“Garland Was The Fundraiser”
By: Brian A. Yeager
In December of 2016 I received a publication in the mail. The publication is called “Yokefellow”. It is produced by the Memphis School Of Preaching (a human institution that sinfully operates without God’s authority). In this particular publication, I read of the death of Garland Elkins. Garland Elkins was a so-called “preacher”. I first heard him speak in 1991. I was thoroughly impressed by his knowledge of the Scriptures and his ability to express himself.
As I read through some of the publication, I was deeply saddened. I once looked upon Garland Elkins with sincere admiration. I had known him and loved him dearly in my youth. I often thought of him as the very best of men in the faith. At the times I had those thoughts I was very ignorant of the truth. I was amongst what is often referred to as “liberal churches of Christ”. The truth is, I was not amongst Christians at all. That included Garland Elkins.
If you had ever heard Garland Elkins preach, you too would be impressed. He could accurately quote Scriptures in his sermons without hesitation, note, or opening his Bible. He very colorfully presented his subject matters. Much of what he taught was the truth. The peppering in of error was subtle most often. His ability to speak and his knowledge of the Scriptures easily caused people to drop their guard. I know, I erred in doing so myself. God warns of this when He had Peter and Jude write about false teachers. Notice: “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage… These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage” (II Peter 2:18-19 and Jude 1:16).
Let me start getting to the point of this article before my sorrowful trip down memory lane causes me to miss my mark entirely. In this copy of Yokefellow I was skimming through I came upon an article titled this: “Garland Elkins: The Living Bible”. I decided to read what Keith Mosher wrote in this article both out of recollection of formerly thinking the same way and sorrow over a talented soul lost to error. As I read through this article I was quickly surprised of how blatantly the author painted his beloved friend Garland Elkins in terminology that tells any faithful Christian just how false Garland Elkins was. Keith Mosher wrote about how Garland Elkins was the Dean of Public Relations at the Memphis School of Preaching. In connection to that title, Keith wrote this statement: “A translation of the latter title would be that Garland was the fundraiser” (Yokefellow; Volume 43, Number 6; page 7; December 2016). If you knew nothing else of Garland Elkins but that he was known as a preacher amongst churches of Christ, what would that statement Scripturally tell you about him?
Fundraiser = False Teacher According To The Lord
God calls “fundraisers” false teachers. Consider: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (II Peter 2:1-3).
God has never looked favorably upon those whom sought financial gain in His name. Notice how God speaks of men like Garland Elkins: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter… Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself… Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core” (Isaiah 56:10-11, I Timothy 6:5, and Jude 1:11).
Jesus drove out the money-making errorists from the temple with a whip He made with His own hands (John 2:12-17). Jeremiah spoke of the “fundraisers” as being given to covetousness (Jeremiah 6:13). Those whom are given to gain deal falsely (Jeremiah 8:10). The people of God become polluted through these “fundraisers” (Ezekiel 13:19). These “fundraisers” generate iniquity and bring certain judgment upon their hearers (Micah 3:10-12). When Keith Mosher wrote of his colleague, his friend, his fellow laborer; he unwittingly labeled him as the false teacher he [Garland Elkins] really was. I am writing this for a reason.
Why Speak Of This
Garland Elkins was very influential in life. The erring school he labored to raise funds for will no doubt use him in death to gain more funds. The Lord says the faithful must put such things to a stop (Titus 1:10-14). Thus, I sadly have written this article so that awareness can be had of the falsehood of the school and the former Garland Elkins.
Preaching schools are erring in their existence. They have no authority from God, which all must have (Matthew 28:20 and Colossians 3:17). Beware though, the fundraisers also exist outside of “Institutionalism”. Beware of men that preach for money. The hireling does not care for your soul (John 10:7-13)! The hireling treats people as a source of income rather than a soul needing saved. Don’t become prey to a “fundraiser”!
Volume 17 – Issue 31 - April 16th, 2017