Nelson's Green's Quest For Truth
After the preacher for the Christian Church left my office, I thought, who is this guy? Is he for real? That was my first impression of Nelson Greene.
Here was a man 42 years old, telling me he could no longer accept the unscriptural innovations of that denomination. However, that was not all there was to Nelson Greene. He reached his conclusions through years of independent Bible study.
Nelson was a Catholic priest, a priest who was willing to question and eventually leave the Catholic Church, after which he gave only token observance to any religion. During that time he studied with the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. Nelson spent some time with a United Methodist Church, but left when they approved into membership an avowed homosexual.
With that move Nelson decided to reject religion. He discarded his Bible and Catholic prayer book. Soon he realized that this was not the course that would bring him the contentment he sought.
Nelson found what he thought was the end of his search for the truth of God in Elizabeth City, NC (see statement to Goodlettsville Christian Church on opposite page). He, however, became entangled with the Christian Church.
When he moved to Nashville, he thought he was truly thrust into the midst of an abundance of God's people. "All I could see were Christian Churches/Churches of Christ," Nelson told me. "I felt," he said, "they were all the same." Soon the elders of the Christian Church where he preached told him that the Churches of Christ in Nashville were denominational and to avoid them, especially the "Antis."
After awhile this honest heart could remain silent no longer (see statement to Lakeview Church of Christ on opposite page). He attended some assemblies of some institutional Churches of Christ. This gave him some determination to find out more about the church of Christ.
He drove to David Lipscomb College and requested more information about the churches of Christ. These people, upon learning Nelson was a preacher for the Christian Church, had Alan Cloyd to contact him. Cloyd heads the "Restoration Leadership Ministry." This is a "ministry" supported by many institutional Churches to convert denominational preachers.
Cloyd was interested in Nelson renouncing the Christian Church for the Church of Christ which seems to me to be rank hypocrisy, as Cloyd is working with Christian Church preachers to promote unity between the Christian Churches and institutional Churches of Christ (One Body, Spring '86, p. 34).
Nelson expressed to Cloyd and others that he could not see renouncing the bus ministry, fellowship halls, social gospel and various institutions of the Christian church to embrace the bus ministry, fellowship halls, social gospel and various institutions of the Churches of Christ. Nelson told these brethren the only thing he was renouncing was "the instrument and my support."
Here was a man wanting to leave liberalism, with no place to go. How frustrating!
Within four weeks after my first encounter with Nelson, he was standing, by faith, with God's people. During this time I spent many hours with Nelson in study, prayer and periods of encouragement. After a study in the Lakeview building on authority, Nelson remarked, "I can't believe it; I spent four years in college and never heard of generic and specific authority." I am not surprised.
Today Nelson is working with Joel Plunkett and the Broadmoor church of Christ in Nashville, for the summer. He has at least two classes each week with Aude McKee and Bob Bunting.
Having taken his stand with Christ and His church, Nelson desires to devote his life to preaching the gospel. He and his good wife, Sue, who has also taken her stand for truth (with a lot less fanfare than Nelson) can do a lot of good for the cause of Christ.
I no longer view Nelson as I did after my first meeting. Because I now see in him someone who was hungering and thirsting after righteousness and was filled (Matt. 5:6).
Reproduced on the opposite page are (1) his statement of resignation from the Christian Church and (2) his statement when he identified with the Lakeview congregation.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 15, p. 462