Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 15, 1955
NUMBER 19, PAGE 3,13b

Browsing Through Old Papers -- No. 2

Wm. E. Wallace, Akron, Ohio

Church and Orphan Home: "But if Homewood church, or I as an individual, should send money to a home governed by a board of directors scattered over the country, we would not be sending money to the elders of a church, but to an organization separate and apart from the oversight of any eldership, just as if we sent money to the United Christian Missionary Society." — Jack Meyer, Gospel Visitor, November 20, 1952

Batsell Baxter: "If ever a unity movement gets down to the proper basis, this writer would Iike to attend it. The proper basis is: What is the will of the Lord in regard to such matters? The only safe system of church work and worship is that given in the New Testament pattern. (Emphasis mine — WEW). Our Christian brethren know that as well as we do. Those who are striving to follow New Testament principles in work and worship have no right to change this pattern, and the Christian Church people have no right to expect us to do so. The best way for unity is for each professed Christian to study his New Testament carefully and conform to the pattern there." — Gospel Advocate, July 21, 1938.

Negative Vs. Positive: "Nature furnishes the most unquestioned proof of negative and positive elements, and proof equally unquestioned that both are necessary. The instant going out of electric lights when either side of the line circuit is broken is proof enough. It should not be thought a strange thing, then, to find saving truth has both a negative and positive element. The positive may be said to contain the constructive feature — the building, growth, or development ideas; the negative contains the destructive feature — tearing down, removing, and stopping things. The tearing down may go on and no building follow, but building cannot proceed without some tearing down. Houses cannot be constructed without preparing a foundation, and this involves removing all things in the way. Trees have to be destroyed in making lumber. This preparatory, destructive work is just as important as building the house. The very fact that sinners are to be converted (more accurately stated, are required to convert themselves) is proof that there is a negative and positive side in the service of God. Conversion literally means 'to turn'. But that implies to turn from something to something, or quit something and begin something else. This shows that some things are required, other things forbidden. The preacher, then, must preach both the negative and positive requirements; for he must preach all man's duty on any subject discussed, or man may not know what his duty is. Those who condemn negative preaching, therefore, are both illogical and unscriptural. When one attempts to do only positive preaching, he violates scriptural teaching on two points: he does not preach the 'whole counsel' of God, and fails to 'reprove' and 'rebuke' — commands given to a young preacher by an apostle. One of the commands required of alien sinners is to 'repent' since some negative preaching is required, just where shall we stop it? Just what sins shall we ignore and what sinners shall we excuse? As only truth will save, can we obey God and accept or tolerate any false doctrine? Shall teachers of false doctrine be allowed freedom from criticism because they represent popular churches? If any man's teaching is wrong, it cannot be received righteously or honestly by any one who knows exact truth. No course is open except to condemn it whenever occasion is available. The sacredness of truth is taken entirely too lightly by many members of the church of Christ as well as others." — John T. Hinds, Gospel Advocate, May 7, 1936

The Problem of Organizations: "We are taking too much for granted these days. Because some church is doing it, or some preacher of reputation is sanctioning it, or some graduates of a Christian College are introducing it wherever they go, does not make it right. After all we are creatures of one track minds generally. It is easy for me to decide that thing I am most interested in is by far the most important thing in the world. Or the way I do it is the very best and only correct way. So one tells us the Orphan Home work is the most important thing for churches to be engaged in today. Sometimes we hear that the hope of the church of tomorrow is the Christian College. Then again the churches are going to die, and that right speedily, if we do not do more for the young people. But these radical utterances are not true. Men talk at length and with heat about the 'Young People Problem'. Certainly if we talk enough about the problem of young people they will see that we are not disappointed and will become a problem." — F. B. Shepherd, Gospel Guardian, October 1935.

Lull? "Temporarily it seems we have the colleges stopped from their efforts to place the schools in the church budget. But be not deceived; they are stopped for a time. When they think the time is ripe, they will try it again. At least, this is my own personal view in the matter. But when they do, I'm confident they will get no further than they did this time. There will be plenty of faithful warriors among our younger preachers, as well as among the veterans of the cross, who will gird on the Christian armour and meet the errorists in fierce and unyielding battle. I'm glad to believe that there are many thousands who have not, and will not, bow the knee to Baal. They will be firm and steadfast in their preaching of the gospel as ever their fathers were before them. It is a comforting thought.." — Will M. Thompson, Gospel Guardian, May 19; 1949

The Right To Oppose Error: "Because we oppose error some of us are called 'creed makers; `sects' and are branded as the 'dividers of the church'; but it is my honest opinion that the so-called radicals of the church are the ones who are going to keep pure the blood stream of the church and save it from being 'creed bound', in that we will have to submit to all kinds of error on the ground that 'every Christian has a right under heaven to preach his convictions'." — E. R. Harper, Bible Banner, August, 1938

Institutions: "These denominations that grew out of the Reformation have tried to build and operate schools, hospitals, and like institutions. We now have brethren that should know better trying to find authority for owning and operating such things under the overworked rule of expediency. Brethren have the right to own and operate newspapers, schools, homes for the aged, and farms; and they not only have the right to teach Bible in and through anything they have the right to own, but it is their duty to do so. Preaching the gospel, by which souls are saved, is the duty of all churches and individual Christians as far as they are able to do so; but this is far from saying that they have the right to build anything in the way of a religious institution which is not authorized in the New Testament. There is nothing in the New Testament larger than a local church or smaller than the body of Christ. Such institutions as are here mentioned, if owned and operated at all, should be owned and operated by individual Christians and not by churches. Whenever churches leave their one task of preaching the gospel and saving souls to build up other institutions, they are likely to get into controversy over how to own and operate such institutions as they may build." — F. B. Srygley, Gospel Advocate, May 14, 1931.