PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats
Volume 3 Number
8 March 1999
As a usual rule, our house is a place of serenity and quietude on Sunday mornings. Last Sunday was an exception. I lay on the couch emitting an occasional moan or groan due to unbearable pain. As I waited for the pain medication to take effect, my dear wife asked, "Do you want to watch the Amazing Grace program?" I responded with a flat, "No." One pain is enough without adding thereto. The tube began blaring and some young fellow named Jimmy Sites was displaying his fermented ignorance about Grace. Young Sites is the preacher for the Madison church and it might be assuming too much to surmise that anyone at Madison would be able to take Sites aside and teach him the way of the Lord more perfectly regarding grace. My Sunday morning serenity became a morning of tolerating silliness.
> Jimmy Sites says he has been all over the world and he has found two groups of people. One group begins with grace whereas the other begins with works. One does not have to guess about the identity of those poor, benighted, ignorant characters who, "...begin with works." Some people will swallow anything and never question.
> Far be it from me to impugn the motive or question the integrity of these fellows who continually misrepresent faithful brethren who insist upon obedience to the word of God. Can it be that Sites et. al., do not realize the horrible blunder being made when they charge brethren with beginning with works. I, too, have been over the world and have read as many pages as these new liberals. No person knows any of our faithful brethren who begin with works. A man is either ignorant or deceived who will condescend to such low depths and make such false charges. I question the ignorance of such characters. Perhaps some of these shallow babblers could settle the issue for all time by delving into the distant past and citing a long list of reference materials from brethren who began "with works." Who were and who are those beginners? I would not want to rely on baseless assertions. Some puny excuses are unpardonable. There is no blunder as reprehensible as that of misrepresenting faithful brethren. Such superciliousness and high-minded snobbishness helps smatterers to say something and their supporters do not discern or do not care.
> There isn't a denominational preacher on earth who has the least bit of understanding as to the subject of grace and works. The speeches of the liberals are copied from the sects, pure and simple. Before brother Sites finished with his efforts on Grace he wandered off into blatant Calvinism. They do it every time. Give them a bit of rope and watch them swing over into personal election. If that isn't far enough they will stumble into universalism. In their blindness and stupor they seem to have no earthly idea as to the inconsistences and contradictions which they espouse and tragedy is compounded by the poor, blind, ignorant, supporters who follow along.
> The Bible does not contradict itself. The problem rests with half-baked preachers who feel secure in being copy-cat chatterboxes. There is no excuse to intimate or leave the impression that man does not have to work out his salvation. The very verse which Sites quoted declares, "For by grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8-9).
> Is faith essential? Who supplies the faith? Is man totally passive waiting upon God to save him by Grace? That seems to be the point of the modern Calvinists.
>It would be interesting to hear what these "grace only" fellows have to say when pay-day rolls around. Somehow they will manage to get a bunch of dunderheads to work at writing checks. Grace alone comes to include some works especially the writing of a check to pay the preacher. The preacher is saved by writing a check by grace alone. But he is not free when writing a check by works.
The Bible still reads, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). We might be amazed to find out that the Bible mentions different kinds of works, which of course is ignored by the grace only beginners.
We know that grace is God's part and faith is man's part. Would someone please inform me just exactly how and when a person is saved by grace? How does one begin with grace? When one begins is one benign, passive, inactive? How does one begin without a beginning? Is there any action involved in beginning? To begin with works is to work but to begin with grace does not involve work. Is that the rule?
Does grace save everyone indiscriminately? Is universalism true? Does man absolutely have to appropriate the grace of God to himself in order to be saved by grace? Can man reject the grace of God? If it is the case that man can reject the grace of God, is it not the case that man can also accept the grace of God? What is involved in accepting the grace of God? Does man have to become comatose to receive the grace of God without working? There is not any sense as repugnant as nonsense.
To begin, denotes action. The word is a Verb and is used synonymously with to start, commence, initiate, set out, embark, launch, endeavor and exert. Unless I have forgotten what I began in commencing this article, I wanted to show that when I begin with grace, I am putting forth effort. Most folks have sense enough to perceive that when I began I put forth effort, thus I began to work. Liberals never make any sense and in no area is their nonsense more pronounced when they begin to chatter like the sects on the matter of grace.
--Wayne Coats, Editor
Out in Dallas, Texas, Brother Joe Warlick debated Clark Braden on the instrumental music issue. Some five years later Brother Warlick debated J. Carroll Stark of Henderson, Tenn. in November 1903. The proposition discussed was, "The Word of God authorized the use of instruments of music for praise in the church of Jesus Christ."
That the church was divided, no sensible person would deny. Brother Warlick put the blame for the division upon those who had brought in their unscriptural innovations. It is interesting to read what the faithful brother said.
"When we remember how greatly the Savior desired union among his disciples and how earnestly the apostles advises it in these passages, then look around and see division, amounting almost to a hatred for one another, without a parallel in the annals of all religious history, then inquire as to the cause of the division and consequent alienation between brethren of the same church who before worked hand in hand for the same results, yea, even members of the church belonging to the same family in the flesh are torn apart religiously and are now fighting and devouring one another -- if we inquire as to what or who is responsible for the present sad state of affairs, well may we ask: "Lord is it I?" ...Everyone knows that those who have introduced and brought in the divisive things, including instrumental music, into the worship of the saints are alone and altogether responsible for the division... I am persuaded to think that our brother himself knows that he and those on his side of this question are to be blamed for the division; and any effort upon the part of any man to place the responsibility upon those of God's saints who still worship as we all did before instrumental music was introduced, which was and is to worship just as the New Testament directs, is really amusing to all sensible people, and even disgusting to many."
"Those who imagine that the disciples of Christ who oppose the use of the organ in the worship of the church are in any way to be blamed for the division resulting from its introduction have certainly closed their eyes and ears to the facts, and have hardened their hearts, lest they see, hear, understand, and be converted from their error...."
"One instance, a recent happening, is a congregation at Lexington, Ky -- planted, I believe, and fed for years by the matchless scholar and renowned college professor, John W. McGarvey -- a congregation whose members had feasted upon his sermons for years -- determined to have an organ in the worship. Brother McGarvey protested with tears and besought them not to bring it in, assuring them that he would not worship with it; but rather than have his fellowship, they introduced the instrument and drove him, with the other good members, out of the congregation."
The reader is well aware that satan is resorting to the same diabolical tactics in spreading modernism and liberalism. We devoutly wish that more brethren would arise and oppose these church dividers. Too many want someone else to blow the whistle.
--Wayne Coats, Editor
> Paragraph 1. "Are you one of those people out there
who thinks people in the church of Christ have the market
cornered on truth? If you are, I want to dispel that myth by
telling you what one evangelist in the church of Christ has
learned from his religious neighbors over the past
twenty-five years. I am that evangelist. I have learned these
things from people whose religious emphasis is different,
because they have caused me to take a closer, look at
certain things which are taught in Scripture. Here are some
>I know of no one who is mentally stable and who knows anything about the New Testament or what churches of Christ really teach, who believes what brother Owen states concerning people in the church of Christ who believe they have the "market cornered on truth." I certainly do not believe the church of Christ has any more truth than the Catholics or the Baptists! All truth is in the Bible, but not all truth is in the one the church at Broadway uses. They use the New International Version which is so full of error that even many denominations reject it. When brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. read the New Testament for his critique of the book, he marked more than 100 errors in it. I heard brother Owen say on TV that he "acquiesces [bows, bends, concur, assents] to the wishes of the congregation where he preaches because they use it." Makes one wonder just how far brother Owen would go "to bow or comply with the wishes of the church where he preaches," does it not? After all, he is considered by some to be a "scholar." He was listed as "Doctor" Owen when he helped conduct a wedding at the Catholic Church. According to most, that makes him a scholar.
>First of all, I would not move to preach for a church where the NIV was the choice of the members and the elders. Nor would I "acquiesce" to members where I preach who wanted to practice that with which I disagree. Many members forsake the assembly. Does brother Owen "acquiesce" to them? Does he join his smoking members? What of those who are in un-Scriptural marriages? Where would he "draw the line" when his members wished to practice things not found in the Pattern?
The question is not "who has the market cornered on truth;" but, who will stand up and preach and teach and live the truth! Who will do all things in the work and worship according to the Pattern? Who will collect and spend the money donated by members ONLY according to the work given for us to do? Who can find the authority to spend some 3.1 million dollars of the Lord's money on facilities for a "ministry of recreation?" In the Pattern, I read where the church is to use the money and the energy of God's people for 1) Evangelism, 2) Benevolence, and 3) Edification.
> Paul wrote: "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (1 Tim. 4:7-8).
One of the presidential candidates became known for saying, "That sucking sound you hear is jobs going south to Mexico due to the NAFTA agreement." I say that the sucking sound you DO NOT HEAR is due to LIBERALISM as it sucks hapless, indifferent, or ignorant [or both] members from churches which make some effort to attempt to follow the Pattern into the whirlpool of "do-whatever-you-feel-like-doing-because-there-is-no-Pattern-theology."
> Liberalism is like a whirlpool in a river. The victims plan to stand at the edge and view it; but, are sucked into it. Few ever escape liberalism because they don't "leap into it," but they ease into it one short step at a time until the suction is greater than their power to resist. And, these "no-pattern, liberal" churches do not just affect the ones they are successful in sucking in; but, they also affect many surrounding congregations where families become divided by having part of the families in liberalism while some make some effort to stay where they are. However, the families who remain out of the liberal congregations will more than likely defend the actions of their children or other relatives who do leave and go into liberal congregations. Thus, an undercurrent develops in the local church because each time a false doctrine or practice is mentioned by the preacher or other member which is known to be practiced by a local liberal group, the relatives react in anger. It is happening here at Heath because families are divided between here and liberal congregations, and especially Broadway in Paducah. One couple have a son who is a deacon at Broadway, and others have relatives who attend Broadway, or some other liberal congregation.
Realistically, I expect to eventually be fired from my preaching job here unless there are more people here than I have estimated who are willing to take a firm stand for the truth. However, my instructions as a preacher of the gospel do not come from apathetic, disgruntled members here at Heath. All gospel preachers receive the same charge: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
> Broadway is certainly one example of those who will not endure sound doctrine. This is due to elders who are either ignorant or indifferent in regards to the Pattern, and a preacher who will acquiesce to the whims of the membership where he preaches. Hell will, in my judgment, have a considerable population of preachers and elders who once knew better, but who were unwilling to "rock the boat."
> --Earl Gieseke
We are first introduced to Isaac in Genesis 17:19 with God making a promise to Abraham that "...Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac." Also, in this same passage we see God's eternal purpose for Isaac, "and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." As we read, we see one of the greatest tests of faith; this same promised child was to be sacrificed! Abraham, Isaac's father, never wavered at the request that God had made. Why? The answer lies in Genesis 15:6, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (emp. mine, J.C.). However, there is a great truth that we often miss about Isaac. What about his faith? The Bible shows us that at this young age, Isaac had great faith in the heavenly father as well as in his fleshly father. Isaac, approximately 16-20 years old, asked his father; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham's reply, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering." Abraham proceeded to carry out God's orders but not once does the Bible indicate that Isaac complained or rebelled. Indeed, what great faith Isaac shows!
Genesis 24 points us to events in Isaac's life where we can glean some valuable lessons. For example, the pain of losing his mother. I have not had to experience the loss of my mother but, I have lost a brother and others that were near and dear to me. In fact, we all have at one time or another lost someone that we love. It is a very difficult time. Isaac was no different than anyone else in these trying times. The Bible says, "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide." It could very well be that he was there in the field in the south country to reflect upon all the great and godly things his mother had accomplished and those little special things that we all take for granted that mothers so thanklessly do. However, we see the providence of God working for the good of Isaac. He lifted up his eyes and saw beautiful Rebekah. Isaac is informed by his servant "all things that had been done." The great God-planned wedding takes place and Isaac "was comforted after his mother's death." A short time later we see a humble prayerful Isaac praying to Jehovah for his wife Rebekah to bear them much wanted children "because she was barren." We're told in Genesis 25:21 that Isaac "entreated the Lord" and the "Lord was entreated of him." Simply put, Isaac prayed and God answered. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Moreover, the prayer was answered and probably far greater than they had hoped for. They would be blessed with two beautiful boys. God gives his plans for the two children. "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger."
God's promises came as they always have and always will! "And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them." About that time there was a famine in the land and Isaac went unto Abimelech King of the Philistines to Gerar. God instructs Isaac not to go into Egypt and also informs him that he will bless him in the land that he was now dwelling in.
> The next event in Isaac's life is one that teaches parents as well as children. Isaac follows in the footsteps of his father and repeats his sin. Abraham deceived Pharaoh by telling him that Sarah was his sister. This was the literal truth, but we need to remember that telling the truth with the intent to deceive makes it a lie. As a result of this lie, Pharaoh's house was plagued. Isaac repeats this same sin with King Abimelech. Isaac was rebuked as was his father for his sins. Let us learn from this Bible account that our children watch us and we need to remember to set the right example for them. That is, let them see God in our life. Nothing good will ever come from lies or half truths!
The last point about the life of Isaac is his restoration efforts. Here we see Isaac following again the paths his father had trod, but this time in a very positive and much needed way. Isaac had "waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: for he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him." We should never be jealous of someone's good fortune. Envy will destroy any relationship, it is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:21). Solomon once asked this question: "...But who is able to stand before envy?" The question can be answered with a resounding, no one! We must be willing today as was Isaac to dig some wells again if necessary. "And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham." Isaac's efforts to dig again the wells of his father should be applied to the spiritual wells dug by the apostles and the first century Christians that were buried by denominationalism and had to be dug out. This takes courage and determination and a great love for the truth. Isaac never gave up until he had completed the task he set out to do. Read Genesis 26:17-35. Thank God for well diggers!
372 Red Oak Drive
Manchester, TN 37355
Text: Eph. 2: 8-10.
Introduction: The apostle is treating, as the context clearly shows, of that salvation which consists in a complete deliverance from the guilt and condemnation of sin into the enjoyment of the pardon, comfort, and hope which are found only in the kingdom of Christ.
The demonstrative that refers neither to grace nor faith, but to the fact affirmed in the leading clause, "ye have been saved," Revised Version; or, "ye are saved," Common Version. It agrees with the noun salvation understood, "and that salvation is not of yourselves," etc.
Of this salvation five things are affirmed:
> 1. Salvation is by grace.
2. Salvation is through faith.
> 3. Salvation is not of ourselves.
4. Salvation is the gift of God.
> 5. Salvation is not of works,
We will endeavor to ascertain in what respect each of these is true, for true they all are beyond all controversy.
1. Salvation is by grace as to its origin and means of procurement. (John 3:16; Tit. 2:11-14; 3:4-7.)
2. Salvation is through faith as to its personal reception and enjoyment. (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:10; Gal. 3:26,27.)
> Faith is the hand that reaches forth in response to the call of mercy, lays hold of and personally appropriates the offered blessings.
3. Salvation is not of ourselves as to its provisions or results. (Rom. 5:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:42-58; 1 Thess. 4:13,18.)
Compare this with Peter's exhortation (Acts 2:40). When Paul says, "not of yourselves," he has reference to the procurement of salvation for us; but when Peter says, "save yourselves," he has reference to the personal acceptance and enjoyment of salvation by us. Human agency must receive and use the means which God in wisdom, love, and mercy has devised and brought within our reach. The things done for us provide the salvation, bring it to us, and press it upon us for acceptance. The things appointed for us to do bring to us, when we do them, the personal enjoyment of all the blessings provided for us in this salvation (Acts 2:38; 5:32; 10:43; 22:10).
> 4. Salvation is the gift of God as to the remission of sins, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, the hope of eternal life, and finally eternal life itself (Col. 1:13; Gal. 4:6; Col. 1:27; Rom. 6:23).
> 5. Salvation is not of works as to merit on the part of man or debt on the part of God (Rom. 3:20,21; 4:1-5; 5:1,2; Gal. 3:2-29; Titus 3:5-7). Compare these statements of Paul with James 2:14-26.
Paul treats of one class of works, while James treats of another and very different class. Men are, and ever have been, wont to rely on the former, but inclined to evade the latter. Paul clearly defines the works of which he treats as "works or deeds of the law," and as "works of righteousness which we have done." Under the latter expression, we may include morality apart from obedience to God.
> James exemplifies the works of which he treats as acts of faith, as simple obedience to the authority of God, manifesting an unwavering trust in the divine promises. Examples:
1. Rahab saving the spies. This was not a work or deed of the law. It was an act of faith, of trust, in the God of Israel (Josh. 2:9-21; Heb. 11:31).
2. Abraham offering Isaac. This was not a work or deed of law. It did not belong to what Paul calls "works of righteousness which we have done." Apart from the commandment of God, it would have been a monstrous crime. It was, in obedience to that commandment, the most sublime and heroic act of faith ever performed by a mortal man (Heb. 11:17-19).
Gospel requirements do not belong to Paul's "deeds of law" or "works of righteousness," but to the works of faith and heartfelt obedience which James exemplifies.
Faith, repentance, confession, baptism, the Lord's day, and the Lord's Supper are all matters of grace. We are now under Christ, not Moses; under the gospel, not the law.
Baptism, the most mooted of all questions, is not a work or deed of the law. It does not belong to Paul's category of "works of righteousness which we have done." It is not a mere rite or ceremony. It is an act of faith and penitence and love, and, therefore, of obedience. It is the soul's surrender to Jesus as Lord of all. If not this, it is a nullity, or a mockery. In it the true subject says in deed as well as word:
The blood-bought church of our Lord has been splitting since the mid to late sixties. It has been between those who desire to follow the scriptures for all that we do and those who believe they can do those things which are unbiblical and continue to be God's children. No single group of people claiming to be a part of the church has been more successful in pushing the agenda of liberalism than the so-called "Christian Colleges."
> Six years ago (spring 1992), I was leaving Faulkner University and had two options: either attend Michigan Christian College (MCC) or the Memphis School of Preaching (MSOP). I wrote to MCC and asked if they could help me to know if they were "liberal" or not. I received a letter from then newly appointed MCC President Kenneth Johnson telling me that he was unaware of what a liberal was.
> I wrote back asking him or the head of the Bible department to answer some questions to clarify if MCC was "liberal" or not. He responded by saying that he would not answer those questions in writing. I thought that I had perhaps been vague in my questions and so I showed them to then head of the Bible department at Faulkner University, Wendell Winkler, and asked him if he thought I was being too vague in my questions. He told me that he would have set down and answered all of the questions the second he received them in the mail. He did not feel they were inappropriate or vague.
> Based on the final letter from brother Johnson, I made the decision to attend MSOP. I heard nothing from MCC for the two years I attended MSOP.
When I arrived in Harrison, MI to work with Dan Strehle, the congregation received a letter from brother Kenneth Johnson dated July 1994. The letter asked the congregation in Harrison, MI to put an advertisement in the bulletin for MCC.
> Because of my past experience with brother Johnson I wrote to him to clarify things. I began by recounting what had occurred two years ago and then asked him: "If you expect us to run an advertisement for MCC in our bulletin we need to know where you stand ... are you friend or foe to the cause of Christ? In a day of Modernists, Legalists, Liberalism, and general unbelief you cannot expect someone merely to take you at your word that you are sound, especially when you refused to clarify the situation when given the opportunity. If MCC is a sound school I would be happy to run advertisements for it and to recommend it. As of yet, however, neither myself nor my co-laborer, Dan Strehle, know enough about your school to know if we can recommend it." In order to clarify the situation I requested for brother Johnson to have the head of each department in the school answer six questions "that we might have some common ground on which to continue." Those six questions were:
> 1. Are you in favor of fellowship with denominational bodies?
> 2. Would a person who was accountable for his actions and not baptized for the remission of sins be saved (based on what the scriptures say)?
3. Is the use of mechanical instruments of music in the worship assembly a sin?
> 4. Do works play a vital role in man's part in being saved or is man's part faith alone (not does faith cause works but are works necessary before the initial act of salvation takes place)?
5. What constitutes worship?
> 6. What role (if any) do women play in leading worship?
That letter was dated 1 August 1994. While waiting for a response from brother Johnson we received notices from MCC of upcoming events. One (which took place that summer) was the vocal band Acapella coming in concert. Acapella is known for their fellowship with the Christian Church as well as for their advertisement in the interdenominational magazine Group in which they promote being available for denominational activities. They also have had many unbiblical and unChristian songs on recent albums. Second, at their upcoming lectureship MCC was going to have Herald of Truth which in recent years has taken itself out from under the oversight of an eldership; now being under a board of directors. This is nothing less than declaring themselves to be a missionary society.
> After waiting nearly two months and receiving no reply, I
sent a second letter to brother Johnson dated 23 September
1994. It stated in part:
"Brother Johnson, when you refuse to answer some
defining questions and when MCC fellowships known
false brethren that have been marked and withdrawn from,
what choice do you leave me but to assume that MCC is a
part of the digression? I do not want to sound threatening;
this is not a threat. But I do not know what else I can do
except not recommend MCC to the members here at the
Harrison Church of Christ and to inform those I know
throughout the state and the nation to be wary of MCC. I
do not want to have to tell people that MCC is unsound ...
However, with the information I have about what MCC has
done and nothing from you so that I might know if MCC
feels differently, I have no choice. I will wait until October
16 to hear from you, if I do not, I will have no other choice
but to publicly recommend that people I know not attend
MCC or be in association with MCC."
Included with the letter was another copy of the six
questions. Finally we received a response from brother
Johnson. His note is postmarked 28 September 1994. It states:
> If you cannot in good conscience recommend Michigan Christian College to the church at Harrison, please follow your con science and refrain from recommendation.
> I appreciate your deep commitment and desire to serve
in your ministry. Best wishes as you seek to teach and
preach the Good News to your community. Ken Johnson."
What can we conclude from this response from brother
Johnson except that he does not believe that it is wrong to have
false teachers at MCC or that he does not consider them false
teachers? We cannot fellowship those who have been
withdrawn from such as Acapella and Herald of Truth. We are
to mark false brethren and avoid them (Rom. 16:17) in order to
keep the church pure from those who would divide us and to
win back those in error. That withholding of fellowship
includes those at MCC that claim to be Christians.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The preceding article originally appeared in the Aug/1998 issue of "Seek The Old Paths." Someone sent me a copy of the article along with news about the Annual Preaching Seminar at Rochester College. Perhaps the information will be helpful. Since Ken Johnson doesn't know what a liberal is, that qualifies him to be President of Rochester College and bilk churches who likewise do not know about liberals. We also have learned that Joe Hegyi has left the faith since he wrote this article and is no longer faithful to the Lord. However, the information contained therein is still appropriate and has not changed. If you have any contact with him we ask that you exhort him to repent and return to his first love.
It is most interesting that Dan owen is saying the exact things which Max Lucado is saying. Neither of these men have enough convictions to defend their heresies. They need to be opposed and exposed.
Some of the most absurd and stupid thinkers to be found are unsconsced in the Colleges supposedly directed by brethren. It would be more correct to say they simply do not think. As an example, a bulletin from up Michigan way announces an "Annual Sermon Seminar," to be held at Rochester College (formerly Michigan Christian College). "The first person listed as a presenter was Tom Long." Tom Long is a Presbyterian who is being invited by the school to speak about preaching. I continue to say that the greatest curse to the church of Christ can be found in some of these schools. I do wonder how some of these fellows can accumulate so much fermented ignorance in such a short life time.
> When a brother expressed his concerns to the President of Rochester College about having Tom Long to speak, the President responded, "These programs were put together for people who appreciate the College and who are generally involved with their programs...." Sounds familiar! Seems as if more than one school man is using the same form letter. Another speaker for the preaching seminar is Greg Sterling, professor of New Testament at Notre Dame. Do you think the Presbyterians and Notre Dame supporters will make love offerings to Rochester College? I do not believe they are that dumb. The more I learn the more I agree with brother Marshall Keeble who said, "To be President of a school a man don't need to know nothing."
Included in this issue of the Plumbline is an article by brother Joe Hegyi who desired some information about the stance of Michigan Christian College i.e. Rochester College. Brother Hegyi received the usual silence and "beat-the-devil around the bush reply." Brethren, mark my word, when you write these college fellows it has been my experience to be ignored or if there is a reply it will be a paragraph and for certain it will be a complete ignoring of the matters at hand.
> I have refused to answer a few questions just as my Lord did. I have neither time nor disposition to fool with questions wherein someone wants to pick me to find out what my position is on certain issues. What difference does it make as to what my position is? In matters of truth I earnestly pray that my position will always be on the side of truth.
> When I start my College and begin begging congregations to underwrite the expenses of liberals, freaks and wackos of every description, then I may feel disposed to answer the questions of those from whom I beg.
> Maybe I need to go to College and become an expert at being heedless, remiss, careless, neglectful, unmindful, indifferent, imprudent, evasive, lax, ignoring, non-observant, and elusive. I confess that I am already an honor graduate in dealing with some questions but hopefully not, "...doting about questions and strifes of words whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings" (1 Tim. 6:4).
We are still determined to catch up on all the Plumbline issues which are in arrears. Progress in this effort is being made at a slow pace. We continue to plead for your prayers and patience. If you have sent a request for a book and have not received it, please shake up my memory. Paul told his brethren to, "Owe no man any thing save to love one another..." (Rom. 13:8). It is very possible that I may have overlooked an obligation. In one respect we are all debtors and need to faithfully work on our payments (Rom. 1:14). Do not hesitate to remind me of matters. The strong (extra strong) doses of chemotherapy have played havoc with my memory. I am trying.
A brief reminder that the Villages congregation in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., will have a LECTURESHIP, Lord willing on JUNE 19-20, 1999. We invite you to visit with us and study the Scriptures on these two days. How earnestly do I pray for strength to attend some of these Lectures!