The “Crossroads’ Movement” and the “Anti-Cooperation Movement”

By David E, Horton, Jr.

Recently I read an article in Contending for the Faith (January/1986, Vol. XVII, No. 1), concerning “Crossroads’ Devastating, Devious, Deceitful Methods of Religious Entrapment Exposed, Renounced By Bronwen (McClish) Gibson.” The message was clear, alarming, and very helpful in understanding the ruinous activities of this movement. In exposing the error of Crossroadism, Mrs. Gibson quoted Jackie Stearsmen, in an article “A Critique of Crossroadism,” asking, “Where in any of these passages is the authority to divide the ‘confessional’ by the sexes? ” She also is quoted as asking, “By what authority do we emphasize that confessing sins to a self-appointed or ‘priest’ will make us more ‘spiritual’ or ‘totally committed’ to the Lord?” (Ibid., p. 4) It appears that the thrust of the article points to the deceitful way people are

being lured into practicing things for which there is no Bible authority. Based upon the message, those who are truly concerned with having Bible authority for the organization and work of the Church must renounce and stand opposed to the Crossroads Movement. The appeal and courage of Mrs. Gibson is much appreciated.

However at the end of Mrs. Gibson’s speech, Ira Y. Rice, Jr., editor of the periodical, took it upon himself to use the emotional impact of the speech to draw a self-incriminating parallel between Crossroadism and the “Anti-Cooperation Movement.” I do not want to misrepresent Mr. Rice so his own statement is included below.

If Birmingham brethren take no more action than they have so far, they have not heard the last of Crossroadism. It was the same way over 30 years ago when some 40 of the congregations in the Birmingham area were lost to the Anti-Cooperation Movement. Brother Gus Nichols tried to warm them but they would not be warned until it was already too late! (Ibid., p. 10, Editorial Note).

I take exception to the parallel drawn by Mr. Rice. It was not the “Anti-Cooperation” brethren who started a “Movement” over 30 years ago. If there is any parallel at all it would have to be with the brethren who began introducing responsibilities into local churches for which they had no Bible authority. The appeal of those “Anti” brethren was, and still is, Anti-Error motivated. Stand for the Truth and against philosophies and vain deceits of men who were, and still are, attempting to spoil the Lord’s Church through unscriptural practices and teaching (Col. 2:8). Those churches who stood against such unscriptural practices were not lost to anything, but were simply manifested in the Truth as approved by God (1 Cor. 11:19). Those who are lost are those who seize the lead of their own spiritual course and “abide not in the doctrine of Christ” (2 John 9).

Where is the Bible authority for the local church to use its scripturally collected funds to build and support separate benevolent or missionary institutions? Where is the authority for the pooling of resources by several churches and funneling those resources through a “sponsoring church” or separate organization to support a promoted and pre-planned expenditure toward a “brotherhood” program? Where is the scriptural authority for churches to build and support, financially or otherwise, a separate institution focused on the education, spiritual or secular, of its members? Where is the scriptural authority to incorporate social meals and entertainment into the work of the local church?

God’s chosen people, the church, is the only institution authorized by God as the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). This principle is true in any locality. These people in the aggregate are the only local institution ordained by God to propagate the gospel, edify the saints, and to minister to the peculiar needs of the saints (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 5:16; Phil. 4:14-20). All that has ever been asked, and ever will be asked by the so-called “Anti-cooperation” brethren is: Where is the Bible authority and practice? (Matt. 21:23). Is that not precisely the same ground upon which those in Contending For The Faith have planted their feet in fighting against the Crossroads movement? Let’s be fair and consistent with our actions and affirmations. We must all be “Anti-Cooperation” toward sin. Let us not cooperate with Satan and depart from the doctrine of Christ. Only in Him is there fellowship with the Heavenly Father (2 Cor. 6:16-18; 2 John 9).

Guardian of Truth XXX: 8, p. 245
April 17, 1986