Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 1, 1955
NUMBER 30, PAGE 8-9a

"Opinion Peddlers, Move Over"

B. J. Thomas, Mt. Pleasant, Texas

The above caption was that used by Brother Gayle Oler in an article on the front page of the October 10th Boles Horne News. In this article Brother Oler exposed his attitude toward some of his brethren. It is a harangue of big words and ugly expressions hurled at brethren who oppose his institutional project and the other unscriptural set ups in the brotherhood. Brother Oler is quite famous for bitter words in his journalistic vocabulary. Here is a sample from his article:

"I have put up with about as much debate concerning the 'autonomy of the local church,' 'congregational cooperation' and the 'anti' and 'digressive movement' as I can stand quietly, and I have about decided to get into the act.

"Of course, I'm no expert in these things, nor are the rest of the loquacious fellows who sound off voluminously, but I have only to look for a moment to see that here is a field where journalists and 'writin' brethren can peddle their ignorant notions and uninformed opinions at a premium, and I think my opinions are just as ignorant and uninformed as theirs are and should have about as much value on the open market.

"A truly ignorant man can work himself up into a feverish frenzy about 'what's going on in our brotherhood' and in a bombastic article or two can unburden himself of enough righteous indignation to supply a whole synagogue of Pharisees."

Does Brother Oler think that such proves Boles Home scriptural? Suppose that some brethren are "truly 'ignorant" and have "enough righteous indignation to supply a whole synagogue of Pharisees," what on earth has such got to do with proving that Boles Home is scriptural? This is about the kind of proof we have come to expect from the defenders of the brotherhood projects among us. Brother Oler thinks he has the right to "peddle" his opinions as well as anybody else; hence he wants such "opinion peddlers" to move over and give him room to peddle some of his opinions. Now isn't that rich? Nobody is interested in Brother Oler's opinions or in the opinions of anybody else. It is regrettable that he used two long columns in the Boles Home News to "peddle" his opinions regarding some of his brethren.

Brother Oler accuses some of getting worked up into a "feverish frenzy" and writing "bombastic" articles. Could he be guilty of the very thing he accuses them of doing? An article has never appeared in print that was more "bombastic" than this article he has written.

It would be a lot better to try to defend Boles Home and the other brotherhood arrangements from the scriptures rather than try to prove that some brother is "truly ignorant." Just what kind of something does Brother Oler have anyway that enables him to detect who are "truly ignorant" among his brethren? Could it be true that anyone who disagrees with Gayle Oler is "truly ignorant"? Is that the standard? Brother Oler is the last man that ought to be talking about a "whole synagogue of Pharisees."

If Brother Oler is as interested in proving Boles Home scriptural as he is in attacking his "writin' brethren," then why didn't he produce some scriptures to that effect? The article is almost entirely void of scripture. Two or three passages are referred to, but not asingle one is proof of such institutions as Boles Home.

I am aware of the fact that there are no scriptures in the New Testament that will substantiate an institution such as Boles Home. I am pretty confident that that's why Brother Oler didn't quote any. He has quoted a few in some past articles and missed the point so far that possibly now he's decided that his position can be best upheld by defaming the brethren rather than by quoting scripture. No one could come to any other conclusion by reading his article.

Hear him further:

"For a journalist or preacher to say something startling and that will make good gossip for gatherings, stimulants for otherwise dead sermons, or copy to resuscitate a journal about to pass away, he must throw facts and information to the winds and give ear to every rumor, evil surmising and presumption he can get his hands on."

Brethren have spoken and written against these institutions and the sponsoring church type of cooperation not from a desire to "say something startling and that will make good gossip for gatherings, stimulants for otherwise dead sermons," as Brother Oler charges, but through a love for the truth and a deep desire to teach it on these matters. It is entirely unworthy of a man to charge brethren who differ with him as being motivated by the desire to "say something startling." Just because a brother disagrees with Gayle Oler doesn't by any stretch of the imagination mean the brother is insincere. You can see that Oler has no scruples against impugning the motives of his brethren. Those who agree with his position will be ashamed of him for this statement.

It is certainly not true that those who show the unscripturalness of the institutional homes are against caring for the aged and the orphan, any more than when a gospel preacher condemns the Missionary Society of the Christian church means that he is against preaching the gospel. Sentiment should not enter into the discussion. Those who oppose the benevolent institutional organizations in the brotherhood sympathize with and are touched by the lot of unfortunate children. It's true, however, regardless of the sentiment connected with it that God's way must be respected. It is not God's will for the church to function in a universal sense through the support of an institution to do either benevolent work or evangelism. Boles Home is an incorporation outside the church, under a board of directors, through which the church functions to do benevolent work. The Missionary Society was organized with a board of directors outside of local churches, through which the church universal could do their evangelism. What's the difference?

It cannot be said that Boles Home is merely an agency where churches pay for services rendered. Many congregations, in fact most of them, that support Boles Home have never sent a child there. There is a difference between supporting an institution and paying for services rendered. In the case of Boles Home, it's the concept of the church universal working through a single agency, in the support of the institution, to do its work in benevolence. Such is contrary to the New Testament. To endorse and promote such an arrangement leaves the flood gate open for every conceivable kind of institution to be tacked on to the church in generations to come. When such a premise is granted there is no stopping place.

The New Testament plan is simple. Complications come only from a failure to respect it. Here is the pattern:

1. In the New Testament there is a record of one congregation taking care of its own needy by the help of its own deacons. "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business." (Acts 6:2, 3.)

2. We have record of many congregations sending to one congregation to relieve the needy in that congregation. "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem." (I Cor. 16:1-3.)

It is right for churches to care for dependent children who are their responsibility as long as they do so according to the scriptures, but it is not right for them to follow a pattern in the doing of such without Bible authority — such as the institutional homes.

It is right for individual Christians "to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction" (James 1:27), and indeed they must discharge their responsibility in this respect, but it is not right for individual Christians to support an unscriptural institution which is made unscriptural by involving the churches in the doing of a work in the way that the Lord never intended for it to be done.

If Brother Oler thinks that the institution of which he is superintendent is scriptural, let him produce the proof. If he can't do it, then let him say so. All of this business of slandering his brethren is not only beside the point, it's entirely out of order, and especially from one who is superintendent of a big institution.