Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 17, 1958

Is The Lord's Church All-Sufficient?

Paul Foutz, Odessa, Texas

As far back as I can remember all gospel preachers taught that the Lord's church was all-sufficient in doing everything for which God designed it and for which he made it responsible. We have insisted that everything to be done by the church in the fields of evangelism and benevolence, can be performed by the church in an adequate way. But within the last few years, a heresy has arisen, advocated by such men as Gayle Oler, Tom Warren and Roy Deaver, which rejects and denies this position. I know some of them deny teaching that the church is not all sufficient and they do not like to be identified with such a position, but the fact remains that within the past few years they have espoused and have advocated this doctrine. Tom has been doing a lot of crying and complaining in his Spiritual Sword of late about being misrepresented and having doctrines and positions ascribed to him which he does not believe. Of course, Tom is always being mistreated and misrepresented — at least according to Tom. But if these men do not believe that the church is inadequate or insufficient in doing that for which it is responsible why did Roy take such a position in the Dumas asd Borger debates, and why did Tom moderate for him if he held a contrary view? To an affirmation, made by a gospel preacher, that the church is Adequate or All Sufficient in doing that for which it is responsible in the field of benevolence, Deaver signed the negative and hence denied the affirmation that the church is All Sufficient. Now if Tom does believe in the all sufficiency of the church — that it IS adequate in doing what God gave it to do — why did he not refuse to moderate for Deaver in his denial of such a doctrine? Why did he not show Deaver the error of his way and refute his false position? He should have been debating with, and not moderating for, Deaver in these discussions. Several yeors ago I heard Gayle Oler say that we had taught for years that the church was all sufficient but we had been wrong in the matter and this was a position of error. lie said the church was NOT all sufficient. Gayle then explained what he meant in this way. The church has a sick, afflicted and needy person who has T B or polio and because of the nature of the illness the church is inadequate in caring for such a person. The church does not have the facilities and means to provide proper aid and care for such needy ones and since it must solicit the help and services of a T B sanitarium or polio clinic that proves the church is not all sufficient. But we deny his position. The fact a congregation has to solicit the services of a hospital or send a polio patient to the Warm Springs foundation does not mean the church is not all sufficient. When the church pays the bill and fully provides for such care it is doing its work and discharging its obligation in an adequate and all sufficient way.

According to Gayle, I would not be fully caring for my family, or "providing for my own" because I have to get milk at the dairy, medicine at the pharmacy and groceries at the food market. But he is completely wrong in this matter, for when I do all of this and occasionally have to have the help and services of the doctor or dentist, I am still providing adequate care for my own, and discharging my God imposed responsibility to look after my family, in an all sufficient way. Because of the fact I have to buy groceries at the food market and medicine at the drug store who would say I am not caring for my own or that I am inadequate or insufficient in looking after my family? No one would do so. But the same thing applies to the church and its adequate care of those for whom it is responsible. And this shows how foolish is the position of these men. The Lord's church, purposed and designed by Jehovah and built by Jesus Christ, is all sufficient in doing everything that God placed it on the earth to do. I, along with all of these men, believed and taught such in years gone by and I believe it just as strongly today. This is just another specific instance of the many departures from the Divine standard of God's Word, that is taking place today in our teaching and practice.