Another Reformation Needed
The Apostolic Church - the church of Christ - originated in Jerusalem, Palestine, in the year, A. D. 33. All who became members of this church confessed Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah. They regarded Him their only Priest, their only Law Giver, their only King. Submission to His will, obedience to His laws, and reverence for His word seemed to be uppermost in the minds of all His faithful subjects. They had no feast and fast days; no Thanksgiving Days; no Christmas Celebration. They knew nothing of such things. They had no Sunday Schools; no Missionary Societies; no Christian Endeavor Societies; no Bible Colleges. As the great reformer, Alexander Campbell, said, “In their church capacity alone they moved.” No “Reverends,” “Rt. Reverends,” “D. D.’s,” etc., existed among them. No Pope, no ecclesiastical council, no human creed was recognized by them. They all believed that: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16); “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” (John 3:5). They believed that the great question: “What must I do to be saved?” should be answered this way: “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for (Greek eis, in order to) the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). They believed that all who did these things should “Continue steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine (teaching) and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). They believed that the disciples should “come together to break bread” “upon the first day of the week” (Acts 20:7). They believed that the teaching should be done by one male member speaking at a time (1 Corinthians 14:31 and 1 Corinthians 1:33-35). They believed in “Laying by in store as the Lord had prospered them” and that this, like the “breaking of bread” should be done “upon the first day of the week, when ye come together” (Acts 20:7; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). They believed that this contribution, or “fellowship” (Acts 2:42) should be for the support of Gospel preachers and for the poor saints.
But, this was not the condition of the Church for a long period of time. Paul warned the Ephesians against false teachers (Acts 20:28-30). He warned Timothy of the same (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). He told the Thessalonians that: “That day (Christ’s second advent) shall not come, except the falling away come first and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). He even saw the great Anti-Christ in his own day, “He that opposeth and exalted himself against all that is called God of that is worshiped (“an object of worship.” - Marginal reading); so that he (the Man of Sin) sitteth in the Temple (Church, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17) of God, setting himself forth as God.” That Man of Sin can be none other than the Pope of Rome, who declares himself to be “the very and Eternal God”; “His Holiness, Lord God, the Pope”; “Another God upon Earth”; and “the King of kings and Lord of Lords.” Such blasphemy and arrogance can’t be found outside of the ranks of Roman Catholicism. Paul declared that this Man of Sin - the Papal Hierarchy was invading the Church in his day. “For the mystery of iniquity (lawlessness) doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he shall be taken out of the way.” Pagan Rome was restraining the development of Roman Catholicism. But that Empire fell in the year 476 A. D. Then Roman Catholicism was fully revealed. “Then shall be revealed the lawless one” (See 2 Thessalonians chapter 2). Now, Paul declares that as long as Pagan Rome existed, Papal Rome could not be developed. Compare with this fact what is said of the Little Horn (Roman Catholicism) coming up among the ten horns of the Roman Beast (Daniel chapter 7).
J. D. Phillips
Cowan - Musgrave Discussion
This debate was held at Midway Church, near Topsey, Texas, January 12-15, 1932, by Brethren J. N. Cowan and Bob Musgrave.
Bro. Cowan affirmed for two nights thus: “The scriptures teach that in observing the communion that two or more containers may be used in the distribution of the cup, and is Apostolic.” Bro. Cowan freely admitted that the scriptures say nothing about two or more containers, but tried to raise 'the issue over “What is the cup?” “the Jerusalem church,” “Jacob’s well,” etc., etc. Bro. Musgrave begged him all through the discussion to come to the issue and prove his two or more containers as stated in the proposition, but he did neither.
Bro. Musgrave affirmed for two nights thus: The scriptures teach that in observing the communion one, cup only (container) is Apostolic.” He stuck to his proposition and would not allow anything to throw him off. He argued that “Jesus took the cup and gave thanks for it and gave it to them, and they all drank of it.”
Bro. Cowan quoted 43 passages of scripture, while Bro. Musgrave quoted 94 passages. I shall not attempt to give the many arguments that were offered pro and con, as that would require too much space. I pray that all will read the Bible and be satisfied with it.
Large crowds attended the debate throughout, and a good spirit prevailed - everybody seemed in a good humor. There were visitors from all the near-by places and from Abilene, Wichita Falls, Eola, Lometa and Austin.
Preaching brethren present were: J. W. Kelly J. H. Stewart, Jas. T. White, J. R. Stewart, G. B. Harrell, J. I. Grantham (who lives there), and the writer.
Several told me that they had been “on the fence” on this question, but were now satisfied that the one cup is the scriptural way in the communion. Among the number fully settled on the matter were two good gospel preachers.
Bro. J. R. Stewart, of Abilene, Texas, was called home on the account of sickness, and got to hear only two nights of the debate, but he authorized me to state this, “I am strictly a one cup man, and Bro. Cowan has utterly failed to uphold his proposition.”
Bro. J. W. Kelly moderated for Bro. Cowan, and I for Bro. Musgrave.
Other statements, will follow below.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Homer A. Gay
Have just returned from the Cowan-Musgrave Debate, which I enjoyed very much. In the main the speakers were nice to each other, deporting themselves in a nice manner. This was the first public discussion on this subject that I ever had the pleasure of attending, and I consider the work ably done by both speakers. I can freely speak for Bro. Musgrave that the brethren needing someone to defend the use of one cup in distributing the fruit of the vine, I do not think you could do better than send for Bro. Bob Musgrave. Since hearing the discussion, I cannot recommend the use of more than one cup in observing the communion.
J. H. Stewart
I attended the debate between our beloved Bro. Bob Musgrave and Bro. J. N. Cowan, at Midway Church, and am free to admit that Bro. Cowan entirely failed to establish anything in favor of his cause. On the other hand, Bro. Musgrave proved his proposition, I think, to the satisfaction of all good Bible readers.
G. B. Harrel
Will say that the debate of January 12-15, at Midway Church north of Kempner, Texas, is now a matter of history. Bro. Cowan and Bro. Musgrave conducted themselves nicely. I will endorse Bro. Musgrave to meet Cowan anywhere on the Cup’s Question. We are well pleased and rejoice to know that there are still men among us, who will not depart from the plain simple truth to be with the big crowd in the broad road.
J. I. Grantham
Lily - Musgrave Discussion
While visiting friends and relatives at Weatherford, Texas recently, I was challenged to meet Bro. J. F. Lilly in a four days’ debate on the cups question. I unhesitatingly accepted the challenge, but a great many of the members of the church there objected to having the debate, saying that the church was too young for the discussion. But the strange thing about it, they have been anxious for a debate with the Sunday School advocates. They had Bro. Johnson to assist in their meeting so they could defend their practice with the S. S. folk, if necessary. Old enough for a discussion with the instrumental music advocates or S. S. advocates, but too young for a discussion on the cups. Eh? Can you figure that out? More than that, they refused to let us have it in their house, so we secured a school building, but some refused to come to hear it then.
The brethren seemed well pleased with my defense of the use of one cup, and of the results of the discussion. Some were convinced of their error, and came back to the Bible way of serving God.
J. L. Musgrave
This is the young Bro. Musgrave (twenty-one years.of age), who was converted from the Sunday School and cups theories, during my meeting at Wichita Falls, Texas, last fall. We are thankful that Bro. Lewis is active in the work of the Lord and “Earnestly contending for the faith delivered to the saints.”