Freed-Hardeman Lectures – Day 2

by Bryant Evans on February 3, 2009

A beautiful day in Henderson, Tennessee for this second day of the annual Freed-Hardeman Bible Lectureships. By nightfall the temperature had already dropped to 25 which promises a real chill for Wednesday morning.

Two of the morning sessions were in Chapel Hall which is inside the Old Main Administration Building.

Historic Old Main at Freed-Hardeman

Historic Old Main at Freed-Hardeman

This building was constructed in 1908 and remains in use today for classes and offices. A small museum and archives is also located in Old Main. When I first came to Freed-Hardeman in 1978 I attended chapel in Chapel Hall. Although a new a much larger auditorium was used during the year we used Chapel Hall in the summer months.

Hopefully the powers that be will fund some much needed restoration of this fine building. Water stains mark the interior ceilings and photographs of some of the great preachers of the restoration and presidents of the school are damaged and slowly fading away. A nice coat or two of paint would be nice. The original building is the right 3/4’s of the photograph. The left most portion was added years later. It sits fronting East Main Street in Henderson and is one of the most recognizable buildings in town.

Excellent Speakers at Freed-Hardeman

Cecil May, Chairman of the V.P. Black School of Biblical Studies at Faulkner University spoke on the subject of patterns in worship. Many belittle the churches of Christ for their demand that we rely upon patterns of faith and worship found in Scripture. May upholds the need for patterns but did note that some try to establish patterns where none actually exist.

Tom Holland from Riggs, Tennessee and a well known author next spoke on the topic of the heart as found in the book of Psalms. Tom is a regular at the lectureships and is always met with a large crowd. Such was the case today. Although I had never considered it, it is remarkable just how often God speaks of the heart especially in the Psalms.

Open Forum Continues

Ralph Gilmore continued his discussions in the Open Forum. I had commented yesterday that I suspected we would hear many more comments about the subject of marriage, divorce and remarriage. However lectureship director David Lipe asked that we move on to other subjects so that the forum could address the widest number of issues during the four days.

The role of women in the church remains an area of much discussion within our brotherhood as well as with the religious world generally. That was the central subject today. Of course the Open Forum does not set policy or make decisions for the brotherhood. Even congregation is autonomous. The forum serves as a place of discussion only. Nevertheless, it was the general consensus that Paul’s writings addressed the role of women within the assembly of the church when brethren came together. Most all affirmed that understanding. Some discussion remained on the use of women as interpreters but that was largely limited to one or two people.

The Open Forum is always interesting. Probably 99% of the comments are carefully considered and charitably worded. Sometimes brethren embarrass themselves. But all considered, the Open Forum is an excellent venue for persons wishing to have some notions challenged and to be caused to think critically about important matters. Only by a thorough, thoughtful review of all teaching can we even hope to know the will of God. The man who refuses to think for himself is doomed to make someone else’ errors.

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