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Vol.I No.IV Pg.3
April 1964

Taking The Gifts Of God

Robert F. Turner

"And Jehovah said unto Joshua, See I have given into thy hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor." Joshua 6:2.

According to some theories of Gift and Grace, this promise says" (1) you already have the city and can't lose it; and (2) no condition could possibly be asked of you, for then this would not be a gift. Evidently God had not read that particular theory, or did not subscribe to it, for in the next three verses He instructs Joshua concerning specific conditions that must be met in order to obtain the city of Jericho.

Using a specific marching order, the people were to march about the city once a day for six days. Then, on the seventh day, they were to circle the city seven times, then some special sounding of the trumpets was to be made, and the people were to shout with a great shout.

Faithful Obedience

When God specifies, the faithful obey specifically. This is the kind of evidence of faith that God has always required; nor may His promises be enjoyed until we show such faith.

God promised-- but the city stood. Joshua and the people marched --- but the city stood. They marched, again and again --- but the city stood. On the seventh day they marched seven times -- but the city stood. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua said, "Shout; for Jehovah hath given you the city." "Hath given" mind you, -- yet the city stood. Then It Was "All Over But The Shouting"

"--the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, the people went up into the city every man straight before him, and---" WHAT'S THIS??? Joshua 6:20 says, "they took the city." Took it?? I thought this was a gift of God? Yet that's what the Bible says; and there goes man's Gift and Grace theory.

Did God Give The City?

Yes indeed! The marching, blowing, and shouting did not produce the collapsed wall. This was brought about by the power of God. He could and did cause those walls to fall without the assistance of any man. By His power Jericho could be put at the mercy of any to whom He saw fit to give it. And He saw fit to give it to those who would trust Him explicitly --- do exactly what He said for them to do. Joshua and the Israelites had this kind of faith, and so obtained the gift of God -- Jericho.

Simple Application

Salvation is a gift of God. It is made possible by His power, love, and plan --- centered in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Sins are not erased by the waters of baptism --- any more than the walls fell because of the marching. But to whom does God give this gift? He says He will give it to the believing, who repent and are baptized. (Mk. 16:16 Acts 2:38) The gift is ready for those who will take it according to the specific instructions of God.

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Vol.I No.IV Pg.4
April 1964

The New Testament "Church"

Robert F. Turner

When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi (4:15) he addressed "all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." (1:1)

Saints are "set apart" people, who have come "out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9), who belong to the Lord.(l Cor. 6:20) This is another way of saying that all Christians are saints (in the N. T. sense) and beatification by some Roman council has nothing to do with it.

One does not become a saint by "joining" the church; but one becomes a part of the church by becoming a saint. The church does not save; it is the saved. Thus we read in Acts 2: 47, "And the Lord added to the church ("to them" "together" ARV) daily (day by day) such as should be saved (those that were being saved).

The word church is a collective word, such as "herd" "covey" "flock". Literally, it indicates collection or assembly (called-out people) and is translated "assembly" in Acts 19:32, 39, and 41, with no reference whatsoever to God's people. In some places it refers to saints literally assembled but is perhaps more often used to "collect" figuratively those who have something in common.

All of God's children (the firstborn ones, Heb. 12:22-23) make up the church in its general or universal sense. They are "collected" in this designation because they have something in common -- their relationship to God the Father. They need not know one another, and God authorizes no plan for collective acts. But as each one seeks to serve God through Jesus Christ, he "glorifies God in the church." (Eph. 1:6, 12; 2:6,22; 3:21) The reader is blind indeed who tries to bind these passages to the local organized church.

But there are requirements, and provisions in the N.T., for saints to work together collectively-- to function as a unit. They were to assemble, (Heb.10:25) worship, (1 Cor. 11:22-f.) have overseers (Acts 14:23) a treasury (1 Cor. 16:2) etc. It was to such a group as this that Paul addressed the Philippian letter, and he called them a "church". (Phil. 4:15) This is the local church or congregation—the largest, smallest, and only organization of Christians given divine sanction in the New Testament.

These saints are "collected" by something more than a common relationship to God; they enter into a certain oneness by agreement (Cf.Acts 9:26-28, 3 Jn. 10); discipline one-another (Matt. 18:17 1 Cor. 5); have servants (Rom. 16:1) and send messengers (Phil. 2:25); and in many other ways work as one -- collectively.

Many errors arise because we fail to recognize the N. T. definition of "church" (Ex.: the importance of being a member) or the various uses of the word. (Ex.: some try to make each obligation of the individual saint an obligation of the local church.)

Careful reading "would from many a blunder free us, and foolish notion." Beside that, we might learn something.

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Vol.I No.IV Pg.5
April 1964

Use Your Bible ......

Robert F. Turner


Psm. 10:4-11

Some attitudes and thoughts of the Infidel are here described:

  • Vs. 4, "He will not require it." 
    • God doesn't really mean what He says 
  • Vs. 6, "I shall not be moved -- have no adversity" 
    • Self-confident, I don't really need God. 
  • Vs.11, "God hath forgotten. He hideth His face." 
    • God will never know about my sins. 


Other Indications of In-Fidel—"Lack of Faith":

I. Accept Only What Appeals to Senses, Reason... 

    • Rom. 4:16-f. Abraham, believed against hope. 
    • If reason must prove God, God becomes subject to man. 

II. The Stubborn, Who Will Not See... 

    • Blinded by the God of this world, 2 Cor. 4:4 
    • Satan takes the seed away. Lu. 8:12 
    • Stubbornness is as Idolatry. 1 Sam. 15:23 



III. Having the Form, but Denying the Power. 2 Tim. 3:1-8 

    • Hold to Bible terminology, but not to principles. 
    • Neo-Prthodoxy Modernism -- "playing" at God-service. 
    • Social gospel, perverts purpose and end of gospel. 
      • Vs. 8 -- "reprobate concerning the faith." 



IV. Inactive Members -- Lack Faith... 

    • Heb. 2:12, 17-19 Believe-not, disobedient. (See A.R.V.) 
    • Heb. 12:1 The sin that so easily besets -us, unbelief. 
      • Deny the faith -- 1 Tim. 5:8 
      • Shipwreck the faith 1 Tim. 1:19 

In One Sense, All Non-Christians are UNBELIEVERS.

    • 1 Cor. 6:1-6 Unbelievers versus Saints. 
    • 1 Cor. 14:23-25 Unbelievers attend services. 



It is difficult to imagine any one who truly believes in God, and His word, who would continue to ignore both God and His word. Easy to understand how some may be searching for further information, intent on doing God's will as rapidly as each new point is discovered. Beware less delay mean infidelity.

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Vol.I No.IV Pg.6
April 1964

David Lipscomb-Gospel Advocate-1907

Robert F. Turner

Each month PLAIN TALK reprints an anticle of by-gone days. We do not believe a thing is true simply because some pioneer preacher said it--God's word is TRUTH-- but such quotes often help us to better see ourselves in the unfolding of church history.

This is what Lipscomb, and the Gospel Advocate, published about the sponsoring church idea, Aug.29, 1907.


"The following article was sent me, with the request that I comment on it .

Bathurst St. Church of Christ*****

To the Church of Christ at Beamsville

-- Greetings:

At a meeting of the officers of the congregation, held on June 2, a resolution was passed recommending to the congregation, that a larger and more aggressive work in the Province be entered upon, and that, with this in view, a man be placed in the field immediately. Also, that the church ask the cooperation of the churches and individual brethren and sisters in the province financially, so that the needs of the entire field may in the near future be adequately met.

A beginning has already been made by this congregation; they having arranged with one of the preaching brethren already in the field that he devote his whole time to the work of the church, looking to this congregation to make up any deficiency in the amount necessary to carry this decision into effect. We now appeal to you to cooperate with us in creating and maintaining a fund which shall be used for the extension of the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in places where churches now exist, and to preach the gospel and to establish churches in communities where there are now no churches of Christ.


If the church is asking help to support a preacher in a temporary work, there is no harm in calling on others to aid in the work and for those who are called on to help in the work if it seems good to them.

If it means that one church is to receive and direct the means given in by other churches, it is all wrong. (Emphasis mine, rft) It will take the work out of the hands of those to whom God committed it and give it to others. This can only work evil to all the parties to it.

God commits work to His churches and children, not because he needs the help of these, but because doing the work will strengthen and build up these and give spiritual growth and activity to the churches and Christians. Each church should collect, control, and direct its own means; do what it can in preaching and having preaching done to the whole world. They need this for their own growth and spirituality. A Christian cannot live and grow without working to save others. Each needs personal work in teaching and saving others to develop and save himself. Churches need the sane experiences in working to save others to develop their own growth and activity."


(Sponsoring churches are no new problem, and are as wrong now as then)

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Vol.I No.IV Pg.7
April 1964

Who Owns Church Money?

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro, Turner:

Please comment on the question "Who owns the church treasury?"


This is a "hot potato", and all "hot heads" are asked to skip this section. Thinkers, read on!!

The "church treasury" belongs to the "church" -- and of course we are speaking of the local church, for this is the only kind of pooled fund authorized in the New Testament.

The church is a "company" of saints formed by mutual agreement -- (either expressed or understood) in order to work and worship together as one. In order to function collectively these saints must accept some common leadership and pool their means and/or abilities. These pooled resources no longer belong to the individuals making up the "company", but belong to the collective unit, the "church".

The fund is "at the feet" (i.e., at the disposal) of whomever these members (in forming or joining themselves into a church) agree shall act in this capacity. The Apostles once held this position in the Jerusalem church (Acts 4:35, 37,; 5:1-4) and later, the elders. (Acts 11:30)

The elders do not "own" the fund, but act as "trustees" -- to use legal terminology.

Does The Money Belong to God?

Everything belongs to God, including this money --- even before it was contributed to the treasury. (Isa. 66) How desperately, in these days of materialism, we need to understand this. We are but stewards. (Note Acts 17:24-f. God doesn't need anything!)

The church treasury is our means of operating collectively. It becomes God's fund to the extent that we collect and administer it according to His divine will, and for His purpose.

Legally, and I think logically--the fund "belongs" to the purpose for which it was given. (See "cy pres" in unabridged dictionary or law book) If a church is truly "scriptural" the church treasury will be used only for the God-assigned work of the church. It can not be used for any "good work" the elders may see fit to approve.

When Brethren Disagree

Brethren may disagree as to the God-assigned work of the church, and hence have no common purpose with respect to their common fund. A prayerful objective search of God's word should and will settle such problems for all who are willing to do only that for which there is divine authority. But if agreement can not be had, the basis for collective action in the disputed work is destroyed.

When brethren "part company" under such circumstances, an equitable dissolving of company (church) resources is in order- although I blush to admit it seldom takes place. Usually, a sectarian spirit prevails, and the majority, or "strongest" party takes all. (We fight for "God's" (?) money.) Someday we may learn to "give ourselves unto God" -- (2 Cor. 8:5).

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Vol.I No.IV Pg.8
April 1964

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Has anyone seen a plain, old-fashioned SINNER lately? They are getting mighty hard to find.

If the prodigal son were living today (as if he were not) he wouldn't be a SINNER. A juvenile delinquent perhaps; but his parents would be to blame for that. "There are no bad boys," you know. His wild oats are just youthful exuberance, a normal rebellion against unjust society, He must be free to "adjust positively."

There are no LIARS today. These fine people are simply extroverts, with imaginative talents that should be properly channeled. They evidence creative ability; their instability is a facet of their capacity for free uninhibited thought. They may become great poets, lawyers, -- or preachers.

The DRUNKARD is not really a sinner. He has an inferiority complex, and makes a mechanical adjustment (albeit a liquid one) to the problems of today. Beside that, he is sick. He beats his wife, starves his children, and is a scourge to society --- so he needs our sympathetic understanding.

ADULTERY may be sin in far-off slum districts; but not among movie stars, or popular public figures. And don't even mention the word when we get close to home. Here it is simply a case of biological maladjustment. The sex pervert was denied "free discussion" at home; his parents were old-fashioned and believed in common decency. His sin--er, I mean "mistake", is a fault of modern society.

But maybe the MURDERER is a sinner -- just maybe! On the other hand, he may be the victim of some early traumatic experience. His mother was over-protective; he was greatly inhibited. He was never allowed to push his oats off the high-chair tray, so now he pushes his wife off Brooklyn Bridge. Poor fellow!

There may be an element of truth in all these descriptions; but one element, very necessary for correction, is lacking. We are overlooking the moral element.

Our generation needs psychiatry---but it also needs moral responsibility. We must recognize SIN for what it is-- SIN. We must cease to substitute Freud for Jesus Christ, the "Great Physician" who takes away the sins of the world. With the prodigal we must say, "I have SINNED!"

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Vol.I No.V Pg.1
May 1964

Changing, To Avoid Change

Robert F. Turner

The B-58 super-sonic bomber is equipped with a tracking device which is "locked on" two stars. A warning is sounded if the plane wanders as much as 1/10 of a degree off course; and on a long journey the pilot may make many corrections -- CHANGES -- in ORDER TO KEEP FROM CHANGING the destination of the plane.

This process is routine, and the pilot welcomes the warnings because he is intent upon completing his mission. It is hard to imagine a pilot who would resent such assistance, for he knows that "drift" if difficult to detect without reference to some fixed and constant point.

Of course some of my brethren would "take a reading" on the other planes in the formation, and "stay with the brotherhood" regardless of the result. Paul calls this "measuring themselves by themselves," and says those who do so are not wise. (2 Cor. 10:12)

We who believe the scriptures to be divine, and all-sufficient, accept them as our fixed, infallible guide. Here the "Way" of Christ is made known. It is our intention to keep unswervingly to this course -- in fact we hold that our very identity as the church of Christ depends upon our adherence to this route. We do not claim to be perfect -- but we do claim to be striving for perfection.

Such striving necessitates change. We would be blind indeed not to recognize that at times we stray from the course. Theories and/or practices may be accepted for a time that seem harmless -- even beneficial. When we are warned of our "drift" our reaction may show our true allegiance.

If we have "joined a Church" we wait to see what others will do. If we have been joined unto Christ, we compare our course with His word, and move accordingly. Our fundamental and all-absorbing aim is to follow Him. We change our teaching and practice readily, to avoid changing this most basic principle.

Since Christ is the only "creed" accepted by the true church, we have not changed --"left the church" -- until we no longer make necessary corrections. Then, we have CHANGED INDEED, and journey without hope.

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Vol.I No.V Pg.2
May 1964

E D I T O R I A L .......

Robert F. Turner

Some well-meaning (interested in my soul, no doubt) person urged me to read a lengthy harangue in an Austin, religious journal on "The Party Spirit and Pseudo-Issues."

I have read that paper for several years; had already noted this outburst, and its own pseudo-issues. The writer has contributed two articles in five years, both very long (more words in this recent diatribe than we use in three whole issues-- the editor managed to swallow it gracefully), and both articles are attacks upon men and their motives.

And this is supposed to convince me that mine is "an obdurate course of action by egocentric men who will not turn back from diabolical designs to wreck the churches." Wow!!!

"Wherever deviations exist, let the principles involved be considered with the objective of harmony in all matters of congregational endeavor, without permitting the deliberations to become the cause of cleavages." To this I say a hearty, Amen!

It remains, however, a goal which can be attained only through mutual effort. If the principle involved is an identifying characteristic of the church (such as organizational structure) and one segment of a church refuses to "deliberate", there is little choice left to conscientious members. It is conform to our dictate, or get out.

It becomes increasingly clear that the "party" spirit is the true villian in most church troubles of our day. I refuse to sneeze when the party bosses take snuff; and I am equally opposed to being one who dips the stuff. For the life of me, I can't see how journalistic flailings of this nature will banish partism and heal fractures.

If pseudo-issues produce evil—and I believe they do-- then let us spend more effort determining the true issues; and having found them, let us devote more time to objective Bible study, that the divine solution to our problems may be seen.

What "we have always done" (and "always" gets whittled down to 50 or 60 years) is a poor way to battle any partyism. In fact, it is the very grist of which, the party is ground. This casts no reflection upon pioneer preachers-- instead, it accepts their challenge to seek truth in God's word AND FOLLOW IT.

But read the papers for "stuff".

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Vol.I No.V Pg.3
May 1964

"B'twixt Saddle And Ground"

Robert F. Turner

"Yep," an old-timer tells me; "the light hit him, and he was converted b'twixt the saddle and the ground."

Believe it or not, we are talking about the conversion of Saul (later the Apostle Paul) not a western movie. No amount of Bible reading can change my friend's conception either. With him it is "b'twixt Saddle and ground" or nothing. I try to tell him the Bible says nothing about a saddle, but he replies, "Any fool knows he'd have a saddle on his horse." I surely hate to admit that this fool can't even find the horse.

The text is in triplicate: Acts 9:1-18 22:1-16 26:12-20; and one must assemble the facts from each account to get the full story.

It pleased God to make Paul an Apostle (Gal. 2:15) and this required witnessing the resurrected Lord. Paul did not see Him at the "due" time, i.e., before the ascension; (1 Cor. 15:4-10) but the Lord appeared unto him to make him "a minister and a witness," not to save him. (26:16)

The Lord spoke to Paul, not to assure him of salvation, but to send him to one who would tell him what to do. (9:6 22:10) This does not refer to his preaching mission, for Jesus had already told him of this.(26:17f)

Some say the light, the appearance of the Lord, the voice, etc., all are assurances that Saul's (Paul's) sins were forgiven. If so, he is the most dejected and sorrowing "saved" man of history. "He was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink." (Acts 9:9) During this time he was praying. (9:11) And Ananias said, "arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Even the old-timer should admit this is hardly the thing to say to one who is saved -- with sins forgiven. (The old-timer is quiet at this point.)

Saul's conversion, like others in the early days of the church, was surrounded by circumstances related to the times. Because of his appointment as an Apostle, there are elements in the account not directly a part of the conversion itself. Remove these, and his conversion was not unlike any other "turning to the Lord" recorded in New Testament history.

He had to learn of the Lord, (note Acts 7:58); believe in Him, repent of past sins, and obey Him in baptism. He placed his trust in Christ and the salvation made possible by His death; and this faith was such as to lead him to "obey from the heart that form of doctrine" (the death, burial, and resurrection) "being then made free from sins--." (Rom. 6:16-18, 3-5)

Remember, it was this same Paul who wrote Rom. 6:3-f. "so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death."

But my friend, the old-timer, is not yet convinced. "Don't talk to me about baptism," he shouts. "How in this wide world are you going to baptize a horse??"

Hmm! I'm going to study on that.

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Vol.I No.V Pg.4
May 1964

Undenominational Christianity

Robert F. Turner

The evils of "sectarian Christianity" are apparent to all thinking people, and have been denounced by various spokesmen of the leading sects repeatedly. This general recognition of error has given impulse to many "unity" movements, and much so-called "non-sectarian" preaching.

But IS union of all churches the desirable goal? May we correctly assume that such a union equals true Christianity? Is it not possible, or highly probable, that in the compromising process union with one another would take the place of unity in Christ?

After reading several proposals for religious "unity" I have concluded that man's plan goes something like this:


Hold to no external authority, but allow everyone to "find truth" according to his own conscience.


Avoid the inevitable conclusion created by Item One, by adopting a concept of "religious freedom" large enough to embrace all in one great "brotherhood".


Disfellowship and hold in contempt anyone who uses the freedom of Item One, to point out the fallacy of the false "brotherhood" in Item Two.

Perhaps I have been a bit harsh on our modern "unitarians" but I believe this depicts the net results. We are seeking Christianity without accepting the authority of Christ. THERE IS NO SUCH THING.

The grand theme of Christianity is CHRIST -- Prophet, Priest, and King. He is our teacher, advocate, and our ruler. How absurd to acknowledge all this -- as most "unity" speakers do--and then give so little attention to the actual teachings of Christ.

Instead of discouraging "doctrinal" studies, true undenominational Christianity is built upon such studies. "If a man love me, he will keep my words:" (Jn. 14:23)

"The people were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:28-29)

The New Testament church was ONE--because it was made up of people who "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine--". Their fellowship was, first of all, with God; and was maintained by walking in His truth. (1 Jn. 1:3-7)

When division threatened the solution was "God, and - the word of His grace." (Acts 20:29-32) Man has found no better solution today.

Undenominational Christianity ---and in reality there is no other kind of true Christianity --- is the fruit of subjection to Christ's will. It brings war against evil; division between those who do, and do not; and world hostility. (Eph.6:10-f. Lu.12:51-f. 1 Jn.2:15-f.) But it offers the only peace worth while—peace with God, in heaven. (Rev. 22:)

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Vol.I No.V Pg.5
May 1964

Use Your Bible ......

Robert F. Turner


Read Matt. 23:13-39. These bitter denunciations from the "meek and lowly" Lord evidence His strong desire to save sinners. Many varied appeals had been made, to no avail. Now the lash is applied -- and still Christ fails. Note verse 37:

  • "how often would I" -- Christ desired their salvation. 
    • "not willing that any should perish" 2 Pet. 3:9 a. 
  • "and ye would not" -- They refused His instructions. 
    • "all should come to repentance" 2 Pet. 3:9 b. 


BUT HE FAILS WITH US IF WE: 1. To love us. Jn. 3:16 1. Fail to love God: 1 Jn.5:3 1 Jn. 4:7-11 and one another. 1 Jn.4:20 2. To die and rise again. 1 Cor.15:1-4 2. Deny the resurrection. 1 Cor.15:12-f. 3. Perfect sacrifice Heb. 10:1-14 3. Expect another sacrifice. Heb. 10:25-29 4. Provide grace for all. Titus 2:11-f 4. Receive grace in vain 2 Corinthians 6:1-f. 5. Remove the Old Law. Rom. 7:1-4 5. Try to live under it. Galations 5:1-4 6. Provide word of salvation. Jas.1:18-21, 22. 6. Trust in our feelings. 2 Thes. 2:10-12

Acts 26:9 7. Clear Explicit Commands. Acts 2:38 7. Refuse to obey. Lu.7:30


Why not try your hand at adding to this outline? For example: Christ has not failed to establish His church, but we build competitive organizations; Christ has not failed to plead for unity, but we thank God for denominational division; Christ has not failed to knock at our hearts, but we refuse to open. Can you build the appropriate scripture citations for these and other points?

Live As Though Christ Never Lived And You Will Die As Though Christ Never Died

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Vol.I No.V Pg.6
May 1964

Church Issues 160 Years Ago

Robert F. Turner

The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery is one of the most important documents of the Restoration Movement. Signed June 28, l803, it marked one of the earliest moves of this country, from denominational government to N. T. church organization. Space limits us to print but a few items of the "will".


Imprimas "We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the body of Christ at large; for there is but one body and one spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.

Item 3 We will, that our power of making laws for the government of the Church, and executing them by delegated authority, forever cease; that the people may have free course to the Bible, and adopt the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Item 5 We will, that the Church of Christ resume her native right of internal government, try her candidates for the ministry, as to their soundness in the faith, acquaintance with experimental religion, gravity and aptness to teach; and admit no other proof of their authority but Christ speaking in them. ++++++(omission)+++

Item 6 We will, that each particular church as a body, actuated by the same spirit, choose her own preacher and support him by a free-will offering, without a written call or subscription, admit members, remove offenses; and never henceforth delegate her right of government to any man or set of men whatever."

Accompanying the Will and Testament, the "Witnesses' Address" offers further reasons for dissolving this church association. They testify:


"At their last meeting they undertook to prepare for the press a piece entitled, "Observations on Church Government," in which the world will see the beautiful simplicity of Christian Church government, stript of human invention and lordly traditions.

As they proceeded in the investigation of that subject, they soon found that there was neither precept nor example in the New Testament for such confederacies as modern church sessions, presbyteries, synods, General Assemblies, etc. Hence they concluded that while they continued in the connection in which they stood, they were off the foundation of the apostles and prophets of which Christ himself is the chief cornerstone."

This was the process by which a group of Presbyterian churches read their way out of denominational doctrine and organizational error. Each congregation began to work independently, and their teaching along this line had much to do with the dissolving of the Mahoning Baptist Association some years later. (1830)

The New Testament church, with simple N. T. government, was not easily separated from sectarianism. It is the more pitiful, therefore, that today brethren accept inter-congregational operations without even recognizing, apparently, that they are now turning back the clock.

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Vol.I No.V Pg.7
May 1964

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

What passage of scripture teaches that individual Christians must take orphan children into their homes and rear them? FFR


I do not know of such a passage, nor do I believe the Bible teaches this.

Jas. 1:27 teaches individual obligation to care for orphans and widows but it does not specify the means to be used. We may take them into our homes, or buy the services of care-taking institutions; but we should remember, the obligation is ours.

Question No. 2:

Do the scriptures make a distinction between individual Christian obligations and church obligations? FFR


Yes. 1 Tim. 5:16 describes an obligation of individuals which was not a church obligation.

There are parental obligations -- peculiar to Christian parents --- that the organized church does not have. (See Eph. 6:4)

Brethren who have foolishly said that the organized church may do any thing individual Christians may do, are in for a rude awakening when this rule is applied to church support of colleges, etc. The consequences of sound Bible principles, are God-approved consequences; but man's feeble reasoning will lead us into pit-falls of eternal darkness. "If the blind lead the blind --- etc." Dear bro. Turner:

Do the scriptures teach that the church building is sacred?


The "true tabernacle" (of N.T.) is not a material building; and the N.T. "sanctuary" is heavenly -- not built with hands, etc. Read carefully Heb. 8:1-6 9:1-12. If by "sacred" you mean "holy" "consecrated by divine presence" etc., the answer is "No!"

The church building is a place of assembly purchased by funds contributed for the purpose of furthering the assigned work of the Lord. It is purely an expedient authorized by generic rather than specific teaching. Even this, however, would demand that we use such property for the purpose intended. To do otherwise would be a misappropriation of resources.

"Have ye not houses to eat and drink in?---" (1 Cor. 11:17-f.) refers not to contrast between private homes and church buildings, but to perversion of the purpose of their assembly. God had authorized a memorial feast, the Lord's Supper; but banqueting was not and is not a church function.

Today I object to church-sponsored banqueting, social events, fishing camps, etc., not because I believe the church building or treasury is "sacred" or "holy" but because I believe resources of the organized church should be used for that for which the collective is divinely appointed.

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Vol.I No.V Pg.8
May 1964

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

There it was, in bold letters:

Gateway To Heaven!

The burial plots about the sign were beautifully kept, and the whole setting produced a calming effect.

Then this pointed head had another thought: viz-WHERE IS THE OTHER GATE?

I looked all around that cemetery without success, and as I drove down the highway my failure deepened. Here was "Memorial Garden" "Peace Park" and "Glen Rest", but no other gate.

"Gates Ajar" provoked my curiosity but closer investigation showed all parties involved had the first place in mind. The memorial tablets carried nothing but praise for the citizens of this city.

I was reminded of the Chinese tale of the emperor who asked his wise man to devise a plan for national improvement. One genius suggested that he kill all citizens then living, and resurrect the illustrious dead to take their place. All the dead were wonderful people, according to the tombstones. Wishful thinking must be a universal substitute for reality. Must we be so cynical? Believe me, dear ones, it is an effort to bring you to a better hope. I know the desperate grasp for "peace, when there is no peace"; for assurance, when our hearts are heavy.

But where is that other gateway? IT MAY BE RIGHT THERE IN THAT FIRST SIGN. In empty words, in soothing assurance that comes from sympathetic friends (whom we all appreciate) but who have neither right nor reason to offer such hope.

Have these blinded us to the truth of our situation? By taking reality out of Hell -- in essence, by denying its existence when the real show-down comes -- have we reduced Heaven to a verbal tranquilizer for the bereaved?

I have never known anyone to object to the preacher saying a loved one had gone to heaven; but can't you hear the angry cries that would go up if he said they went the other way.

"Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matt.7:14 Check your ticket! You may be holding a pass for the wrong gate.

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.1
June 1964

Saving The Church

Robert F. Turner

Lots of people are trying to save the church these days. There are so many problems among brethren and so many brethren who are apparently unconcerned, that I suppose we should rejoice that someone cares.

Fact is, I have considered saving the church a time or two. Maybe I had a touch of the Don Quixote spirit and fancied the giants reeling from my trusty lance. But no more. In the first place, it is hard to find a church that wants to be saved, and those who do want this are pretty well on the road with a "do it yourself" job.

Too, it occurred to me that the church already has a Saviour. my job, and that of every concerned member, is to stir up greater love and respect for the divine Saviour. We need a better understanding of what He saves, and how.

We may work up an ulcer trying to save a union of people while the true Saviour is dividing people in order to save the faith. Matt. 10:32-39; 1 Cor. 5:1-8.

We may fail to confess Him because, in our pride, we are trying to save our "place" in the community. Not infrequently, "we are more concerned about what people will think than we are with pleasing God. (Jn. 12:42-43)

And multitudes are more concerned with the "party" (our institutions, our brotherhood) than they are with the church for which Christ died.

Christ saves the church ONE MEMBER AT A TIME. (1 Cor. 12:12-f, Jn. 15:1-6 Gal. 3:26-27) The body of Christ, His church (Eph. 1 :22-23) of which He is Saviour (Eph. 5:23), is composed of INDIVIDUALS. One by one, as we are saved from sins we are added to this church. (Acts 2:47) This is a crucial point, yet one we seem determined to ignore, or refuse to apply.

As the church was first saved from "alien" sins, so must it be saved from worldliness the social gospel, institutionalism or any other sins. Somehow, some way, each individual member must be aroused from sleep, to renew his love and service to Christ, who alone can save the church.

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.2
June 1964

God's Work In God's Way
Robert F. Turner

Highway signs, on all approaches to Burnet, advertize the Rhomberg and Washington Sts. church with a simple slogan: "GOD'S WORK IN GOD'S WAY." It is our way of saying that we want to do only that for which there is divine authority; and when God specifies, we wish to obey specifically,

The Need For Such A Declaration

By popular misconception many seem to think the church may do or support "any good work." Banqueting, fishing camps, gymnasiums for physical culture, hospitals, and now secular colleges, are given church support. The work of the church is thus perverted and her treasury misappropriated.

Nor does the end justify the means. (Rom. 3:8) When God specifies the organizational structure by which He wishes saints to function collectively, we are not at liberty to substitute a plan of our own. Intercongregational committees and the "brotherhood" working through "super"(?) sponsoring church elders are clear violations of God's independent church arrangement.

God's Work

This refers to things that are assigned by God. Jesus came to "work" (verb, meaning to perform) "the works of God" (noun, meaning the tasks that God assigned), (Jn. 9:4) Christians are to "abound" "labor" (verb) in the "work" of the Lord. (noun, the task which the Lord assigned) (1 Cor.15:58) The work of the organized church is assigned in the N. T.; it is not just any thing we decide is "good" and do. Her work, like her worship, will be collective work, not individual work. (Would we bring into the worship "any good thing the individual can do"??)

In God's Way

God said "Go" but DIDN'T SAY HOW to travel. We have no desire to force our opinions about methods of locomotion, teaching, or caring for children upon anyone.

But God DID SAY HOW to organize!! The independent congregations, each with her own elders, ruling their own flock --- this is God's plan for the collective action of saints. (1 Cor. 16:3 Acts 14:23 1 Pet. 5:2-3) Alms were sent to dependent churches to help them meet their own needs; but there is neither precept, example nor necessary inference of an independent church receiving funds and acting on behalf of other churches.

GOD'S WORK IN GOD'S WAY is a cry of faith. Let us be faithful!

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.3
June 1964

Condensed Study Of "Faith"

Robert F. Turner

A beginner at Bible study can see that the popular doctrine of salvation by "faith only" is wrong. This expression is used but once in the N. T. --- when James writes: "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (2:24)

Those who refuse to recognize the various ways in which the word "faith" is used in the N. T. are faced with stubborn contradictions (especially between the Roman letter and James) and must devise some ingenious quibbles to escape their dilemma.

Basically, to believe is to accept as true; a mental acquiescence. We must believe that God is -- accept as true His existence. (Heb. 11:6) Then, "Faith cometh by hearing --" (Rom. 10:17) acceptance of evidence. Such faith is the basis for our dealings with God; but "without works" this faith is dead. (Jas. 2:26)

Because faith affects the heart (Acts 15:9) and hence one's actions, the word is sometimes used to define the motive for continuous action. "By faith" Abel offered Noah built and Abraham went, (Heb. 11:4-f.) This certainly does not mean that "at the point of faith, and without further acts of obedience" the ark came into existance. Likewise, one may declare that salvation is "by faith" while recognizing the necessity for doing all that God requires.

The word "faith" is sometimes subjective, referring to the conscience. In such usage "of faith" assures sincerity, but does not necessarily prove truth. And in Jude 3, the word necessarily is used with reference to that which produces faith -- the evidence. But perhaps "faith" is most abused when we fail to recognize its application to the whole New Covenant. The oft-quoted "justification by faith" passages (Rom. 1:17 Ga1.3:11) point not to "faith only" but to a contrast system of faith (Christianity) with the system of law as manifested in Judaism.

A system of law demands perfect compliance; with reward on a basis of merit. "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (See Gal. 3:10-f) Since all sin, our only hope lies in a system with provisions for forgiveness -- and that means Jesus Christ is our only hope.

Salvation is "not of works", i.e., we must not depend upon a system of merit, for we all sin. But we must put our trust (and here is faith) in Christ, who forgives. (Rom. 4:4-8) The Christian system is therefore a system of faith, and is so characterized.

"Before faith came" means before the Christian system: "we were kept under the law" --- under .Judaism. The "children of God by faith" are those "baptized into Christ." (Gal. 3:23-f,)

In reality, one's faith in Christ is inadequate if it does not motivate "faithfulness." "This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. (1 Jn. 5:3) Significantly, the original statement of "the just shall live by faith" (Heb. 2:4) refers to "faithfulness." (See ARV footnotes.)

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.4
June 1964

Why Saints Assemble

Robert F. Turner

"Not forsaking tile assembling of ourselves together--" (Heb. 10:25) is a clear statement of God's will in the matter; and some babes in Christ may "go to church" compelled by fear of God's wrath. This is a legitimate motive, albeit one that is less needed by the more mature Christian. The collective action of saints, with its attendant assemblings, is far more than an self-justifying end. It grows out of the basic character of saints, and their God-appointed purposes.

Early Christians were "together" "with one accord". (Acts 2:44-46) A closeness, and singleness of purpose such as theirs brought them together physically, just as it will bring true Christians together today. They gravitated toward one-another for prayer as fishermen gather to discuss lures; they had a common interest and object of worship.

They loved the truth, and their "delight" was in the law of the Lord. (Matt. 5:6 Psm. 1:2) When people are hungry, they do not have to be urged to go where there is food; nor do they eat "because of a sense of duty."

Faithful Christians had great respect and veneration for Jesus Christ (1 Cor.11:23-f.) hence, welcomed opportunity to participate in the memorial supper. Their hearts were warmed and faith renewed as they worshipped "in remembrance of" Christ.

Each one's concern for his own spiritual welfare, as well as that of fellow Christians, was reflected in the assembling. In Heb. 10:23-25 note how "let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering" is related to their gathering together. And because "every man according to his ability, determined --" the making of a common treasury brought them together. (Acts 11:29 1 Cor.16:1-3) A pooled fund is the means of exchange by which a plurality of saints act as one to do God's will. Some early churches were so anxious to do God's work they begged Paul to take their offering. (2 Cor. 8:4) The next verse explains this eagerness: they had given themselves to the Lord.

Saints today assemble for these same reasons. I do not refer to those who occasionally "attend" worship; I mean those who worship with regularity, the faithful few or many.

The indifferent and the hypocrites make excuses; perhaps even try to make some "logical" argument, as, "I can worship God, being alone." Of course what one could do, being alone, is hardly the question. The hypocrite is seldom alone (i.e., there are other saints within reach) and if one were alone there is little reason to believe he would worship God. Such people usually compound their wrong by lying -- to others, to themselves, and to God.

If you are a "oncer" (once-a-week) or worse, allow yourself a moment of truly honest self-inspection, Can you believe that one who loves his brethren because they are brethren, who delights in Bible study, has deep respect for the Lord's Supper, and is truly concerned for God's work and his own soul, would "do as you do"??

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.5
June 1964

Use Your Bible ......

Robert F. Turner


Paul "verily thought with" himself that he "ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth." (Acts 26:9) He was honestly deceived.

Various Things May Deceive Us:

  1. False prophets. 1 John 4:1 with vain words - Eph. 5:6-10 
    • Compare life and words with the divine standard. 1 Jn. 4:5 3:7-8 
  2. Riches are deceitful. Matt. 13:22 Heb. 11:24-26 (Note Prov. 3L;30) 
    • Treasures in heaven, only sure wealth. Matt. 6:19-21. 
  3. Philosophy of men. Col. 2:8 Human reason and wisdom. 1 Cor. 1:20-f 
    • We are complete in Christ.(Col.2:B-lO) His revelation. 1 Cor.2:l-f. 


Perhaps More Important, We Deceive Ourselves:

  1. By our pride. Obadiah 3 Gal. 6:3. 
  2. By trusting in our strength. 1 Cor. 3:18-f. (Prov. 21:51) 
  3. Evil companions. (See Amer. Revised version, 1 Cor. 15:33) 
  4. Our own big fat blabbing tongue. Jas. 1:26 3:2-f 
  5. Idols in our heart. Ezk. 14:1-5;9. (Loving something more than God) 
    • (If love not the truth, Lord allows deception. 2 Thes. 2:10) 
  6. By hearing only, not doing -- we deceive ourselves. Jas. 1:22. 



Paul wrote (Ga1. 6:7) "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." "God is not mocked" simply means He isn't deceived. God knows us better than we know ourselves. "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4:12-13)

God has given us a perfect guide, by which we are to be finally judged. (Jn. 12:46-50) He provides us with the necessary "light" Let us SEE, and LIVE.

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.6
June 1964

Plan For Unity -- 1832

Robert F. Turner

"Racoon" John Smith did much to unite Christians in this country by a speech made Jan.1, 1832, in Lexington, Ky. Excerpts are taken from Life Of Elder John Smith, J.A. Williams, 1870.


"God has but one people on the earth. He has given to them but one Book, and therein exhorts and commands them to be one family. ++++

But an amalgamation of sects is not such a union as Christ prayed for, and God enjoins. To agree to be one upon any system of human invention would be contrary to His will, and could never be a blessing to the Church or the world; therefore the only union practicable or desirable must be based on the Word of God, as the only rule of faith and practice.


For several years past I have tried to speak on such subjects (certain abstruse or speculative matters, rft) only in the language of inspiration; for it can offend no one to say about those things just what the Lord himself has said. In this scriptural style of speech all Christians should be agreed. It can not be wrong—it can not do harm.


While there is but one faith, there may be ten thousand opinions; and hence, if Christians are ever to be one, they must be one in faith, and not in opinion. When certain subjects arise, even in conversation or social discussion, about which there is a contrariety of opinion and sensitiveness of feeling, speak of them in the words of the Scriptures, and no offense will be given, and no pride of doctrine will be encouraged. We may even come, in the end, by thus speaking the same things, to think the same things.

For several years past, I have stood pledged to meet the religious world, or any part of it, on the ancient Gospel and order of things, as presented in the words of the Book. This is the foundation on which Christians once stood, and on it they can, and ought to, stand again. From this I can not depart to meet any man, or set of men, in the wide world. While, for the sake of peace and Christian union, I have long since waived the public maintenance of any speculation I may hold, yet not one Gospel fact, commandment, or promise will I surrender for the world!

Let us then, my brethren, be no longer Campbellites or Stoneites, New Lights or Old Lights, or any other kind of lights, but let us all come to the Bible, and to the Bible alone, as the only book in the world that can give us all the Light we need."


To the above Barton W. Stone replied, in part, "I have not one objection to the ground laid down by him as the true scriptural basis of union among the people of God; and I am willing to give him, now and here, my hand." Who can read such history without a wistful longing for men of such character and stature today. God needs not sword to win but MEN.

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.7
June 1964

"Women Keep Silence"

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Please discuss "women keep silence" of 1 Cor. 14:34 1 Tim. 2:11-12. VA


Women may teach: Acts 2:18 18:26 21:9 Titus 2:3-4 etc., hence the "silence" must be qualified. Nor may we say she must be "silent" in the "assembly"; for she teaches and admonishes when she sings: (Co1. 3:16), and 1 Tim. 2:11-12 certainly is not limited to "the assembly" (Note "modest apparel," vs.9, and "faith, charity, holiness, vs15; showing that vs.11-f. are of more general application.)

Notice the italics in 1 Cor.14:34? That indicates words supplied. "Not to speak, but to be in subjection"-- this is the core of the text, and the "but" qualifies the "not." Women are not to speak beyond the point of being in subjection. Particularly the wives of the prophets needed this admonition, for confusion over prophets "showing off' their gifts occasioned this section of the epistle.

Other "Not-But" Passages

Read 1 Cor. 1:17, 1 Pet. 3:3 Jn. 6:27, etc. Labor NOT for meat that perisheth, BUT for everlasting life. The "not" is qualified, otherwise it would be wrong to work for food. Such passages may be greatly multiplied. We are not at liberty to put a period in the middle of a thought-- to declare a full negative what God has given as a qualified negative. Ignore qualifications, and 1 Cor. 14:28 forbids a man to speak also. Womens "silence" must be qualified (see first paragraph) and the context does it. Application of a Principle

God is over Christ, Christ is over man, and man is over woman. This basic truth is applied in 1 Cor.11:3-f. with reference to custom of covering; and is applied in 1 Cor. 14: with reference to prophecy meetings; and In 1 Tim. 2:11-12 with reference to women's demeanor in general teaching and learning situations.

The word translated "silence" in 1 Tim. 2:11-12 K.J., is "quietness" in A.R.V., and is indicative of spirit or disposition. In keeping with the "headship" of man, woman is to "learn in quietness with all subjection."

Teaching Children, Other Women

The principle (above) and examples of its application would forbid women to preach (didactic proclamation) to men, or to dominate or control a class where men were present. (This has not to do with intelligence---who is "smarter", but with a God-given order clearly stated.) Women are free to teach children, or other women---or to participate in studies with men as long as they observe and function within the sphere God assigned them.

Their Sphere Begets Glory

Christ was under God-- remember! (1 Cor. 11:3) He rejoiced to pray, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (Jn. 17:4) And women, under men, may likewise give glory to God by serving faithfully as appointed. (1 Tim. 2:15) May God help us all to do likewise.

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Vol.I No.VI Pg.8
June 1964

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

One man, intent upon becoming wealthy, determined to invest only in ventures which gave him advantage of others. A second, equally ambitious but wiser, determined to build a business which offered the greatest advantage to others.

Guess what? The first man became filthy rich, with four wives and three Cadillacs. (His third wife got the fourth Cadillac in her settlement, but had to sell it for taxes.) He never knew a quiet, satisfied moment in his life.

The second man worked like a dog, and nearly everyone took advantage of him --- which worried him little. He made a modest living, earned respect for what he was, and bored folk to tears with pictures of his grandchildren. (Oh yes, he bought the used Cadillac at a court auction.)

Moral of the story is: "What Most People Want, Costs Too Much!"

Moses chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had -respect unto the recompense of the reward." (Heb. 11:25-26) (That last part means, in every-day English, "he could see beyond the end of his nose.")

Short-sighted people quit school early,--- to work on the road, escape class-room discipline, or otherwise prove their immaturity. Others overgraze their land, misuse their credit, or mistake a bragging drunk for a man.

But the shortest short-sightedness of all is that which ignores the brevity of life, the certainty of judgement, and the awfulness of Hell.

Riches for riches' sake (built on selfish desires) cost too much. They seem pleasant enough, viewed from afar; but they exact their toll both in this life, and in that to come. We can build only one true security, and that consists of the treasures we lay up in heaven. A lifetime of service to the Lord is not too great a cost for this end.

If you think you do not need this particular lesson, try depriving yourself to give to some worthy cause. Give something you think you can't do without. I have tried it a few times, and --- Man, does it hurt!

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Vol.I No.VII Pg.3
July 1964

"Second Century"? Or Today?

Robert F. Turner

"During a great part of this (2nd) century all the churches continued to be, as at first, independent of each other, or were connected by no consociations or confederations. Each church was a kind of small independent republic, governing itself by its own laws, enacted or at least sanctioned by the people.

But in process of time it became customary for all the Christian churches within the same province to unite and form a sort of larger society or commonwealth, and, in the manner of confederated republics, to hold their conventions at stated times, and there deliberate for the common advantage of the whole confederation.

The custom first arose among the Greeks, with whom a (political) confederation of cities and the consequent conventions of their several delegates had been long known; but afterwards, the utility of the thing being seen, the custom extended through all countries where there were Christian churches. Such conventions of delegates from several churches assembled for deliberation were called by the Greeks Synodsand by the Latins Councils; and the laws agreed upon in them were called canons --- that is, rules.

These councils, of which no vestige appears before the middle of this century, changed nearly the whole form of the church. For by then, in the first place, the ancient rights and privileges of the people were very much abridged; and, on the other hand, the influence and authority of the bishops were not a little augmented. At first the bishops did not deny that they were merely the representatives of their churches and that they acted in the name of the people; but by little and little they made higher pretensions, and maintained that power was given them by Christ himself to dictate rules of faith an conduct to the people. +++++

In the next place, the perfect equality and parity of all bishops, which existed in the early times, these councils gradually subverted. For it was necessary that one of the confederated bishops of a province should in those conventions be in- trusted with some authority and power over the others, and hence originated the prerogatives of Metropolitans.

And, lastly, when the custom of holding these councils had extended over the Christian world and the universal church had acquired the form of a vast republic composed of many lesser ones, certain head men were to be placed over it in different parts of the world as central points in their respective countries; hence, came the Patriarchs and ultimately a Prince of Patriarchs, the Roman pontiff.''


Thus the historian Mosheim. in his "Ecclesiastical History'' Century 2, Chapter 2, Sections 2, 3; spells out the apostasy in church polity and organizational structure. In collective action of churches local bishops be- come regional or brotherhood bishops; and both structure and polity are without divine authority.

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Vol.I No.VII Pg.4
July 1964

Congregational Independence

Robert F. Turner

For years "congregational independence" has been so widely accepted as a sound principle, that many members of the church of Christ use this "orthodox" terminology without really grasping its significance. Our purpose here is simply to define and to apply terms to which we all agree.

"Independent" means, "Not dependent, as (a) not subject to control by others; not subordinate; (b) not contingent or conditional; (c) not relying on others. Not dependent for support or supplies; having a competency." (See Webster's)

An independent church is one which operates solely under its own oversight (and of course I refer to those matters subject to human judgment) and in keeping with its own resources. This means it operates according to its own ability --- does not function as any part of a combination of churches, to plan or execute a program of work collectively.

A church unable to meet its own needs for self-maintenance is "dependent," and should receive alms from other churches until it can again become self-sufficient. (2 Cor. 8;14) Such unavoidable dependency does not, however, authorize a system of operation whereby a church is continually dependent by choice. (The fact that God allowed churches to exist without elders --- Acts 14:23 -- does not rule against the divine plan for oversight when qualified men are available.)

Independent operations and "intercongregational" arrangements are not compatible. The terms are contradictory, and history has repeatedly demonstrated the reality of this conflict. (See Firm Foundation editorial Dec. 10, '63.) "Willing" participation compounds, rather than excuses, the wrong.

When hundreds of churches supply the funds for some project, and allow the elders of one church to direct and oversee this collective effort--- (such as a "brotherhood" T. V. or benevolent program) these churches are dependent upon one-another, for support and/or oversight, with reference to that project. Having willfully created a dependent position, they have altered God's plan of organizational structure (the independent local church) and therefore sin.

The "good" that may be done by the unauthorized organization does not justify its existence. (Shall we do evil that good may come? Rom. 3:8) Why are the defenders of "brotherhood" evangelistic and benevolent projects so unwilling to deal with this basic issue? Must prejudice-producing name-calling (as "anti-orphan-care") take the place of honest Bible study?

Collective action is "opposed to individual, and to distributive" action. (Oxford English Dictionary) Collective action is impossible if all units remain independent. These are facts that cannot be successfully denied. Advocates of the "sponsoring church" and "institutional boards" means of inter-congregational action, should either change their practice or cease to claim congregational independence. Nor can the truth be changed by ignoring this warning.

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Vol.I No.VII Pg.5
July 1964

Use Your Bible ......

Robert F. Turner


This is a study of words used in N. T. which describe Salvation; and by their use, teach us to recognize our need for salvation and its blessings. 

  • REDEMPTION "to acquire at forum," "to loose by a price" 



    • Rom. 6:16-22 We are made slaves of sin-- in bondage. 
    • John 8:32-36 Christ makes us free, through truth. 



    • Redeemed from system of law. (Moses) Gal. 3:10-f. 
    • Redeemed from iniquity. Titus 2:14 



  • JUSTIFICATION "freedom from guilt" "Judicial declaration" 



    • Rom. 2:13 Law offers justification to Doers only. 
    • Rom. 3:20 Since all sin, no flesh so justified. 
    • Rom. 3:23-28 Justified through Christ, grace--faith. 



  • RECONCILED "be changed throughout--made compatible, agreeable to" 



    • 2 Cor. 5:14-f. We were away, antagonistic through sin. 
    • Through "word of reconciliation" reconciled to God. 


Eph. 2:13 In Christ made nigh by blood Eph. 2:16 In one Body reconciled by cross 



  • SANCTIFIED "set apart, as for special use" (2 Tim. 2:20-f.) 



    • Jn. 17:17 Sanctified through word of truth. 
    • 1 Thes. 5:25 Calls for total commitment. 



  • ADOPTED "brought into family, accepted as Christ's brethren" 



    • Eph. 1:5 Christ adopts children to Himself. 
    • Gal. 4:1-7 One family (Jew and Gentile) in Christ. 


Note: No attempt has been made to make this a complete lesson -- showing terms of adoption, reconciliation, etc. Purpose of this lesson is to increase our appreciation of the blessings offered in Christ.

Use your cross-reference (center-column or otherwise) as you read these passages. Make notes of questions you may have, and let us help in specific studies of the points you find particularly interesting.

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