Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 4, 1955

Lipscomb And The "Direct Method"

Edgar J. Dye, Rector, Arkansas

In an editorial of the Gospel Advocate dated April 28, 1955, under the above title there appeared an article which implied that David Lipscomb would approve the present day "indirect" or "sponsoring church" method of doing the work that God has placed upon the church. I believe the best way to answer this is to let David Lipscomb speak for himself. So I refer you to an article found on page 391 of "Queries and Answers" by David Lipscomb, published in 1910 by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, Tennessee, and edited by J. W. Shepherd. The article is as follows:

Societies And The Gospel Advocate

(Please point out the difference in principle between sending money for the societies and sending it to the Gospel Advocate for missionary purposes.)

The Gospel Advocate acts only as a forwarding or shipping agent; it does not apply the money or direct the preachers. When one wishes to send money to a brother in Japan or elsewhere, and he does not know the post office address or how to forward it, we offer to receive it and forward it to the person designated by the giver. The Advocate takes no control of the money or of the person to whom it is sent; it only forwards it as the sender wishes it sent. Sometimes when sending to foreign lands, the country postmasters or those in smaller towns do not know how to send it; at the larger offices they can always do this. So the Advocate has offered to take on itself the trouble of forwarding the money to the persons designated by the giver. The Advocate acts as a forwarding agent. It does not seek this work, but is willing to do it to help those who desire to send, but do not know how to send it. We think it better, when it can be done well, for the giver to send DIRECTLY (emphasis mine, E.J.D.) to the missionary and come into more direct communication and sympathy with him. A society collects the money from churches and Christians that its own board may employ preachers, direct their labors, their pay, and control them. It concentrates the authority and power and means of all the Christians and all the churches in a few persons, who constitute a board to employ, direct, and pay the preachers. This places all the money and all the preachers of all the' churches and Christians in the hands and under the control of half a dozen men. Really, one or two men control all such boards, and it virtually puts the whole means and men of the churches in the hands of one or two men. Such men are not, as a rule, chosen for their piety, holiness, and devotion, but for their capacity to raise money. This opens temptations to money-loving men. God's way is the best for conserving piety and devotion in the churches, as well as for spreading the gospel.