Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 15, 1955
NUMBER 19, PAGE 6,9c

Disguised Monster

Nolon N. Wallace, Whitesboro, Texas

Hearts are saddened as we look about us today to see the destruction of the Lord's body by a growing monster we have created. There was a time when there was peace, harmony and happiness among the churches of Christ, but no more. Why is it that there is so much discord, confusion and disturbance? Some will pass it by lightly, others erase it from their minds, but some view it with horror as they open their eyes wide enough to get a glimpse of a monster as it removes its disguise for a moment. Some never see this monster without its disguise. Some have an opportunity to see him but they turn their heads away.

Several disguises are used by this greedy, devouring, and seductive creation which is destroying the faith of many by its powerful influence. Were it not for these disguises it could be stripped of the amazing power and control that is being exerted more each day. Attempts have been made to name this creature. Some call it "INSTITUTIONALISM". Let us peek at some of the guises this creature uses so masterfully in seducing the hearts of those who were once sound in the faith.

First we see him in the guise of carrying out the great commission. He started so innocently. One church said to another, "Send us your money and we will hire a preacher to go out and preach". Everything looked good for a while. Soon, other churches were sending money and more preachers were sent out but as always the monster dropped his disguise and some good brethren happened to be looking. They began to condemn this monster, but many could not see him and would not listen to the warnings, so the inevitable happened. The creature's power had such a control on churches of Christ that the Missionary Society became full grown and the body of our Lord was rent asunder. God's faithful were brought to light while the others went on to even greater departures from the truth. Now what do we see in them today? They have apostatized even more than other denominations. Do we want to become as they? Watch out for this monster. Before the true saints evicted this thing he was exerting his power even to determining who could preach, what could be preached and what churches were faithful. Only those that met his standards were recognized.

Now he comes back in the same way and almost in the same guise of preaching the gospel at home and abroad. One church takes on the job of "sponsoring" and promoting a plan. Other churches send their funds to accomplish a brotherhood project. Should not faithful gospel preachers and others sound out the warning and stand against this monster that at first looked so innocent? Will history repeat itself?

But, not only has he come back in the same way but also in another and a little different way (the same principal being involved) that of sending the gospel out by radio and T.V. All the old power and influence is being manifested. His control is felt in almost every congregation. Those who will not come under his control and power are being quarantined, blacklisted, disfellowshipped and shunned. Those who speak out in defense against these ungodly, unscriptural promotional schemes are being cut, off and even now we read of many preachers being fired on short notice. How thrilled Satan must be that he is accomplishing so much! How vexed and disgusted God must be to see His people being duped into believing that such is pleasing to Him.

Let us also look at this monster's "MASTERPIECE OF DECEPTION". First, let us read Second Corinthians 11:14 " — for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light". This creature says, "Let us gather up all the dependent of the earth, let us build institutions to care for them, then we will give the responsibility of their care to the churches. This will break the back of the church -to the extent that they cannot accomplish the things they otherwise would." So we read the 15th verse of the same chapter, "It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; WHOSE END SHALL BE ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS". Who could believe that Satan is behind the institutional homes for children? Yes, his disguise is just about perfect, but not quite. He let his mask fall and some were looking as the horrible head of this terrifying monster began to rise to its power. They began immediately to sound the warning to the church. But alas! It is later than we think. How can this thing so fasten itself to the Lord's body that so many are beguiled and blinded? Why will so many close their eyes to the irreparable harm and destruction this thing is doing to the Lord's body? If people would only open their eyes and be honest with themselves could they not see what is being accomplished?

There was a time when these blinded preachers could preach powerful sermons on the ALL SUFFICIENCY OF THE CHURCH, but no more. Time was when they demanded that God's people "SPEAK WHERE THE BIBLE SPEAKS AND REMAIN SILENT WHERE IT IS SILENT" but that also is in the past. Masterful addresses were made on proving all things and holding only that which was proven by the word of God, but these too must be cast aside or they condemn themselves. These men used to be great debaters and could defend anything they believed with a "thus saith the Lord", but now it seems they can't find a man that is UNREPRESENTATIVE enough for them to meet. Two debates have been held on these issues. What did these proponents of promotional schemes try to prove? Did they prove these institutions among us were scriptural? NO! THEY ONLY TRIED TO PROVE THEIR OPPONENTS WERE RASCALS! Why did they do that? Because they realize THEIR POSITION CANNOT BE PROVEN BY GOD'S HOLY WORD.

Some one may say, "Who are you? How do you know the institutional "orphan" homes have such power and control over churches and preachers?" I reply, "I know because I AM ONE OF THEIR VICTIMS." I dared to try to show their inconsistencies and unscriptural set up. I have been misrepresented, slandered, lied about, quarantined, threatened and almost fired. If it had not been for a few faithful brethren backing me I would not be preaching where I now live. One well known preacher came in and visited with some of the members that were rebelling against what I had preached and advised them to get rid of me and not support the work here or go somewhere else to worship. Because of his helpfulness I have been threatened with personal harm, violence and even bloodshed. So don't try to tell me that institutionalism is not a threat to the church of our Lord.