PLUMBLINE -- Editor, Wayne Coats

Vol. 5 No. 1,    August 2000


Paul's Advice To A Young Preacher

J. Roy Vaughan, Deceased

I have read to you 1 Timothy 4:11-16. Paul wrote this letter that Timothy might know "how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:14,15). H. Leo Boles, long time president of David Lipscomb College, and a man who had a part in the training of many young men to preach the gospel, read Paul's two letters to Timothy once every month. This would be a good practice for all young preachers today. It would be difficult to find better advice to a young preacher than the advice of Paul to Timothy in these two letters.

It is God's plan to save man by the preaching of the gospel. "For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe" (1 Cor. 1:21). Not only is the gospel foolishness to some men today, but God's plan to save man by the preaching of the gospel is also foolishness to some men. Some men depend upon a direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of the sinner to convict and convert him. Some preachers would rely upon their ability as a preacher, or their much learning, or some fandangle method of their own to move the sinner. But it is God's plan to save man by the preaching of the gospel. You should never be ashamed of the gospel and never rely upon any other power to save men.

Paul said, "We have this treasure [the gospel] in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves" (2 Cor. 4:7). God intrusted the gospel to men, not to angels, that men might know the power is in the message and not the messenger. The Lord did not allow the Holy Spirit to go directly to the man from Ethiopia to convert him. He directed Philip the evangelist to "preach Jesus" unto him (Acts 8:26-40). The Lord did not allow the angel that appeared to Cornelius to tell him what to do to be saved, but the angel instructed him to send for Peter, "who shall speak unto thee words, whereby thou shalt be saved, thou and all thy house" (Acts 11:14). Even the Lord Jesus did not tell Saul of Tarsus what to do to be saved when he appeared to Saul on the way to Damascus, but "the Lord said,...Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee all things which are appointed for thee to do." Ananias, "a devout man," came to Paul and told him what to do to be saved (Acts 22:6-16).

Since God would save man by the preaching of the gospel, God needs men to preach the word. As said before, "that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves" (2 Cor. 4:7). We need to emphasize this today. Too many preachers are guilty of leaving the impression that "the power" lies in their ability to preach the gospel and not in the gospel. Too often churches are guilty of giving all the glory to the preacher and fail to recognize that "the power is in the word." God has blessed some men with great talents as public speakers, and they should use them to the glory of God in preaching his word. But the power is in the word, not in the messenger, regardless of his keen intellect, great learning or pulpit ability. Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1:16). And that "power" is still in the word and will convict and convert sinners today when faithfully preached, even as it did on Pentecost when Peter preached and three thousand were added to the Lord. Jesus said, "No man can come unto me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me" (John 6:44,45). Men learn and come to God through the preaching of the gospel. "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (James 1:18). Paul wrote the Corinthians, "For though ye have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I begat you through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15). It is the "implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:24). John said, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God" (1 John 5:1). "Faith comes by hearing...the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). When one is made a believer by hearing the word of God, he is begotten of God. This is why Paul could say, "I begat you through the gospel." Paul charged Timothy, "in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus,...preach the word" (2 Tim. 4:1,2). God said to Jonah, "Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee" (Jonah 3:2). God still needs men, faithful men, to preach his word, and not themselves, that men might be saved.

It is not an easy task to be a faithful minister of the gospel. It is indeed a glorious privilege to be a servant of God, but it is not always an easy job. There will be times when the preacher will enjoy periods of peace and prosperity. He will enjoy the praises of his brethren at times and again he may suffer abuse. Paul did. Paul said to Timothy, "Suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry" (2 Tim. 4:5). The Lord taught that the man who puts his hand to the plow and turns back, is not fit for the kingdom of heaven. And the man today who accepts the responsibility of a man of God to preach the word, and because of hardships turns back, is not fit for the kingdom of God. Young men, as you go forth preaching the gospel, always remember you are working for the Lord primarily, not the church, and should there be seasons of disappointments, and hardships, and should you even suffer abuse from the brethren, remember, first of all you are working for the Lord and the Lord suffered far more to bring salvation to lost man than he will ever call upon you to suffer as a gospel preacher. Paul closed his letter to the Colossians saying, "Remember my bonds. Grace be with you" (Col. 4:18). And as you go out proclaiming heaven's message to lost men, you should never forget the sacrifices and hardships experienced by great men of God in generations gone by. If the kingdom of God is to grow in the years before us, it will be because faithful men will suffer hardships and do the work of an evangelist. And as Paul said, "Grace be with you."

What Should I Preach?

A very aged Christian related an incident which happened many long years ago. A young preacher asked an old preacher the question "what should I preach?" The aged gospel preacher replied, "Son, preach the word." The old preacher could have talked to the young preacher for decades but no better advice could have been given.

Some two-thousand years ago, Paul the aged, told Timothy the younger to "preach the word" (2 Tim. 4:2; 3:16-17). Paul did not tell Timothy to preach and leave it to his discretion as to what he might choose to say. He told him to preach "the word." If a man cannot understand this, he has no use trying to be a preacher.

When a man utilizes thirty minutes of my time babbling a bunch of mundane illustrations about secular and material matters, he has wasted my time as well as his. Two passages of scripture and twenty five illustrations given in a speech is hardly doing what Almighty God wants us to do. Yes, God has commanded, mandated, circumscribed and restricted that which is to flow forth from the preacher.

Our Lord commanded us to "preach the gospel" as long as the ages last (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). I do not know that Jesus has rescinded those orders. The audience may not like the word as much as they like twenty-five illustrations during a talk, but they need to be taught by the word of God to love, respect, appreciate and revere the word. I do not believe the people will respect the inspired word if the preacher substitutes a lot of graffiti instead.

Someone has said that illustrations are like windows which let light into the house. That may be so but a house is hardly a house made up of all windows. I am not averse to illustrations. I have just penned one above. It would be fool-hearty to have every issue of the Plumbline to consist of nothing more than eight pages of illustrations.

The late beloved brother Gus Nichols admonished the young preacher students at Freed-Hardeman College, to use Bible illustrations. When we do that, the audience can tell that we are not copying sermon material from a shelf filled with denominational books.

The issue is not whether the people will like or appreciate a Bible content sermon but will the Lord be pleased? We should not stand on a podium and attempt to tickle the ears of those in the pew, nor should those in the pew attempt to scratch the back of the fellow who uses smooth words and fair speeches. This will deceive the hearts of the simple minded, but we must not assume that everyone in the church building is simple minded.

When Paul had an opportunity to preach to the people, he knew what to preach and what not to preach. He declared, "for though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me: yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16). I sincerely believe with all my heart that I can say what Paul said as a preacher. Can your preacher say this?

--Wayne Coats, Editor

Out of the Overflow

Gus Nichols, Deceased

God wants us to worship and serve him out of the overflow of our hearts, and not in mere formality. But we cannot do this unless we are first of all "filled with all the fulness of God" (Eph. 3:19). I have noticed three kinds of oil wells in the great oil fields of Texas. (1) There are dry wells, from which no amount of pumping and effort can bring forth any oil. Some church members are empty like that, and from them no amount of teaching and exhortation can bring forth any real devotion and acceptable service unto God. Such emptiness is appalling. We see empty pews, empty collection plates, empty singing and praying, preaching and communion. (2) Then there are oil wells from which much oil can be brought forth by hard work and patient pumping. They pay off, but the cost is great. And some church members are like these wells. With enough good, earnest preaching, fine singing, and edifying service provided for their edification, they bring forth from their souls at least something for the enrichment of the church and those around them. (3) Finally, there are the overflowing oil wells, the kind most desirable. Without labor or pumping, they overflow of their own accord. God wants all the members of the church to be filled and overflow like that. Hence, Paul's prayer that we "might be filled with all the fulness of God" (Eph. 3:19). There is no lack on God's part. He is able to "fill" us and to make his grace and peace be "multiplied" unto us (2 Peter 1:1,2). No spiritual well should ever dry up and fail. Our resources are in God, and are an inexhaustible supply for all our needs. We ought, therefore, to be filled with the "divine nature" and worship and serve the Lord out of the overflow (2 Peter 1:4).


First of all we ought to be filled with the grace of God that bringeth salvation to the soul (Titus 2:11). Only from a heart truly converted and made new and pure can acceptable worship come forth. Until we can realize that we were lost and God has wonderfully saved us, we will not want to serve the Lord with gladness. When David began to count his blessings, he said: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over" (Psa. 23:5). When our "cup runneth over," we can worship and serve the Lord out of the overflow of divine blessing.


The human body is a sacred thing. Good health is, therefore, a most priceless treasure and to be desired above silver and gold. Health is true wealth. It is capital which can be invested in the service of the Lord with the certainty of great dividends in return, both here and hereafter.

John says: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (3 John 2). A lot of fretting and fussing in the home and in the church come from ill-health, as well as much of the unrest and unhappiness seen everywhere. Let us be temperate and exercise moderation in things right, and totally abstain from all hurtful things to our bodies, such as strong drink, cigarettes, harmful foods, etc. Then we can worship and serve the Lord out of the overflow of good health.


Out of the emptiness of spiritual ignorance no one can bring forth true worship and service unto God. In being "filled with all the fulness of God" we must be "filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (Col. 1:9). We are only under the power and influence of that part of the word of God which we have heard and learned. The rest of the Bible might as well have been left as blank pages as far as we are concerned. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom" (Col. 3:16). Then we can overflow to the instruction of others and in worship and service unto God (Heb. 5:12).


Our worship and service must come forth from hearts overflowing with faith. Stephen was a man "full of faith" (Acts 6:5). We are too empty. In being "filled with all the fulness of God" we are filled with faith. Without doubts or misgivings, we believe that God is, and "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:16). We believe in prayer and in all that God says. Out of the overflow of such joyful trust we worship and serve the Lord. Unbelievers are like dry wells; there is nothing to be brought forth from their dry souls for the glory of God.


"This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did" (Acts 9:36). Dorcas could worship out of the overflow of good deeds. She was "full of good works." Those who have followed such a course during the weekdays have no trouble in worshiping out of the overflow on the Lord's day. Many members of the church are dry wells as far as "good works" are concerned. Their lives are empty or filled with the wrong things. Let us fill up on "good works and almsdeeds," and leave off all the useless entertainment and pleasure seeking found on every hand.


The love of God is said to be "shed abroad in our hearts" if we are truly converted (Rom. 5:1-5). God does this by telling us of his love for us. "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments" (1 John 5:3). It takes a great deal of love to save us -- love enough to do his commandments. We need to "be filled with all the fulness of God," including love enough to do his will. Then we can easily worship and serve him out of the overflow of love.


"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord" (Psa. 122:1). He could worship out of the overflow of "gladness." No acceptable worship and praise can go up to God from an ingrate. After his baptism, the eunuch "went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:38-39). When the jailer and his family had been baptized, they, too, rejoiced (Acts 16:30-34). David prayed, saying: "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation" (Psa. 51:12). Our worship should be characterized by joy and gladness. "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psa. 118:24). "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Psa. 100).


2 John 9-11, Doctrine Or Deity?

What about 2 John 9-11? Two basic views prevail regarding the phrase "doctrine of Christ." Does it refer to (1) the doctrine ABOUT Christ (i.e. His deity); or (2) the teaching OF Christ; the body of doctrine known as "the faith?" What does the Bible teach?

When the "doctrine of Christ" is viewed as referring only to the teaching about Christ's deity; then one must concede the fact that those outside of Christ and His church are in a right relationship with God and His Son!

Examine 2 John 9, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." "Whosoever" includes Christians and non-Christians. Inspiration states, "He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." To interpret this to mean only the deity of Christ, one would have to conclude that "whosoever" recognizes or confesses that Jesus is come in the flesh is in a right relationship with God and Christ!

Can one be saved by stating "Jesus was literal man, literal God, and truly the Son of God?" If this were the case, the gospel plan of salvation would have no purpose or meaning! This would conclude that one could obtain salvation by faith alone! The doctrine of Christ is the total of specific facts, commands, and promises as taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his apostles. It is the "apostles doctrine" (Acts 2:42). The meaning is: what the apostles taught! It is not the doctrine ABOUT the apostles. The apostles doctrine includes the same teaching as the doctrine of Christ; the same specific commands, facts, and promises! The New Testament is the apostles doctrine. This same principle is found in Matthew 16:12. "Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Also notice Revelation 2:15, "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate." Is the doctrine mentioned here the doctrine ABOUT the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Nicolaitanes?, or, does it refer to the teaching done by these groups? It refers to the teaching they gave! The doctrine of Christ is the same as:

"the will of my Father" (Matt. 7:21)

"if ye continue in my word" (John 8:31)

"the truth" (John 8:31,32)

"preached unto him Jesus" (Acts 8:35)

"doctrine of the Lord" (Acts 13:12)

"the gospel of Christ" (Rom. 1:16)

"law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2)

"the mystery" (Eph. 3:3)

"will of the Lord" (Eph. 5:17)

"the traditions" (2 Thess. 2:15)

"law of liberty" (James 1:25)

"the faith" (Jude 3)

The doctrine of Christ is the teaching done by Christ and his apostles!

The following statement of Carroll D. Osburn, which is saturated with DAMNABLE ERROR, is the logical progression of believing that the phrase "doctrine of Christ" can only refer to His Deity, and not to the New Testament.

"There should be room in the Christian fellowship for those who differ on whether more than one cup in communion is acceptable, whether the communion bread is to be pinched or snapped, whether one can eat in the church building, whether funds can be used from the church treasury to support orphan homes; whether the Lord's Supper must be taken every Sunday, or whether instrumental music is used in worship. There should be room in the Christian fellowship for those who believe that Christ is the Son of God, but who differ on eschatological theories such as premillennialism, ecclesiological matters such as congregational organization, or soteriological matters such as whether baptism is 'for' or 'because of' the remission of sins. Rather than arrogantly misappropriating 2 John 9 as a sectarian slogan to denounce as ungodly all those with whom one disagrees on the wider array of religious topics, one should remember the adage 'Christians Only...Not The Only Christians'." (The Peaceable Kingdom, p. 90-91)

Frank Van Dyke shows the fatal results of rejecting the "Doctrine of Christ" (2 John 9) as being the teaching of the inspired writers and Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The logical conclusion of this false position is "faith only," which is condemned (James 2:24)!

"He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." If to abide "in the doctrine of Christ" simply means to accept him as God's Son--to believe this truth and nothing more--then whoever believes this has both the Father and the Son. If he has the Son, he has life. "He that hath the Son hath life" (1 John 5:12). To have life spiritually is to be saved. Now see the conclusion: Whoever abides in the doctrine of Christ just believes that he is God's Son--has the Son, has life, or is saved; therefore the argument proves salvation by faith only! (Gospel Advocate, Vol. LXXXIII, No. 49. December 4, 1941, p. 1159).

Steve A. Miller

316 4th Street

Paintsville, KY 41240-1135

The Puffed Up Liberal

When I become a liberal, then it can be truly said that I have become a complete truant from rationality, common sense and the Word of my God. See for yourself! It is a fact that the liberal authors among us intersperse their speeches and articles with quotes from the far-out modernists and God defying theologians. What use do depraved liberals have for the ideas and works of sound, conservative brethren? None whatsoever!

As a case in point, I have at my side a paper written by brother Ken Thomas which is entitled, "A Study of Acts 26:24-32: MESSAGE AND REACTION," and which was submitted to Lipscomb Professor Mark Black. Brother Thomas made the terrible blunder of quoting from brother Rex Turner and brother E. A. Elam. Black's note was, "not a good source for a masters level research paper." This kind of inane event is sickening, disgusting and reprehensible. It shows the utter disdain of Black toward brethren Turner and Elam. The source is not good.

When brother Thomas gave quotes from Mark Black which were taken from "Restoration Quarterly," that must have been getting near and close to quoting from the gods. Mark had no adverse comment to quoting Mark.

It is really interesting that brother Thomas could quote from John Wesley, Abraham J. Malherbe, Samuel Sandmel, and Mark Black, along with other non-Christian authors but only Elam and Turner were rejected. Sandmel, of course, is a very liberal atheistic Jew and that makes him a scholar around Lipscomb. Malherbe is an erstwhile professor at Pepperdine and his views were too well known among sound brethren, ere he departed for the upper states with his modernism.

Isn't it a paradox that E. A. Elam served as Prescient of Lipscomb and one of the dormitories was named after that great man but he cannot be quoted today by a student? Pray tell what kind of "doxy" is that?

Brother Rex Turner has been invited to Lipscomb as a speaker on a number of Lectureships and has distinguished himself as the President of a college but he isn't to be quoted as a source by a Lipscomb student. Brethren Elam and Turner are far beneath Sandmel the Jew at Lipscomb. I have read extensively from Sandmel and I have yet to see anything he wrote which is truly significant, but I am not teaching Bible (???) at Lipscomb. I am not qualified mainly because I won't hob-nob with modernists. There are some other reasons to be sure.

The liberals have just about succeeded in controlling the universities among us. It seems that the liberal professor thinks of himself and wants others to think of him as one of God's specially endowed Messiahs. Whew! Having subdued the schools, the intellectual cranks are busily engaged in constructing a race track where they can get the church to out-run itself. I truly believe that liberal imbecility is deplorable but add to this the stupidity of deceit, fearless lying, and the problem is compounded. Has any campus become a lair for disguised radicals? Ask some of the faculty members in the universities. Is this where the liberal hangs out until he can eventually come out of the closet? An inside source reported how a Lipscomb professor wore a shirt to class with the words, "I'm a Liberal" written thereon. The cautious professor stated that it was time for him to "come out of the closet." We have heard how the homosexuals have been coming out of the closet. Is that the same closet where the liberals have been hiding? What is the difference? I didn't, but suppose I had sent part of my pay check to the school to help support closeted and cloistered liberals?

Some time ago brother Moore from Georgia wrote a letter to Harold Hazelip--then president of Lipscomb. The brother asked Harold about liberalism at Lipscomb. Harold replied to brother Moore and said, "It is simply NOT true that there is liberalism at Lipscomb." I believe brother Moore needs to be told whether or not Sandmel the Jew is an infidel modernist. Brother Moore needs to be told whether Sandmel's comment on Acts 26:24-32 are preferred above and beyond that of brethren Turner and Elam.

The Lipscomb Board and president needs to tell the brethren a lot of things -- which are not being told.

In a recent issue of Lovelines which is the bulletin from Rubel Shelly's Church, Mark Black who is associate professor of Bible at Lipscomb, is advertised as a teacher of some special classes to be held at Rubel's Church. Rubel says Mark, " a respected teacher at David Lipscomb University." That should qualify him as a special teacher in cahoots with Shelly.

Since 1990, Black has been a minister at the Donelson Church of Christ (??).

Parents, please do not gnash on me with your teeth. Do you not appreciate me writing the preceding so you will know to get your young folks in Mark Black's Class on the New Testament when you send them to Lipscomb?

Surely the donors will need to know that when they send money to Lipscomb, some of it may (maybe not) be used to help in such a way and manner as to enable the faculty member or members -- to go out and help Rubel Shelly, who helps Billy Graham. Wake up brethren!

I would suggest that while hob-nobbing with Shelly, professor Black should learn how to assist Billy Graham Campaigns. On second thought, a lot of Lipscomb folks already know how.


According to Hazelip, "It is simply NOT true that there is liberalism at Lipscomb." Even if a faculty member elects to identify himself as a liberal, it is still, "not true." I do not want anyone to recommend me as a College President simply because if I were elected, I would have to spend too much time massaging the backs of disguised radicals so they could be kept happy while turning young minds into test tubes and subsequent liberal hooligans.

I would have just a mite of respect for the liberal professors if they didn't strut around with their masks on while trying to conceal their true identities. Leave it to the liberal professors to become blue-ribbon revilers of their opposition while the simpletons bray about academic freedom. I have long since ceased expecting the liberal professor to discern between sense and nonsense. These college wind-bags delight in leaving their droppings in shallow spots where the offspring of ludicrous parents can amble in and gobble up the tainted morsels. It is for this reason that I cast my vote to declare the liberal professors in "our schools" as public nuisance number one.

Most any thoughtless church member can be deceived by liberalism, especially if its proponent is a professor in one of "OUR" schools. The holy reverends who strut under the banner of "theologian", have excelled with their stultifying arrogance in developing a separatist, elitist, cultic, crew that is ever changing. We are waiting for the announcement any day that seven souls can occupy one liberal professor.

As I see it, the pathetic scene which follows the liberalistic trail is not that the front runners will back off, give in, and give up their foolish ways but that a road full of neophytes continue to be sucked in by such idiocy. Get a gang of liberals together in one of OUR schools and you see a carnival of compromisers spitting forth the sickening blather, "I wanna be me."

Wanna know what I think? The liberals do not need a new lie. Why should they invent a new one when the brethren help them succeed with the old lies?

I have just finished reading around five hundred articles by as many writers and it is heart-breaking to know the hurt and harm which has resulted from the modernistic influence which permeated "our schools" from long decades ago.

It has been a fact that the professors have stopped a bit shy in becoming universal popes, but how they have become so mighty is amazing. When a mortar board is pulled down on the head of some men, their head begins to swell out of all proportions.

I would suggest they join some such order as "The Order of Herod the Great," "The Order of Peter the Great," or "The Order of Alexander the Great." Those Bible theologians change their status, their lofty position and their befuddled brains so often. I am just asking, Why not join the "Order of the Greats." Well, of course, they have changed all over but one would not know how radical some of the changes are until one disagrees with one of them and the lunacy of liberalism is seen for what it is.

Show me one liberal, and brother I will have seen them all. Every one of them has fallen from the tree of EGOTISM. That tree is of the "nut" variety.

I believe the reader should know that the charges I make relative to the arrogant, bigoted, haughty, high-minded, conceited, egotistical, vain, snobbish, insolent, impudent, contemptuous, attitude of liberals is not of my own subjective feelings. I have been flabbergasted to learn what numerous writers from among the denominations have said relative to the vain-glorious attitude of the modernists and liberals.

This haughty spirit is best exemplified by Jim Woodroof in his infamous book, "The Church in Transition." Please note, "Perhaps we ourselves, before we became, 'more enlightened,' were where our conservative brother is today." It could be that it is far better not to be enlightened with the liberal stars.

--Wayne Coats, Editor

People, Places, Things

In this issue of the Plumbline I am including two timely articles by two great and wonderful preachers in days gone by. Brethren Nichols and Vaughan were absolutely faithful preachers. After reading the articles which first appeared in old issues of the Gospel Advocate, you might want to let your preacher read them. It won't do any harm and it might do good.


I notice where Rubel Shelly's Church is having a symposium on, "Health Family and Sexuality Skills." Two experts will be teaching the "...daring public training session and developing...Healthy Families--Healthy Sexuality."

We agree that, "society is obsessed with sex." Church members occasionally become loose in morals, but the remedy is set forth in the Bible. We need to teach, preach, and keep on preaching respect for what God says. If that won't work, I cannot see how a substitute will suffice.


Another morsel from the Shelly sheet informs us about one young son of a Woodmont Hills couple, "who was baptized by Bonnie Cribbs." Is Bonnie the baptizer, a preacher at Shelly's Church? I don't recall ever hearing of a man named, Bonnie.

Anyway, Bonnie's time and effort was wasted since Rubel's Church goes along with Billy Graham who does not believe in baptism for the remission of sins. Why, even Shelly's buddy, Max Lucado, says that baptism does not save us. It doesn't make any sort of sense to get wet all over for nothing. If the Shelly crew can change, alter and eliminate the design of baptism--which the Bible clearly teaches is for the remission of sins--then I ask why they will not change the form of baptism, which is a burial? Shelly should install a baptismal font in his Church for the convenience of people who are opposed to that which the Bible teaches. You do not know any consistent liberals. When will Bonnie begin to preach at Shelly's Church? Hurry up Bonnie and get ordained.


In his weekly church bulletin, Rubel Shelly reports that, "...more than 500 of you have committed to help us follow up with crusade respondents." In encouraging people to hear Billy Graham, Shelly wrote, "We encourage you to attend the nightly sessions of the Billy Graham Crusade." "...Try to take a non-Christian with you to hear the story of Jesus told."

But please remember that Shelly has written that Billy will not end his lessons with a call for baptism. How any person could get his mind so twisted and tangled as to think that Billy Graham will tell the story of Jesus, is not using much mind. Graham will refuse to teach the truth as it is taught by our Lord. How many well known Baptists did Rubel and his Lipscomb buddies persuade to help out in the recent Jubilee? Most Baptists have more sense than to act so hypocritical.

Speaking of the Baptists, one of the large Baptist Churches in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. has split-wide-open. The youth minister has taken over the church and introduced what they call, "contemporary worship." That means the young brats whoop, holler, stomp and clap, hug and rub and engage in all sorts of theatrical rubbish. The older heads have rejected, but true to form the youth minister and his clowns have taken over the church. Does that sound familiar?

I have been trying my best to tell brethren to beware of these ninety-day-wonders who are being hatched out in droves and who move in and take over the congregations. The name of the game is ACTION. "Just look at the busy schedule involving our young people." Mention the young people and one immediately begins to smell hamburgers and soda-pop, while the Bishops sit around and dream.


The latest Jubilee circus under the auspices of Rubel Shelly is now history. Very little media attention has been given to the affair this year.

Ray Waddle who is the Religion Editor of the Nashville Tennessean put in his two cents worth as usual with the title: "Jubilee: Chance For Church To Regain Sense Of Holiness." In the continued piece on another page, Waddle wrote, "Churches of Christ Debate Identity." These two headlines would get the attention of a lot of people, especially those who like to make fun of the church of my Lord.

Waddle began his piece by saying, "In the old days, if you weren't church of Christ, you were headed for hell." Here is a perfect example of one who felt impelled to say something. Would Waddle be so kind as to be willing to tell people where the general herd is headed today? I care not for his subjective opinions.

A gruesome mistake is made by the reporter when he states, "That attitude has changed as churches of Christ have become less isolated and more prosperous...." To state, infer, or insinuate that what is said or done at the Jubilee is representative of the conservative, traditional, biblical church of Christ is pure poppycock.

A quote from "Gary Holloway who is head of the Bible College at Lipscomb University" is interesting when he said, "We have crossed the tracks and are pretty much like the neighbors...." "Many in the churches of Christ today would be embarrassed to claim we're the 'only' Christians."

Waddle wrote, "...for a generation or more a debate has burned about what church of Christ belief and practice ought to be."


It is not within the scope of this article to pin-point all of the absurdities which transpired at the Shelly Jubilee. In my lap is a large batch of Jubilee tapes and Lord willing, a booklet will be forthcoming in which I will try to explain, expose, and oppose, especially what those Lipscomb scholars (???) had to mutter at the Shelly circus.

One thing needs to be emphasized at this point. It is a forgone conclusion that the media reporters like to take side-swipes at the church. They are adept in utilizing the Group-mind-Fallacy and Waddle is no exception as he writes about the Shelly crowd.

To equate the Jubilee liberals with the church of Jesus Christ is comparable to equating a skunk with a lamb. I sincerely believe the thinking people of Nashville know how modernism has slipped into Lipscomb and many of the congregations. We need to shout this from the house-tops.

It is not the case that a debate has raged for a generation as to what the church of Christ ought to be. The far-out liberal element has been running on a rampage for years with little or no opposition in so many areas. Some few good, sound, faithful brethren have opposed liberalism in Lipscomb and Nashville -- but the vast majority have been inflicted with the lockjaw.

Will it make any difference to parents who send their children to Lipscomb to learn that some Lipscomb professors join in with the Jubilee and the Billy Graham gang? Will it disturb preachers and/or elders to know that Lipscomb Bible (???) Teachers join in with Rubel Shelly in the unscriptural Jubilee? It is simply a concoction devised by Steve Flatt with a structure comprised of a composite group of boards, planks, splinters and slivers, which has been adopted by Rubel Shelly.

Is there any hope that fearful, compromising, squeamish, all-positive, shaking, people will ever learn? The past history tells us, "NO."

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