Alleged Direct Operations of the Spirit among Churches of Christ
Many strange and uncertain sounds have been heard within our ranks in recent years. Perhaps the strangest and least expected of these have been the claims made for super natural and direct operations of the Holy Spirit within the lives of contemporary Christians.
It is the purpose of this article to document such claims and to prove that such actually are being alleged as occurrences among us. Frequently when some brother has rather carefully investigated a report, some other brethren are just positive that such a claim has never been made, though they have not themselves spent five minutes investigating the matter. The charges to be made in this article were not fabricated. The charges that some in the churches of Christ are claiming direct operations of the Holy Spirit did not come "off the top of our head." Such claims actually are being made.
In a documentary of this sort it is essential to rely on the testimony of others. Obviously one cannot personally have been at all the places where such peculiar phenomena are supposed to have happened. The Bible teaches that a charge is to be substantiated by two or three witnesses (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Tim. 5:19). We intend to give about ten times that many witnesses in this article. If the testimony of our brethren cannot be relied upon, then we cannot know that Christ was resurrected, for Paul cited the testimony of brethren as proof of His resurrection (I Cor. 15:6).
Brief Historical Background
Most modern claims to direct operations of the Holy Spirit have been in Pentecostalism, which began about seventy-five years ago. Most of us have become accustomed to hearing such claims from members of Pentecostal denominations, Church of God, Assembly of God, United Pentecostal, Church of the Nazarene, etc.
However, there has been a recent outbreak in traditional Protestantism of what has been termed "Neo-Pentecostalism," "the New Penetration," or the "Charismatic Renewal." Virtually all of the major denominations have been penetrated by this new movement, including the Episcopals, Baptists, Dutch Reformed, Disciples, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and now the church of the Lord.
"Neo-Pentecostalism" may be traced to Dennis Bennett, Rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California, who claimed on April 3, 1960 to have spoken in tongues. One of the main promoters of "The Modern Tongues Movement" has been the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, which was founded by Damon Shakarian (a wealthy California businessman in the Pentecostal Church) and which has been encouraged by Oral Roberts. The tongue movement now embraces the wealthy, cultured, and educated, including professors, writers, preachers, doctors and lawyers. A good book to secure which traces this history would be THE MODERN TONGUES MOVEMENT by Robert G. Gromacki.
Now this "Neo-Pentecostal" movement has begun to infiltrate the churches of Christ. It seems that denominationalism can be affected by no malady without us eventually getting an infection of it. Primarily this "tongue" and "direct operation" movement has affected our liberal brethren; paradoxically, the very brethren who for several years have been predicting a division among the "Antis." These brethren for several years now have sown to the wind, and in the whirl-wind which they are just beginning to reap is a sizable dose of "Neo-Pentecostalism." There is virtually no trace of such influences among conservative churches.
The nature of the remainder of the article will be documentary. It is not the purpose of this paper to argue the issues involved. Others have done this adequately. It is simply my purpose to prove there now is such an issue among us. I shall cite the testimony of several brethren concerning the presence of such an error among church members.
1. FOY E. WALLACE, JR.: "It appears that a combination of professors and young evangelists, with the aid of numerous printed mediums, have formed a confederation to stampede the brotherhood and take over the church for a Holy Spirit Movement, similar to and equal to the millennial movement, and as theoretically wrong. It is in fact a doctrinal defection" (THE MISSION AND MEDIUM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, p,. 9). Wallace states that there have been "numerous instances" of this "new movement within our ranks" (p. 2, 3). He cites one case of an evangelist who, before rising to speak, "prayed for the Holy Spirit to enter into him" (p. 3).
Further Wallace said: "The emphasis of this revolutionary movement is on the activities of the Holy Spirit apart from the word. The examples claimed for such extra-curricular activities are such as the 'Holy Spirit led exodus' to New York and New Jersey, a leader of which claimed 'Holy Spirit protection' when he joined the Chicago marchers in the racial demonstration; and another who could not attract a hearing on a New York street corner claimed Holy Spirit direction to another corner several blocks away where a ready audience awaited him; and one who was attending a party was told by the Holy Spirit to leave the table and to go to a man who would receive his teaching. Other such incidents ascribed to 'activities' of the Holy Spirit recently related are such as the Holy Spirit causing a preacher to miss his plane connection in a city which resulted in teaching a particular person -- but that city had several resident gospel preachers and the Spirit could as well have sent one of them and, then the preacher who was in a rush prayed for the Holy Spirit to reserve a parking place for him in a congested city business block - and it was waiting for him at the right time and place. So we have a new formula - pray and park. In these activities they really have the Holy Spirit buzzing about" (p. 2).
Foy Wallace also said, "This clique of Holy Spirit-impressed preachers among us cannot explain the difference of a knat's eyelash between their form of inspiration and that which was claimed by Prophetess Ellen (Ellen G. White of the Adventists-CW) they had as well join the Adventists They had as well joined the Holy Rollers" (p. 4, 5). Many of our preaching brethren have so enlarged upon their concepts of divine providence that they almost involve themselves in a theory of predestination.
2. G. K. WALLACE: In writing an introduction of Foy E. Wallace's book, THE MISSION AND MEDIUM OF.THE HOLY SPIRIT, G. K. Wallace also acknowledged the presence of such an error among us: "If this Baptist doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit is not checked, we are in for a complete apostasy in the church." It might be added, however, that these two brethren have done mighty little of late to "check" denominational error in the church. In fact, in recent years, they have been party to the propagation of it on several points. So how on earth do they think they can be effective in preventing an apostasy when they are now among the ring-leaders of it?
3. REUEL LEMMONS: "The weird views among some brethren regarding supernatural guidance and manifestations are all based upon this erroneous concept of the Spirit's indwelling" (FIRM FOUNDATION, Vol. 83, No. 46, published in 1966).
4. B. C. GOODPASTURE: It is not often one can quote B. C. Goodpasture against anything, except "Anti-ism." So while we have him in print on the negative side of one issue, I certainly want to quote him: "There has been, and is, a great deal of misunderstanding concerning the Spirit and his work. Some erroneous ideas concerning the Spirit have been accepted by some of our brethren in different parts of the country. Some have been drinking at the fountains of denominational error" (GOSPEL ADVOCATE, Vol. 108, No. 19, published in 1966). Brother Goodpasture, through his GOSPEL ADVOCATE, has seen to it that these denominational fountains from which some of the brethren have been drinking have been well-supplied with drinkers. One who reads the GOSPEL ADVOCATE need not search for another denominational fountain from which to drink.
5. GUY N. WOODS: Our old friend Guy N. Woods even has gotten into this act. With a few brethren it now is popular to oppose this new denominationalism. So Woods has gotten on record on this issue real early in the fight, which is a little unusual for him. In refuting the views of Abilene Christian College Professor, J. W. Roberts, Woods said: "We believe that the view we are refuting is a dangerous one; and, that it is an easy step from the concept of a personal, literal, indwelling of the Spirit in the heart - independent of and apart from the word of truth -to fanciful leadings, alleged divine impulses and intimations now believed by some among us to proceed from the Spirit which is by them believed to dwell in the heart actually, personally - apart from the word" (GOSPEL ADVOCATE, Vol. 108, No. 25, published in 1966)
In AX ON THE ROOT (Vol. 1, p. 27), Woods speaks of this as "the most dangerous movement ever to arise among us." He said, "it is truly amazing that there would arise among us men who would advocate views of the Holy Spirit which were refuted two generations ago on a thousand battle fronts by the giants of the Restoration Movement" He sounds as if this Holy Spirit controversy is worse than "Anti-ism," and coming from Woods, that must mean it is bad!
6. ALAN E. HIGHERS: Under a heading entitled "Read It and Weep," Brother Highers of Memphis quoted several preaching brethren. The following are two points out of a GOSPEL ADVOCATE (July 21, 1966) article by him: "ON RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT: 'I am finding that many in the church of Christ may have already received what would have been a baptism of the Spirit - some even going so far as to speak a word or two in a tongue, but due to fear or ignorance of the Spirit's activity were unable to recognize it, at the time, and cooperate properly for a fuller blessing.'" Under another heading Highers quotes again: "ON MIRACULOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT: 'There is no scripture which says that manifestations of the Spirit will cease when the New Testament was written or when the last apostle died. All such doctrines are a perversion or an invention of men!'" Highers then observes, "The foregoing statements would not be so remarkable were it not for one fact. EVERY ONE OF THEM WAS MADE OR PUBLISHED BY A PREACHER WITHIN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST!"
7. IRA RICE, JR.: In- speaking of services at the Whitney Avenue congregation in Hamden, Connecticut, Brother Rice said: "Even on that first day, I was amazed to hear one of the supposedly leading brethren express views on the Holy Spirit, which sounded foreign to New Testament teaching. He made quite a point of declaring that we can know a great deal more of the Holy Spirit's teaching for us other than what is recorded in the Bible. What astonished me even further was the fact that the other members present let him say all those questionable things without one word of either protest or correction!" (AX ON THE ROOT, Vol. 1, p. 7).
8. PERRY B. COTHAM: "Some preachers are saying that the church 'may still have' the miraculous gifts of the Spirit as possessed by the apostles and early Christians. One preacher 'of thirty-eight years of preaching,' who has accepted the personal indwelling and guidance of the Spirit, is more bold in his affirmation. In writing to the members he said: 'There is no scripture which says that manifestations of the Spirit will cease when the New Testament was written or when the last apostle died. All such doctrines are a perversion of the Scripture or an invention of men.' There is no room to misunderstand what the author meant by the statement. It causes one to wonder how long it will be until some preachers begin claiming a "special revelation' from the Holy Spirit" (FIRM FOUNDATION, Vol. 83, No. 25, published in 1966).
9. DELMAR OWENS: ''I have heard some statements concerning the present work of the Holy Spirit which have alarmed me, and while I do not question the sincerity of those making the statements, I must question the conclusions they have reached. I am wondering how long it will be before some will be speaking in tongues, and practicing miraculous divine healing" (FIRM FOUNDATION, Vol. 83, No. 26, published in 1966).
10. J. D. THOMAS: "Neo-Pentecostalism is a designation which has been applied to to the recent spread of the use of glossolalia (tongue-speaking-CW) among the larger and more dignified 'established' churches. This aspect began with an Episcopal minister in California, and now affects Presbyterians, Reformed Church of America, some Lutherans, Methodists, and Baptists, and it has been taken up among certain youth groups of interdenominational character. It has affected some in the Church of Christ" (FIRM FOUNDATION, Oct. 18, 1966, pp. 663).
11. GARY COLLEY: "We do not doubt God's wisdom and care which he gives his children; But it disturbs us greatly to hear of Christians claiming they can 'speak in tongues,' or that the Spirit guides them into a certain parking place at a hospital and on to the right floor off an elevator, simply by his direct operational power. It disturbs us to hear a 'Holiness' pray for the Holy Spirit to come down NOW and fill us directly; but to hear one who is a preacher for the Lord's church do the same, all the while claiming truth for his conduct, disturbs us more than words can express (FIRM FOUNDATION, May 17, 1966, p. 311).
12. MAURICE ETHRIDGE: Brother Ethridge, writing in the NORTH ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN, tells of a young preacher who said, "The Holy Spirit is not locked up in a closed book. He is as active today as He was in the first century. Why, the Holy Spirit guides me in everything I do - when I go shopping, park the car, figure income tax --everything" (Quoted in TRUTH MAGAZINE, June, 1967, p. 16).
13. CLINTON DAVIDSON. Brother Davidson, former member of the Manhattan church in New York but now deceased, was owner of the CHRISTIAN LEADER about thirty years ago. Because of his proposal to copyright the paper (apparently to avoid critical reviews of published material), he came to be called by some "Copyright. Davidson." He was often in disagreement with Foy E. Wallace, Jr. back then. But possibly Foy E. Wallace capitulated to him also, since he has to nearly everyone else with whom he used to have doctrinal disagreement. But here is Brother Davidson's "testimony": "My daughter-in-law taught in college and has a Master's degree. She never studied Latin and has no acquaintance with it; yet when she spoke in tongues one who was present who was well-versed in Latin said that she spoke in perfect Latin. He understood her well. One who was present when a friend of mine spoke in tongues said that he spoke in a Chinese dialect with which he was perfectly familiar . . . I have been present in meetings of small groups of well-educated people in different sections of country during the past ten years while they spoke in tongues, and in every case these people knew what they were doing" (NORTH ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN, September, 1964, p. 2).
Brother Davidson wrote me (January 6, 1965), ". . . I might mention that I have never spoken in tongues . . . . I have, however, been in the homes of people who have excellent scholastic education (something I lack), who appeared to me to speak in tongues exactly as described in the New Testament. Because I know these people so well, I cannot doubt their sincerity (sic) or their veracity . . ."
14. W. L. TOTTY: Even Brother Totty gets into the act of criticizing his fellow-liberal Jimmy Allen (in this area Allen is of fame for his Greater Indiana Campaign for Christ) for one of his loose statements. Allen said, "The Holy Spirit comes through the Word of God. When the message is obeyed, the Spirit really, literally, actually dwells within the believer. His indwelling is not representative (i. e. dwelling in us only in the form of God's Word while not really present himself). There is a real affinity between God's Spirit and man's spirit. This is plainly what the Bible says! Explain it, who can? Certainly not 1! However, through faith I can believe it. Thank God, we don't walk alone!" (Quoted in THE SWORD OF PEACE, December 1967).
Brother Totty also worked Allen over for his statement of what he did and did not believe. Allen said, "I do not believe the Holy Spirit operates only through the word of God in the life of a Christian" (Quoted in the Indianapolis Garfield Heights INFORMER, March 19, 1967.)
15. WILLIAM BANOWSKY: One of the most popular and widely known "young princes" (as Leroy Garrett is calling them) is William Banowsky, preacher for the large and famous Broadway church in Lubbock, Texas. Following are some of his pronouncements on the current Holy Spirit controversy: "Neither are his (i. e. the Holy Spirit's) influences limited to the word of God" (Broadway Bulletin, November 27, 1966). "Perhaps our lack of action can be traced to our failure to make use of the person of God's Spirit dwelling within our hearts! What a great gulf separates the tradition-choked church of our day from the vital religion of Acts. We have taken the Spirit out!" (Quoted in GOSPEL GUARDIAN, February 2, 1967).
16. DALE RIDEOUT: Brother Dale Rideout recently reported that he was moving from Belleville, Ontario to work with the little Barrie, Ontario church, and with our now liberal Brother Wesley Jones, AND with Wesley's $500,000.00 government financed Old Folks' Home. In explaining why he made the move, Brother Rideout said that his work in Belleville was a failure. Thus he said, "we decided the best thing to do is to stop wasting the Lord's money by trying to do something we didn't know how . . . The Holy Spirit takes an active part in our lives when we let him. He took a year of my life to show me a need, and then He showed me how to fill the need. The congregation in Barrie, Ontario learned of our decision to make a change at the time they were considering someone to work with them. We were led to each other by the Spirit to fill each other's needs (GOSPEL HERALD, January, 1968).
The Holy Spirit supposedly led Brother Rideout to Barrie. I wonder if the same Holy Spirit led him to Belleville, where be so miserably failed according to his testimony. Or was Brother Rideout resisting the Holy Spirit when he moved to Belleville? Was he then ignoring the Holy Spirit, or was the Holy Spirit ignoring him? One thing for sure; he had better "produce" in Barrie, or he is going to cast a mighty bad reflection on the Holy Spirit, after being hand-picked for the Barrie job by Him.
Such a report reminds me of a Methodist preacher with whom I was in school about fifteen years ago. He was being paid about $250.00 a month, and another church offered him about $50 to $75 a month increase in pay. He had to decide whether to move to get the pay raise. He said he rushed into the house and told his wife, "Honey, you start packing, while I go to pray about this matter!" There is going to be quite a bit of money circulating in Barrie, now that my friend Wesley has built his $500,000.00 Old Folks' Home! The Holy Spirit is moving Brother Rideout to Barrie at a most propitious time -- for Brother Rideout!
All of the above cited testimonies have been from brethren in the liberal churches. The testimony of these brethren cannot be brushed aside and dismissed as the mutterings of a deranged "Anti" mind. Some of the liberals will not believe anything we say about them, even if we have it in "black and white." But perhaps they will believe it from the mouths of their own brethren.
However, I want now to offer a few w itnesses to prove that some very strange things are being heard from brethren today. Notice again that all of these "happenings" are among the liberal brethren of various shades.
1. "RESTORATION REVIVAL": Will H. Hudson publishes a little paper called "Restoration Revival" which is published in Sutherlin, Oregon. I do not know Brother Hudson. He may be in the "conservative" Christian Church but he says he is a member of the church of Christ. In this paper, Brother Ralph Sinclair said, "And in our day with an increasing interest in Glossolalia, some of our people are not only speaking in tongues, but singing as well. And thus they are more scriptural than we skeptics in this matter of 1 Cor. 14:15. A leader and longtime worker in the Church of Christ says of some current ecstatic singing: 'the harmony was breathtaking with different tunes weaving in and out in perfect harmony . . . a girl of strict church of Christ upbringing and wanting to believe but scared said of the singing in the Spirit, That has to be the way the angels sound in Heaven. It is I know, I've never heard anything so beautiful!"' (Quoted in TRUTH MAGAZINE, June, 1967).
2. "ABIDE": I receive another little paper entitled ABIDE, about which I know very little. But in the December, 1967 issue there was "A Discussion on Spiritual Gifts" conducted in "panel fashion" by Hervy Abercrombie, Bruce Caldwell. Glen Ballard, Clint Chittock, Carl Whitehead and Floyd Mackler. They sound like liberal members of the church. But it is difficult these days to listen to a man and tell whether he is a liberal in the church of Christ, or a liberal in the Christian Church. They sound so much alike, frankly I sometime cannot tell them apart' But the men I am about to quote speak as though they are members of the church. To illustrate, they speak of the "restoration movement" (Abercrombie, p. 20). Ballard spoke of "the Lord's Supper," though he said "healing can occur at the Lord's supper" (p. 21). Mackler said, "for years I believed that there was a definite set blueprint in the scriptures for the Church. You could have a 'paper church of Christ! You could have point one, the name - point two, the organization, etc." (p. 24). But these brethren have now "outgrown" sermons like that! Ballard spoke of "When I was baptized into the Lord" (p. 17).
In their discussion on the Holy Spirit Chittock argued, "the main scriptural evidence of the continuance of Spiritual gifts is the lack of any scripture that would indicate that they were to cease" (p. 14). Ballard concurred: ". . . evidently, Spiritual gifts are not done away with and will not be until Christ comes" (p. 14). Caldwell added: "Until it is the sovereign will of God that Spiritual gifts should cease to exercise and no scripture says they have - they must be in the body until Christ comes again" (p. 16).
Abercrombie said, "A brother showed me that tongues were a means of edification" (p. 16). However, Mackler said, "Recently I've heard again of people taking corrective measures against those experiencing Spiritual gifts" (p. 17). Whitehead maintained that there are some things that must "be known by inner Spiritual revelation" (p. 18). Caldwell reported being in one meeting where, at the proper time, someone said, ". . . now all of you people that have the gift of tongues start speaking in tongues" (p. 22).
3. "AN UNCERTAIN SOUND": Robert Barrett, John White and Mary Brown publish from Brightwaters, New York a little paper called "An Uncertain Sound." It is well named; one is apt to find most anything in it. In the January-February, 1968 issue, one of the writers (unidentified) said: "Charismatic Christians who say that they prophesy and speak in tongues, claiming to be following the Bible more closely than their brothers who do not exercise these gifts, are cast out of their Church of Christ congregations as ungodly liberals who refuse to see the Plain Truth."
In an earlier issue (October-November, 1966), they suggested, with considerable irony, some appropriate bumper stickers to be used by members of the churches of Christ. These liberals are so liberal that they poke fun at the liberals! Some of their suggested bumper stickers were "Joan of Arc we know, but who is Herald of Truth?", "Support Law Enforcement - Pay Your Preacher Well," "See the World's Largest Fossil Collection in the Big Tent at ACC," "L. R. Wilson for Pope," and "Don't Dance - Park." Befitting to this article were two gems, "Only One-Third of God is Dead" and "Lipscomb has 23% fewer Spiritualists."
4. FROM TULSA, OKLAHOMA: A paper reported, "Tongue Speaking Puzzles Church - Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1967 A.D. A large Church of Christ in Tulsa is even now puzzled anxiously over what to do with a sizeable number of its members who are meeting in homes, experiencing a tongue-speaking gift, and telling others of the joys it brings them. There are out-breaks of tongue-speaking on the campuses of at least five of the major church of Christ colleges - in some cases including staff personnel" (Quoted from the Louisville Reminder, Via Hickory Heights Bulletin, Lewisburg, Tennessee, January 17, 1968).
Brother Dudley Ross Spears, who preaches for the 10th and Francis church in Oklahoma City, wrote me, "The church in Tulsa that is giving them fits over the Holy Spirit is the Brookside church where Paul DuBois is preacher. I am sure you recall who he is. He preached in Kansas City at the same time you were there, I think. At least he remembers you as one who persecuted him beyond measure. Paul claims that his voice has been changed by direct power of the Spirit, denies that he can disprove modern miracles or tongue speaking and other manifestations of what he and others say is 'the Holy Spirit's work.' They have had some sessions in which they claim to have received the Spirit" (Letter, Not dated, 1968). Brother Spears also wrote of Paul Dubois, "he concluded that the Holy Spirit had done that (i. e. caused his voice to quiver-CW) to him to teach him humility, due to the fact that at one time, earlier in his career, he had been ambitious to be the 'best preacher in the brotherhood.' "(Another letter, also undated, 1968)
5. FROM WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS: "My first encounter with brethren mixed up in this 'holiness' movement was announcement of a 'lay preacher' supposed in good standing with the churches of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas who was to testify at VGBMFI (Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International-CW) meeting in Fort Worth." (R. L. Burns, GOSPEL GUARDIAN, Feb. 2, 1967)
6. FROM FORT'WORTH, TEXAS: "One family left the Park Row church in Arlington some months ago to worship at the Western Hills church in Ft. Worth 'because you can just feel the spirit.' "(R. L. Burns, Letter to Cecil Willis, February 21, 1968)
7. FROM ARLINGTON, TEXAS: "Max Leach, Jr. (whose father has been associated with Abilene Christian College for about 25 years-CW) visited our services more than a year ago and contended in public that 'when that which is perfect is come' is the second coming of Christ and therefore miracles will continue until His second coming. He later stated in my home that both he and his wife had attended Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International meetings and that they both had spoken in 'unknown tongues." His wife said she didn't know what she was saying, but she said it was the most wonderful and edifying thing she had ever known. Max said he had heard amazing prophecies of world events and had heard testimonies of many present miracles ... I asked about his father's beliefs and he started to answer, then he said, 'Because of his position (at ACC) I had better let him speak for himself! "(Letter from R. L. Burns to Cecil Willis, February 21, 1968)
8. A. G. HOBBS: Brother Hobbs is the author of many tracts that have been used by brethren. Brother Burns told of meeting Brother Hobbs: "More than a year ago I chanced to see A. G. Hobbs in a cafe in West Texas. He told me the brethren with whom he was associated were badly divided and much troubled over the indwelling of the Holy Spirit question. He told of Foy Wallace preaching 'into the night' near Fort Worth, and Hobbs said they were confronted with a division that made the one between them and us look insignificant . . . I have personally talked with two others in Fort Worth, Woodie Holden (hospital evangelist) and Noble Patterson (owner of FW Xian journal), who told me much the same story" (Letter to Cecil Willis, February 21, 1968).
9. HARRY ROBERT FOX: Brother Fox was fired not too long ago from Woodland Hills (a liberal church) in West Los Angeles County partly because he advocated divine healing and tongue speaking, if the Holy Spirit personally dwells in one.
10. ROBERT MEYERS: Brother Meyers who preaches for the Riverside Drive church in Wichita, Kansas has probably given as much publicity to the new "tongues movement" among us as anyone else. When I began to gather items for this article, I wrote Brother Meyers telling him my intention and asking his assistance. He replied: "I am not interested in helping you with this project, but good luck and good hunting. I have no objection to your quoting from my bulletin or using my name, -but I do not wish to involve any others in the project" (Postcard, Undated, 1968). Well, I have so far had both "good luck" and "good hunting."
Apparently some of our more liberal brethren will write to an avowed liberal like Robert Meyers what they will not otherwise publicize. I do not believe Robert Meyers will lie about the letters he claims to have (why should he?). Brother Meyers seemingly has the inside lane on some of us to find out what new modernism is invading our ranks.
Here are some remarks from him: "Glossolalia continues to spread in Churches of Christ. I have a letter from one of America's largest cities, from a minister in an old and notable church, which tells me that some 'half dozen persons in the congregation . . . claim to be able to speak in tongues.' The minister says: 'At first I personally didn't believe that such was at all possible, but now I am strongly inclined to think it is genuine or at least I am unwilling to oppose it." (Riverside Weekly News Bulletin, September 10, 1967)
In another article, Brother Meyers reported: "The experience in tongues (glossolalia) is being claimed by an ever-growing number of men and women in local congregations and on the campuses of Church of Christ colleges. These persons are voluble and enthusiastic about what has happened to them ... There are outbreaks of tongue-speaking on the campuses of at least five of the major Church of Christ colleges (reportedly Abilene, York, Pepperdine, Lipscomb, and Harding-CW). The participants include, in some cases, staff personnel and an occasional faculty member. Large churches in Houston and Fort Worth have been visited by the phenomenon . . . A large church in Tulsa is even now puzzling anxiously over what to do with a sizeable number of its members who are meeting in homes, experiencing a tongue-speaking gift, and telling others of the joys it brings them. Almost within the days I have been working on this article I have learned of four Church of Christ ministers who claim the gift of tongues" (RESTORATION REVIEW, April, 1967).
Meyers continues, "Within the past few weeks, a well-known Church of Christ college campus has been shaken to its foundations by disagreement over how the Holy Spirit may indwell Christians and influence their lives (I hear that this is York college-CW). Before the dissension and heartache had run their course, two popular faculty members had been forced to resign, effective at once, and a third had voluntarily resigned, effective at the end of the present term ... Two of the men who were leaving had been members of the faculty for nine years . . . One man claimed the baptism of the Holy Spirit in fuller measure than he had ever known, including the gift of speaking in tongues." (RESTORATION REVIEW, April, 1967) Brother Meyers verified this report concerning these faculty members by an afternoon of discussion with them.
10. CHARLES HOLT: The nearest thing I could find to a claim for "getting the Holy Spirit" among conservative churches was from Charles Holt. And I personally am not at all sure that Charles is with conservative churches any longer. I think he is inching nearer the "fellowship-everybody" Ketcherside position. But Charles said in his SENTINEL OF TRUTH (January, 1968, p. 43): "Wouldn't you enjoy and appreciate some spontaneity now and then? Wouldn't you find it refreshing once-in-a-while to have a very relaxed and informal gathering; more or less letting things happen as they -will letting the people open up, talk, ask questions, ask for prayers, even 'offer some testimony' or tell an 'experience . . . . .. Then Charles asks, "Have YOU ever been in a service like that? . . . Not likely. Such is too much like the, Holiness people and other 'emotionally-moved' people; and we just cannot afford to 'get happy' in our services. We are governed by cold, hard logic and facts; by the 'mind' and not 'heart.' Our services are not designed to make one happy or afford an opportunity to find stimulation and encouragement for proper feelings."
Charles has not here said he believes in the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but it seems that he infers that he expects some force to turn our meetings into virtual Holiness meetings. For several years now Charles has inferred that he believed several things he has not openly avowed. Frequently when an obvious inference is drawn from what he said, he disavows believing it. He either lacks the willingness or the ability to write and to express himself clearly - he is often "misunderstood." He may disavow the inference I draw from the quotation here cited. But it seems to me that it fairly might be inferred that he expects something to move people to "get happy," relate an "experience," "offer some testimony" and do "like the Holiness people and other 'emotionally-moved' people" in our services. But if Charles is not guilty on this point, I know of no claim to direct operations of the Holy Spirit among those whom the liberals would call "Antis."
It is difficult to tell exactly how widespread this new "Holy Spirit Movement" may be. Meyers says it is "spreading significantly for the moment at least," and the "army" is growing "who actually claim Holy Spirit baptism instead of merely citing Scripture about it, and who claim also to speak in tongues of ecstasy and prophecy."
Included in this article is at least enough documentation to show the timeliness of such a special issue as this, and the relevance of and the need for teaching in this Special Issue.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 11, pp. 2-9