Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 24, 1955
NUMBER 29, PAGE 2-3a

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt, Franklin, Tennessee

Remembering The Church

BRO. BONDS STOCKS has recently moved from Nashville to Dickson, Tennessee to labor with the Academy Street church. Bro. Stocks edits ACADEMY STREET ANNOUNCER, the weekly bulletin of the church. It is very neat and always interesting. From the reports therein the Academy Street church is making progress in every field of activity. On October 2, the contribution was $2,001.77, which included a contribution of $1,524.27 bequeathed to the church by a beloved sister who had passed away. It is good to see a few Christians remember the Lord and His church in their will. The emphasis in our day is to remember some college, benevolent institution or some other human organization, but seldom if ever the church! Leaving a legacy to the church will not receive the recognition of men nor get a building or room named in one's honor, but it will certainly have the recognition of the Lord. We are happy to read of this practice and commend it heartily.

The elders of the Academy Street church are BUFORD HUFFMAN, JOE S. LARKINS, AND W. B. PHILLIPS. These three men are able preachers in their own rights. Recently while Bro. Stocks was assisting the East Points Georgia church in a meeting, these three men did the preaching. His wife heard them and is reported to have said that she did not see why Academy Street needed a preacher! To which Bro. Stocks responded that such was carrying the matter too far!

A BOOK RECOMMENDATION: One of the greatest debates of by-gone days was between Bro. James A. Harding and J. B. Moody, a Baptist. It was a sixteen night debate and was held in Nashville, Tennessee in May 1889. It is called THE NASHVILLE DEBATE.

Three propositions were discussed:

1. Remission of sins with like blessings of salvation received before baptism.

2. Baptism to the penitent believer is for (in order to) the pardon of his past sins.

3. The Scriptures teach that man is so depraved in mind and heart that he is unable, without a direct enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to obey the gospel of the Son of God.

These men completely discussed these propositions.

Bro. Harding was a splendid debater and he had a capable opponent. This is one debate that should be read and studied by every Bible student. This discussion has long been out of print and almost impossible to obtain. A new printing is now available. It contains 566 pages and sells for $5. Be sure to order your copy soon. Order it from the GOSPEL GUARDIAN COMPANY.

A large number of church bulletins are received by this writer. It is good to get each one and I always look them over. There are many good things in these bulletins that are worthy of being passed on to others. We hope to render a service to all in this fashion and help keep the readers of this paper informed about the work in various places. Please send me your bulletin. Box 365, Franklin, Tennessee.

It is thought by many that it would be good to carry a sermon outline in this department now and then. We should like to know just how wide-spread the interest in such a feature is. We believe such would prove interesting and helpful. Sermon outlines have their place and most of us are always looking for good ones. Outlines are not to aid nor encourage laziness on the part of preachers or any other Bible student. Using an outline certainly does not imply that one is lazy of dumb. If one fills his heart with the gospel of Christ, an outline will never make him less effective in preaching it. Many splendid ideas and suggestions can be gleaned from the outlines of others, even in preaching on the old themes. If you are interested in such a feature please drop us a card or letter. Better still, send in an outline or two for publication. This is the best indication of interest in such a feature. Do this at once lest you put it off and forget it. With the proper cooperation and help this could prove to be a valuable attraction. Due credit will be given for each outline. Try to keep the length within reasons, but make them as full and complete as is necessary. The invitation to contribute outlines is open to all! We are not looking for originality in the outlines (if there is such a thing!), but just good, solid, usable, coherent sermon outlines that will prove helpful to all. Send in an outline today.

From the SOUTHSIDE ECHO, the bulletin of the good Southside church in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, which is edited by Bro. B. J. Thomas, we lift the following report:

MEETING AT SOUTHSIDE: Last week, October 9-16, we had one of the finest gospel meetings we have ever had. Bro. Yater Tant, of Lufkin, Texas did the preaching in a very commendable way. The church was strengthened and much good was done.

Widespread interest was manifested throughout, and on Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock a special service was held. Bro. Tant, at that time, spoke to a large audience on the subject, "How New Testament churches can, and cannot, cooperate." He showed in the very clearest fashion how the "sponsoring church" type of cooperation is unscriptural, and, therefore, wrong. Twenty-two gospel preachers were present, as well and many elders and brethren from all over North East Texas.

After the sermon an "open forum" discussion was conducted. Participating in the discussion were brethren Tant; Gayle Oler, Boles Home; Victor Sellers, Mineola; Wilburn Whittington, Mt. Pleasant; Ed Grantham, Paris; and Robert Turner, of Gladewater.

Bro. Oler has a standing invitation from the elders here to have a four or five night discussion with Bro. Tant on these issues. He is giving such a proposal "some thought."

We are glad to see so many brethren in this section now giving these things some serious thought and study. In such friendly, brotherly discussions as these lies the real hope for the church in the years ahead. In this section now interest is high, and the time is ripe for further discussion. We are, therefore, looking forward to a further study between Bro. Tant and Bro. Oler. It's entirely up to Bro. Oler now as to whether the discussion will take place. In view of the gravity of these issues and the desire of all of us to be united on a "thus saith the Lord," surely he will not decline.

What Was It?

A lady approached a business man and asked for a donation on a church building.

"Yes, I will give $100 on the building," replied the business man, "if you will erect a sign over the door saying, 'This is a church of Christ'."

"Oh no, we couldn't do that," answered the lady,' "because it is not a church of Christ."

"Very well," said the business man, "I will still give the 100 if you will put up the sign reading, 'This is not a church of Christ'."

"Oh no sir, you know we could not do that, because it is a church of Christ."

I wonder what kind of church it was!

— This clever and pointed article was first noted in the GOSPEL VISITOR, Published by the Tenth and Francis church in Oklahoma City. BRO. RAYMOND KELCY is the editor.

BRO. W. R. JONES recently moved from Lubbock, Texas to Greggton, Texas where he is now working with the fine church there. Bro. Jones edits the neat and interesting THE GREGGTON MESSENGER. From it we take the following:

What Does The Bible Say About Congregational Cooperation?

  1. Churches cooperated in benevolent work:
    1. The church at Antioch sent to several congregations. (Acts 11:27-30)
    2. The churches of Macedonia and Achaia sent to the needy saints at Jerusalem. (Rom. 15:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:9)
  2. Churches cooperated in doing mission work:
    1. The church at Antioch sent out workers and received reports from them. (Acts 13:1-4; 14:26-28)
    2. The church at Philippi sent to Paul (Phil. 4:15-16)
    3. Many churches contributed to his support. (2 Cor. 11:8-9)
  3. From these examples we learn:
    1. The action on the part of churches was voluntary. There were no threats, pressuring, etc.
    2. There were no ties that destroyed congregational independence or surrender of authority or responsibility that destroyed autonomy.
    3. Each church raised its own money, decided how and where to spend it.
    4. There was no organization but the church to do the work of the church.
    5. The church universal functioned only by the activity of local, independent congregations.
    6. Churches sent benevolent gifts to another temporarily in need.
    7. Congregations sent directly to those preaching the gospel.
    8. No church sponsored a "brotherhood work." NOTE: In these days when the church is threatened with institutionalism, centralization, and "man-made projects" it is well that we carefully study the above Bible principles again.