Gospel Advocate Creed: Don’t Let the Advocate Keep Us From Attending the World Convention

ga.jpgThe June 2008 issue of the Gospel Advocate opens with an editorial from editor Neil W. Anderson, declaring that the Advocate counsels against participation in the 17th World Convention of Christian Churches, churches of Christ, and Disciples of Christ in Nashville from July 30 to August 3 this summer. (Here’s the guide. Here’s a schedule of events.)

[T]he Gospel Advocate does not support or endorse the ecumenical meeting featuring both men and women speakers, instrumental worship, and other forms of apostasy.

“Apostate” is an untranslated word, coming from —

(2 Th 2:3-4) Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

“Rebellion” translates apostatia, Anglicized as “apostasy.” Literally, it refers to a falling away, as the KJV translates. And quite clearly, Paul is referring to damned people, particularly someone damned for “proclaiming himself to be God.”

And this is what the Advocate calls people who allow women to speak at a seminar or use instruments to worship God. It’s an outrageous slander and shouldn’t be countenanced.

To show how outrageous the assertion is, I have to point out that David Lipscomb, founder of the Gospel Advocate would be damned by this standard. He would certainly have allowed women speakers at such an event!

Yet, women have the right to teach those who know less than themselves; Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos (Acts 18:24-26). So, I am sure that a woman may teach the Bible to young and old, male and female, at the meeting house, at home, at a neighbor’s house, on Sunday or Monday or any other day of the week, if they know less than she does, if she will do it in a quiet, modest, womanly way.

M. C. Kurfees, ed., Questions Answered by David Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell (McQuiddy 1921), page 736.

And, without a doubt, Barton W. Stone and Thomas and Alexander Campbell would never have damned anyone over instrumental music or the role of women.

And so, in the spirit of Stone, the Campbells, and Lipscomb, I encourage each of you to attend the World Convention — and invite enough people to go with you that we overwhelm the Advocate‘s legalism and plea for division within the body of Christ. And if you can’t participate in instrumental music or hear women speakers in good conscience, skip those sessions and attend what you can.

We need to the show the world that, yes, we really don’t think we’re the only ones going to heaven.

This has never been true, of course. If the Advocate is to be believed, we aren’t even sure that we’ll make it!

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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14 Responses to Gospel Advocate Creed: Don’t Let the Advocate Keep Us From Attending the World Convention

  1. Pat says:

    What do you really think, Jay? 🙂

  2. Adam G. says:

    I've been trying to advocate the World Convention on my blog. Then again, I'm probably "apostate" by the Gospel Advocate standards.

    I've always found this bitterness and squabbling among the churches wearisome. I would go to the World Convention without having "to agree" with everything that is said and done. There's a lot I see in churches that I don't agree with, but I can't go storming out screaming "heresy" every time a nerve gets touched.

  3. Nancy says:

    I've always found this bitterness and squabbling among the churches wearisome – Adam G.

    Yep! Very! Especially when it involves issues that are misunderstood or made up.

  4. K. Rex Butts says:

    I am with Adam G. There are plenty of times when churches or church related institutions do or support things that I do not agree with. Shoudl I disfellowship them and label them as promoting heresy? Taken to its logical end, this approach would leave me only in fellowship with myself as I would be the only faithful person around.


  5. I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but it is my sincere hope that the Gospel Advocate continues to serve a declining subscriber base.

  6. Kent says:


    I guess I am an apostate. I attended the NACC in Louisville two years ago and witnessed the Bible exchange between Walling and Taylor and Money and those from the Independent Christian Churches. It was a heartwarming event that brought tears to the eyes of most in the crowd.

    I have one question: does anyone still read Gospel Advocate? I know of no one here in Texas who reads it. And I just moved from Louisville, KY and a fairly conservative church and I knew of no one there who read it or in other sister congregations in town. I would love to know what their numbers are these days.

  7. Katherine says:

    Hopefully small 😉 I had never even heard of the World Convention until earlier this year, and am greatly encouraged by it!

    I am sure I would be labeled "apostate" since I am a woman in ministry. 😉 It amazes me some of the labels they will throw around when they don't even really know what it means.

    Honestly, I sometimes find what some do in the churches of Christ worse than much of what they condemn. I see it as shutting out much of the kingdom of God, not accepting many of our brothers and sisters, and not allowing everyone to fully use the talents God gave them (to name a few). It amazes me that some can overlook all of that but judge and condemn those who choose to worship with an instrument or actually recognize the larger body of Christ. It is really hard for me to reconcile sometimes. Thankfully, we serve a grace-filled and merciful God 🙂

  8. K. Rex Butts says:

    When I moved to New York to serve as the preacher for a congregation, someone who though I was off in the lunatic fringe ordered me a subscription to the GA. Out of respect for that person, I did give each issue a glance. That was enough to remind me why I had never spent the money for my own subscription and will not start.


  9. jdb says:

    You guys just reminded me. I think I haven't gotten the Spiritual Sword in about 4 years. I never subscribed and maybe they just lost my address. 🙂

  10. Clint says:

    The World Convention is worthy of our support…and attendance. If you live in Nashville the worship services are free to attend, there is a charge for workshops…that goes to cover the cost of the venue. Dates are July 30 to August 3rd with a big communion service on Sunday afternoon. The Lord's supper, which Thmas Campbell called that great sacrament of unity and love…I guess the poor dear old souls at the Advocate forget about unity and love…

  11. Carl says:

    Rex, There are thousands who have not bowed their knees to Baal

  12. Pingback: So, lecture me. | Kirkin' It

  13. Cocoloco says:

    I just wonder if in the times of Jesus, He was also considered a “fundamentalist” for strictly adhering to His views of the Old Testament in comparison to the pharisees who had corrupted the teachings in God’s Word?

    In the New Testament, ecumenical movements, women preaching and teaching to men, instrumental music, and things as such, are swept under the rug of “love”, “acceptance”, “tolerance”, and the like. Only “HELL” will tell the difference between the chaff and the wheat. So until then, continue to follow your “own” heart and disregard God’s plain teachings in many fundamental issues!

    God bless you with insight, humbleness and salvation!

    REVELATION 22:11-21

  14. Jay Guin says:


    Jesus would have been a “liberal” in the eyes of the Pharisees, as he healed on the Sabbath, violating a plain command and did so repeatedly. I have a post coming on Jesus and the Sabbath in two days.

    Moreover, the rabbis (teachers of the law) were outraged that Jesus did not adhere to the traditions — the oral law. After all, they reasoned, the oral law had been carefully reasoned based on the Scripture. The greatest rabbis in Jewish history had created it. Surely their traditions were true to the Scriptures!

    Of course, we in the Churches of Christ have our own oral law, rejecting written creeds but imposing rules not found in the Bible on one another as fellowship and salvation issues. Around here, fellowship halls are a big issue. Some churches have been disfellowshipped for connecting their fellowship halls to the main building with a breezeway.

    I fail to see a difference between our oral laws and the rabbis’. And I think Jesus would refuse to follow ours, too.

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