By Mike DuBose
In the May 28, 1972 edition of the Nashville Tennessean newspaper an article entitled “Church Choice Cost 3 Jobs at Lipscomb” made front page news. The article explained how three faculty members at David Lipscomb College had been “dismissed” because the teachers worship at Belmont
Avenue Church of Christ in Nashville.
As I read the article I was reminded of Peter’s words in 2 Peter 2:22, “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
The administration of David Lipscomb college, those associated with it and other colleges like it, have been begging money from the churches for years, all the while rejecting God’s divine way for doing things. They have laid aside scriptural authority and replaced it with babbling arguments and human reasoning such as “the end justifies the means” and “but it is a matter of expediency.” Now they are forced to wallow in their own vomit and the mire that they have created.
Now you see, the problem is that Belmont has gone too liberal for Lipscomb (although the paper made it quite clear that the college was still accepting funds from Belmont to the tune of $100 per month). But the problem according to “those who are close to the situation” is that Lipscomb “must appeal to the broad middle ground in the Churches of Christ if the private college is to survive. This means the school cannot cater to the reactionary right – as some church of Christ colleges have done – nor to the far left.” (emphasis mine MLD) Now I suppose that along with the term “anti” those of us who believe in doing Bible things in Bible ways will henceforth `be known as the “reactionary right” as opposed to the “far left” and the “broad middle ground.”
One who reads this article would be almost amused, if it were not so tragic, at Lipscomb’s reason for dismissal of the three teachers. They would have us believe that it is not because of the unscriptural practices of the Belmont congregation that this action was taken, but because of the liberal and informal way in which Belmont conducts the worship service; ways which are “too liberal for traditional Church of Christ standards.” Now get that reasoning brethren. According to Lipscomb officials there is nothing unscriptural with the teachings or practices of the Belmont congregation, but they just conduct their worship service a little too informally. Hogwash! Those who have disregarded Bible authority for so long have sown the seed for complete rejection of God’s divine pattern in every aspect of worship. Now that they see the result of their digression, they are trying to save face by weakly speaking out against the “far left” as they term it.
These people have poked holes in the dam for so long that the flood waters can not be held back and as a result worldliness has flooded into some local congregations. And now those who prided themselves on their “great brotherhood programs” find themselves in a position which cannot be defended. The Lipscomb officials cannot condemn the liberal practices of Belmont because they would condemn themselves at the same time. Appealing to the scriptures for all authority is what these brethren have been preaching and yet disregarding ever since the appeal to support human institutions was first sent forth. And now instead of trying to stand upon the truth, they ;are slapping the hands of Belmont and saying “no, no” whine they continue to wallow in the mire of error themselves.
But the most tragic thing about all this is the light in which it puts the church. It makes God’s holy kingdom sound like just another squabbling, confused, misguided, man-made denomination seeking to find God through worldly wisdom (in fact the newspaper article rises the term denomination in reference to the church.) How can someone who does not understand the nature and work of the church be shown the way to eternal life if the picture; he gets of the church is what is painted in this article? The only thing those who are not Christians will be led to, is disgust with the ignorance of human wisdom and worldliness. This should cause all of us who love the Lord to make a more determined effort to stand firm upon the truth and keep God’s house pure and holy as He meant for it to be. Brethren, there is no greater evil than to stand still and do nothing in the face of error.
One more quote from the newspaper article needs to be dealt with before I close this article. Now get ready for this brethren, “Pullias feels Belmont has become identified with liberal forces in the church–forces which have been coming under increasingly strong, indeed bitter, attacks in the Gospel Advocate. a publication regarded by some conservatives as being second only to the Bible in authority. “(emphasis mine MLD) Now I do not know, who is responsible for the above quote, but it certainly lays on the line the basic reason for the digression in the church today. Some do not have enough conviction to search the scriptures for a “thus saith the Lord” for all things. Instead they have been content to accept the position of the Gospel Advocate staff and other preachers. As a result they have been hoodwinked into accepting every innovation that has come along from the church supported orphan home right on up to the Herald of Truth and colleges in the budget.
The whole affair makes you kind of sick, doesn’t it! (?)
Truth Magazine, XVIII:19, pp. 10-11
March 24, 1974