Voice in the wilderness

These days we are conscious of the bridge to Selma, AL because of the fiftieth anniversary of these events, and a recent movie recalling them (re: the Civil Rights Movement Selma to Montgomery March) . In Churches of Christ, too, there were heroes who acted courageously to achieve the unity in Christ it should have had.

It was 1960 at Abilene Christian College’s annual Bible Lectureship. Professor Carl Spain was assigned a lecture titled “Modern Challenges to Christian Morals.” It would be interesting to know what the lectureship organizers were thinking he would cover in such a discourse. Continue reading “Voice in the wilderness”

Standing up even when it is unpopular

I admit it’s one of my pet peeves; I get frustrated when we (members of Churches of Christ) act as if all the spiritual heroes out there are from other fellowships. I am not suggesting that there aren’t admirable people out there, but I think we have a blind spot to our own heroes. David Lipscomb is one such hero. You may already be aware of his great influence as a preacher and Bible scholar, but did you know he took a principled stand against racial hate in his day?

When a black Christian was denied membership in a congregation in McKinney, Texas, Lipscomb roundly condemned the action. “We believe,” he declared, “it sinful to have two congregations in the same community for persons of separate and distinct races …” Why did he believe this? “God saves the negro equally with the white man when he believes in Christ and puts him on by being buried with him in baptism … I would as soon think of the worst blasphemer in the land … as a man or woman who would stand between that individual and his obedience to God. He sets at defiance God’s law, assumes to be greater than God, and is guilty of a presumptuous sin … for which we can hardly believe pardon can be found.” Continue reading “Standing up even when it is unpopular”