Dear Brother Holt,
I am very pleased to receive a copy of The Examiner. I have followed your writings for a number of years and it is good to see you in print once more. I have listened to the tapes of the Smith-Holt debate and I admire you for taking a stand for truth when you know that it is very unpopular to do so. I first had difficulty when the elders at one place decreed that I had to "place membership" before I could participate "actively" in the worship services. I told them that I could read of no such practice in God's Word, therefore, it didn't seem wise to follow such a practice. One of the eiders informed me that placing membership simply means that a person agrees to submit to elders. I was a young man at the time and I replied that I am instructed by God's Word to submit to the elders and therefore it is not a matter of choice.
The discussion went on for some time and finally they asked if I would publicly agree to submit to the elders as required in I Peter 5:5. I replied that I would if they at the same time would agree to submit to me as required by the second sentence of the same verse. There the discussion ended and I was treated as a visitor and certainly not as a "member." That incident really opened my eyes to the problems you discussed with Brother Smith.
Brother Smith said that each "local church" is an independent "body" controlled by it's head (Jesus). In doing so he described a monstrous freak. Many bodies controlled by one head is just as bad as many heads controlling one body. Picture those in nature and the fallacy becomes clear.
I don't know if anything I have said is of great importance, but I do believe you have identified a very serious problem and I am thankful that you are both willing and able to teach with regard to these matters.
I have enclosed a check which I trust will be put to good use. – Texas
(Note: This gracious brother sent a check for $500! We are grateful. -- CAH)
We Get Letters --"I am not only delighted over The Examiner , I am thrilled over it. Oh, how badly such a publication is needed!" Gainsville, FL
"Thanks for The Examiner. Please send me Hailey's Comments. ($50 check enclosed.) I am enclosing some names of people that I believe would like to receive The Examiner ." Georgia
"A very good publication. I tend to agree with the positions taken by the writers. Also, I would take your position on the propositions of the debate. Please mail The Examiner, Vol. 1, No. I to those names enclosed. We are enclosing a check for the 2 volumes of Bro. Hailey's comments. Hope and pray The Examiner will accomplish the need." St. Petersburg, FL
"The paper makes an excellent presentation. The layout is well done, the art utilized is tasteful, the type size is pleasant and suitable, and the printing is very fine quality." (This from a Christian with years of experience in the printing business. --CAH)
"The tone of the paper is very good. It is candid without being belligerent or caustic. It is a courteous attempt to examine serious issues - issues a bit out of sync with mainstream 'Church of Christology.' It probes and examines without being obnoxious or irritating. Anything that will cause brethren to think beats what they are doing now, for the most part. The majority of our 'laymen' have settled down comfortably with theology that needs no further study or resourcefulness. They are content to sit passively by and let the church be run. Keep up the good work." From a well known preacher of 49 years experience.