By James Bond
On March 19, 1984 Jack Evans, President of Southwestern Christian College in Terrall, Texas, met Floyd Rose in debate in Toledo, Ohio.
Floyd Rose, founder of The Family Baptist Church in Toledo, defected from the Church of Christ in 1979. Floyd served the Church of Christ as minister for more than thirty (30) years. The Church of Christ in Toledo disfellowshipped him, prior to his founding the Baptist Church, for teaching false doctrine.
Brother Jack Evans and Floyd met the first time in Texas, the second installment of the discussion was held in Toledo, Ohio with the third night to be held in California. I attended the debate in Toledo.
Reason For The Debate
Floyd Rose wrote a book entitled Beyond the Thicket apparently for the purpose of giving his reasons for leaving the Church of Christ. Brother Jack Evans wrote a book titled Before the Thicket to refute the erroneous doctrine advocated in Floyd’s book.
Floyd Rose’s Defense
Floyd Rose simply had no defense. Floyd never called attention to any Scriptures to defend his Baptist religion. Floyd’s speeches were not relevant to the subject being discussed. Brother Evans constantly called for Floyd to use the Bible to defend his position but Floyd never did. Floyd made, as Brother Evans terms, “pretty little speeches.” Floyd never did appeal to the Scriptures for his defense.
I have heard men that were able to talk for long periods of time and not say anything; Floyd Rose is one of them. I was sitting there with pencil and paper ready to take notes on Floyd’s defense, but he had none!
Here are some facts Floyd admitted:
(1) He founded the Baptist Church.
(2) It was a denomination.
(3) He believes there are Christians in all denominations.
(4) All are saved whether or not they understand and obey the correct design of baptism.
In my lifetime, I have been privileged to attend some discussions where Family Baptist ministers sought to defend the Baptist Church, and none did as poorly as Floyd Rose. Most Baptist preachers will try to give a Bible reason for believing what they believe and teach, even if it is perverted and mis-applied.
I have come to the conclusion that Floyd, being familiar with what the Bible teaches, knew that the Baptist Church couldn’t be successfully defended with the Bible. On the other hand, Baptist preachers that are not knowledgeable of the Church and Bible believe the traditional Baptist arguments.
Brother Evans did an exceptionally good job pointing out that erroneous doctrine advocated by Floyd Rose. Brother Evans said, “Rose sought to substantiate his position that the Church of Christ began in 1906 by presenting some old history book where it was recorded that the Church of Christ and Christian Church were separate bodies.” Brother Evans pointed out Floyd was using the wrong history book and called his attention to the fact that the Church began in AD 33 (Acts 2:47). Brother Evans pointed out that Floyd was not a gospel minister, but a heretic – a false teacher. Brother Evans admonished the audience not to follow Rose’s false doctrine.
The school where the discussion was held was filled. Some estimated that there were about 1,500 present. I talked to some who drove great distances to attend. It appeared that Floyd Rose had only a few Baptist people in attendance.
Members of the Church of Christ applauded Brother Evans for the good job he did in answering Floyd. Practical lessons we can all learn from this discussion are:
(1) Our faith must not rely upon man, but in God’s word (Rom. 3:4).
(2) Christians need to always be on guard and examine what is taught with God’s word (1 Thess. 5:21; Eph. 5:10).
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 14, p. 454
August 2, 1984