charged the elders in Abilene, somebody needs to forgive him.

Thanks to Brother Tant for his kindness in sending me complimentary copies of the Gospel Guardian, January 28. We appreciate his friendship and have confidence in his desire to be fair and honorable in this, and other discussions. For this reason, we do not hesitate to speak out against what we sincerely believe to be unfair, although perhaps unintentional wrong.