The Brotherhood and the Herald of Truth
William E. Wallace
This issue of TRUTH MAGAZINE deals with the chief force among churches of Christ leading a new digression toward a new "Christian Church". Reuel Lemmons, editor of FIRM FOUNDATION has observed "Perhaps no single effort has affected the brotherhood in our times more than the Herald of Truth." (FIRM FOUNDATION, September 15, 1964). No such single effort affected the church in the last century more than did the missionary society formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1849. Brother Lemmons observes further, "Their attempts to destroy Herald of Truth have been sufficient to establish it." So it is, or was, with the missionary society. Attempts to "destroy it" were resisted and a massive digressive body resulted--The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Today the Disciples of Christ group is moving toward "restructure" in organization--away from the missionary society to a more formal and authoritative or official church organization. The Herald of Truth affects the "brotherhood in our times" as did the missionary society in the times of a century ago.
Recently all the major publications among us devoted special issues to the Herald of Truth. Of course these publications, representing the power establishment among churches of Christ, upheld and glorified the Herald of Truth. Because we are not in favour of such digressive arrangement behind the Herald of Truth broadcast, we are devoting this issue of TRUTH MAGAZINE to healthy opposition to that unsound centralization of power in Abilene, Texas.
We appreciate brother Lemmon's recognition that "most opposition to Herald of Truth springs from pure motives." We believe that those who read this issue of TRUTH MAGAZINE with such an attitude will be impressed with the dangers and digressions represented in the organizational arrangements behind the Herald of Truth.
Brother Lemmons says that the Herald of Truth "undergirds the work of every congregation in every community without drawing lines of fellowship against any." Yet it is an indisputable fact that this missionary society has divided hundreds and maybe thousands of churches. Its representatives have encouraged lines of fellowship drawn against those who oppose Herald of Truth out of "pure motives". Local churches have been undergirded with an organization arrangement like the churches of the last century were undergirded by the missionary society.
The twentieth century will offer posterity another example of how a large segment of Christ's followers became dissatisfied with the simple New Testament arrangements, and how the Lord's church became once again a victim of division over organizational arrangements, and how once again the seeds of another denomination were sown.
The Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas will go down in history as the leading force in the formation of another denomination. A twenty-first century denomination will look back to its heritage and Highland Church of Christ of Abilene, Texas will represent to it the chief formative force.
Those who now oppose the Herald of Truth arrangement stand where the opposers of the 19th century missionary society stood. One hundred years from now, if the world stands, the true church of Christ will still flourish, and will stand in proximity to the Herald of Truth denomination as it does to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) today.
Truth Magazine IX, 5: p. 1a