Good Fruit and Sour Grapes in Nigeria

Karl Diestelkamp
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Preach and teach the gospel in its purity -- see honest people accept it-and almost immediately those whose denominational and unscriptural practices have been rejected and exposed will respond with misrepresentation and unjust criticism. Such is the case in a front page article of the August, 1971 issue of World Radio News by Jim Massey regarding work done by faithful brethren in Nigeria during and immediately after the recent war. He writes:

"Massey conducted five series of lectures in lboland, Ephikland, and in Lagos, Nigeria's capital city, on anti-cooperationism, which has spread extensively since the war. Fifteen lbo preachers, and perhaps an equal number of Ephiks, have accepted this doctrine as a result of classes taught by missionaries from Western Nigeria (emphasis mine, K.D.) who did not have to leave during the war, and who seized upon the absence of missionaries in the East to spread their doctrines."

By "anti-cooperationism" Massey means those who refuse to become involved in sponsoring church arrangements for the support of preachers as well as those who will not endorse the equally unauthorized church support of "Nigerian Christian Hospital" and "Christian Trade and Technical School" and similar social-gospel projects.

Jim Massey knows that using the term anti-cooperationists" is designed to create prejudice in the mind of his readers. He knows that this is an unfair charge. Nigerians will not be fooled by Massey's sour grapes. They participated in, observed and benefited from recent and past distributions of benevolence by those so-called "anti-cooperationist" brethren in America and the "missionaries from Western Nigeria." (Rom. 15:25-28) Massey seems to realize that it will take more than calling names to offset to the influence of truth. He tells us that 800 sets of twenty charts and accompanying study notes were air-parceled by the Green Lawn church in Lubbock, Texas, to Nigeria and that another 3000 sets are on the way by ship.

Did you notice that 30 Nigerian preachers have learned the truth and embraced it? Massey seems to question the intelligence and ability of the Nigerian preachers. Is he saying that these men were not intelligent enough to see error that they were supposedly taught in these classes? He does not tell his readers that some of these It teachers" were other Nigerian preachers-not just American preachers.

It is not explained in the article that Lagos, the Capital of Nigeria, is not in lboland or Ephikland. It is in Western Nigeria where brethren advocating the establishment of Schools and Hospitals and sponsoring church arrangements are the newcomers.

The article continues:

"The disruption of aid to lbo preachers during the war, and the serious material needs since then, have provided a fertile soil for the doctrine of sending 'direct to the preacher', which is a basic point bound as an exclusive pattern for churches supporting foreign preachers. Since at least subsistence aid is again being received in Iboland, and since the other side of the 'direct only' doctrine has been widely presented, the tide may have turned in lboland for this doctrine" (emphasis mine, K.D.)


Now, if I were an lbo preacher I would resent the implication that my "convictions" could be bought with money and other material things. We wonder if this is what brother Massey tells the lbo preachers or if this is just what lie reports to Americans! May we conclude that the "subsistence aid" is an effort to "buy" some of these preachers back?

Brother Massey states that he preached the "other side" of "the doctrine of sending support 'direct to the preacher'." We are not surprised that he did not give any scripture for the "other side" since there is none. In fact, we challenge him to give scriptural authority for any other arrangement for church support of gospel preachers. While he is at it, he could also give the scriptural authority for church support of the Hospital and Schools, but the usual procedure is to ignore such challenges.

Brother Wayne Payne, P.O. Box 4064 UI, Ibandan Nigeria, has been begging for American brethren to make plans to go to Nigeria to assist in this great, fruitful work. Surely there are those who are in a position to consider making such a move in the near future. A large number of able Nigerian brethren have demonstrated their ability to meet and resist these unscriptural arrangements. Why not consider joining them in sowing the seed in this fertile field and encourage them in resisting every effort to lead them into apostasy?

November 11, 1971