The Complainers

Yater Tant
Nacogdoches, Texas

Maybe we ought to call them "the whiners." They are that considerable group of people in nearly all the liberal churches who are constantly fussing about the liberalism and modern ism in those congregations. They repeatedly assert: "I dont go along' with all this Cows for Korea,' 'Homes, for Unwed Mothers,' 'Church of Christ Hospitals,' 'Hamburger Hootenannies, and sensationalist promotionism junk. I think those things are wrong and unscriptural."

Yes, they say they "don't go along" (whatever that means) and then week after week continue to worship at those congregations, give their influence, their money, and their moral support to ALL the promotions; ignore and anathematize whatever hardworking, self -sacrificing faithful brethren there may be who are trying to build a truly scriptural church in the town or city, and continue to whine and whimper and "view with alarm."

We think it is high time these brethren either put up or shut up. We are getting more than a little bit fed up with constant complaining and fussing and fault-finding and promoting, pushing, and condoning the things they complain and fuss about! If they really MEAN what they say, then let them put their money where their mouth is; let them either fish or cut bait.

Just so nobody will have any doubt as to whom we are talking about; we will name three of the principal ones; Eldred Stevens, Glenn Wallace, and Reuel Lemmons. There are plenty of others of the same kind in nearly all the liberal churches. They are constantly "viewing with alarm," sounding ominous warnings of dire and impending doom unless liberalism and modernism and the social gospel are called to a halt.

But do they seek to encourage and strengthen the hands of those who are valiantly fighting against the things they condemn? Do they "lay it on the line" like our fore-fathers did in pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors in a battle to the death against the evil forces they condemn? Are they willing to stand up and be counted when the show-down comes? We are talking not only of Lemmons, Wallace, and Stevens, but of literally THOUSANDS of others across the land. They fuss and mouth and complain about the promoters and then do nothing to stop them.

Do these brethren not realize that digression has no stopping place? Are they so utterly blind to both history and logic as to believe that they can "go along" with just a little bit of error and departure from the New Testament pattern, and then call a halt? Do they not know that the whole social gospel concept is a package deal, and that once they let the camel get his nose in the tent (through an innocent little "orphan home" - which is neither a home nor for orphans) it is only a question of time till the whole ungainly beast will be under the tent - hoofs, hide, hair, humps and all? Are they so naive as to think the churches will go on indefinitely supporting colleges and building hospitals in foreign fields, and still refuse to support the colleges and build hospitals here in the States? How stupid do they think their brethren are?

If Reuel Lemmons views church contributions to Abilene Christian College with such holy horror that he is going to "blow the lid off" if Batsell Baxter and B. C. Goodpasture try to promote such, why doesn't he at least jiggle the lid (just a tiny little bit anyhow) when his own Firm Foundation promotes and encourages church contributions to similar schools and colleges across the water?

Is there something about a college in Japan or Africa that "sanctifies" it, and makes church contributions right and scriptural which would be evil and unscriptural if that college were in America? It would really be interesting to see what Brother Lemmons would do if a Christian college were ever started in Hawaii!

We offer our apologies to brethren Lemmons, Stevens, and Wallace for personalizing them in this editorial. We do not think of them as being any worse than thousands of others. They just happen to be typical of a group of brethren who are acting with what we believe to be an amazing degree of obtuseness. They are really pretty nice fellows, and we doubt not that they all washed behind their ears when they were growing up and were in no sense juvenile delinquents.

But their writings seem (to us, at least) to be mighty juvenile for adults!

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 11, pp. 19-20
September 1967