The "Could Not" of Brother Allen
C. D. Plum
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Brother Jimmy Allen COULD NOT find Holy Scriptures to justify the Mid-Ohio Valley Bible Forum (the big cooperative evangelistic campaign) in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in 1967. So, he tried something else to try to justify it. The reason why he could not find Holy Scriptures to justify such a meeting is because there are none in the Holy Scriptures.
I am referring to an editorial by Brother Allen in the Campaign Newsletter of October, 1966. The purpose of his editorial was to boost the morale of the workers of this big Parkersburg meeting. No one knows better than brother Jiminy Allen that he could not cite holy scriptures to prove the righteousness of this big unscriptural campaign arrangement for Parkersburg, but he had to say something. This campaign had already been postponed, and it just would not do to have that happen again. It is hard for some of the good older brethren to swallow so much departing from the faith so fast. They have heard too much sound doctrine in former years. So, if Brother Allen was going to save this meeting for himself he just had to speak out. So he spoke out in his editorial.
What Brother Allen Did
(1) Brother Allen adroitly perverted some holy scriptures, and thereby brought himself under the anathema or curse of Galatians 1:6-9. These scriptures read as follows: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the - grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there he some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." The trouble makers in the church are the ones who pervert the gospel. One meaning of pervert is: "to misinterpret or misapply." This brother Jimmy Allen is guilty of.
Brother Allen listed I Cor. 16:1-4; Rom. 15:25-31; 2 Cor. 8:1-9; 15; and 2 Cor. 9:11-15 as scriptures, to supposedly prove that the big Parkersburg meeting was scriptural. (And Brother Allen could also as well have listed Acts 6:1-4; and Acts 11:27-30.) But neither the scriptures brother Allen listed, nor the other two I suggested deal with an evangelistic campaign at all. Read these scriptures and see. All of these scriptures deal with the help for the poor saints. And Brother Allen knows this! Brother Allen has perverted these scriptures, misinterpreted them, and misapplied them! These scriptures refer solely to the help of poor saints. God forbid that I ever be guilty of such perversion of Holy Scriptures. And, brethren, if you follow such perverted teaching "both shall fall into the ditch" (Matt. 15: 13-14). Neither these scriptures, nor any other holy scriptures authorize a sponsoring church thro ugh which other congregations may work, either in helping the needy or in evangelism. Neither these Holy Scriptures, nor any other holy scriptures justifies the church contributing from her treasury to pay any human organizations to do the work God gave to the church to do.
In Brother Allen's editorial he also "Perverted" other holy scriptures other than the ones named above. He perverted (misapplied) Psalms 133:1 and Acts 11:22-23. Be it remembered that Psalms 133:1 does not teach that it is good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity, when the thing being done is unscriptural, like the tying of congregations together, and pooling their support under the sponsorship of the Lynn Street Church of Christ in this big evangelistic campaign in Parkersburg which brother Jimmy Allen is promoting. And Acts 11:22-23 does not teach that the Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to Antioch to be engaged in such a meeting as brother Allen is to be engaged in here in Parkersburg. How weak one's cause must be when preachers have to misapply (pervert) scriptures.
(2) Besides misapplying Holy Scriptures in trying to justify the MID-OHIO VALLEY BIBLE FORUM, Brother Allen resorts to "men and figure3" to try to justify it. But I would remind Brother Allen that the men whom he names are men, in our day (not men in the New Testament like Peter, James, John, and Paul.) And I would remind him that his figures are not Holy Scriptures. But let us look at some of the men and figures as reported by Brother Allen in some past big cooperative evangelistic campaigns.
1. It is not stated who the preacher was in Dallas, Memphis, and El Paso. Could it have been Brother Allen himself?
2. The total baptisms reported in four meetings were 738.
3. The total restorations in four meetings were 1530. The restorations are more than double the baptisms. As indicated by these figures Christianity must have been getting to a low ebb in these liberal churches. Why? These up and doers of big things in a big way discredit their too liberal system by their own failures. I would like to see a true report of the "stickers" (holder oners) a year or two after the big campaign is over. If they do or don't hold, when once we depart from the word of God it is going to take bigger and bigger excitements to move the masses. The gospel is too calm; we have just got to have a Billy Sunday-Billy Graham type of campaign. It won't do to let the sects outdo us.
4. The most these figures prove is that those who resort to them "are not wise." Let us read: "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: , for they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves, ARE NOT WISE" (2 Cor. 10:12). Remember, this is the Holy Spirit speaking. Brother Allen, and all who follow these unscriptural trends need to wise up.
The Financial Statement
The financial statement of the Mid-Ohio Valley Bible Forum as reported-by-the Campaign Newsletter of October, 1966 does, not look too healthy. But the boosters of this unscriptural tie-up and tie-in of congregations in this Parkersburg campaign have a number of months yet to beg, and to stage all night prayer meetings, to put the big financial side of it over the top. The October report showed that as of now they only have, or did only have $5,181.69, as of July 1, 1966. They probably have more now. The gospel comes high now. How many more thousands they will need, and get, I have no idea. Anyway, this letter will stir them up, and they will open the old pocketbook a little wider. And Brother Jimmy Allen promised them in his editorial that, "Anti-ism and Hobbyism have a hard time getting a toehold where brethren have worked in cooperative campaigns." This promise is a choice morsel for those who no longer regard the word of God as the only standard of authority. So, this campaign will not be postponed again. It will go over this time.
A lot of people in Parkersburg congregations are not satisfied with this drifting away from the truth, but they axe afraid to act. They are afraid to break ties. Thank God, though, there are yet in Parkersburg those who stand for scriptural worship, scriptural benevolence, scriptural evangelism, and scriptural edification. There should be more such. There should be more than one congregation in Parkersburg that so stand, and there will be if all who really want to go to heaven, and meet loved ones gone on before, will be willing to stand with Jesus and his teaching against all shades and grades of departure from the truth. Are you willing to suffer and pay the price?
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 6, p. 11-12