Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 3, 1955

Brother Oler's Advertising Plan

W. Curtis Porter, Monette, Arkansas

Brother Gayle Oler, superintendent of Boles Home of Quinlan, Texas, has, for many years, published a four page religious paper called JUST A MOMENT. It has not been my privilege in recent years to read the paper, but a number of years ago I read it often. It contained then, and I feel sure that it contains now, many pungent paragraphs of penetrating truth. Through the years Brother Oler has used JUST A MOMENT as a medium of advertising for gospel meetings for churches throughout the country. A special edition is printed for a church that may want to use this form of advertising for its meeting. The front page is used for announcement of the meeting, giving the date, time of services, place, speaker and whatever the church may want to use in making known matters relative to its services. The other three pages are made up of articles already prepared by Brother Oler. These articles cover various subjects, and the church may choose the subjects desired. For pages 2 and 3 there are seven different articles to choose from. For page 4 eight articles are subject to your choice. All of these articles are named and numbered in such a way as to make the plan very simple for any church wishing to use it. In the list of subjects that a church may select for page 4 is what is known as "Plan O" and the article concerns "Our Plea For Unity At the Church of Christ." This article calls attention to religious division into parties, sects and denominations that we have today and that it is impossible to unite such parties on any human plan. But it is stated that unity can be accomplished on a "scriptural platform." In giving this scriptural platform four points are contained: 1) No creed but the Bible. 2) No name but Christ's. 3) No organization but the church. 4) No worship but that authorized by Christ. These, of course, are treated briefly, as the entire article must go on one page, but the treatment is clear and scriptural. Under Point No. 3 — No organization but the church — the article contains the following paragraph:

"It would be a hopeless task to seek agreement on the multitude of guilds, societies, clubs, and other ecclesiastical organizations of modern denominationalism. But in the day of the church's greatest power and glory the local congregation was the highest, and only, organization known. The church, as such can do all the work God wants done. (Eph. 3:10, 21.)"

Such is "Plan O" for advertising your meetings through the medium of JUST A MOMENT. But someone is ready to ask: What is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! This is the kind of preaching I heard as a boy. Preachers impressed upon my mind the idea that "the church, as such, can do all the work God wants done" and that "in the day of the church's greatest power and glory the local congregation was the highest, and only, organization known." This truth is well presented in this article prepared by Brother Oler. It reminds me of the preaching I have heard through the years when brethren said that "the church is God's missionary society" and that "it is God's benevolent society" — that "we need no human organizations through which the church may do its work." I fully and heartily indorse this article in Brother Oler's advertising plan.

Then why call attention to this matter in this way?Because it is so much in conflict with the way that Brother Oler does it and pleads for the help of churches in doing it. If "the church," as Brother Oler says, "in the day of its greatest power and glory" was "the only organization known" for the Lord's work and that it could "do all the work God wants done," then way cannot the same system function now? Why do we have to have human organizations set up to do the work of the church? Why does Brother Oler seek to maintain BOLES HOME which is a human organization through which the church may act, by the contribution of its funds, to do some of "the work God wants done"? If it needed no such organization "in the day of its greatest glory and power," as Brother Oler has so well said, then why does it need such now? I wonder if Brother Oler will tell us.

That BOLES HOME is a human organization, separate and apart from the church, Brother Oler freely admits. Others may deny such, but Brother Oler knows that it is so, as the following quotations from him clearly indicate:

"The church of Christ was not designed as a home, nor is any home designed to be the church. The church is taught to provide for the fatherless and widows, whether their need be food, clothes, a home or any other necessity.

"But it should be kept in mind that the church is one thing with a divine being as its head; and the home is another thing with a human being as its head." Boles Home News, Nov. 25, 1954, page 1.

Does anyone need an additional statement from Brother Oler to know that the church is one thing and the home is an entirely different thing — that they are two separate organizations? If so, look at the following:

"The money for the care of such children must be sent to some home, public or private, where such children are kept; and that home, whether public or private, must have no organic connection with the church." Boles Home News, Nov. 25, 1954; page 3.

"The home is not an organization within the church nor of the church; nor is the church an organization within the home nor of the home. Organically, they are two separate things." Ibid.

Similar quotations could be multiplied from other issues of Boles Home News, but this is sufficient to see that Brother Oler knows, whether any one else does or not, that BOLES HOME is an organization outside of the church, separate from the church, and that it has no organic connection with the church. Yet Brother Oler pleads for the churches to send contributions to this "separate organization" that has "no organic connection with the church" that the benevolent work that God wants done may be done through this organization. Why does Brother Oler sell to churches an advertising plan that declares that the church can do all that God wants done in the work of benevolence and that "the local congregation" was "the only organization known" in "the day of the church's greatest power and glory" and then turn right around and beg those churches which purchase his plan of advertising to send him contributions to do their benevolent work through a human organization with a human head that has no connection with the church? Maybe he will give us some information on this point.