Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 2, 1958
NUMBER 34, PAGE 11,14b-15a

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt - P. O. Box 493 - Florence, Alabama

Who Is To Blame?

Recently I received a letter from a Methodist preacher informing us that one of the members of this congregation had "transferred her membership" to the Methodist church. The letter was addressed to the "Pastor of the Church of Christ Church." I had been expecting someone to refer to the Lord's Church as the "Church of Christ Church" for some time. In fact, some have just been asking for it. At first I was inclined to think the Methodist "Pastor" did not know any better. Then I decided maybe he did not want to compliment us by saying we are simply the church of Christ. But then, after thinking about it a while, I decided perhaps it is not his fault at all. Possibly some of us are actually to blame. Some brethren are constantly speaking of "Church of Christ preachers," "Church of Christ doctrine," "Church of Christ colleges," "Church of Christ orphan homes or homes for the aged," "Church of Christ youth camps," "Church of Christ young folks." a "Church of Christ funeral," "Church of Christ Student centers," "Church of Christ Bible Chairs." Sometime ago I read where a church in southern Kansas started a "Church of Christ ball club," but when the brethren objected to such, they conceded, and changed the name to the "Church of Christ Independents!"

Not long ago, in reading through some old copies of one of the "Church of Christ papers," I noticed an advertisement. On the same page with an article on "Sound Speech" was this "Announcement:" "We are pleased to announce to the brotherhood that we are now ready to release our first album of Church of Christ quartet records." This "Church of Christ quartet" was singing "On the Jericho Road" and "I'll be List'ning," along with other songs. The records were enclosed in a "beautiful album with a Church of Christ picture (whatever that is-CW) on it." Among the songs was also "I Could Hang My Head In Shame." And shouldn't we all, after reading an ad like that?

Maybe the Methodist "pastor" was not wholly to blame after all. After some among us had described so many things by "Church of Christ this or that," perhaps he thought he had good reason to address his letter to the "Church of Christ Church."

— Cecil Willis, The Enlightner, Kansas City, Mo.

I'm A Little Bothered

That problems face the church is a fact too easily seen by all except the blind. Is that what bothers me? No, not so much as people's attitude — attitude toward the problems, and toward the Bible which is obviously the only cure for our problems. Corinth had as great problems as we have today, I think, but with the proper attitude toward God's word, many of them were resolved, according to Second Corinthians. Just notice the following illustrations.

I have always preached "hard" against worldliness, sin, and any thing that would keep Christians from doing their duty. When I began preaching, most everyone in the church encouraged me in such preaching. But today many Christians (?) think I am "old-fogey" when mixed-swimming, dancing, etc. are condemned. Gal. 5:19 condemns the above mentioned things now just like it did 15 years ago. But someone has changed his attitude — toward the Bible — for now they obviously don't believe it condemns worldliness of that sort. They are not willing to practice a "thus saith the Lord" and "do what the Bible says." More worldliness creeps into the church each year. Softening up!!

I have always preached the inspiration of the Bible, and people used to like it. But now, many people do not believe it is verbally inspired. Attitude toward the Bible is changing you see. Maybe it doesn't mean just that — could it mean this? — perhaps we might have been mistaken, maybe — possibly we were too strict, etc. are now heard.

I have always preached the church is sufficient to do the work that God wants done, and the work he designed the church to do. Men thought that was fine when I preached it 15 years ago, but now their attitude has changed. No, they do not believe it now. They believe we need human institutions to do the work of the church. They think the church should build and maintain these institutions, which farm, and engage in various sorts of businesses. The Bible still teaches the all-sufficiency of the church just like it did when I was a "boy" preacher, but our attitude is changing, isn't it? When the simple example is read from the Bible of how Paul had it done, people say, "No, here is a better way, and that example doesn't mean a thing." I am persuaded our attitude is changing. Will it also change on baptism, music, the one body, etc? I'm wondering, aren't you?

— Jady Copeland, Calmont Crusader, Ft. Worth

Secret Societies

A select company, banding together, assuming an unknown obligation, and meeting within guarded doors, gives just grounds for grave suspicion. If secret societies were unknown and would thus suddenly organize they would meet with prompt censure. There is no need of secret meetings to do good. Meetings for good are held with open doors with motto above, "All are welcome." Christ says, "In secret have I said nothing." "If they shall say Behold he is in the secret chamber, believe it not." Paul bids, "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, for it is a shame to speak of those things done of them in secret." Hence neither Christ nor Paul attended the lodge. They claim to be charitable institutions. True, for money paid, the lodge agrees to care for you when you are sick; and if need be, pay your funeral expenses. But that is not charity which has been paid for. And is it not folly to pay in advance for uncertain benefits? Their regalia is vain and useless. Much of their burying service is unscriptural, and non-sensical. Secret societies are hindering justice in our courts. Who would feel safe going to trial with secrecy arraigned against him? There is not a crown in Europe but is trembling in fear of secret orders. The law defines who shall administer oaths and what they shall be administered for, and the punishment. Hence, in a matter of oaths and perjury, secret societies are usurpers. For an example of secret-order-oath see the case of the forty men who banded together to kill Paul. Acts 23:12.

— Selected THINK — DON'T DRINK

Think — don't drink liquor. It will go to your head as soon as it goes to your stomach.

Think — don't drink flattery — it will make you dizzy to reality, blind to facts, a puffed up bigot instead of a built up man.

Think — don't drink worldly pleasures — they as surely intoxicate your soul as liquor will make your body stagger.

Think — don't drink envy. It will turn your backbone into a yellow string; it will turn your personality green; it will turn your heart black!

Think — don't drink false doctrine. It will reverse the commands of Christ — putting the command of baptism after, not before salvation. It will make feelings the cause of faith — not the result of faith. It will tell men they are saved because they are happy — rather than happy because they are saved.

— A. C. Williams

They Come With The Trouble

We never know some brethren (?) are in the church until some disturbance arises. Immediately these are to the fore and to the front! They are never available to aid in the work of the church; are hap-hazard in attending her services; too busy to help work on her property; have too many civic responsibilities to attend her business meetings or her teachers meetings; but Zowie, let a little disturbance arise and these are the loudest and longest in their protestations as to the abuse of their hobbies!

Since these arrive WITH the trouble, we wonder where they keep themselves when we have none? Do you have any ideas?

— Bulletin, Dumas, Texas