Sentinel of Truth Absurdities

Cecil Willis
Marion, Indiana

For a good many months now, brethren Charles Holt and J. D. Hall have been trying to sell the brotherhood on a new religion which they have called "true Christianity." They have learned some things that no one before them has learned. Thus they are now busy trying to propagate their new religion. They publish a paper called SENTINEL OF TRUTH. (After many have come to abbreviate Herald of Truth, A. C. Grider surreptitiously has begun abbreviating SENTINEL OF TRUTH by SOT.)

Recently the SENTINEL OF TRUTH has become a monthly, having before been published only quarterly. Brother Holt freely admits that they are promulgating something brand new. In the July issue he speaks of the content of SENTINEL OF TRUTH. He says, "It is NOT simply a different way of saying what we have all believed and preached all along." And after reading a few issues of it, I am quite sure he is right. It certainly is not what I have believed and preached; it is not what I now believe and preach!

Brother J. D. Hall of jasper, Texas is the grand-daddy of this new religion which they have denominated "true Christianity." Furthermore, Hall is the financial godfather of SENTINEL OF TRUTH. A few years ago Brother Hall sent some material, which appeared in several other publications, to TRUTH MAGAZINE for publication. Though the articles were well enough written, they contained so must that was not true that I did not publish them. I felt that it would be essential to publish simultaneously a series of articles in order to answer the error of Brother Hall's articles. Thus we did not carry them. Too, we try not to publish material that appears in other journals.

Brother Hall since has started a paper of his own to propagate this new religion which "is NOT simply a different way of saying what we have all believed and preached all along." To give you an idea of what is being spouted in this new journal, I quote from Brother J. D. Hall's article also in the July issue. To emphasize his point, he capitalizes all the words in the following sentence: "THERE IS NO SUCH THING IN TRUE CHRISTIANITY AS A CHURCH OF ANY KIND, OR BELONGING TO ANY BODY, EVEN THE LORD." You easily can see why they must admit that we have not believed and preached this before. Frankly, I wish Brother Hall and Brother Holt would quit preaching it, for they are preaching that which is not so.

In the September, 1967 issue Brother Hall added: "Please notice that the Lord did NOT say He would establish anything, and certainly not a church - a thing completely unheard of in the first century. Since this is true, our tradition that 'The Lord's church was established on the day of Pentecost' is without foundation and completely untrue. Nothing was established on the day of Pentecost, and nothing was built on that day" (p. 12).

Hall further stated: "This little word 'church' has been the most potent weapon of deceit ever devised by Satan. It was created by the Catholics, adopted by 'Babylon', and then accepted and used by God's people who were trying to 'restore New Testament Christianity.' What a tragedy!" Hall is obsessed by the necessity of a new translation, mainly to omit the word "church", and to try to eliminate the office of elders. I doubt that there will ever have been a translation made that had so specific a purpose and ulterior a motive as the one these brethren are now working on. I am doubtful it will ever be completed. They had only the book of James completed the last I knew. James was an easy book for them, since the words "church" and "elders" just appear one time each. They could virtually follow the standard translations elsewhere.

But there are 110 references in the New Testament to the word "church." These usages are apt to slow down the appearance of the New Translation. Whatever the Greek word translated "church" may mean, it means something. And our Brother Hall has already told us "THERE IS NO SUCH THING IN TRUE CHRISTIANITY AS A CHURCH OF ANF KIND, OR BELONGING TO ANY BODY, EVEN THE LORD."

It is such irresponsible and untrue statements as this that cause me to take everything said in the SENTINEL OF TRUTH with the proverbial grain of salt. When they become so absurd and loose in some things, it is difficult for me to take the SENTINEL OF TRUTH, Charles Holt, J. D. Hall, or Harold Spurlock seriously. At times it is difficult to think they even take themselves seriously.

Jesus died for something. He is the Savior of something. He is the head of something. And the Bible calls this "something" the church. To deny that the church exists is about as absurd to me as the middle age philosophers who had to go through all kinds of logistic contortions to try to prove that they even themselves existed. The logistic contortions and scripture distortions of SENTINEL OF TRUTH are, to me, just as ridiculous.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 6, pp. 17-18
March 1968