Donald P. Ames
As the "liberal" brethren keep moving further away from the word of God and concern
about scriptural authority, the question of just how far they will go and how long it will take them comes more to the fore. This question becomes of even more interest now as we see some of the off-spring of this "where there is no pattern" leadership now starting to move up to the front. But, let us not dismiss the leadership of the present generation--they are still carrying the bandwagon further away from the word of God too. Already we have seen strong appeals for church support of colleges; instrumental music is optional, etc.
During services at 410 S. Michigan (Chicago) on June 29, 1969, we had a gentleman attend from Abilene, Texas, who announced he was not only on the financing committee of the Herald of Truth but also connected with Abilene Christian College (I gathered he was on the board from his conversation). He was quick to extol the praises of the Herald of Truth, and being on the finance committee, I decided Art Carmichael should be an individual who knew not only what he believed, but why.
Church Support of Colleges
During our conversation Brother Carmichael pointed out that churches all over the land are sending to colleges, and such support had done much to keep them in existence. He also added a new piece of news some of us felt was coming sooner or later: York College, York, Nebr. is now accepting church support, and he knew it was so because they had sent some to them. Since Dale Larson (Y.C. Pres.) made the remark to me personally about six years ago that he felt churches could send to the Bible Dept. of York College and that if Y.C. taught nothing but the Bible it could be wholly church supported, I knew it would not be long before this step would be taken.
When pressed for the scriptural authority for this practice, Bro. Carmichael replied he did not favor the practice, nor did he go about asking churches to send to a college. On the other hand, he later remarked he would not refuse such donations because he was not going to "start telling the elders what they could or could not spend their money on." Talk about having your cake and eating it too! I pointed out to him in view of 2 John 9-10 he was obligated to refuse such contributions, or he was as wrong as the churches were in sending it. However, he came right back with the reply he didn't say it was "wrong," just that he never asked or sought for it. This is the kind of double talk so many of the liberals' are using today to try and avoid hot water--just leave the impression with whomever you are talking that you are agreeing with them, and then hope they don't press for details. He finally admitted he had not even studied the subject and had no real opinion of his own at all. Yet, he and others like him are working for the schools, accepting church funds, seeing the brotherhood divided asunder, and don't even feel the subject merits studying. My advice to him was it was about time he resigned until he had the time to study it and know if he felt the division was justifiable before continuing in such.
Herald of Truth
With the exception of Acts 15 (which was quickly shown to be no parallel), Bro. Carmichael could not be brought anywhere near a Bible to discuss this subject. All he would talk about was the "marvelous results" and the "good" it was accomplishing. It was pointed out to him repeatedly that the end does not justify the means and that the objections were not to the fact the gospel was being preached over the radio, but to the centralized organization and lack of scriptural authority for such. Because we would not just discuss the "results", we were termed "rude" and "not polite" in constantly interrupting him to remind him again we were interested in the authority, and that in the "results" field there was the division to be considered as well as the preaching. (Ironically, he added that the elders at Fifth and Highland had instructed Bro. Harper not to discuss this subject any more with Bro. Tant because "no good could come from such discussions." If the H. of T. was so valuable and doing so much--and could be defended--they should welcome every opportunity to prove so. I'll leave it to the readers to decide who exposed what in the Harper-Tant debate).
Again, he finally ended up stating he had not studied this subject either and had no convictions (yet he is on the finance committee). He also went one step further and stated "there was nothing wrong with the Missionary Society as it was originally set up." Move over, Christian Church, they are coming your way!! When I challenged Dale Larson on this subject vs. an all church-supported Bible school, he just did not bother to answer. Bro. Carmichael said the H. of T. was different because it was under a centralized eldership, but the missionary society originally was not wrong anyway. No wonder they can't see what is wrong: they have accepted false premises, and they closed their minds to further study.
Yes, with this leadership, what more can be expected from the next generation? No wonder they don't care about scriptural authority. These brethren need to quit talking out both sides of their mouths, form some convictions and have the courage to defend them--if they believe them (Jer. 6:16-21, 2 Jn. 9-10, Jude 3).
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 10, pp. 5-6
January 15, 1970