“An Uncertain Sound”: (1 Cor. 14:8)

By Luther W. Martin

Paul the Apostle continued: “So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken?” (1 Cor. 14:9).

Many years ago, the late Foy E. Wallace, Jr., from time to time criticized the writings of Jimmie Lovell in the publication Action. As a young preacher, I noted the criticisms, and out of curiosity, I read both Lovell and Wallace’s writings. I soon concluded that Foy had a legitimate point, and that Lovell’s words had “an uncertain sound.”

Much more recently, Reuel Lemmons, as Editor of Action, in the April, 1988, issue, wrote concerning brother Darrell Folz, “a 64-year old house painter, WBS (World Bible School, LWM) teacher and lay preacher.” Lemmons, in terming brother Foltz “a lay preacher,” was certainly giving an “uncertain sound”! He was writing like a rank sectarian.

On April 26, 1988, 1 wrote to brother Lemmons, as follows: “Brother Lemmons, I am saddened by your choice of words, wherein you designate brother Darrell Foltz, ‘a 64-year-old housepainter, WBS teacher and lay preacher.’

“The expression ‘lay preacher’ is un-biblical, and straight out of the mouths of sectarians.

“Won’t you please correct your careless word-choise, in a subsequent issue of Action? Thank you.”

I received no response to my letter. Brother Lemmons departed this life a relatively short time afterwards.

Now, in the September, 1990, issue of Action, edited by brother Tex Williams, there is a bold headline -97 saved, church is dedicated in Guyana.” The expression “97 saved” sounds typically like the report of a “Baptist revival.” But equally “an uncertain sound” is expressed, when “a church is dedicated”!

The body of the article contains such expressions as:

(a) “. . . following an 11-day campaign by 36 Church of Christ workers.” The expression “Church of Christ workers” by Action, obviously carries a most sectarian connotation and endorses such a concept.

(b) “A highlight of the campaign was the dedication of the new Church of Christ building in Georgetown.” The “dedication of buildings” is simply another appropriation of a sectarian practice. It is “an uncertain sound.” When did a “building” become “the new Church of Christ”? Yet, Action, by using such terminology, appears to support sectarian thinking.

(c) 1,200 persons crowded into the new building to take part in the dedication and to hear a speech by Desmond Hoyte, president of Guyana.” Is the president a brother in Christ? Or are the brethren in Guyana failing to observe Romans 16:17-18? And, is Action fostering this sectarian influence by commonly reporting such activities and using such expressions?

(d) Guyana’s president commended the church for having donated “a blood analysis machine to the Georgetown medical faculty.” The Guyana brethren should be concerned with teaching about the blood of Christ; not using funds supposedly given for the Lord’s work, and instead, using those funds for analyzing the blood of men!

(c) “The Harding University chamber choir also took part in the dedication ceremonies June 15 and the evening services though June 19.” With the “Harding University chamber choir” participating in the “dedication” and in the “evening services” the Harding and Action brethren, can scarcely oppose the use of “choirs” in the worship of the church!

In conclusion, the brethren who are supporting and bidding God speed to such sectarian concepts and activities, have departed from the New Testament pattern.

Guardian of Truth XXXV: 4, pp. 99-100
February 21, 1991