By Brooks Cochran
The following news item appeared recently in the Gospel Advocate:
Bud Bayless, 3408 Carrington Street, Tampa, Fla. 33611. Following a year of graduate study in Speech at Ohio University, I am now at Manhattan Avenue, Tampa, Fla. This church recently hosted the Tampa Area Youth Meeting with John Waddey speaking four times on the theme: “Moral Alternative for Christian Youth in the 80’s.” Brother Waddey’s lectures were superior and we would encourage others to ask him for these lectures he presented to our youth. The meeting was attended by 92 youths, ages 12-25. A healthy cooperative spirit exists among the five Tampa Area churches. The cooperation issues are not publicly discussed much here in one of the former hotbeds of the problem. Only one of the five churches who still trust the Old Reliable existed before 1961. Many move to Florida from the north and place membership with the non-cooperation churches, often not knowing the issue exists; otherwise, they might have dwindled to nothing by now and we would have Florida (Christian) College back in our hands. Gospel Advocate, May 15, 1980.
1. Brother Bayless makes the statement that “the cooperation issues are not publicly discussed much here.” Well, whose fault is that? If brother Bayless wants to have a discussion of the issues I am sure there will be no problem locating a preacher in the Tampa Bay area that would be more than happy to meet him in a public debate.
2. Brother Bayless tells us that “many move to Florida from the north and place membership with the noncooperation churches, often not knowing the issue exists; otherwise, they might have dwindled to nothing by now.” I find this statement rather hard to believe. Brother Bayless makes it appear that the “non-cooperation churches” in the Tampa area pulled the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting northerners. If the truth were known I imagine that it is the other way around; i.e. brother Bayless and the brethren he is in fellowship with are doing all they can to keep their members from hearing both sides of the question. As to the “non-cooperation churches” dwindling to nothing, that is just wishful thinking on his part.
3. We also learn that brother Bayless is upset over the fact that he and those brethren who think as he do not have control of Florida College. Well, what business has the church controlling any college? If brother Bayless had his way he would have as many churches as he could sending money to Florida College the same way they do David Lipcomb, Freed-Hardeman, Abilene Christian, and others. Where is the scripture for such? There is none! The church has no business supporting colleges, schools, and/or any other human institution to do its work.
If brother Bayless wants to see the direction the brethren he is in fellowship with are heading, I suggest that he look next door. Unless things have changed, having lived in Tampa for two years, the Manhattan Avenue congregation is located next door to the Manhattan Avenue Christian Church. The first time I passed by the Manhattan Avenue church building and saw the Christian Church next door I thought it was kinda symbolic. So, look next door! Many churches of Christ today are headed down the same road the Christian, Church took off on over a hundred years ago.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 38, p. 610
September 25, 1980