November 19, 2018

Romans 14 Abused to Accommodate False Doctrine

By Ron Halbrook

Romans 14:1-15:7 teaches there is a realm of individual conscience, personal opinion, liberty, and expediency. This context opens and closes with an emphasis upon mutual acceptance and forbearance in this realm:

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Within this realm, "there is nothing unclean of itself, " but "all things indeed are pure" (vv. 14,20). The weak brother feels conscience bound to do something (such as setting aside a certain day for special devotion to the Lord), or to not do something (such as eat meat). No sin is involved in doing or not doing such things, so far as God and truth are concerned, but each person is to keep a clear conscience in such matters.

Neither the strong nor the weak is to consider such matters as equivalent to the gospel of Christ or essential to the kingdom of God. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (v. 17). So long as both brethren abide within this righteousness, peace, and joy, they are to receive one another. They are to worship together, and do everything possible to strengthen, encourage, and edify one another (14:19; 15:5-6). As to the matters at hand, "let every brother be fully persuaded in his own mind" and avoid judging brethren who have a different practice, content to let each one "give account of himself to God" (vv. 5,12). Romans 14 challenges the weak brother not to press his conscience upon others, and challenges the strong brother not to cause the weak to sin against his own conscience. Thus, unity is preserved and souls are saved.(1)

Two approaches have appeared which abuse Romans 14-15 to accommodate false doctrine. The first approach recognizes the scriptural limit of this passage to matters of individual conscience and liberty, but considers certain matters of direct revelation to be merely matters of liberty. Thus, adulterous marriages, abortion on demand, and other immoral acts may be declared liberties and tolerated by appealing to Romans 14. The second approach claims that the passage was never intended to be limited to matters of personal opinion but is designed to accommodate contradictory teachings and practices on important moral and doctrinal questions. By utilizing one of these two approaches, every false doctrine to appear in the last 200 years has appealed to Romans 14-15 to pave the way for compromise and to open doors for fellowship.

Catholic creeds and denominational doctrines codify unrevealed opinions and human inferences not required by the text of Scripture. Some of these opinions and inferences are harmless as purely individual possessions (such as eating no fish on Friday, or being a vegetarian every day), while others are vicious and immoral in nature (such as refusing to help destitute parents on the basis that a person's money has been promised to the Lord). When unrevealed opinions and human inferences are codified and commanded, they are doubly dangerous, being sinful additions to God's Word and driving wedges of division among God's people (Matt. 15:1-9; Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Jn. 9-11).

Two Keys to Restoration Efforts

In the early 1800s anxious souls were seeking "the old paths" in order to escape the doctrines and divisions created by men (Jer. 6:16). In the providence of God, two key points were discovered, carefully examined, and then courageously proclaimed. The first key was to recognize the Bible as the only standard of authority in religion. Men must go directly to the text of Scripture, test all things by that standard, preach and practice only what the Bible teaches, and not go beyond the things which are written. A study of such passages as 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 4:11, 1 Corinthians 1:10 and 4:6, Galatians 1: 8-9, and Revelation 22:18-19 led Thomas Campbell to resolve, "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent." "It was from the moment when these significant words were uttered and accepted" in the summer of 1809 that a great restoration effort formally began. The restoration plea came "into direct antagonism with the entire religious world" by insisting that "it was not merely necessary to take Divine revelation as a guide, but equally so to prohibit the addition and admixture of human opinions."(2) Silence, the absence of divine authority, prohibits.

The second key was to recognize a realm of liberty in matters of expediency and personal conscience where no sin is involved. Thomas Campbell's Declaration and Address of 1809 emphasizes "Union in Truth" on the basis of a "Thus saith the Lord" repeatedly, but the realm of liberty in conscience is also clarified at length, often with references to Romans 14-15.(3)The exclusion of human creeds and commandments does not preclude the use of "expedients" and "circumstantials . . . necessary to the observance of Divine ordinances," nor the use of literature designed simply "for the Scriptural elucidation and defense of Divinely revealed truths."(4)

In discussing Romans 14-15, Campbell defended "the private judgment of any individual, which does not expressly contradict the express letter of the law, or add to the number of its institutions." Noting that Jews and Gentiles were taught to maintain unity in spite of personal differences over meats and days, Campbell then asked, "But had the Jews been expressly prohibited, or the Gentiles expressly enjoined, by the authority of Jesus, to observe these things, could they, in such a case, have lawfully exercised this forbearance?" Romans 14 is clarified by 1 Corinthians 10:23 in the following observation:

"All things are lawful for me; but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me; but all things edify not." It seems, then, that among lawful things which might be forborne - that is, as we humbly conceive, things not expressly commanded - the governing principle of the apostle's conduct was the edification of his brethren of the Church of God.

As Campbell further clarified, this latitude or liberty allowed among lawful things cannot be extended to those who set aside some of the Scriptures' "express declarations and injunctions, to make way for their own opinion, inferences, and conclusions." In dealing with matters of liberty, Paul "spoke by permission, and not by commandment."(5)

Just because we profess principles of truth is no guarantee that we properly apply them. Campbell is no authority but we can learn from his studies and struggles. He was both inconsistent and too liberal in his application of basic principles in 1809. For instance, he still approved of infant baptism at that time, and after he gave it up he still extended undue tolerance toward the "pious unimmersed." Men like him were coming out of the darkness of denominationalism with no one to help them and it took some time to accurately apply the principles they discovered.

The road they traveled to come out of error has been taken by brethren retracing those steps in the wrong direction, going back into error and apostasy. Both of the key principles which take us back to the Bible have been perverted by those who profess them. Silence, the absence of divine authority, is interpreted so as to grant permission for all sorts of theories, doctrines, and practices. Also, liberty of conscience in Romans 14 is applied so as to accommodate false doctrine and to appease false teachers.

Instrumental Music and Missionary Societies

Those who advanced instrumental music in worship, missionary societies among the churches, and subsequent forms of liberalism constantly appealed to Romans 14. When the Gospel Advocate, American Christian Review, and Apostolic Times warned that such practices represented a growing apostasy, Editor Isaac Errett of the Christian Standard retorted that the divinity of Jesus and the necessity of baptism were still being preached. Beyond that, we must not "dictate where Christ has not dictated," he said, but some brethren are guilty of a "murderous stifling of free thought and free speech . . . we insist that Romans xiv. allows a very large liberty which we have no right to trench on."(6) From 1870 on, a host of liberals made this identical plea in advancing not only instruments and societies but also open membership, theistic evolution, and various theories renouncing the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. Those who opposed liberalism as a perversion of the liberty granted in Romans 14 were accused of "intolerant dogmatism."(7)

J.B. Briney in debate with W.W. Otey appealed for the toleration of instruments on the basis that the objecting brethren were weak, and instruments could be used where no one objected. "I will close the debate in fellowship and love if he will . . . agree that unless the instrument may hurt somebody else, it may be used just as the meat may be used if it don't (sic) lead somebody to sin," said Briney. Otey pointed out that Briney must "prove conclusively that the use of instrumental music is authorized," in keeping with the limits of Romans 14.(8)

False Unity Movements

Brethren have been plagued through the years by false unity movements which abuse and misapply Romans 14. Beginning about 1917, John B. Cowden and others in the Christian Church formed a Commission of Unity in Nashville, Tennessee, and held a series of unity meetings for several years. Cowden wrote many articles, pamphlets, and books on unity and liberty. He complained that churches of Christ emphasized law and doctrine:

They tolerate no differences in doctrine . . . on church music, church organizations, church conventions, church colleges, church benevolent institutions, church socials, worldly amusements, secular fraternities, denominations, denominational affiliations, the millennium and many other "Mint, anise and cummins," or tweedle dees and tweedle dums.

Christian Churches emphasized liberty, he said, and the two groups must cross the bridge of fellowship with unity-in-diversity. He indicates that only things lawful fall into "the realm of Christian liberty," but says that Romans 14 allowed Christians to change "the day of worship" and that not even "differences over essential doctrines" are sufficient grounds for division.(9) In his later years he wrote a "swan song . . . for the unity of my 'own brethren'" in the Christian churches because sprinkling was tolerated and Bible "doctrine has fallen into disrepute."(10)

The torch of false unity movements was taken up by James DeForest Murch of the Christian Churches and Claude F. Witty of the churches of Christ. Private contacts in 1936 laid the groundwork for several local meetings in 1937, followed by a series of "National Unity Meetings" (1938-41). This work was carried on by a journal, The Christian Unity Quarterly (1943-47). Throughout these years, many direct and indirect references were made to Romans 14-15. During the 1939 meeting H. Leo Boles made a stirring appeal for unity based upon divine revelation, and for the repudiation of and unrelenting opposition to every unauthorized innovation. This led to a lengthy and pointed exchange in the Christian Standard between Boles and Edwin R. Errett, editor of the Standard. Errett repeatedly used Romans 14, saying at one point that Boles "will have a difficult time ruling us out of the brotherhood and sitting in judgment upon the servants of Another." One article was entitled "Judging the Lord's Worshipers."(11)

From the mid-1950s until the present, W. Carl Ketcherside (1908-89) and Leroy Garrett have published journals and conducted meetings perpetuating false concepts of unity, often using and abusing Romans 14-15. Garrett says people of all denominations should apply Romans 15:7, "Receive one another even as Christ has received you." This includes the Seventh Day Adventists and also members of the universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Church, which is made up of homosexuals, although we may hold different views from these groups. From 1966 through 1975, Garrett helped to organize and promote a series of unity forums around the country with speakers claiming some historical connection to the restoration efforts of the 1800s, including those who have departed from the faith to embrace everything from modernism to one cup to the charismatic movement.(12)

At the 9th Annual Unity Forum, Edward Fudge presented a paper on Romans 14 entitled "The Relation of 'Faith' and 'Opinion' to Unity and Fellowship." He advocated unity-in-diversity on instrumental music and institutionalism, allowing for separate congregations but a full reception of one another "in church affairs and worship" across the lines. He now applies that concept to women leading in various roles when the church is assembled together.(13)

Another series of false unity movements have been spearheaded by Don De Welt (1919-1990) and, a spokesman for Christian Churches who lived in Joplin, Missouri. He founded and published the One Body magazine in 1984, edited by Victor Knowles. DeWelt and his cohort Ken Idleman put together a national "Restoration Summit' for 1984 in Joplin with the help of Alan Cloyd and Dennis Randall, preachers among institutional churches of Christ. When someone put out copies of H. Leo Boles' 1939 sermon on the true way of unity, the Summit organizers whisked them away! The organizers want "men of an irenic spirit," but "no knuckleheads please!" These so-called "Restoration Forums" and One Body work hand in hand, abundantly abusing Romans 14.(14) The ninth forum was held in November 1991 at Portland, Oregon.

Premillennialism

When premillennialism was infiltrating churches of Christ in the 1930s-40s, many pleas for tolerance were based on Romans 14-15. R.H. Boll was opposed by such stalwarts as J.C. McQuiddy, G. Dallas Smith, M.C. Kurfees, and H. Leo Boles because of teaching his millennial theories in the Gospel Advocate 1912-15. He was dropped from the Advocate staff in December 1915. In the 30s-40s, N.B. Hardeman and Foy E. Wallace, Jr. were outspoken opponents of Boll's theories, but his speaking and writing abilities along with his pleasing personality made many brethren reluctant to draw lines of fellowship.

Stanford Chambers started Word and Work in 1915 in New Orleans, but shortly moved it to Louisville, Kentucky, where Boll lived. Boll edited the paper from 1916 until his death in 1956. Many articles on unity were written in Word and Work by Boll, Chambers, H.L. Olmstead, E.L. Jorgenson, Don Carlos Janes, J.R. Clark, and other premillennialists, often appealing to Romans 14. Boll's argument for "tolerance" of millennialism on the basis of Romans 14 attempts to parallel the issue to the Bible class question, which was much discussed at the time (1926). Olmstead uses a similar approach in 1930, claiming that such passages as "Romans 14:1-12" solve "bickerings and hair splittings" over "local congregations . . . conducting" schools with secular classes, "orphan homes, homes for the aged, etc.," as well as premillennialism. A popular parallel used by Clark was "the war question." He explained,

In conclusion, my proposal for a ground of unity and fellowship to our challenging brethren is as follows: on the basis of Romans 14, although we feel that you misinterpret many of the prophetic passages, we will receive you as brethren; and on the basis of Romans 14, though you think we are unwarranted in giving these prophetic passages their literal import, we request that you receive us.

Many such efforts by premillennialists to pervert Romans 14 could be cited.(15)

J.N. Armstrong was much beloved for his many years of helping young people at Harding College, but he was also a close personal friend of Boll, Jorgenson, and other premillennialists. He wished they could cease their teaching, and thus spare everyone the controversy, but he claimed they had a right to teach their views on the basis of Romans 14. The issues found in the chapter are not "indifferent," but involve "vital" error and "false teaching," in Armstrong's view, and yet, "Each group is left to abide in its own doctrine." Besides that, the line between what is "essential" and "nonessential" cannot be determine "except by a dictator or a pope. God has not fixed it," he said.(16)

Because of his concept on Romans 14, Armstrong felt justified in writing his premillennialist friends many letters of sympathy, and sharply criticizing their critics. The premillennialists did not cause the "cleavage," he wrote B.C. Goodpasture, but "our trouble" began "just as soon as our 'radicals' began to make 'demands,' began to 'line us up, , and to mark all who did not comply with those demands." He added he could not "mark men whom I believe to be as faithful to the word of God (though in error in some matters) as I am myself."(17)

These misconceptions on Romans 14 were shared by premillennialists, their sympathizers, and the promoters of the Murch-Witty unity movement, which contributed to resentment of militant gospel preachers and papers trying to stem the tide of such influences. Unintimidated by such resentment, W.W. Otey wrote, "He who opposes error causes no division, but he who teaches error causes the breach." Men who promoted the above influences should be dealt with in keeping with Romans 16:17, not chapter 14, Otey observed. "To bid them God's speed, in defending them or contributing to their support, is to become full partners in these disturbing errors." Otey insisted that 2 John 9-11 forbad faithful brethren compromising with the above trends, and he quit writing for the Christian Leader because it was accommodating these very trends.(18)

Constant, misguided appeals to Romans 14 in the face of dangerous error reflected a creeping softness among brethren. Armstrong wrote that the Gospel Advocate's determined opposition to Boll was "wholly unnecessary and hurtful," and he called the Bible Banner the "Bitter Banner" in a sympathetic letter to Jorgenson. When he earlier started a new paper as an "open forum . . . free from personalities," Cled Wallace commented,

Fortunately, Timothy and Titus and Paul are not living. If Timothy should ask to use the new paper to "charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine," it would be embarrassing to the editor to turn him down because of "personalities." Titus might ask for an "opportunity" to rebuke sharply and stop the mouths of some "unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers. " Paul might want to brand Hymenaeus and Philetus as heretics, or rebuke Peter when he did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the gospel. We hope the new paper can find enough writers nicer than Timothy, Titus, and Paul to keep copy for the printers.(19)

Later this paper combined with the New Christian Leader with the financial support of Clinton Davidson, a compromiser who promised a higher level of journalism and who copyrighted his paper, forbidding quotations and controversies over its contents. In the meantime, anonymous letters were circulated, attacking the character and ethics of Foy E. Wallace, Jr., editor of the Bible Banner. After Wallace analyzed this new paper as "foreign to all gospel preaching and gospel journalism," and as a tool of apostasy, "Copyright" Davidson sent him a letter warning that he had "been informed by eminent legal counsel" that the article was "libelous." Wallace wryly suggested, "Contrast this with that sugar-coated, non-pugnacious, non-controversial, sweet-spirited, high-toned, ethical journalism to which this new movement has been pledged."(20)

Institutional Apostasy

Just as happened during the instrumental music and missionary society digression, the institutional apostasy of the post-World War II period was defended by specious appeals to Romans 14 for freedom, diversity, and tolerance. As happened before, subsequent forms of liberalism have resorted to the same maneuver in an effort to promote everything from the charismatic movement to modernism, including women leading the mixed assembly, sprinkling, and open membership. Pleading for unity-in-diversity on sprinkling, pouring, and immersion, a professed gospel preacher wrote,

We would do well to listen to Paul's sentiments: "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand." Tragically, a diversity of baptism has led to an ugly exclusivism never intended by God. It has been an excuse not to love those in other churches.(21)

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

The spread of rabid and destructive false doctrines on marriage, divorce, and remarriage has forced us to study Romans 14-15 again. Olan Hicks applies these chapters to institutionalism, to Christian Church folks with instrumental music and other innovations, and to all sorts of fanciful theories and false doctrines on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. He declares all such issues to be matters of opinion or expediency and therefore not binding except as personal scruples. He teaches the bizarre theory that adultery need not involve sexual intercourse, but may involve merely divorcing a mate and completing a civil contract of marriage to another person (without sexual contact). Subsequent sexual intercourse with the new mate is not adultery, according to this theory, and a person is permitted to remain in the new marriage.(22)

Homer Hailey teaches that the alien sinner is not answerable to the marriage law taught in Matthew 19:1-9, and so the alien can obey the gospel and continue in a marriage which is contrary to that law. Jerry Bassett teaches the Hicks' theory on adultery, and that the person who destroys his marriage by fornication may be free to marry another mate. Both Jerry and Don Bassett concede that Romans 14 deals with matters which are "of no doctrinal consequence," 64matters of indifference." Both agree that the question of adultery falls into the realm of the revealed faith, but they say we can continue in fellowship in spite of all our differences on divorce, remarriage, and adultery. They treat these issues as though they came into the purview of Romans 14, but admit that this approach goes beyond the limits and boundaries of the passage. This same approach of acknowledging the limit of Romans 14 to "the realm of expediency" but applying it "much more broadly than just that realm" is taken in Samuel Dawson's book on fellowship.(23)

Ed Harrell wrote 17 articles in Christianity Magazine explaining why he can continue in fellowship with brethren holding "five or six, perhaps more," contradictory positions on "divorce and remarriage." In seven of those articles, Romans 14 is used. After granting that the issues found there "were not matters bound by God," he adds, "but the intent of the passage clearly encompasses more than that." We are not told how he discovered this broad "intent," but he repeatedly asserts it includes differences of "serious" or "considerable moral and doctrinal import" -"contradictory teachings and practices on important moral and doctrinal questions." A request that both sides be printed in the spirit of Acts 17:11 was met with the answer, "Christianity Magazine is not intended for the type discussion brother Halbrook suggests."(24)

Conclusion

Brethren, now is the time to look before we leap, and to back up while we can. We must not open a gate for "the man of sin." History shows us how he will use it. Even now men like Cecil Hook and papers like The Examiner have embraced the logic of going beyond the scriptural limit of Romans 14. Already they accommodate instrumental music, all sorts of institutionalism, the social gospel, premillennialism, the Lord's Supper and collections not on the Lord's day, divorce and remarriage for any and every cause, evolution, dancing, immodest dress in mixed swimming, gambling, social drinking, abortion, and much more!(25) When this gate is opened, every form of false doctrine, worldliness, and carnality march boldly through!

The proper use of Romans 14 is vital to the true unity and harmony of God's people. Its proper application is limited to things lawful, pure, and clean. It is limited to a realm of liberty of conscience in which no divine law is violated, though there be differences of consciences. To apply the passage so as to accommodate false teachings and contradictory practices on important moral and doctrinal matters is to abuse it.

Endnotes

1. For further study on Romans 14, see Connie W. Adams, "Observations on Romans 14," Searching the Scriptures, Nov. 1988, pp. 539-40; Harry Osborne, "Romans 14: What Saith the Scripture?" and "Romans 14: How Readest Thou?" Guardian of Truth, 19 Apr. & 3 May 1990, pp. 262-64 & 240-42; Bill Cavender, "Love Worketh No III to His Neighbor," GOT, 20 Apr. 1989, pp. 234-35; Cecil B. Douthitt, "Deference to Weak Brethren," and Mike Willis, "Divorce and Remarriage and Fellowship," GOT, 7 Feb. 1991, pp. 76-78 & 80-88 (Douthitt reprinted from Gospel Guardian, 5 Oct. 1967, pp. 337-39). On the proper use of Romans 14, see also the special issue of GOT on "Factionalism: A Threat to the Church," 2 Sept. 1982.

2. Robert Richardson, Memoirs of Alexander Campbell (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Co., 1868), 1:236-27, 352.

3. Thomas Campbell, Declaration and Address and Barton W. Stone, et. al., Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery in one volume (St. Louis, Mo.: The Bethany Press, 1955; reprint by Mission Messenger, 1972), "Union" on pp. 50,94; "Thus saith" on pp. 26,60,90 and often; realm of liberty often, esp. pp. 61-80.

4. Ibid., expedients on p. 48; literature on pp, 86-87.

5. Ibid., private judgment on p. 64; forbearance on p. 65; lawful things on p. 66; latitude on pp. 70-71; permission on p. 72.

6. Quoted by James DeForest Murch, Christians Only: A History of the Restoration Movement (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Pub., 1962), p. 171.

7. Adron Doran, "Liberalism, Evolution and the Christian Church Apostasy," Gospel Advocate, Sept. 1991, pp. 24-26.

8. W.W. Otey and J.B. Briney, Otey-Briney Debate (Cincinnati, Ohio: F.L. Rowe, Publ. (ca. 1908]; reprint Gospel Guardian), pp. 152 and 110-11.

9. On unity commission, see Boswell-Hardeman Discussion on Instrumental Music in Worship (Nashville, Term.: Gospel Advocate Co., 1924, 1957; reprint Fairmont, Ind.: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 1981), pp. 5-22; Cowden, Law versus Liberty and The Bridge (West Nashville, Tenn.: author, 1953), tolerate no differences on p. 20; realm on p. 12; Romans 14 on p. 9; essential doctrines on p. 22.

10. Cowden, Whose Business Is It? (West Nashville, Term.: author, n.d.), pp. 12-13.

11. Boles' 1939 address was published: "The Way of Unity Between 'Christian Church' and Churches of Christ," Gospel Advocate, (25 May-15 June 1939): 476-77; 508-509,516; 532-33; 554-55; also publ. as tract by G.A. in 1939, and reprinted in 1984 by Getwell Church of Christ, 15 11 Getwell Rd., Memphis, Tenn. 3 8111. On " ruling us out, " see Errett, " Speaking Where the Bible is Silent," Christian Standard, 10 June 1939, pp. 551-52; "Judging. . .," 26 Aug. 1939, pp. 818-19, 835.

12. For Garrett on all denominations, Adventists, and homosexuals, see "Arkansas Correspondence," "Seventh Day Adventists," and "A Church for Gays and Lesbians," Restoration Review, Apr. 1988 and Sept. 1989, pp. 278-79, 266-71, and 131-35 respectively.

13. On 9th unity forum, see Ron Halbrook, "'Free to Be One': A Report on the Nashville Unity Forum," Truth Magazine, 19 Dec. 1974, pp. 104-106. On Fudge, see Halbrook, "Edward Fudge: 'Free to Be One,"' TM, 27 Mar. 1975, pp. 314-15, and Fudge's unpubl. ms., esp. pp. 8 and 10. On women, Fudge with other elders, "Bering Dr. Church of Christ Report of the Elders on the Use of Gifts in the Church, July 31, 1988."

14. On irenic spirit and knuckleheads, see Victor Knowles, "Restoration Summit," and Alan Cloyd, "An Open Letter to All Restoration Summit Participants," One Body, Nov. 1984, pp. 3 and 21 respectively. On Romans 14, see Seth Wilson, "39 Steps to Unity," ibid., p. 8.

15. Boll, "Words in Season"; Olmstead, "The Basis of Unity"; and Clark, "Unity and Debates," Word and Work, 1926, 1930 and 1951, pp. 257-59, pp. 203-206, and pp. 57-59 respectively.

16. For quotations of Armstrong's views, see L.C. Sears, The Biography of John Nelson Armstrong: For Freedom (Austin, Tex.: Sweet Publ. Co., 1969), pp. 279,294 and 277.

17. Armstrong letter to Goodpasture, 27 Aug. 1942, photocopy in my possession.

18. For Otey on opposing error, see Cecil Willis, W. W. Otey: Contender for the Faith (Akron, Ohio: author, 1964), p. 265; on Romans 16:17, see p. 266; on 2 John 9, see p 297.

19. For Armstrong on the Advocate, see F.W. Smith, "As a Matter of Simple Justice," Gospel Advocate, 23 Sept. 1920, pp. 930-32; on Banner, Armstrong letter to Jorgenson, 13 June 1944, photocopy in my possession. Cled E. Wallace, "A Free-for-All Opportunity," GA, 9 May 1935, pp. 433,453.

20. For Foy E. Wallace, Jr. analysis, see his article "The Combination Paper," Bible Banner, Nov. 1938, pp. 12-13; for David son's letter and Wallace's comments, see BB, Jan.-Feb. 1939, p. 4.

21. On institutionalism, see Jimmy Allen and Eldred Stevens, "How to Attain and Maintain Fellowship," The Arlington Meeting [1968] (Orlando, Fla.: Cogdill Foundation, n.d.), pp. 341-63 and 375-80. On baptism, see R. Scott Colglazier, "Many Baptisms," Mission Journal, Jan. 1984, pp. 17-19; response by John Mark Hicks, "Baptism: Unity or Diversity?", MJ, May 1985, pp. 15-16,18.

22. For Hicks on Romans 14, see his book In Search of Peace, Unity and Truth (Searcy, Ark.: Gospel Enterprises, 1984); for his marriage theories, see Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage (Joplin, Mo.: College Press, 1987).

23. Hailey, The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God (Las Vegas, Nev.: Nevada Publ., 1991). Jerry Bassett, Rethinking Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage (Eugene, Or.: Western Printers, 1991), pp. 131-33 on Romans 14. For Don Bassett on "matters of indifference," "Differences - Romans 14," tape of sermon at Brentwood (Tenn.) Church of Christ, 8 Sept. 1991. Samuel G. Dawson, Fellowship: With God and His People (Santa Monica, Cal.: Gospel Themes Press, 1988), p. 128.

24. The 17 articles appeared Nov. 1988-May 1990. For five or six positions, see Harrell's "Homer Hailey: False Teacher?" Christianity Magazine, Nov. 1988, pp. 326-29; on intent, see "The Bounds of Christian Unity (3)," CM, Apr. 1989, p. 102. On differences, see "Bounds . . . (15)," CM, April 1990, p. 102; "Bounds . . . (4)," CM, May 1989, p. 134; and "Bounds . . . (16), " CM, May 1990, p. 134. On request, Halbrook letter to editor with Harrell's response, CM, Sept. 1990, p. 263.

25. Hook, Free in Christ (New Braunfels, Tex.: author, 1984, 1988), pp. 4-7, 33-34; Dusty Owens, "Answering the Mail," The Examiner, Sept. 1987, pp. 12-13.

Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 1, pp. 27-32
January 2, 1992

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