May 1, 1987 Issue
Carl W. Johnson

On the nights of February 23, 24, 26, and 27, Brother Joe Hisle and David Bonner engaged in a public discussion. The first two nights were held in Francis, OK, in the building of Bonners brethren. The second two nights were held in our building in Seminole, OK. The communion was discussed the first two nights. On the first night, Bonner affirmed the proposition: "The Scriptures teach that the local church assembling for the Lords Supper may partake of the cup (fruit of the vine) from a plurality of cups." The second night Joe affirmed: "The Scriptures teach that when the local church assembles for the Lords Supper only one cup (drinking vessel) may be used for distribution of the fruit of the vine." Typical of both nights was when Bonner made the claim that the word "cup" always has reference to the fruit of the vine when used in connection with the communion. Joe completely proved that assertion wrong when he cited Thayer's definition of "cup" in Matt 26:27 and MK 14:23. Thayer defined the word in both of those places as "a cup, a drinking vessel." Joe challenged Bonner to produce just one lexicon that would define the word "cup" in those two passages as fruit of the vine. Bonner intimated that Joe misread or misunderstood Thayer's definition. Then, in an effort to answer Joes challenge he read a definition of "cup" that Thayer gives for a passage in Luke, completely ignoring that the challenge was to define the word in Matt 26:27 and MK 14:23.

The next two nights of the debate dealt with the class arrangement for teaching. Both nights Bonner affirmed: "The Scriptures teach the local church may conduct simultaneous Bible classes with women teaching some of those classes." Throughout the entirety of the discussion, Bonner failed to find one verse of Scripture that taught simultaneous Bible classes with women teaching some of those classes. Every time Bonner found someone in the Bible teaching the word, he concluded that that constituted a class. But, nothing he could find was even remotely similar to the classes of his proposition. Joe showed Bonner how inconsistent he was when dealing with the "institutional brethren." Bonner has demanded from those brethren that they give "book, chapter, and verse" when proving the permissibility of church supported orphans homes, Bible colleges, etc. Bonner chided those brethren by telling them that his people would always give "book, chapter, and verse" for what they do. Yet, Bonner failed to do that for simultaneous Bible classes, with women teaching some of those classes.

It was obvious that Joe was excellently prepared for this debate. He did a splendid job of presenting the truth and denying Bonners propositions. One woman who had worshiped with the cups and classes brethren at Haileyville, OK informed us the she had made a confession for worshiping in error since the debate and is now worshiping with our brethren in McAlester.

We commend Joe on a job well done and thank the Church in Seminole for support and participation as host.


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