Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 29, 1955
NUMBER 21, PAGE 4-5a

Brother T. W. Roberts On "Sponsoring Church" Cooperation

Cecil B. Douthitt, Brownwood, Texas

In teaching the Bible, speculation is sinful. Many of the world's outstanding scholars and commentators have made havoc of the church by pressing their inferences and opinions.

A necessary inference is the only kind of inference that can be used to prove Bible truth, and it is the only kind of inference that any Bible teacher should try to teach. All other inferences are mere opinions, and they are not worth the paper on which they are written.

Methodist preachers have presented the opinions of many scholars and commentators, and have reasoned from one inference to another (not one of which was a necessary inference), and have come up with the conclusion that infants were baptized in the house of the jailor (Acts 16: 34).

R. H. Boll has presented the testimony and opinion of many scholars and commentators, and he has reasoned from one inference to another (none of which was a necessary inference), and has come up with the conclusion that Jesus will return to earth and reign in Jerusalem a thousand years.

Brother J. W. Roberts is writing a series of articles in the Gospel Advocate in which he is trying to prove by nothing on earth, except mere inferences, that the modern "sponsoring church" method of cooperation is scriptural. At this time, two of his articles have appeared. He is using exactly the same kind of testimony, and reaching his conclusions in identically the same way that R. H. Boll tries to prove his theories of Premillennialism.

R. H. Boll was removed from the Gospel Advocate staff many years ago for the same sin that Brother J. W. Roberts is committing today. Boll was pressing his human opinions or inferences, none of which was a necessary inference, and that was why David Lipscomb and J. C. McQuiddy removed him from the front page of the Advocate. But the present editor of the Advocate shows no intention of trying to check Brother Roberts in his wild speculation in his defense of the "sponsoring church" method of cooperation.

The Gospel Advocate editor informs his readers that "Brother Roberts holds the Ph. D. degree with Greek as his major". and that "he is a teacher at Abilene Christian College". Why does the editor tell us that? Does he think that makes Brother Roberts' opinions and unnecessary inferences any more authoritative than R. H. Boll's opinions and unnecessary inferences? Does he think that gives Brother Roberts the right to speculate? Does he think it will help the Bible department of Abilene Christian College to let the world know that one of the wildest speculators in the church is teaching in that college? If the head of the Bible department in Abilene Christian College is not ashamed of Roberta' aping Boll, he ought to be.

If it is right for Brother Roberts to spread his unnecessary inferences and human opinions all over the Advocate, then the editor ought to apologize to R. H. Boll because of what David Lipscomb and J. C. McQuiddy did to Boll, and put him back on the front page of the Advocate, side by side with Brother Roberts.

Does Brother Roberts claim that he is offering anything but inferences as proof of his "sponsoring church" theory? Will he say that a single one of his inferences is a necessary inference? Does he know the difference between a mere inference and a necessary inference?

I am sorry indeed that Brother Roberts, along the road to his scholastic attainments, never did learn the following fundamental facts:

1. That the Bible teaches nothing by any kind of an inference, except a necessary inference.

2. That all inferences, except necessary inferences, are nothing more than human opinions, which do great harm to the church, when pressed.

3. That we are forbidden to act upon or to walk by opinion (II Cor. 6:7).

4. That no man on earth is able to guess his way to truth. (Jer. 10: 23). "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps".

5. That all the scholars on earth combined cannot make the scriptures teach anything by mere inference, 6. That every attempt to prove a thing to be scriptural by a mere inference is speculation of the rankest sort.

7. That Premillennialism, infant baptism, "sponsoring church" cooperation, and all other imaginations of men can be proved to be scriptural, if mere inferences or the opinions of scholars prove a thing to be scriptural.

8. That every apostasy in the history of the church has been led by the largest, richest, most cultured churches and the most scholarly men who thought that the opinions and speculative theories of scholars should be accepted as proof that certain religious practices are scriptural and right.

Brother Roberts closes the second article in his series with this sentence:

"If this be a fanciful interpretation, as some infer, then some of our brethren know a lot more than some very able commentators."

Yes, Brother Roberts, your contention is based upon "a fanciful interpretation", and there are plenty of "our brethren" who have spent their lives between the plow handles, and who never attended college a day in their lives, and they "know a lot more" about the revealed will of God, and they have a clearer conception of the church and its work, than all your sectarian "very able commentators" combined, and it is such a pity that you do not know it.

In order to prove to Brother Roberts that "some of our brethren know a lot more" about the revealed will of God "than some very able commentators", I present' here "a fanciful interpretation" by a "very able" commentator by the name of Adam Clarke:

"It is therefore pretty evident that we have very presumptive proofs; 1. That baptism was administered without immersion, as in the case of the jailor and his family; and 2. That children were also received into the church in this way; for we can scarcely suppose that the whole families of Lydia and the jailor had no children in them; and, if they had, it is not likely that they should be omitted". (Com. on Acts 16: 33).

Now Brother Roberts, do you deny that Adam Clarke is a "very able" commentator? Do you think he knows more about Acts 16: -33 than some of our brethren know?

Yes, Brother Roberts has the Ph.D. degree, but there are many students in Abilene Christian College, who could teach him "a lot more" about logic than his articles indicate he knows.