Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 23, 1956
NUMBER 41, PAGE 2,9c

The Horse Of "Inconsistency"

Billy W. Moore, Pryor, Oklahoma

In the December 22, 1955 issue of the Gospel Advocate one brother writes on "Cool Air and Carpets' and 'Artificial Needs." In the beginning of the article the brother tells us that it 'is "difficult to be consistent." Near the close of the article we are told that "perhaps the horse the hobbyist rides should be called 'inconsistency'." This writer agrees that it is difficult to be consistent, especially for those who are defending (?) the institutions that are sapping the money from the treasuries of the churches.

In the above mentioned article the writer says, "It has been recently written that brethren are creating 'artificial needs' by establishing orphan homes." With this he disagrees. Then he sets forth to show how those who write such things are inconsistent. I was made to wonder at some of his parallels.

First of all he explains that the establishing of orphan homes does not "create a need" for the orphans already existed, therefore the need existed, and "to bring a group of orphans under the same roof does not create a need." According to him "this is one way of doing something about the need that already existed." Since our brother thinks the orphan homes are not "artificial needs" let us note what Webster says about "artificial: "1. a. Made or contrived by art; — opposed to natural. b. Made to resemble a raw material; synthetic; as artificial silk. 2. Feigned; fictitious; also, affected in manners." The artificial is that which is made or invented (contrived) by art, or that which is "opposed to natural." Now what is it that the orphan children need? Do they not need a home? a "mommie and daddie"? Are not the institutional orphan homes among us just "synthetic" homes? Have they not been contrived by art? Are the orphan homes "opposed to the natural" or is the establishment of institutional orphan homes just the "natural" thing for brethren to do in caring for orphan children? If so, it surely took the brotherhood a long time to get around to doing that which is "natural." The natural way to care for children is in private homes. Surely all can see that the orphan homes are "opposed to the natural" for they will not allow the children to be taken from them and be placed into private Christian homes. Are not the institutional homes fashioned "to resemble a raw material" (real home) ? Therefore, they are "artificial." But one may say, They are just "artificial homes" and not "artificial needs." Yes, they are artificial homes but they are also "created needs," for the natural manner of caring for the need is in the private home. The need is "care for the orphans." But there are 10 to 15 families wanting an orphan for every available orphan IN THE NATION, according to the Division of Health and Welfare, Washington, D.C. What the orphans need is to be placed into Good Christian homes; to this most everyone will agree. The institutional orphan homes now being supported by the church are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the treasury of the churches to care for orphans that could be placed into good Christian homes. The NEED (good Christian homes) could be supplied IF the institutional minded brethren would get rid of the SYNTHETIC!! (institutional orphan homes). And the thousands of dollars now going to the support of these homes could go to the preaching of the gospel which isthe primary work of the church.

Our brother tries to make those of us who oppose the taking of money out of the church treasury and contributing to orphan homes inconsistent if we ask or encourage the church to pay for a "hotel bill out of the treasury; or if we encourage the brethren to purchase a "cooling system" with money taken from the treasury. He says that if he objected to taking money out of the treasury to support an orphan home operated by Christians that he would "sleep in somebody's garage or barn" before he would "let the church pay my hotel bill out of the 'church treasury' "; that he would "preach with my coat off" rather than have the church purchase a cooling system; and walk on bare floors rather than buy carpets." Now what do you think of our brother's parallels? Is he consistent?

When the church pays the "hotel bill" for a preacher who is there in a meeting, it is not making a contribution to the hotel, but rather paying for services rendered. "The labourer is worthy of his hire" and his lodging is a part of that if he is serving the church in a series of meetings. But when the church sends $25 a month to an orphan home it is merely a contribution. The different churches that send contributions to the orphan homes do not have children in the homes, thus are not paying for services rendered, therefore, cannot be parallel to paying a "hotel bill."

As for the "cooling system," our brother said he would pull his coat off before he would ask the church to purchase a cooling system if he objected to sending a contribution to an orphan home. I wonder if he would wear his topcoat before he would ask the church to purchase a "heating system"? What is the difference in the church taking money out of the treasury to purchase a cooling system or taking money to purchase a heating system? The cooling system is not a "created need." The need is to cool the building. We do not create the high temperature, it was there before we thought about a cooling system. The cooling system only fulfills the need that already existed. Does our brother know of a better way to fulfill the need than by purchasing a cooling system? The heating system is purchased to fulfill the need of heating a building. I know of no better way to meet the need. However, he cannot make these parallel to the institutional orphan homes, for I can tell him a BETTER way to fulfill the need. A way that will save thousands of dollars of the Lord's money, provide BETTER care for the orphans, bring to an end much trouble in the church, and at the same time will not be questioned as to its being the right way to do the job.

It seems to this writer that our brother is bringing up a host of things that come under the heading of "expediency." He places the institutional orphan homes in this category, and unless he is riding the horse of his own invention, "inconsistency," he must place the Missionary Society along with the Orphan Homes in the category of the expedient. To be expedient it must first be lawful. I have yet failed to see the articles or to hear the sermons which show that it is lawful — scriptural — for the church to contribute to a separate institution to do the benevolent work for the church. Some brethren try to prove (?) that the orphan homes are not separate institutions, but in spite of their arguments some of the homes continue to tell us that they are not the church. But our brother tells us that he has prepared another treatise on the subject of "the orphan home being an institution separate and apart from the church," and he assures us that the subject "is candidly dealt with." Since he is SO CONSISTENT (?) we shall all surely profit by his "treatise." One suggestion to our brother: before you prepare another treatise please get off your "horse," for it's hard to deal "candidly" with a subject while riding ole "inconsistency."