Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 2, 1956
NUMBER 38, PAGE 6,13b

"When You Take Money Out Of The Church Treasury"

Wilson M. Coon, Dallas, Texas

In the November 3rd issue of the Gospel Advocate Brother Gayle Oler sets forth some reasons for supporting Boles Home. I have debated a great number of Baptist preachers who set forth reasons why they were members of the Baptist Church but as yet I have not believed their report. We have been given reasons why musical instruments are to be used in church worship and how faith only saves the sinner but where is the proof? Methodists have given their reasons for the appointment of circuit riders and conventions but is the claim right just because they said it was? When a preacher in the church of Christ argues without scripture is he doing any better than the Baptists and Methodists? When Brother Oler debates the sects he calls for book, chapter and verse but when he argues in behalf of Boles Home just any kind of reason will do. Truly the legs of the lame hang loose.

In the last paragraph of the article written by Brother Oler he had this to say: "A person who will split a church trying to split the difference between supporting an able-bodied preacher and a fatherless child is in a pretty bad way and has evidently forgot the judgment." Could it be that Brother Oler would resort to the meanest of deceptive actions, that of creating prejudice? That is not the half of the story to be told and maybe Brother Oler would like to tell the rest of the tale. Where does his salary come from? How is he paid from month to month? The last time I saw him he was an able-bodied man and surely an able-bodied man would not dare to create prejudice in the hearts of men and women, cause them to give their money to orphans through the Boles Home and then live off of that kind of money. I am not the kind of man to pull punches and brother if the shoe fits, wear it and if it doesn't then I wasn't talking to you.

How many times does Brother Oler have to be bold that Christians are not splitting churches over the difference between supporting the fatherless and able-bodied preachers? Christians believe in supporting preachers and the fatherless also. It is not a question of support in either case but a question of how? If Oler is honest he will quit charging Christians with the sin of neglecting the fatherless just because they refuse to line up with his program at Boles Home. I do not believe in the setup at Boles Home and the church where I preach does not send money to Boles Home or any other such institution yet we are not to be branded as church-splitters for we are not divided. Neither are we to be branded as non-supporters of orphans for this preacher has an orphan in his home and will be glad to take another one. This child is under my care and I as an able-bodied man do not ask the church to feed those under my roof. Come on Oler, put up or shut up.

In paragraph one Brother Oler had this to say: "When you take money out of the church treasury and give it to the preacher, you are not primarily supporting the man and his family, but you are supporting the gospel, which is your duty." In paragraph three he makes a comparison, but notice, there is no parallel: "When you take money out of the church treasury and give it to Boles Home for the care of the fatherless, you are not supporting primarily Boles Home, but the fatherless which is your duty. Boles Home receives only those whom churches of Christ certify unto us are their proper Christian duty to support." Yes, the church can support the preacher. (1 Cor. 9.) The church can support the fatherless. (James 1.) The church can support the widows and the poor. (1 Tim. 5; Gal. 6:10.) But where is the institution like Boles Home? Note, if you please, Oler's mistake: He argues that the church can take money from the treasury and support Boles Home on the same ground that it takes money from the treasury and supports the preachers; BUT, the church does not support the preacher on the same grounds of the setup at Boles Home. The money is given directly to the preacher and no institution is established to pay the preacher through. The money is given to the support of the fatherless ( ?) through Boles Home which is an institution separate and apart from the church. If the church can support the fatherless through Boles Home, which is an institution, then the church can support the preacher of the congregation through an established agency created for the purpose of taking care of the preachers, able-bodied or no. Are the Methodists right in their manner of supporting preachers? According to Gayle Oler the infant sprinklers are right; but, is it right with God? To have a parallel Brother Oler must have an established institution, separate and apart from the church, through which to support the preachers. If it is wrong to create an establishment through which the church may support the preachers, then it is wrong to have an institution through the church supports the fatherless. How about it brethren? Is it worth splitting hair over?

Oler argues that the church may send a child to Boles Home, an institution separate and apart from the church, a human agency, send money to the Home from the church treasury to support the orphan. Is he right? If so, then we may send a child 'to Buckner Orphan Home, separate and apart from the church, a human agency, and support the child. In that case is Boles Home, an institution separate and apart from the church, any better than Buckner, an institution separate and apart from the church? According to Oler's argument the church may take money from the treasury and send it to the Baptists, Catholics and Methodists.

God has commanded the church to take care of able-bodied preachers and she supports them without an institution through which the preacher must look for his pay. God has commanded the church to visit the fatherless and she can do the will of God without an institution such as Boles Home. If not, why not? Don't forget, the church may support the orphans through a human institution; therefore she may support her preachers the same way and I can prove it by Gayle Oler world without end. We submit to the reader the following arguments:

1. The church must support the orphans but is at liberty to build an institution such as Boles Home and support the Home as well as the orphan.

2. The church is to support the preachers but is at liberty to build an institution such as the Methodist Conference and support the conference as well as the preacher.

3. The church must teach the Gospel but is at liberty to build an institution such as ACC and support the college as well as the preacher.

4. The church is to feed the poor but is at liberty to build a cafe, pay the cook, dishwasher and the waiter and support the cafe as well as the poor.

5. The church is to clothe the naked but is at liberty to build a clothing store, hire a Jew to operate it, and support the store as well as the naked.

6. The church is to visit the sick but is at liberty to build a hospital, hire a staff of doctors, nurses and ward-men and support the hospital as well as the sick.

Now, brethren, if we can support Boles Home from the treasury then we may support the colleges, hospitals, clothing stores, cafes and conferences. We may also give money from the treasury to the Buckner Orphan Home, a Baptist institute, the Red Cross and about every other institution on earth.

The church-splitter is the man who runs in an innovation and presses his hobby in a circle until the wedge has split the log. It could be that Oler is the man who has forgot the judgment.