Vol.VIII No.III Pg.3
May 1971

God Was Willing

Robert F. Turner

Claude Guild mailed a form letter to caution you about some planned activities for Australia. Robert F. Turner, Burnet, Texas is coming to Australia for 13 missions. Further, The elders at Rosemont (Ft. Worth church, rt) have requested that we warn the churches. My copy of this carnal sword has Claudes signature and a hand-written note: I hope you can stop the plans for Rocky for this man. It was sent to Rockhampton.

It didnt work. We had good meetings in all appointed places, many with record attendances. My notes, reasonably accurate, show 154 non- member visitors. There were 11 baptisms; and many home studies with results yet unknown. We traveled 6,100 miles or more within Australia, and had two one-hour radio interviews in which listeners participated.

We were in large cities: Sydney, with a population of 2,646,800; and Melbourne, 2,319,700. Industrial cities: Wollongong, 162,835; and Newcastle, 233,967. Cities with their own special flavor of sheep, cattle or mining: itie;[sic] Wagga Wagga, 25,939; and Rockhampton, 45,349; or Bundaberg, 25,404, with its sugar cane and Bundy Rum. There was the delightfully British town of Launceston, 60,453, in its Tasmanian island setting; Armidale, 14,990, with its University; Invereil, 9,800, and its bustling dam project; and Emerald 3,72O, typically western with cattle and mining.

Congregations number from 4 to 35 regular members, most of whom are new converts. In many cases the church began when a few courageous souls saw the errors of the Associated Church (Christian, or Disciples) and were forced out by their convictions. After questioning their history carefully, it became apparent that social activities on the part of the church, and the denominational Association of churches, were the real issues — NOT mechanical instruments of music. In more than one case faith only was the rankling error.

Liberal churches from America have nothing to offer these people. Greatest strides were made by earlier conservative minded preachers who, although supported by institutional U.S. churches, were soul—hungry, and sought to establish independent self- sufficient congregations. Band-wagon tactics of the Campaigns; Youth Rally with Our own version of Johnny Cash Ed and his guitar!; or a picture of an over-weight song leader in a ten-gallon hat, dubbed Hoss Cartwright of the church — these things sicken the serious- minded Christians in Australia as they do the same kind of saints in America.

Following the Claude Guild letter one Australian preacher wrote to me: There seems to be an ingredient that many overlook when they accuse men of being dividers... that ingredient is the intelligence and rationality of those who listen... I have come to similar conclusions as you on these things because I believe them to he the truth as Gods word teaches it. I have been coerced by none.

Hail , wonderful Australia ! And may it ever be so!! (Further Australian articles follow, dv. Robt. F. Turner