Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 29, 1956
NUMBER 30, PAGE 6-7b

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt, Box 365, Franklin, Tennessee

News From Here And There

B. C. Morton is now working with the Bybee Branch church near McMinnville, Tennessee.... Amos Davenport has moved from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to work with the Central church in Louisville . . . . C. F. Shirey is moving from Camden, Arkansas, to Sulphur Springs, Texas, where he will work with the church . . . Tim Backer is the editor of The Way, the bulletin published by the White Spur church in El Paso, Texas. It is a neat job. M. J. Barnett is the evangelist there . . . In The Contender, edited by Harvey Pearson, and published by the Central church in Ada, Oklahoma, we learn that there have been twenty-three baptisms there within the last nine months . . . . Earl A. Robertson has moved from Burkesville, Kentucky, to South Pittsburg, Tennessee. While he was at Burkesville he was associated with Alvin Holt, who lives at Russell Springs, Kentucky. Holt preaches all over that area. He has a thirty minute radio program (11:30-12:00 each week day; 4:30-5:00 p.m. on Sundays) over WAIN in Columbia, Kentucky. He gets hundreds of letters from listeners and has taught many the truth by this program. Robertson told me that during the last fourteen months they had baptized over nine hundred (900) people and started four new churches! This sounds incredible and is indeed amazing. What a record! This is Robertson's report to me personally. It is so astounding it is hard to believe. I have not known of a work any-where in modern times to equal this for fourteen months work; that is, in our country and under comparable circumstances. Have you? If so, I should like to hear of it . . . . The rage over the "Dial-A-Devotional" seems to be dying down. It spread rapidly for a few weeks as every new fad will. "The Dial-A-Devotional service has been discontinued. The reason for this action is that interest has dropped and there were not enough calls being received to justify its continuation." — News Letter, Central church, Jackson, Mississippi. Reports like this have been seen in bulletins from all over the nation . . . C. B. Thomas is moving back to Jackson, Mississippi, to work again with the Capitol Street church. Thomas was with them many years ago . . . . Let it once and for all be understood that the editor of this column does not necessarily endorse everything appearing in this column. Neither do I vouch for the correctness of every quotation. I quote news and articles that I think will be of interest to our readers. Some articles may be presented to show the "trend" of things and others which I could not endorse to show some of the things being taught in various places . . . Tommy Kelton, who is presently preaching for the Southside church in Odessa, Texas, plans to sail with his family on March 21, 1957, for Nigeria. They will live at Ikot Usen. The work in Nigeria seems to be growing in "leaps and bounds." James Finney is the last preacher to enter that field. Shortly after he arrived "he went into Iboland to preach one Sunday where the church was less than a year old. He found that 70 had already been baptized in the first three weeks. After he preached 28 came to him and told him that they wanted to be immersed... He reports that these brethren are already clearing land and erecting a building. The Billy Nicks family will soon move into Iboland to live and work. The results in Nigeria are most amazing . . . . Hershel Patton and his family will move from Russellville, Alabama, around the first of the year, to Shelbyville, Tennessee, where he will labor with the Main Street church.

What And How Much Must A Person Understand Before Baptism?

This question has been asked recently by several members of the church. There have been persons in various places in the past who have made a hobby of rebaptizing every person they could persuade that their baptism was not acceptable, because they did not understand enough, or that they did not know all the blessings resulting from baptism.

"If it is a sin to be baptized without understanding when one blessing promised is received, it is a sin to be baptized without knowing when any other of them is." David Lipscomb in Questions and Answers, page 528.

Jesus commanded baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Philip baptized the Eunuch upon his confession of faith in Christ — Acts 8:36-37. The Eunuch said, "See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. 'And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him."

If a person must understand all the blessings and results of baptism, then the administrator must ask the candidate if he believes baptism is for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38 if he believes he is being baptized into the one body, 1 Corinthians 12:13; if he is being baptized into Christ, Romans 6:3; if he believes he is being baptized into his death, Romans 6:3, 4; Galatians 3:27; that baptism saves us, 1 Peter 3:20; and that he is now being baptized for the dead, 1 Corinthians 16:29; and many other blessings and results.

It is an easy thing for man to make a law where God has not commanded it to be done. So far as I know from the word of God the only requirement in order for baptism to be acceptable is faith in Christ as the Son of God, leading to a willingness to obey Christ in baptism. This willingness is revealed in repentance.

"The chief, leading cause on man's part should be to obey God. When he submits to it in obedience to God, he has done all God requires. To repeat the act when it has been done in obedience to God is to mock God's appointments; to mock His appointments is to trifle with God." David Lipscomb in Questions and Answers, page 529.

— The Sower, Lewis Dugger, Editor Published by Birch and Fairview church in Santa Ana, California.

Editor's Note: The emphasis in the article is mine to point out the conclusion. I am not ready for such a conclusion. Actually is this not the one and only requirement made by all denominational bodies before baptism? Would this not mean then that every person who is baptized with "faith in Christ as the Son of God, leading to a willingness to obey Christ in baptism," is saved regardless of other considerations? Some serious thought needs to be given this matter.

News From Around The World

Hungary: The gospel is now being preached in Hungary for the first time: A Hungarian who fled before the Russian political conquest of that country over ten years ago has returned to preach to his people.

Near East: In the gigantic land area between the Philippine Islands and the Suez Canal lives more than half of the souls on earth. In this vast area with over a billion population there is only one preacher of the gospel of Christ — Ira Y. Rice, Jr.

South America: The first blow in a land of 200 million souls has been struck the last four months. Arlie Smith is now located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. There is no riper field in the world.

Canal Zone: A weeks meeting was recently planned in the Rio Abajo congregation. The interest was so great that many non-members asked if it wouldn't be continued for another week. These people love to study the Bible. Many of them have never had the opportunity to do so. Panama is a Catholic nation and many haven't ever owned or read a Bible.

Italy: A Bible correspondence course is now being printed in Italian. Wyndal H. Hudson has charge of the course and is doing an excellent job. The course has some 500 Bible questions and over 1000 Bible references. The cost is $11.20 per 1000 lessons. This is one of the great steps being taken to defeat the forces of the pope in Italy.

— Nigerian Torch, Southside church, Odessa, Texas

Special Service For Church Members

A special service for church members will be held this afternoon at 2:30. Brother Moyer's topic will be "How to baptize 166 in one year." During Brother Moyer's first year at Richmond, 165 people were baptized into Christ. During this special service he will explain what caused these wonderful additions to the Lord.

— The Messenger, Eastside church, Long Beach, California