Hugh’s News & Views (Responses . . .)
RESPONSES TO OPEN LETTER
Last week’s “An Open Letter To Our Christian Colleges, Schools of Preaching, And Bible Institutes” drew responses from all across the United States, as well as from native preachers in various parts of the world. A very positive response was received from a board member of one of our Christian universities (the only board member I heard from). Interestingly, no response was received in disagreement with anything I said, though I am not so naïve as to believe that everyone who read it agreed with it. Of the scores of responses received, here are a few.
“A hearty ‘amen’ to everything you said! It needs to be sent to every administrator, professor and board member of every one of the schools which claim to be Christian among us. It has long saddened me that my alma mater, David Lipscomb College, is not one I can recommend. My wife and I met there. We sent our three children there, but today we discourage young people from going there lest they lose their faith. If folks ask where I went to college, I usually tell them ‘David Lipscomb College’ and then add, ‘It’s not the same as Lipscomb University today – it is the same campus, but not the same school.’ ” (Gospel preacher for over 50 years, former missionary to Zambia and Australia, former instructor in various Schools of Preaching, preacher now in Tennessee for many years.)
“Thank you for a wonderful article! I am ashamed to tell folks I am a graduate of Abilene Christian. The only time they mention Don Morris, Dean [Walter] Adams or Lawrence Smith is when they try to raise money from old people. God bless you.” (Longtime gospel preacher in Texas.)
“Great article, brother. I strongly suspect that if Brethren Lipscomb and Pepperdine could pull a ‘Samuel’ and speak today, they would likely say to the leadership of the schools they founded: ‘Change the name of this school.’ ” (A brother not personally known to me.)
“Amen!!!! Every University president and board member needs to read this material and heed it. / When I attended Lipscomb we had the best Bible department in the brotherhood (William Woodson, Tom Holland, Carroll Ellis, Leo Snow, Howard Horton, Marlin Connelly, JE Choate). Such is not the case today! Sadly, I do not believe my alma mater believes in the principles of NT Christianity.” (Veteran gospel preacher.)
“Many, many thanks for voicing the thoughts of many beyond yourself. My daughter didn’t want to wear her school’s jacket while in for the holidays, due to the actions of that school with which we are much in disagreement. We pray the wheels in these schools will hear our concerns, and not just at times of addressing ‘wills and estate planning’ ads. We long to see these schools, also, holding to ‘the old paths.’ ” (A Christian mother.)
“Hugh, great letter. I wish the academia supposed intellectuals would have an open heart to your plea. But, they will probably just smugly smirk and laugh it off. / I went thru ‘church hell’ as an elder at the ____________ church. Men from ACU & the Highland church (in Abilene, TX, hf) were called in to try to referee. They told me & 2 other elders that we were the problem. They called us Pharisees & legalistic because we were not open to ‘change.’ / I’m blessed by your articles. God bless.” (Longtime friend in Texas.)
“Hugh, I think you are on target. I am fully convinced that if we do not have reform in our educational system, both secular and Christian institutions, we will never restore our culture to moral and ethical sanity, our nation to American-constitutional government, and the church to a truly biblical posture. This must begin with our ‘Christian’ homes and churches of Christ! I have long observed two trends in ‘Christian’ educational institutions and even in the pulpits of churches: (1) a stronger desire to show how smart and educated we are than our desire to communicate the message of God; (2) more concern for how we are viewed by the academic world (and the world in general) than concern for how we stand in the kingdom of God. / If we don’t stand up and speak out, who is going to do it?” (Gospel preacher of over 60 years and retired Professor Emeritus from the Bible Department of one of our Christian universities. [No, not Freed-Hardeman!].)
“Thank you Bro. Fulford for having the courage to raise this challenge to our schools of preaching and ‘Christian’ colleges and their Bible Departments. We need to get back to Bible preaching & teaching. Our people are being destroyed by a lack of knowledge and the modern philosophical teaching coming forth from so many of our institutions of higher learning. I appreciate your remarks and would love to attend such a lectureship as you suggested. Sounds exactly [like] what we need today!” (A young gospel preacher.)
“Great letter. My personal experience for over 30 years is they turn a deaf ear when you challenge their practices. The sad thing is that many of ‘our’ families support them and praise them because they (‘our’ families, hf) do not know the Scriptures either. As long as the money keeps coming, they are not interested in hearing from the rest of us!” (Veteran gospel preacher and former teacher in one of the Schools of Preaching now preaching for a good Tennessee congregation.)
“Perhaps we would do better if we had preachers teaching preachers how to preach, instead of scholars teaching scholars how to be scholarly.” (Longtime gospel preacher and successful businessman.) (Note: I see evidence in some quarters of this being done, and the preachers being so trained are quickly being hired to preach full-time for churches hungry for sound preaching. Years ago both Gus Nichols and Franklin Camp, two genuine Bible scholars, conducted such efforts. In one of my local ministries, I conducted a small class of three or four men, one of whom went on to preach full-time.)
I am grateful to both Alan Highers, editor of The Spiritual Sword, and Greg Tidwell, editor of the Gospel Advocate, for sharing last week’s “News & Views” on their Facebook page with their wide following of friends. “Hugh’s News & Views” is also posted on my Facebook page, as well as three websites that have a strong following.
(Note: There will be no “News & Views” next week due to the fact that I will be attending the annual Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectures in Henderson, Tennessee. I look forward to seeing many old friends there next week, D. V.)
January 31, 2017