Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 23, 1953

Hines-Totty Debate

J. L. Hines, Paden City, West Virginia

February 5 and 6, Brother W. L. Totty and I met in debate in Paden City, West Virginia. March 12 and 13 we met in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I submitted this proposition: "Boles Orphan Home, Quinlan, Texas, is scriptural in organization and operation." Brother Totty wrote: "I would not think about affirming that a specific orphan home is scriptural any more than I would affirm that a specific congregation is scriptural." So we agreed to debate without signed propositions. I affirmed the all sufficiency of the CHURCH at Paden City. At Indianapolis Brother Totty affirmed the principle of the orphan homes among us to be scriptural, "since God has no plan for the care of orphans," he said. He refused to discuss the college question in these debates; but contended it would be scriptural for the Garfield Heights church where he preaches to operate a college, orphan home, old folks home, camp, food store and clothing store for the poor etc., under the supervision of said church.

My position: (1) "I am in favor of BIBLE COLLEGES as private institutions, as Nashville Bible School and Potter Bible College of David Lipscomb's and James Harding's days. (2) I am in favor of the "fatherless" being cared for, as in the days of Christ and the apostles. (3) I am in favor of the "widows" and "poor saints" being care for as in the first century. (4) I am in favor of YOUNG PEOPLE following the injunction of Paul, 1, 2 Timothy and Titus."

My opposition: "To 'INSTITUTIONS' unnamed in the Bible, doing the work specified to be done."

The Orphan Homes among us: "There are about 12, with about 1200 children. Of these children about 800 are NOT orphans, leaving about 400 orphans in fact. If each of the 10,000 churches in the USA would care for one each that would be 10,000 instead of 400, and gospel preachers would be turned loose to preach the gospel."

Old Folks Home: "We have about four of these, housing about 75, yet 10,000 churches could take of 10,000 like these. Yet 75 is the extent of caring for "the poor saints."

Christian Colleges: "About 12 of these. Property worth about $40,000,000. Students about 5,570. Salaries about $480,000.00 per year, while many of these teachers are being supported by churches in addition to this, along with student teachers. This represents 1.5 students per congregation. About 240 of the students are "ministerial" who finish in some state school, if at all."

Camps: "About four valued at about $200,000."

WHAT IS THE REMEDY? "The remedy is a return to the NEW TESTAMENT PLAN, which is the church, Christian home and INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS as in the apostolic days.

1. Church established on Pentecost of Acts 2.

2. First problem, care for the NEEDY.

3. Next problem, care for "widows."

4. Next problem, care for poor saints, Acts 11:29 etc.

I then asked the question: "In the first century, was any institution established for teaching, care of widows, fatherless and poor saints?" I also introduced Jesus feeding the four thousand and the five thousand as of Matt. 14th and 15th chapters; the fatherless and widows of the Old Testament time. I then showed that Brother Totty's plan was near that of the United Christian Missionary Society of the Christian Church. I asked Brother Totty SEVEN other questions that he never answered. I also read from letters received from brethren Gayle Oler, Byron Fulerton, E. J. Bonner, and W. B. Richter, home superintendents of as many homes. These along with Totty and G. C. Brewer contend that the Homes are "organizations" separate and apart from the church; yet Boles is "under the auspices of the church of Christ." Brother Totty refuses to affirm that any one of these homes is scriptural in organization and operation.