Raymond Elliott

One of the most important decisions that Christian parents can make regarding their children is where they will receive their college education.  This decision could mean the difference in their children’s eternal destiny.  Many parents would consider a Christian university as the safest place our children could be as they make some of the most important decisions in their lives.  I know that my parents entrusted my care to godly men and women at a college operated by members of the Lord’s church and it was during those years that I decided to preach the gospel of Christ for the rest of my life.  I truly believe in Christian education.  I have been a supporter of certain Christian college/universities for most of my adult life. For the past thirty-three years I have served on the Board of Regents of a Christian university.  There was a time in the history of most of our Christian schools that parents had full confidence that their children would receive a good education, especially in the area of biblical instructions when their young people were enrolled in our Christian universities/colleges.  However, with the passing of the years such confidence has eroded because of the teaching of some teachers/professors in certain schools.  Permit me now to present an example to show why such confidence is no longer manifested in some schools operated by members of the church.

In the current issue (online) of the New Wineskins, there is an article written by Dr. Gary Holloway who is “Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Renewal” at Lipscomb University.  The title of this article is “Circle of Fire: Barton Stone and a Spiritual Model of Unity.”  In this article Dr. Holloway presents some views that Barton W. Stone had regarding unity among believers.  Dr. Holloway stresses that unity is to be experienced based upon relationships and mission centered in Christ rather than upon agreement in biblical doctrine.  He emphasizes that this is what appeals more to the younger generation.  He also states that we should be willing to embrace in prayer, worship, and service all those who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  In other words we should permit our denomination to merge into the body of Christ at large. Please read carefully the following remarks written by Dr. Holloway:

“My own experience teaching in a university where 70% of the students are from a cappella Churches of Christ confirms this cultural shift away from the importance of denominational labels to a deep concern for relational and spiritual union.  It is not unusual in a typical week for our students to attend a Monday night instrumental (!) praise worship at a local Church of Christ, a Tuesday night ecumenical teaching session at First Baptist downtown, Wednesday night at a fairly traditional Church of Christ, and Thursday night Taize worship at a Presbyterian church – all before going home on the weekend to their parents’ Church of Christ where many think we are the only Christians!”

 It is sad indeed to sense the sarcasm in that last statement by Dr. Holloway.  It is also alarming to know that our Christian young people are being encouraged by some faculty members of this Christian university where Dr. Holloway teaches to believe that the church is a denomination and that we can be united together with other denominations simply upon our relationship and joint efforts in missions done in the Spirit of Christ.

Serious students of the Restoration Movement in America are fully aware that one of the contributing factors of the division among the church of Jesus Christ in the 19th century was the liberal element taking control of the colleges operated by members of the church.  It is evident that history is repeating itself as we find ourselves in the midst of a major division in the church of our Lord today.  The alumni that find such teaching and practice being done as previously mentioned in this article should voice their concern and disapproval to the members of the board and the administration of their respective university.