(Roy Cogdill’s First Affirmative)
Editor’s note: What appears below is a computer scanning of the first affirmative speech by Roy E. Cogdill in the Cogdill – Woods debate, also known as the Birmingham Debate, conducted in Birmingham, Alabama, November 18 – 23, 1957. The enhancements included in this publication highlight scripture quotations within the text. The other text enhancements appear in the original text. The Copyright from the book appears at the end of the article. Permission was sought from and granted by Mike Willis of the Guardian of Truth Foundation, which holds the copyright on the book, for this publication to be made. Our thanks are extended to brother Willis for his cooperation. This is a classic presentation that I wanted to have included in this issue of Watchman on the subject of institutionalism.
It is contrary to the scriptures for churches of Christ to build and maintain benevolent organizations for the care of the needy, such as Boles Home, Tipton Home, Tennessee Orphan Home, Childhaven, and other Orphan Homes and Homes for the Aged that are among us.
AFFIRMATIVE: Roy E. Cogdill
NEGATIVE: Guy N. Woods
Cogdill’s First Affirmative
Gentlemen moderators, brother Woods, ladies and gentlemen:
I am grateful for the good providence of God that has made it possible for us to assemble upon this occasion that we might study together his word. I am also very grateful for the presence of this good audience in spite of the storm and pray that it has done a minimum of damage, especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are glad that you are here and we are grateful for the fact that many brethren have come from all over the country to study these questions with us. Your presence at a sacrifice of time and money upon your part, many of you an extended sacrifice, indicates the great interest that you have in the issues that are involved in this discussion. An interest that I hope and pray is born of a desire to know the truth of Almighty God concerning these issues, that we may stand before him for that which is right and according to truth.
Continue reading » Cogdill – Woods Debate
The Gospel Guardian, Vol. 1, #36 ~ January 19, 1950
The Work of EvangelizingAll men and women have come under the sentence of spiritual death because of the guilt of sin. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. (Romans 1:16, 17.) The church is the agency by which the gospel is to be preached; it is the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15.) These solemn facts should set the heart of every Christian on fire to teach the truth. Christian individuals are under obligation to use their influence and ability at every opportunity to accomplish this purpose. The church in the community is to exert its strength in doing this work. The task has not been accomplished until the whole world has heard the gospel of Christ. Here is the primary challenge of Christian duty; for souls that are damned depend upon it for salvation.
Jesus taught that the word of God is the seed of the kingdom. (Matthew 13:19.) Until the seed is planted, the kingdom cannot be grown either in the life of an individual or in the community. Without the preaching of the gospel, the kingdom of God cannot be extended. Its borders are enlarged only by the teaching of the truth. God depends on no other agency than the church in the propagation of his word. If the church of the Lord does not preach the gospel of Christ, it will not be preached. Continue reading » They Being Dead Yet Speak: The Mission of the Church – 3
The Work of MinisteringThe second great phase of the church’s mission, as outlined by Paul in Ephesians 4:11, 12, is “for the work of the ministry.” One of the fundamental principles taught by Christ was that men should have the right attitude toward one another. This is essential to the Christian character. It is evidenced not only in attitude, but must be exercised in actual service rendered. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (John 3:18.)
In this area belong many of the “good works” which believers in God are to maintain. (Titus 3:8.) It is a fruit borne by Christianity in the life of a disciple of the Lord, and through which God is to be glorified. This grace begins at home in the Christian’s obligation to care for those who have the right to depend on him for support. Paul taught that “if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8.) Continue reading » They Being Dead Yet Speak: The Mission of the Church – 2
The Gospel Guardian, Vol. 1, #33 ~ December 22, 1949
There is no more comprehensive statement of the nature, plan, and purpose of the church in the New Testament scriptures than that found in Ephesians 4:1-16. We need to study this passage carefully, and fix in our minds the place God intended the church to fill in serving his purposes and the plan by which it is to be done. Especially should we notice verses 11 and 12:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfection of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Here is outlined a divine order for a divine purpose and both are the plan of God. From verse 12 we learn that the purpose and mission of this divine arrangement are three-fold: (1) for the perfecting of the saints; (2) for the work of the ministry; and (3) for the building up of the body of Christ. This sets forth the mission of the church in its entirety. Any other purpose or act would be ultra vires— without warrant or authority. Continue reading » They Being Dead Yet Speak: The Mission of the Church – 1