By Connie W. Adams
Silence from the Crusader
Readers of Truth Magazine may be wondering what we have heard from Vernon M. Newland, editor of The Crusader, in response to our acceptance of the challenges he has been offering in that paper about instrumental music. Absolutely nothing! Editor Newland is as silent as the tomb. We wrote him a personal letter, sent him a copy of the article which was carried in Truth Magazine on January 13, 1972, before it appeared and offered him space to reply. We offered to discuss the matter with him in written or oral debate or both. On top of that I sent money for a years subscription to his paper and have not received a single copy or my money back. We will inform the readers of future developments, if there are any to report.
The March 3, 1972 issue of Religion at Vanderbilt gives a report from the dean of the
Divinity School which says “students are rejecting rigorous analysis, as evidenced in the decreased enrollment in Bible courses, and instead stress a more free-flowing approach to understanding.” He said students want to “grasp a hunk of material and gets its smell and feel.” He sees this attitude as similar to the “Jesus Freak phenomenon” which he describes as a “premature fixing on the penultimate as ultimate.” All of which makes me glad I am just a gospel preacher at liberty to teach the truth of Gods word without all the jargon emanating from divinity schools.
Church Youth Organizations
For years gospel preachers have defended Bible classes as systematic arrangements under elders of a congregation to carry out the generic command to teach. It has been said that these are not separate organizations like the Christian Endeavor or the BYPU. Gospel preachers have also correctly preached that the largest and smallest unit for church action is the congregation. But we are seeing an increase in structured organizations within some of the more liberal churches of Christ. These have officers, treasuries, make and execute plans and have all the necessary elements of organizational structure. For instance, the weekly church news of the Streets Run Road and Brownsville Road church in Pittsburg, Pa. carried this item in the October 25, 1971 issue:
“A Teenage Organization was formed at a meeting of all of the teenagers at ________s house last Sunday afternoon. The following were elected officers. . .”
Then there were listed the names of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer followed by this note:
“We are looking forward to a lot of good to come out of this new teenage organization in the way of Christian fellowship among the teenagers and MORE ACTIVE WORK FOR CHRIST IN THE CHURCH (My emphasis, CWA).”
The January 16, 1972 Broadway Bulletin of Broadway church in Lubbock, Texas carried the following:
“At their meeting Sunday evening the junior high nominated members for the youth cabinet. This list was then combined with the nominations presented by the junior high Sunday morning class teachers … The cabinet will help direct Broadways YOUTHREACH on the junior high level.”
The January 30, 1972 bulletin of the same church reported on a “ski retreat” and then said “The Youth Council and the Youth Cabinet have functioned so well.” So, they have a “Youth Council” and a “Youth Cabinet” which will help “direct” the “youthreach” and they are already functioning. I can read in my New Testament of elders overseeing the flock but I cannot find anything about such intra-congregational organizations.
The nursery of the church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky is not just a room where mothers take their babies, tend to their needs and then bring them back into the assembly. It is staffed by some young women who keep them throughout the service and attempt to do a little teaching. This gave rise to some question by some as to whether or not these young women did not need to be in worship with the rest. The preacher responded with this note in the January 27 1972 Caller:
“MAYBE I HAVE HAD THIS NOTE IN THE CALLER BEFORE, but I just thought you would want to know where scriptural authority for having a nursery in the church building is found. I Cor. 15:51 reads, we shall not all sleep but we shall ALL BE CHANGED. Enough said.”
I can appreciate his sense of humor if not his exegesis.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 25, pp. 6-7
April 27, 1972