Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 2, 1956

The Parable Of The Operating Brothers

Hugh W. Davis, Birmingham, Alabama

A certain man had five sons who lived in different parts of the land. It came to pass in process of time that the man became old and was in need. When the five sons heard of their father's need, they began each of them to send out of their abundance to the need of their father. But after certain days one of the brothers became dissatisfied with the arrangement. And so he sent the following word to his brothers "If we continue supporting our father as we are doing, the neighbors will charge us with not cooperating in supporting him. They will say we are operating, but not cooperating. They will be right for, although we are acting simultaneously in this matter, it is individual and independent action. In order to have cooperation in supporting our father, the action must be collective or joint action. In order therefore that we may be cooperating in this matter, I suggest that you, my brothers, send me your gifts each month. I will receive your contributions, take charge, and see that our father receives a reasonable amount. (As things are now going, we may be over-supporting our dear father. In all fairness, I must admit that he wrote and told what each of you was sending .... and I found when I checked that he was telling the truth. However, you can never tell when a man will change.) Now you can depend upon me to do the right thing in this matter. Send me your gifts. I will take charge and see that proper disbursement is made. I know that you will not object if I have to report some incidental expense in promoting this cooperation among us. If you do this, we will be cooperating in supporting your father. If you continue to operate as you are, you will be non-cooperative brethren. If you do not fall in with my plan, you are anti-cooperation brethren . . and I'll see to it that you are tagged and exposed for the attitude that you manifest toward your own brother and our dear father.."