Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 15, 1956

Correcting Some Misrepresentations

N. E. Berkley, Fort Smith, Arkansas

I am writing this in reply to an editorial which appeared in a little paper called "The Home Visitor" published by the Southern Christian Home, at Morrillton, Arkansas and edited by the superintendent, Brother Olen Fullerton. Here is the exact wording of the editorial that appeared in the November 1955, Vol. 30, No. 2 issue of the paper:

"Recently there has developed to some extent in the church of our Lord a TEACHING THAT IT IS UNSCRIPTURAL TO FEED AND CLOTHE A HOMELESS HELPLESS CHILD. (Caps mine, NEB.) Some of our most able preachers have gone over the country DOING ALL THE DAMAGE THEY POSSIBLY CAN TO INSTITUTIONS IN WHICH CARE AND LOVE ARE GIVEN THOSE WHO ARE LEFT HOMELESS. (Caps mine, NEB.)

"There is hardly a week that passes when some one does not write and say, 'We can not support you any longer.' So our support gradually drops and we have to curtail our program by turning some homeless child from our doors because of lack of financial support.

"Now this is our suggestion. If you are a member of the Lord's church in a community where the elders and preacher have decided that CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE FED AND CLOTHED, (Caps mine, NEB) why not do as some of our friends are doing. That is just join (?) a group of friends and send a nice contribution each month. We have one loyal member who is sending $100.00 each month and he says he intends to keep this up until those who knock our program have let up on their campaign against us."

Here are some questions for Brother Fullerton to answer: Will you please name the ones that have been teaching that it is unscriptural to care for the homeless and helpless child? I have not heard of any one teaching such an idea, and I doubt that Brother Fullerton has. I believe that in the past our brother has opposed instrumental music in the worship of the church, now would it be fair for me to say that he opposes instrumental music, and leave it at that? No, because I would be misrepresenting his true position. But that is exactly what he is doing to those that oppose his idea of benevolent work. I suppose Brother Fullerton opposes the "American Missionary Society," by the way, just why does he oppose the "Society," I wonder! If he does, by his own logic, he is against doing any mission work. He also accuses brethren of just going over the country destroying his 'pet' or shall we say 'hobby,' just for the meanness in them. Brother Fullerton, the men that I have heard have suggested ways you can keep your institutions, the first and foremost is, show us in the word of God where you get your pattern for them. Can you do it?

Brethren, you can tell how far we are getting in this struggle by the first sentence in the second paragraph of his article. People are learning after all these years why they oppose the "Society" and they can see the comparison in "our institutions." And then Brother Fullerton says they have to "curtail our program" and appeals to the sympathies of the brethren. I fail to see why they have to curtail "their program," for the following reasons: From what some have been saying the financial support should be bigger, they have accused some of us of not believing in supporting orphans, just as if they did, but you try to find their names in the list of contributors. Do you know that if you adopt a child into your own home, you are not doing as much as the fellow that reaches down into his pocketful of change and pulls out ten cents a week for an orphan home, that's the way some are looking at values these days.

In the third and last paragraph of Brother Fullerton's piece, he makes a bold suggestion, along with other things. I ask you Brother Fullerton, will you please name the community and local church, elders, and preachers that have decided that CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE FED AND CLOTHED, and give the statements they made to make you think they taught that idea, will you please? He is suggesting that members of a local congregation rebel against the rule and authority and leadership of local elders and "join a group." Just why does any individual have to "join" some group to send a thing to an orphan home? I wonder about this "loyal supporter" he speaks of, where was "loyal" before the issue came up and will he still be doing this after the dust has settled? It seems that if he wants to be called "loyal," he should keep it up forever! Brother Fullerton, suppose a church that I know of would send you a letter next week saying "We can not support you any longer," and then this same church started supporting eight children in their own community, and with their own resources, would you say that "these elders and preacher have decided that CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE FED AND CLOTHED"? Would you?