PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats
Vol. 4 No. 11, June 2000
Another College Goes Kaput
Some of my all positive, college bred brethren and sisters do not like what I write about some of the liberal, digressive, colleges and universities but I repeat, the greatest curse to the church of Christ can be found in the stench which emanates from some of these liberal schools. Another curse can be seen in the host of biblical illiterates who support the hot-beds of liberalism. A third curse is very pronounced in the cowardly, compromising, all positive, say nothing, do nothing, fearful, self-satisfied, politicians who try to avoid taking a stand for the truth of my God.
Two sheets have arrived from Rochester College in Michigan. A letter invites people--churches--to attend a Zoe Conference on worship in order to learn about alternative styles of worship. This Zoe affair will help in having different music, styles of worship, styles of praying, and a "...worship service that satisfies our senior members...and a worship experience that also connects with our youth."
It would be difficult to write a paragraph containing more fermented ignorance than that which is presented in the letter sent forth from Rochester College. This is the truth, but I learned years ago that these fellows with mortarboards on their heads do not listen and learn very well.
Who authorized the Rochester gang to offer different musical styles in worship? Why will there be different styles of music? Of what will these new musical styles consist? Are the new styles of worship introduced in order to please God or a crew of carnally minded brats? Old Jeroboam offered a different style of worship and the people were such bloaks as to go along with such foolishness.
It is a baseless falsehood to write, "All of our congregations are challenged to provide a worship service that satisfies our senior members while providing a worship experience that also connects with our youth." I do not question the plans, purposes and intentions of the far-out-liberal digressive colleges and their provisions to stage a side-show circus affair in order to connect with a nursery full of novices. I emphatically deny that "all of our congregations" are challenged to do so. There are many congregations who have not sold out to the devil, and who resist plunging head-long toward hell and destruction. The Rochester writer gets reckless with the facts.
To demonstrate the complete foolishness of the Rochester piece, I refer the reader to the sickening sentence which declares the purpose of the big blowout is to help provide "...a worship service that satisfies our senior members...." Self-satisfaction is the name of the liberal game. Do you suppose the liberal babblers ever think about "a worship service that satisfies" God? Of course not! I have almost become a fanatic in trying to get brethren to worship God without the practice and purpose of pleasing self. If self satisfaction is the name of the game, one might as well join the rock and roll cultic churches. Our Nashville newspaper is filled with all sorts of cultic and freakish announcements on Friday or Saturdays, and one can pick whatever pleases them. The liberal cults are no different, and the schools are hotbeds for such rot. Moreover, the thoughtless, lightheaded, supporters of these liberal and modernistic gangs will not be guiltless in the judgment.
To find people who are imbued with the spirit of "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29), is becoming rare with each passing day. What do you think?
In all probability one of the most comforting Bible verses to a host of people declares "But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant" (1 Cor. 14:38). The context denotes that the apostle is dealing with the matter of divine inspiration by which he wrote. The truly spiritual man would discern and acknowledge that commandments were written by inspiration. The "any man" of the verse who is ignorant would be the false teacher who refused to learn. He would be the incorrigible character who refused to see the obvious, such as some mis-fits who gloat over their fermented ignorance in our day.
Paul would say, "the man is willfully ignorant and I will leave him in his condition and trouble myself no further with him." Ignorance is such a costly thing and the tragedy is compounded by the fact that it is so contagious. I have a good friend who has burned the midnight oil for long decades in an effort to acquire knowledge and utilize it properly. I know something of the rigors, difficulties, and sacrifices which J. E. Choate, Jr. has imposed upon himself. Yet in spite of continuous study, meditation, and a deep desire to acquire more knowledge and assimilate it properly and consistently, there seems to be a constant ballistics of ignorance which rears its empty head in weak argumentative form by silly observations and senseless questions directed at brother Choate.
It is so often the case that the more ignorant some character is, the more dunderheads will follow him. How well have I experienced the brunt of these loquacious dudes as I try to edit the Plumbline.
Like my friend J. E. Choate, Jr., we are simply too blind, doltish, incompetent, dull, shallow, inept, irrational and simple to be of help to the litter of Goliaths with their coat of mail. Pardon my humility but some of our trouble-makers are so narrow-minded that a gnat could light on their nose and drink fluid from both eyeballs at the same time. Of such characters Paul would say, "...let him be ignorant."
That is what I would say if I were a worker in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association during his recent crusade in Nashville, Tennessee. For those readers who may not be aware of it, Mr. Graham appeared in Adelphia Coliseum June 1st through June 4th here in "Music City", preaching, as usual, before capacity crowds. But why, if I were a member of his team, would I state, "Well, the Campbellites have finally come over"? Because (a) several churches of Christ in Nashville have openly endorsed Mr. Graham's efforts and (b) he views us as "Campbellites." According to Brother Jim E. Waldron, these churches include the popular and prestigious Woodmont Hills, Smith Springs, and Harpeth Hills (1). This must have given a great degree of satisfaction to Mr. Graham's association since years ago churches of Christ strongly opposed his doctrines of salvation by faith alone, premillennialism, and once saved, always saved. (To be fair, the Freewill Baptists do not believe in once saved, always saved (2). But Mr. Graham is a Southern Baptist (3) and this is a tenet of Southern Baptist doctrine (4). Mr. Graham also advocates "joining the church of your choice", which seems to me more of an inter-denominational doctrine rather than Baptist. I'm not sure that the Baptists would appreciate someone "joining" some group other than their own.
This is not the first time members of the church of Christ have wholeheartedly sanctioned Mr. Graham's Crusade here in Nashville. When he was here at Dudley Field in 1979, Athens Clay Pullias, former president of David Lipscomb College, penned an article of praise for Billy in the Sunday, July 15th edition of The Tennessean (5). This was just about the same time brother Pullias left the church to associate himself with the Presbyterians, in whose fellowship he remained until his death.
I wonder if the same Nashville churches that supported Mr. Graham's work as enthusiastically as they did would, in like manner, support the efforts (and the teachings) of Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jerry Falwell should they ever come to Nashville? If the congregations do not, perhaps claiming that they cannot support false teaching, then they would be inconsistent. But, if the congregations would support such teachers ... well, let the reader draw his own conclusions.
In the past, Mr. Graham has had little use for the Lord's church. That grand old soldier of the cross, J. M. Powell, related an interesting incident that took place in New Zealand several years ago. A man by the name of John Gerrard was listening to Mr. Graham speaking on the subject of repentance. Billy used Acts 2:38 as a proof text, but only mentioned the word "Repent". When Gerrard, with New Testament in hand, called out to Billy to finish the verse, Mr. Graham retorted, "Get out of here, you church of Christ man." Mr. Gerrard had never heard of the church of Christ, so he located one in New Zealand and soon became a Christian (6). According to a recent telephone conversation with Brother Powell, Gerrard was a faithful member of the body.
Moreover, there is in print an account of a preacher who cried out to Mr. Graham at a crusade, "Why do you not teach baptism as essential for salvation?" Graham replied, in effect, "Well, it seems we have a Campbellite among us. Just go on back to your own little group." (7) Frankly, I do not know if these are two separate accounts or a variation of the same incident. It doesn't matter. Mr. Graham's attitude toward the church of the New Testament is reflected either way.
Although I've never met Mr. Graham, I've known some who have. One lady, whom I've known all my life said that he is just as humble and gentlemanly as can be. I would like to think that is so. However, what would his attitude be if you or I met him and asked about Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and I Peter 3:21? Perhaps he would say "You Campbellites need to come over as some of your brethren in Nashville have done."
P.O. Box 140214
Nashville, TN 37214
For many years this writer has discussed with individual brethren and congregations regarding the problem of division. The Holy Scripture emphasizes the need for unity, with compound references from the Old and New Testament. David said, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity" (Psalms 133:1). Unity is an odor of a sweet smell, and a coveted product. The idea of seeing the Lord's church divide, split, rupture, or rend itself apart is an ugly and repulsive sight. What Christian of sound scriptural mind would want to see or participate in such a horrific destruction of the Lord's church. Division is carnal minded which produces death (Rom. 8:6; 1 Cor. 3:1-3). Jesus prayed for the unity of all believers (John 17:20-21). Furthermore, Paul pleaded for the church at Corinth to speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among them (1 Cor. 1:10). God clearly stated without hesitation that churches of Christ be united, or else they would be overcome with division. It is not that division and serious ruptures in the body of Christ did not occur. It was a frequent problem in the days of the apostles, however they did not condone it, nor was it given an apostolic stamp of approval. Division was always thoroughly and completely condemned as noted by Paul in Galatians 5:20.
This writer has seen divisiveness and turmoil plague congregations to such an extent that it split the body of Christ asunder. Some years ago brethren invited this preacher and his family to begin work with their congregation based upon the recommendation of two faithful gospel preachers. It would have been the height of foolishness to blame those two good men who had given their advice and counsel. This writer had the ultimate confidence in these noteworthy men, but the decision was ours and no one else was to blame. It was within ten days that we recognized our decision was a terrible mistake. A group of twenty-five families or so from the congregation expressed a desire that we attend a covered dish meal hosted by this group. This collection of people represented a sizeable faction within the church. During our first week of work with the church we began to learn a variety of things. It was our feeling that this would be an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with some of the members of the congregation. Following the meal there was a thorough discussion and plan of running down the elders, establishing an agenda according to their way of thinking, and other items of interest which would affect the church. Apparently my predecessor, according to information gathered, manipulated the eldership while forcing them to comply with this devious group. After moving into their community for two weeks, we decided this was the worst decision that could have ever been made. This faction was constantly pressuring us to participate in their sinful activity, but we refused. Working with the elders, and informing them of the anarchy and division perpetuated by this wicked faction was my top priority. For the most part, the elders were exceedingly weak, although one of the elders desperately wanted to mark this vicious faction and fulfill the leadership's duty to God and his word. The elders decided to invite a preacher of great notoriety to lecture on the problem at hand, but with deaf ears this sinful group would not hear (Matt. 13:15). We followed up the special lecture with extensive preaching on factionalism and division, and did everything but give names and addresses of those involved. This series of lessons was preached in a spirit of love, yet those wicked and sinful ones threatened my physical safety. This stressful situation led to major surgery upon the writer's wife. Although threatened face to face and receiving anonymous phone calls to cease such preaching, the writer stepped in the pulpit the following Sunday and urged the eldership to mark those of the faction as the Bible states and fulfill their responsibility (Rom. 16:17). This Biblical exhortation availed nothing as the elders stood by and watched this terrible situation continue. This was a clear-cut case of the church ignoring its duty, and failing to separate itself from the sin that was running rampant (Gal. 5:19-21; 2 Thess. 3:6). My family and this grieved minister moved away, and it has been my understanding that this faction continues to control the church. May we raise the following question? Did God bless this church, or has he removed the candlestick (Rev. 2:5)? We never want to see the church split or become severed, yet Satan can be devastating when he has the church by the throat. When they allowed Satan in the midst of the church, it became necessary that the tares be separated from the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30). The sordid impulses and corruption of God's people is a sad and tragic thing to watch.
Some in our brotherhood are heretics and apostates that find sheer joy in being disruptive and creating confusion. This writer has served the Lord's church for nearly thirty years, and to see those congregations that were once peaceful, and worked harmoniously together only to suffer division is a terrible sin. Solomon said, "These six things doth the Lord hate, yea seven are an abomination unto him...A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren" (Prov. 6:16-19). The wise man with great clarity reveals how God feels about those who would sow discord and that divide the Lord's people. Such an act of the flesh will reflect the deep feelings conveyed by our Creator. We must not commit such an act of the flesh, but work tirelessly in building up the kingdom wherever we might live.
When they allow false doctrine to enter the body of Christ, either by invitation or by the members advancing it without recrimination, the church becomes a corrupt leaven. Time and again we allow those to enter our pulpits, or speak to our youth seducing and subverting their souls while the leadership becomes preoccupied from their primary duty. An eldership within the congregation has the primary responsibility of "watching," and "feeding" the flock of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-2). Many years ago a preacher was preaching nightly for a congregation in a gospel meeting, while they invited many from the community to attend this series. Several members of the Methodist Church attended the service and announced, "well, your visiting preacher speaks the same kind of message as our preacher." What a sad commentary on an eldership that will allow a visiting preacher come and preach Methodist doctrine, or grace only, from the pulpit of the Lord's church. Scores of souls left the building thinking that our teaching was compatible with the Methodist on points of fundamental doctrine. How many will delude themselves into thinking they preached the truth that evening, and for that matter all week. This event occurred nearly thirty years ago and now, in the adjoining area, church of Christ ministers and sectarian ministers are exchanging pulpits. What a sad state of affairs to see this digression continue to expand and broaden. Paul once wrote the Ephesian brethren, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11).
Note the following question? Should the church split or divide? It is a very difficult question, but one thing is sure, if God is not in that congregation, then surely we should remove ourselves. God is only there when we respect his holy word, taught without compromise, and conduct ourselves so that it will mirror the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27). Suppose you learned that a serious illness or death would be the result, if inadvertently you took medication that was certified by a pharmacist only to be in error, what decision would you make? Any sane or sensible individual would refrain from taking that medication. Human life is too important and we would not take any chances, would we? Likewise, we should not take any chances when it comes to the church or congregation that we are presently attending. Our spiritual welfare is much more important than the physical life that we hold so dear. Why not take every precaution when it comes to our eternal souls. If it requires splitting or severing ourselves from the church we are presently attending to save our souls, then we must do it without fail. The only way we can know for sure is when we study and investigate the word of truth to see if what they are teaching, is in fact the truth (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Acts 17:11). For one to split or divide the church for his own personal gratification is sin. However, if we permit rebellion to remain, then we have no alternative but to sever ourselves from the sin that remains. Keeping the church pure in God's sight should be a top priority (Eph. 5:27).
I do not think that an explanation of the problems which have developed in the Villages congregation is absolutely necessary. But, in making known the sordid scene, I trust all of those who have inquired will be aware of how Satan can work, and will try to be on guard.
Some years ago a large subdivision was developed in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. At the entrance to the subdivision there were a few small factories, one of which was the Royal Bible Publishing Company. Brother George DeHoff would come to the Bible Publishing Company to purchase Bibles for his Murfreesboro, Tennessee, bookstore. At a lectureship he said to me, "There needs to be a congregation out there in the Belinda City (now Villages) area."
Through painstaking effort and sacrifice, a congregation began. I helped locate some land and raised money to pay for it. Also, I helped raise funds to build a basement in which to meet. After that was paid for I located some nice furniture for sale through my friend, brother Jack Dunn. We then began the building of a nice auditorium. I paid for the moving of the furniture from West Tennessee. All the time I preached without remuneration, while supporting myself in secular work. My constant refrain was, "Brethren, if we will behave ourselves, the work will prosper." I sincerely believe this.
Although one brother did not know what a lectureship was, we decided early on to have one. The brethren (a mere handful) asked me to select the speakers for the lectureship. We had good, sound, gospel preachers to come be with us. I have personally paid some of them and partially paid some of the others. I have tried to contribute several hundred dollars prior to each lectureship or gospel meeting in order to help pay the speakers.
We have had men such as Joe Gilmore, Curtis Cates, David Brown, James Boyd, Bobby Liddell, Keith Mosher, Garland Elkins, Paul Sain, J. E. Choate Jr., Billy Bland, James Cossey and Wayne Smith. I may have forgotten some of those great preachers.
For the June 2000 lectureship I had asked brethren David Brown, James Cossey, Stan Stevenson, James Boyd and J. E. Choate, Jr. to come over and help us. Due to his wife's health, brother Choate phoned me and asked to be relieved from speaking because he needed to be with her. I understood. I then phoned brother Wayne Smith and asked him to substitute for brother Choate. He agreed and we began to advertise accordingly.
Selecting brother Smith as a lectureship speaker did not meet the approval of one of the men who is a relatively new member of the Villages' congregation. Although I was the director of the lectureship, this man met with a few of the men and decided to remove brother Smith from the lectures. It was only after the fact that I was informed about their decision. I had no input in their deliberations or the decision.
When the man who led the handful of other brethren in opposition to brother Smith moved into our area, my wife and I tried to show Christian hospitality to him. I drove most of one afternoon trying to help him locate a house to rent. When his family came to be with him, we furnished them a place to stay for a night or two until their furniture was unloaded.
He visited a number of congregations, but never desired to settle down with the Villages congregation where I was preaching at the time. He eventually began worshipping with the Adams Avenue Congregation in Lebanon, Tennessee. He moved away to Cookeville, Tennessee for a while. He then moved back to the area and, though he did not place membership, he once again attended the Adams Avenue Congregation. In time, problems arose between him and the elders regarding certain matters he opposed. Two of those problems he recently brought into the Villages' congregation.
The two problems that caused this man to oppose brother Smith's participation in the Villages' Lectureship were: 1. In a gospel singing he opposed certain men leading songs. 2. On Sunday evening the church offered the Lord's Supper to those unable to attend the Sunday morning worship period in a room outside the auditorium. Because the elders did not operate to suit him regarding these matters, and maybe others, he considered them liberal and Wayne Smith, the preacher, a false teacher. (If anyone wants to know anymore about this brother's involvement with the Adams Avenue Congregation contact the elders).
On the Sunday following the previously mentioned meeting wherein brother Smith was removed from the Villages' Lectures, I spoke to the assembly following the dismissal of the Sunday morning worship. I tried to dissuade them from removing brother Smith from the lectures. The meeting developed into a confrontation with the man previously mentioned. If anyone is interested, this fellow tape recorded the session.
During that meeting I pointed out that I was one of the trustees of the Villages congregation. My reason for bringing up the trustees is this--trustees have a legal responsibility to see that the building and grounds are used according to the New Testament teaching. Three of us served as trustees of the Villages congregation. We would not be true to our legal trust if we allowed the building and grounds to be used contrary to the New Testament teaching.
Civil law requires churches to have trustees. Therefore, trustees exist on the basis of the church's obligation to abide by the laws of the land when these laws do not contradict the teaching of the New Testament (Romans 13; Acts 5:29). All other things being scripturally equal, the trustees will respect the teaching of the New Testament regarding the work of the elders of the church or, where no elders exist, the decision of the men in a properly called business meeting. However, trustees would not be true to their trust if the elders and/or the men decided to use the building and grounds contrary to the teaching of the New Testament. In other words, there would be at least a legal recourse to stop rebellious persons from taking over the building and grounds of the church to use them contrary to the New Testament.
For example, when a property deed stipulates that no mechanical instrument of music is to be used on and in church property, not only do the elders and/or the men of the church have an obligation to abide by the deed to the property, but so do the trustees. One hundred years ago this legal expedient helped stop the Christian Church from taking over church property. The heretics protested this stipulation by charging faithful and wise brethren of putting "the creed in the deed." Incidentally, brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. stated that if the Christian Church would quit stealing the church buildings, such a stipulation would not have to be put into the church property deeds. Such action was expeditious for the faithful churches because it helped them keep the property and grounds of the church out of the hands of those who would use them contrary to the New Testament authorized usage of the church. If the elders and/or the men of the church desired to bring into the worship a mechanical instrument of music there was, then, a legal recourse for faithful members to stop the introduction of unscriptural worship in and on the building and grounds of the church.
Another example of legal matters being used to protect brethren is when Paul used his Roman citizenship to get him out of an unfair court. By his appeal to Caesar, God used the Roman government (and thereby their protection of Paul) to get him safely to Rome. Thus, there are various legalities that the church and individual Christians may expeditiously use to protect them from unscrupulous brethren and non-members who would cause trouble in and to the church. It is, therefore, rather absurd when certain people charge me with advocating that the trustees of a congregation may act in the place of Godly elders or faithful men of the church as they make the decisions that they are authorized to make.
Judas Iscariot was a thief. Jesus Christ had some sort of association with him. Did Jesus fellowship him? Of course not. Jesus associated with the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees but he did not fellowship them (Matthew 15:1ff; 16:1ff; 19:3; 22:23ff; 23:13-29). Simon Peter went into the palace of the high priest and sat with the servants (Matthew 26:58). Did Peter fellowship those characters? Brethren, association is not necessarily fellowship.
We use a songbook during our worship. There are many song-writers listed in the book, most of whom are not members of the church of Christ. Does it logically follow that we are unsound if we use a book that includes so many non-Christian writers along with faithful Christian songwriters? Yet, the fellow who marked Adams Avenue and Wayne Smith as proponents of error said that because they were included in a list of churches, some of which were unsound, automatically meant that they were in fellowship with these unsound churches: Well, if inclusion in such a list constitutes fellowship with unsound churches, what about a sound church being listed in the church directory, "Where the Saints Meet?" In our Nashville paper there are two pages of religious cults, sects and denominations listed each Saturday. Associated with them are a number of churches of Christ. Does such an association in the newspaper constitute fellowship? It would be great if we would resort to sane and sound reasoning with the scriptures and not rascality.
There is one matter that must be understood. In order for association to constitute fellowship, there must be the factor of intent, purpose or aim to share in another's (individual or congregation's) belief and practice. By being listed in a paper that listed numerous congregations that had monthly singings, did the Adams Avenue brethren intend, purpose and aim to fellowship all the churches listed? Such an association in and of itself alone does not necessarily constitute fellowship. Who wants to deny this conclusion?
I deeply resent anyone causing discord among brethren. I object to anyone bringing troubles from another place into the fellowship of which I am a part. But, you can do nothing about it when people are bound and determined to do it anyway. So, I just removed myself from the whole sordid mess. In former days I was physically and emotionally strong enough to withstand the stress and strain of these kinds of church troubles. However, that time has passed. I will close with the word of God. "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me" (Psalm 41:9).
--Wayne Coats, Editor
I do not want to appear as a cynic to our readers but a short squib from Rubel Shelly's church bulletin of June 21, caught my attention. Shelly opined: "Network and cable decision-makers will put anything on the tube that stands to grab viewers, increase ratings, and permit them to charge more for advertising. The name of the game is ca$h."
Here is another case of the pot calling the kettle black. It is undeniable, indisputable, and "ungetoverable" that the liberal agenda is well known for putting anything on the program "that stands to grab viewers, increase ratings," and entertain the shallow minds. The name of the game is ca$h, relevance, change, new stuff, compromise. A glance at the Shelly sheet will reveal a constant and continuous offering of events, concerts, programs, outings, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, which can be engaged in -- for a fee. The network and cable decision-makers should feel at home among the liberal churches.
I have been watching with eager eyes to see the names of all those hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who were supposedly counseled by Rubel Shelly during the Billy Graham Crusade in Nashville. Rubel ordinarily lists the names of people in the "Lovelines bulletin" who join Rubel's Church, but what a terrible shock. There were not hundreds and hundreds of joiners, but probably four or five have been listed.
One good brother asked Rubel what he would say if someone came to him asking about becoming a Catholic. Rubel very quickly responded that someone was waiting to talk to him and he had to go. That is a most convenient response.
There has been so much compromise, soft-soaping, concessions, mediocrity, neutrality, pacification, accommodation, truce making, placating, and giving in to the devil that regardless of how far-fetched a false teacher might be, there are enough half-converted, half-baked, ignorant party members who will join in with the festival circus clowns.
I see by the papers where the AIDS epidemic is to worsen. "Aids will cause early death in as many as one-half of the young adults in the hardest hit countries of southern Africa...." "There are now 34.3 million people infected with immunodeficiency virus worldwide. About 13 million are children younger than 15. About 5.4 million people were infected last year." Last year, 2.8 million died from AIDS. Some 19 million have died from the disease since it was first discovered. In Africa, some 13.2 million children have lost their parents from the disease. There are now some 25 million people infected in Africa with AIDS. About 20% of the population in South Africa are infected with the disease. In Botswana, 36% of adults are infected. Two-thirds of Botswanan 15 year olds will die of AIDS before age 50. --Source: Nashville Tennessee newspaper
It seems to me that the sports figures who are being paid multiplied millions to bounce and kick balls around could spend a dollar to help in this death dealing epidemic. I suppose it would be asking too much to get their ball-bouncing multi-multi-millionaires to chip in a few dollars to educate the ignorant.
According to the news media, the Billy Graham Crusade costs amounted to, "$2.475 million dollars." There were "9,545 people who came forward during the four days...." That means a lot of poor, deluded, people will go to the judgment having been deceived by Graham, Shelly, et. al.
I have been working on the book titled, "The Garden of Nuts," for the past few years. The wise man wrote, "I went down into the garden of nuts...." Of course he had reference to the kind of nuts which were used as food. There are many kinds of nuts, some good and some deadly.
The most obnoxious, detestable, despicable, destructive nut is the two-legged kind. As a malcontented, misfit, he can tear down in a brief moment what faithful brethren have spent years in trying to build.
I am sure our readers know of many instances where the church nuts have caused discord. Would you share these with us? We do not need the names of the nuts. In fact, I do not care to dignify the church nut by pinning a name on him. Send the cases of nuts of which you are acquainted.
He was the perfect epitome of a nut but was considered by a few followers as a combination of Plato, Aristotle, Solomon, Socrates, Peter and Paul. His unfathomed brilliance and wisdom expressed itself in meeting with the elders and objecting to the Lord's supper being served on Sunday night in one of the classrooms for those members who worked on Sunday morning.
To the nut, the folks who went aside into a classroom for the communion made two congregations, a divided assembly, the same sort of situation as a children's church. My, but that posed a problem for a few lessor nuts whose power of reasoning was slightly above the dull-normal percentile. I have found that attempting to reason with some people is about as fruitful as trying to reason with a herd of goats. A big mouth is no indication of a big brain.
Consider the following please. In an assembly three people exit the auditorium and go into a classroom to take the communion. The purpose of their leaving the auditorium is not decisive of the issue. The issue is they went to a place outside and beyond a wall. Two more people went outside the auditorium into a room to undress and redress in order to be baptized. There were two men to be baptized and two other men were in the room to assist them. Again, the purpose of their leaving the auditorium and going behind a wall to prepare for a baptism is not the issue. The fact is some brethren left the auditorium.
The same situation occurred when two women went out into another room to prepare for a baptizing, being assisted by two faithful sisters in Christ. While this was taking place, the church nut took his crying baby back into the nursery where four other adults were sitting with their babies.
Here we have an auditorium with people in it, two different dressing rooms with people in them, a nursery with people in them, and yes of course two rest rooms with sick folks in them. How many people are separated by walls? How many people think there are six congregations separate and apart from each other? The number who would so think would be dependent upon the number of fools and blind guides who were present. One need not waste one's breath, time and energy fooling with such ilk and stripe.
Another case of a decidedly cracked nut was seen in the following episode. We had a young man who was working very hard to become a faithful gospel preacher. He was humble, devoted, very sincere, studious and dedicated to the Book. His lessons were scriptural, plain, helpful and appreciated by everyone with normal intelligence.
The young man had finished law school and passed the State Bar examination. He was working in the area of civil law. Now comes the church nut and opines, "We don't want him here 'cause he is a lawyer?" I immediately thought of Paul's statement when he said, "Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them" (Titus 3:13). I suppose if given a week to hunt for the passage, the nut might have located it with some help. I do not know whether Paul was a lawyer or not. I do know that he exercised some legal clout and gave his voice (vote) against the Christians. May God spare you from church nuts.
Hear Ye--Hear Ye. The phone rang and as I answered the caller wanted to apprise me of the notorious Nashville Jubilee 2000. Yes sir! The Shellyites are right in the middle of their sacred cow down at the Coliseum. I asked, "what did you hear? Did Rubel come out in purple and regal attire like Herod The Great and deliver a god-like oration to the people?" The respondent replied, "I have never heard three nerds make a more complete failure than the three I listened to. There were perhaps three-hundred people present in the main auditorium. You can write that the Jubilee is dead." The devil will not let the Jubilee die. It is the source of too much harm for the devil to let it die.
The rotten outfit was sick from the day Steve Flatt and cronies conceived the thing. A lot of brethren had such little sense as to jump on the band-wagon and help support the freakish outfit. The structure was as unscriptural, anti-scriptural, and ungodly as the devil could devise it. Do you think that made any difference to the schools and congregations who purchased booth space? Do you know of anyone who knows of anyone who knows of those peddlers who have repented? Of course not! Do you know of anyone who has attempted to justify the ungodly outfit which Steve Flatt hatched out? Of course not! Do you know of anyone who studied the Jubilee Charter and pointed out all the hellish ideas incorporated therein? I did my best to show brethren the blunders of the Flatt fiasco, but I was dealing with too many people who had chips on their shoulders. Such is a sure sign that there is much more wood higher up.
Back in 1849 when the old missionary society began in Cincinnati, Ohio, there were brethren who opposed the structure, the internal make-up, the design and purpose of the accouterments. The way the society was formed and operated was the point of attack by good brethren. They didn't wait until some goof-ball brother made a fool of himself by giving a modernistic speech. They went back to the framework and tore it apart piece by piece. That is where brethren need to start today. It is foolhardy to wait until a fellow like Max Lucado babbles a bit about baptism--and then get a little shaky--perhaps enough to have Steve Flatt make a little talk on baptism. The common sense thing to do would be to launch an onslaught against the devilish framework of the Jubilee created by Steve Flatt. Of course it will take time, effort and desire to read the corporate charter, the amended charter, and try to find out about this new missionary society. In my pessimism, I do not believe this will happen with the exception of maybe a few people. It is the case that ignorance is bliss and no game is an thrilling as the game of bliss.
brethren who are so very distressed as to ask, "what
shall we do?" The simple answer would be, "stay ignorant, and be
blissful." This has been the course persisted in so far by so