"Campaigns and Scriptures"

Bob Witherington
Louisville, Kentucky

Many promotional minded "brotherhood" figures of this age can rival any denominational preacher when it comes to perverting scripture to find justification for some project, which they frequently have already started with, of course, the dollars contributed by a multitude of "lined up" churches.

Bro. Jimmy Allen of Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas, who is highly extolled for his successful (?) work in various "campaigns for Christ," recently spoke in Philadelphia to "representatives from at least 18 congregations" regarding the value of such campaigns. Oddly enough, he began by citing the scriptures that authorize (?) such endeavors. The scriptures cited were Acts 11:22-23. This scribe is rewriting these verses to read like they would HAVE; to read IF they authorize what goes on in the modern "campaigns for Christ" among brethren. Please read the reworded verses below and then compare them with that which "God hath revealed unto us by his Spirit" (cf. I Cor. 2:10) in your own Bibles.

"Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem, and the elders decided that since Antioch was a mission area, that perhaps they should take the oversight of this new work and sponsor a cooperative campaign for Christ in Antioch. Accordingly, they informed the chairman of the missions committee, who then requested the committee to meet with the elders. In this historic meeting, a great decision was made, which was destined to put the Church of Christ on the map in the Antioch area.

"A campaign for Christ would be conducted in Antioch just as soon as they could obtain from the brotherhood the nominal figure of $100,000.00 to cover expenses, advertising, and promotional fees. Campaign workers would be solicited from the churches in Samaria, Phenice, Cyprus, even Antioch, and from throughout the brotherhood. Barnabas, a brilliant young graduate of the Jerusalem Christian College was selected to serve as the campaign coordinator.

"Then Barnabas went forth to Antioch, and upon seeing the grace of God which was manifested in the brethren's cooperative response of Jerusalem's desire to conduct for them a campaign for Christ, was glad, and exhorted them that with purpose of heart they would submit to the elders of another church and provide lodging in their homes for the soon-to-arrive campaign workers.

"Then he went to Tarsus and fetched Saul a well educated, dynamic preacher who, sensing the opportunity to make a name for himself, readily journeyed to Antioch and did the preaching in this cooperative effort.

"Much good was accomplished. The campaign resulted in 13 responses to the invitation, which consisted of 4 baptisms, 8 rededications, and 3 re-baptisms. But we believe the greatest good will come from the fact that the residents of Antioch and the surrounding area now know about the Church of Christ."

Brethren if we can read the above into Acts 11:22, 23, we should not criticize the Baptists for reading the word "only" into Romans 5:1.

TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 5, p. 1 February 1966