"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.X No.I Pg.6b-7
January 1948

The Issues — Then And Now - Part 3

3. Helping Those in Need. The command to "do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Gal. 6:10), makes it the duty of the church to help those in need. If a family is in need, the church may surely pay the grocery bill, without going into the grocery business. If a poor man's rent is due and his family must have shelter, for the church to pay his rent would not put the church in the tenement business. Likewise, if a poor person is sick, the church may surely pay the doctor or the hospital. On the same principle the church may help some worthy young preacher go to school without going into the school business.

In each instance the church is in direct contact with the individual and the thing being done. It is the church helping the one in need—the very thing commanded. Nothing comes between the church and the thing done.

Individuals may become interested in certain worthy enterprises, such as publishing religious papers and running schools, and if they have the wherewith to engage in such, or can legitimately get it, well and good, but they have no right to start anything and make it the charge of the church.

May Christians learn the divine mission of the church and realize the error of devising human agencies to supplant the church in fulfilling that mission. "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages." Eph. 3: 21.)—(In the Gospel Advocate 1931)

These articles written in 1931, brought apparently no rise from the heads of the same colleges that are taking such great exceptions to the same criticisms now. Indeed, so sensitive now to criticisms have they become that two college presidents wrote demanding letters to me because of certain things they had heard were said in some public address. A correspondence followed. In order to counteract so much misrepresentation, and that others might see for themselves what was said, it was necessary to mimeograph the correspondence for general circulation. And now because the letters from these college presidents were answered with proof documentary of statements challenged, the presidents retreat and their partisan followers begin to cry persecution and charge that we have attacked the colleges. But ours was the defensive, theirs the offensive. These colleges are themselves the aggressors in the controversy. Their aggression must be repulsed, for if their present extremes are tolerated further more serious extremes will surely follow, as was so ably pointed out by the veteran. W. W. Otey in the Firm Foundation of recent date, in an article all lovers of truth should read and appreciate.

Who are the enemies of the college; and who are its friends? Some of us believe that we who oppose their errors and seek to correct their evils are the real friends of the schools. We are not their enemies. The real enemies of the college are those who so loudly profess to be the friends of it. By their very efforts to affiliate church and school by the budget system, and other objectionable things, they are driving away the patronage of many brethren whose influence and support they need; and thereby they become the school's enemies. On the other hand, if the colleges would listen to reason and sincerely right their wrongs they would receive the unanimous support of those individuals among the brethren who are interested in the causes espoused by the colleges. It is a case therefore of the friends of the colleges becoming their enemies, for as surely as these departures continue there will be a steady, determined and unrelenting opposition, and if the torch falls from the hand of one, it will never hit the ground, for the hand of another will bear it upward and forward. So help us God. Bible Banner, 1938.


Now that is the record. It yields the facts. It tells the truth. It denies the charges that have been recently made in all of their falsity. On this we stand.

But I want to repeat with emphasis, brethren, that we are in a fight "against spiritual wickedness in high places!" It is no longer a tendency, a trend, or a threat. It is here. The church is being made a mere subsidy of men's organizations. We are fighting organized efforts to subsidize the churches of Christ to human institutions and private enterprises, and to keep it free of institutional domination. A few of us alone cannot continue to win this fight. It has been won again, but only for a time. Before 1958, if history is repeated, it will come again. It calls for the unified and consistent opposition of all faithful elders in the churches as well as preachers of the gospel, now and all the time, in order that members of the church may know the issues and be ready to stand against this spiritual wickedness in the high places whenever and wherever it appears.

The source of "Christian Education" is not the college——it is the church. The edification of Christians is Christian education. The churches are engaged in Christian education in Bible classes on Lord's Day and through the week, in prayer and study meetings, in gospel meetings, wherever the gospel is preached and whenever the Bible is taught. Christian teachers in various schools and colleges are merely (or should be) exercising their rights and prerogatives as individuals to teach the Bible in the schools they are conducting. But when these colleges are turned 'into seminaries, schools of theology, and become the organized agencies of the church for its work of "Christian education," they do not differ from a missionary society either in principle or in practice. In so doing the very purpose of such schools is perverted, and they forfeit the right of even the individual support of those who believe that the work of the church belongs to the church and cannot be delegated to boards or done through human institutions.

There is need for some teaching on what "Christian education" is and in what it consists. We expect to deal with these vital principles. We are not even about to surrender these issues.