An Affirmative Affirmation
I notice that brethren object to, and poke fun at, an affirmative like the first one in the Cogdill-Woods Debate. They say, he is affirming a negative. So how about denying something like the following affirmative?
The scriptures teach that churches of Christ are to establish and maintain organizations exactly like that set forth in Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:2; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4, and that this organization is all-sufficient to support and oversee or direct every good benevolent work that requires an organization to do it.
This proposition may need a great deal of correcting, but I think it is clear enough for all to see what is meant. This, if I understand the benevolent issue among us, is what the so-called "anti's" stand for, "only this, and nothing more". And I add: I do stand for this, not simply as a doctrine, but as a practice. I also am as much opposed to negligence and lethargy in carrying out this work of Christ as I am opposed to doing it through some extra organization with its own officials and separate treasury.
The foregoing proposition has nothing to do with personal, or individual, benevolent work, such as that done by Dorcas, or commanded in such passages as Ephesians 4:28; Hebrews 6:9-11; 1 John 3:16-18, etc. Of course, all disciples in any community are under the oversight of the bishops. If they teach or do anything contrary to the scriptures, and continue therein, the elders must help them to see their error and turn from it. But in this the organization of the New Testament is still sufficient within itself.