“He who sincerely believes that ‘it makes no difference what order is observed in the Lord’s day worship’ relative to ‘the Apostles teaching and fellowship, the breaking of the loaf and the prayers’ of Acts 2:42, should not raise trouble with any congregation if they observe them the order named” (Ira C. Moore in the Christian Leader, May 5, 1931).
That this is good reasoning, sound logic, a firm stand on safe and unquestionable ground, and a manifestation of the spirit of unity and charity, no honest Bible student will deny. Any man is to be commended for taking such a stand. And any church that says “it makes no difference what order is observed in the Lord’s day worship, and yet refuses to worship “as it is written in Acts 2:42 when there are brethren among them who conscientiously believe it wrong to worship in any other order, commits a sin against their brethren (see Romans chapter 14) and consequently against our Lord who died for us. (see Matthew chapter 25).
But the inconsistency of Bro. Moore’s stand is seen in the fact that in his home congregation, where he serves as both Elder and preacher, the cups are used. He must admit that “On that night when doomed to know, The eager rage of every foe, That night in which He was betrayed,” our adorable Lord “took a cup (poterion, a cup, a drinking vessel) ” and gave it to His disciples, and “they all drank of (ek, out of) it; and that Paul delivered the same to the “church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:2), and made it binding on them (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
Robert H. Pfieffer, Curator of the Semitic Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, answering the question, “How many drinking cups were used in celebrating the Lord’s supper, as revealed in Matthew chapter 26, Mark chapter 14, Luke chapter 22, and l Corinthians chapter 11?” say “One.” And with the rule of logic, “The expression of the one excludes all others,” staring Bro. Moore in the face, he is very inconsistent. I cannot and will not, deny that the use of one cup is Scriptural, and so “he should not raise trouble with any congregation if they observe” the communion “as it is written” in the above-named passages.
But worse than all this, he writes for the “Leader” as its chief Editor, and criticizes, in a manner very unbecoming to a Christian, and condemns, as “trouble-makers,” “fault-finders,” “mote hunters.” etc., all who insist that the Scriptural manner of procedure must be observed in partaking of the Lord’s supper. May God help us to be consistent.
J. D. Phillips
Tidwell - Arceneaux Debate
This debate was conducted at Gallatin, Texas, March 15-18, between Brethren J. E. Tidwell and E. Arceneaux, on the Sunday School Question.
Bro. Arceneaux affirmed for two days: “The Scriptures teach that the class system of teaching as practiced by my brethren and me is scriptural.”
Instead of Bro. Arceneaux confining his efforts to prove his proposition by the Bible, much time was consumed by telling how he had offered to affirm, “It is scriptural for qualified men and women to teach the word of God in classes any day in the week.” And, how that Alva Johnson had refused to deny it. He said, “Until this day I have never been able to get one of them to sign it. They will neither affirm, nor deny it.”
However, he finally admitted, that when the Bible commands a thing to be done, and does not give the how, it is left up to us to do it in the way we think best; but if the how is revealed, it would be wrong to do it in any other way. Then, he reasoned from Matthew 28:19, that God’s command to “teach,” without stating how, permitted us to teach in any way, unless the class system is forbidden. He then asked, “Where are the scriptures that forbid the class system?” Bro. Tidwell replied, “It is not my place to produce the scriptures that forbid it; it is your duty to produce the scriptures that authorize it, and when I am in the affirmative, I’ll produce the scriptures that forbid it.”
He made a great many assertions and asked a great many questions, but the proof was lacking. The most of his attempted arguments were the usual ones produced by the class advocates, such as, “If the woman can’t teach, she can’t sing, as singing is teaching.” However, it was an easy matter for Bro. Tidwell to show the kind of speaking Paul had in mind in 1 Corinthians 14:31. He talked about the woman that has no husband; the “Apostolic Way”; the contribution, etc. Again, he was reminded that he had obligated himself to prove by the Scriptures the authority for his class teaching, and that such reasoning did not prove his proposition. He referred to some of the things that Bro. Tidwell’s brethren engage in, which he believed to be without authority, and asked for the authority for these things, but the moderator called his attention to the fact that we were not discussing Gunter College, papers, wine, nor cups; but the “class system.” Bro. Tidwell informed him that we may grant these things to be without authority, but that does not prove his proposition.
Bro. Tidwell affirmed for two days: “The Scriptures teach that the class system of teaching as practiced by Bro. Arceneaux and his brethren violates the Scriptures, and is therefore, sinful.” Bro. Tidwell showed that all religious assemblies, mentioned in the Bible, were taught, undivided, one speaking at a time, and that always by a man. Hence, opposed to Arceneaux’s practice. He showed from 1 Corinthians chapter 14, that Paul said, “As in all the assemblies of the church, let your women keep silence”. Hence, Arceneaux would have to admit, if he allows his sisters to teach in an assembly that they violate this command, or else, the said assembly was not an assembly of saints.
The results of the debate were gratifying; quite a number of the brethren were made to realize the force of the truth, and seemed to take on new life. It was reported after the debate at Teague, Texas, by the class folks, that Tidwell had enough, but they have another report to make. Tidwell not only met him again, but will meet him anytime the occasion warrants it.
Bro. E. E. Jinkins moderated for Arceneaux, and the writer for Bro. James Tidwell.
Yours for the truth,
H. K. Tidwell