Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 21, 1957

Preview Of Another Misrepresentation

Jack L. Holt, Port Arthur, Texas

Ever since the conflict between truth and error began it has been characteristic of those in error to misrepresent those who "walk in the truth." (III John 4.) This is especially true when those in error finally come to realize that their cause can be upheld in no other way. Nehemiah was ridiculed and misrepresented while he labored to build again the crumpled walls. The teachings of our Lord were distorted by his enemies in their zeal to carry their points. They climaxed the whole series of misrepresentations by calling for false witnesses to testify against him in his trial before the Council. The words of the martyr Stephen were misconstrued, and twisted into what his enemies called "blasphemous words against Moses and against God." (Acts 6:11.) Paul came in for his share of misrepresentation for some affirmed that he said: "Let us do evil that good may come." (Rom. 3:8.) Thus we see that God's servants have always been misrepresented and slandered.

Our Lord taught that the "disciple is not above his master, nor a servant above his Lord." And "if they call the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?" (Matt. 10:24-25.)

A brief survey of the history of the church will reveal that the Lord's servants have been the recipients of misrepresentation from the hands of their enemies whenever and wherever the truth has been preached. Alexander Campbell was accused of believing in "water salvation," and so have a host of other faithful preachers who preached the truth on this point. When preachers set forth the distinction between the Old and the New Covenants they are often accused of not believing the Old Testament. When we oppose instrumental music in worship we are accused of not believing in music in the church. Those who opposed the Missionary Society were accused of not believing in preaching. When the speculations of R. H. Boll were exposed he said that such was evident that the exposers did not believe in the second coming of Christ. Nowadays when gospel preachers oppose churches forming themselves into human organizations to relieve their obligations to the fatherless and widows, they are accused, not of being opposed to human organizations through which churches work. but of being opposed to caring for the orphans and widows. And when they oppose the type of centralization of funds in one eldership, as in the Herald of Truth, they are accused of being opposed to church cooperation. It never seems to penetrate the heads of some folks that it is not a choice between Herald of Truth type of cooperation or no cooperation, but a choice between cooperation as set forth in the New Testament, and cooperation as exemplified in the Herald of Truth, and other human projects. One is cooperation of God; the other of man.

Now with a campaign well under way to build a "church of Christ hospital," and with the Lord's promise of misrepresentations ringing in our ears, it is certain that those who oppose such will be misrepresented. The "lamentations of James Lovell" had much to do with the hospital campaign. Jimmie's tears even touched the heart of Guy Woods, who of late has been promoting quite a few things, and what with one thing and another, the campaign finally materialized in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. The same which shouldn't surprise anyone very much for this area has spawned a number of such things in times past. Now if these brethren who are promoting such will allow me I would like to offer some advice in three parts. First, such is entirely unscriptural. Second, since it is unscriptural it naturally has no scriptural organization and thus it would be required to have "boards and conclaves unknown to the New Testament," to operate it. And this is wrong. Guy Woods himself being my witness. Third, if you do persist in your campaign don't ask any advice from Bill Rogers, for all he would have is one big quarantine ward.

As soon as the promoters finish their plans for this project the brotherhood will no doubt be deluged with material asking the churches to help in this worthy (?) projects. And many, many scriptures will be quoted to bolster the appeal, and to give it the appearance of being authorized by the word. For example: "Epaphroditus was sick" (Phil. 2:25-26), "My head, my head" (II Kings 4:19), "A certain man had the dropsy" (Luke 14:2), "Is there no balm in Gilead" (Jer. 8:22), "Is any sick among you" (James 5:13), "I was sick and ye visited me" (Matt. 25:36), and many other scriptures which clearly teach (?) that churches of Christ may build a hospital. After the gullible have been "taken" again, and those of us who oppose such sneered at, and called "anti" a few more times scenes like the following will be reenacted often.

Sister Looselip: "Brother Holt, have you encouraged the church where you preach to give to our hospital campaign?"

Brother Holt: "No Sister Looselip, I haven't, and I shall not do so until I find where the New Testament authorizes such."

Sister Looselip: "Do you mean you are opposed to the churches of Christ building a hospital to care for the sick?"

Brother Holt: "Yes, I am."

Sister Looselip: "Well I never thought I would hear a gospel preacher say he is opposed to the plain teaching of the Bible."

Brother Holt: "What plain teaching of the Bible do I oppose?"

Sister Looselip: "Why visiting the sick, of course."

Yes, brethren, get ready for it. Since the promoters of the project cannot find authority for such they will again misrepresent our position and will tell all who will listen that we who oppose the hospital do not believe in visiting the sick.