Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 9, 1955

"My Dear Brother Oler - -"

Marvine Kelley, Del Rio, Texas

A day or two ago I was handed the Gospel Advocate, December 23, 1954, issue. In this issue there is a wonderful little gem of wisdom by Brother Gayle Oler, superintendent of the Boles Orphan Home in Quinlan, Texas.

In the opening paragraph, Brother Oler makes this statement, "The worst kind of religion is no religion at all and the worst kind of care for the needy and hungry is to concern ourselves with the mechanics of charity so much that we never actually visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction." If I understand what Brother Oler is saying, it is that it is better to perform a service wrong than not to perform it at all. The statement seemingly is pointing out that because we do not support the Boles Home, we are more so in he wrong than he is, even if he is wrong. There is just one thing wrong with this statement. It just "AIN'T SO!!!" The only way in the world I may learn how to perform a religious task is from a study of the Bible. Your argument is that we should support you in this work until a scriptural way or means is found in the Bible to cover the support of the needy. The religious world has been led into every digression they have ever known because they started a practice on the basis of your argument. Let's start it and then if we learn we are wrong, we will stop. Not all people are honest enough to stop something they have started when it forces them to admit that they are wrong. Brother Oler, what did Jesus mean when he said, "Take heed what ye hear?" Did he mean to plunge into it headlong and do it even if it was wrong until we find out if it be scriptural? Why were the "Bereans" so noble? Was it not because they received the WORD with all readiness of mind and then searched the SCRIPTURES TO SEE IF THESE THINGS WERE SO? (Acts 17:11.) Does this teach that they did something whether right or wrong without investigating the action? It certainly does not.

You seem to imply that the Bible is insufficient as a rule to instruct us as to how to care for the needy. This simply is not so and can be scripturally proven if you will read your Bible. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul makes a claim for the Bible saying that it thoroughly furnishes us into every good work. Do you doubt that the Bible is this complete? In your third paragraph you say that God has provided no course at all as to how the needy should be cared for. There is a wide difference between you and the apostle Paul, isn't there? Paul said we were completely furnished unto EVERY GOOD WORK. One of two things is very obvious from this verse coupled with your statement. Either the Bible does give the answer as to how to care for them or it is not a good work. Your argument then follows that it is better to do it wrong than not to do it at all though it is not a good work. If it is not a good work and not scriptural, why do you ask the churches to support this work? Would you ask the church to care for the Salvation Army? It helps people who are in need. The Red Cross helps some who are in need. Would it be permissible to support these institutions because they are doing what you term a good work even though the Bible does not teach it.

The Bible teaches us how to care for our needy and the only reason people can't understand it is that they are flooded with sympathy and let sympathy overrule the scriptures. In ACTS 4:34-35, we have the example of the needy being cared for by the home congregation. THEY WERE NOT SENT TO SOME INSTITUTION. How do I know it? Because Paul teaches in Rom. 10:17 that faith cometh by hearing. If they were, then God would have been obligated to tell us about it if it were a good work. In the 6th chapter of Acts at the results of this distribution some of the needy were being neglected and there began to be a murmuring. The office of deacon was then instituted to care for the needy and see that it was carried on scripturally. This is the example. Now Brother Oler, or anyone else in the entire brotherhood, come up with an example of a number of churches combining their funds and sending their needy to some institution to care for them. If you will do this you will settle the issue. If the command or the example is not there, brethren, we cannot scripturally do it. If the Bible tells us to care for them but does not tell us how to do it, then it is not the perfect law and we cannot speak as the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. We had better junk this arrangement and start saying something else.

In paragraph two, you say, "Prating about whether the church or an individual are responsible, etc." Let me tell you why I am "prating". I am prating because I believe that all things a Christian does must be Bible proven. If all teachers and preachers in the brotherhood would be willing to be called in question concerning their teaching, I would not have to be prating. It would have been settled a long time ago. The only defense in this world you have is that of sympathy. Why don't you accept the many challenges to prove the scripturalness of the Orphan Home? Why will you not let people answer the articles you write in your paper? Brother Oler, Peter teaches just as plainly as can possibly be taught that we must be ready to give an answer for our hope. Why don't you invite those who doubt the scripturalness of the home up there, and deliver a series of sermons on WHY I KNOW ORPHAN HOMES ARE SCRIPTURAL WHEN CARRIED ON AS BOLES HOME IS. I believe if your statement, "that no one is anymore interested in the truth than" you are, is true, then you will do that.