An Appeal for Assistance
Donald P. Ames
The church in Chicago-land is growing very rapidly and so far the majority are still faithful to the word of God (thanks to the work in the past by such capable and hard working preachers as brother Leslie Diestelkamp, as well as the influence of Truth Magazine). However, the liberals have been stepping up their efforts lately too, splitting several congregations and carrying others further into apostasy.
Recently the church at 410 S. Michigan, Chicago (in the loop where I preach), received a letter from the Michigan Ave. Church of Christ (6228 S. Michigan) for assistance. Exactly how many such letters were mailed out I'd have no idea, as it was a mimeographed form containing a few blanks for adaptability. But, the letterhead would indicate the church there is really "on the march" somewhere, with Levi Kennedy serving as minister, Samuel Jordan and Norman Adamson as assistant ministers, Alva McCoy as Rec. Secretary, and Yvonne Harris as clerk. They must not have any elders or deacons thoughor else they don't count.
It seems Aug. 2.3-29 is the "14th Annual Youth Conference" and they are "expecting the largest crowd ever to be witnessed in the history of this great event." As to the scriptural authority and place of this ' Youth Conference," no details are given, but we are informed "each person will register with a small fee, this fee will only partially defray their room and board expenses for the week." They expect to be feeding "approximately 600 three times daily." Nor are we told if their 600 will be all aliens in need of the gospel, or just a big social get-together of young people already Christians. Just why the church ever got into the motel and restaurant business is another of the unanswered questions too. I guess it would have been too simple (and scriptural) for, various Christians to open up their homesor for some of those attending to make a few arrangements of their own. But that would have also hindered the church from getting in on it too.
The desired assistance? Homes for them to sleep in or any individual Christians willing to feed some? NO! A letter to the church asking for "grits and jelly or money for it." That's right"grits and jelly or money for it" (essentials at that, of course). These to be picked up by Saturday, Aug. 14th, and the letter was signed by a Miss Joyce Echols, Chairman.
I learned a lot of new things about "the church" from that letter. I had never heard of most of those positions existing in the church before. I had never known it conducted annual youth conferences or what their purposes are before. I had never known the church appointed a female chairman to tell "our sister congregations in this area" what they were to send, nor of the church engaging in the motel and restaurant business (for a small fee at that) all to promote "OUR Youth Conference." (I wonder, is that "OUR" to mean it is the exclusive work of the Michigan Ave. church, or jointly the work of all the churches participating? Maybe the Herald of Truth could help them juggle that one around.)
And still some can't see the church is going into another apostasy. Paul says, "Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21). This is all a new doctrine to me, but then l haven't been reading the Gospel .1dvocate to keep up on the times, and l fear my Bible just isn't up to date, as it is silent on all these big denominationalistic schemes (Gal. 1:6-10, 2 Jn. 9).
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 3, pp. 19-20 December 1965