Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 28, 1955

Accommodating Brother Kelley

Reuel Lemmons, Cleburne, Texas

In the Gospel Guardian of May 19th, Brother Jesse Kelley of Lafayette, Louisiana, makes a request with which we are happy to comply.

The further these attempts to find fault with brethren go, the more evident it is that they have more and more to say about less and less.

Now Brother Kelley wants a clear cut statement, so he can tell where this writer stands. Brethren who know me and who have heard me, have never had any trouble telling where I stand. Nor, do I feel obligated to tell just anyone who feels that he knows, and has the liberty to say before he hears, where I have been getting my instruction — or giving it.

Brother Kelley says "No one has asked Brother Lemmons or anyone else to defend the abuses of the principle of church co-operation." This is a classic example of the loose writing that fills some of our papers upon the question of co-operation. If Brother Kelley's statement is true, then pray tell me what all the fuss has been about? This is an admission, we would advise Brother E. R. Harper to clip and save. Our lament is that many gospel preachers never think this thing through, and are carried away with such statements. We are glad Brother Kelley agrees that the idea of "individual thinking" will "clear a lot of the fog away from the minds of many." Right here is a field in which a lot of it can be done — profitably.

Brother Kelley wants us to "forget all the . . .. promotional schemes among us" and give exactly what the New Testament principle of church co-operation is. The fact that I "forgot all the promotional schemes, and mentioned the principle alone is the very thing that caused some good brethren to try to line me up with some of these very schemes. When I "line up" I'd like to volunteer — I wouldn't like to be drafted. Someone is interfering with my autonomy!

We will be happy to accommodate Brother Kelley and state "exactly what the principle of New Testament co-operation is." The principle of New Testament cooperation is: New Testament churches (congregations) can co-operate. That's exactly where I stand. I hope this removes any "vagueness" or "fog" the brother feels is there. This is the principle, and this is where I stand on it.

Now we will comply with the brother's request to "give us the New Testament example or precept upon which the principle stands." Here is one: Acts, chapter 15, gives the example of the co-operation of the Jerusalem church with the church at Antioch. This is an example with money matters removed, which will throw a lot of light on the co-operation question. We recommend its careful study by brethren doing their own "individual thinking." Money, James says, is the root of all kinds of evil. Truly the kinds are many. Brethren ought to be able to look at this co-operation question without having to look through many colored glasses, or project colored glasses either.

We still believe that the need of the hour is for individual thinking, and clear, unsophisticated thinking.