Review of Grider - McCaghren Debate

J. T. Smith
Dayton, Ohio

It was my privilege to serve as moderator for Brother A. C. Grider in the Grider-McCaghren debate that was held in Longview, Texas October 18-21. It was a good debate in all phases. Good order prevailed throughout the entire discussion and the deportment of the audience was excellent. There was not a single demonstration from the audience at any time during the entire four nights.

Two of the simplest propositions were discussed that have ever been used in a discussion on the care of orphans and the sponsoring church arrangement. The first two night brother Grider affirmed a negative proposition that simply stated that it was un-Scriptural for one church to send funds to another church for the receiving church to preach the gospel. And, try hard as he could, brother McCaghren was not able to produce, any Scripture where this was done in the New Testament church. In his last speech, brother Grider did a masterful job in showing the futility of all of the passages that had been presented by brother McCaghren. Brother Grider had a chart on which he listed three different categories, and classified every argument that had been made by brother McCaghren. None of these passages proved that one church was involved in sending funds to another church, so the receiving church could do a work in preaching the gospel.

The last two nights of the discussion, brother McCaghren affirmed that churches of Christ could send to a home to care for orphans. Brother Grider pointed out that the church was not responsible for any children simply because they were orphan. It might have a responsibility for some orphan that was a Christian, but it would not be on the basis of its not having parents, but because it was a needy saint. Of course, brother Grider pointed out that no orphan would go hungry if any Christians knew anything about it, for it is their responsibility to care for the needs of the fatherless and widows in their afflictions. He cited James 1:27 and Gal. 6: 10 as his proof for this. And, as brother Grider pointed out, there is not a passage in the entire Bible that authorizes the church sending to ANY KIND OF A HOME.

The third night of the discussion, brother McCaghren brought forth brother W. L. Totty's silly proposition about those who take money from the church's treasury are sinning and will go to hell. Brother Grider told him that he would be willing to sign it if be could come to Dallas where McCaghren preaches and have four nights to discuss this proposition. Brother McCaghren said that be could, and it looks, now like there will be a debate in Dallas on this proposition. And, it appears that it will be sometime in the spring.

January 1967