Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1955
NUMBER 9, PAGE 10-11b

Missionary Society And Issues Of Today (No. 2)

Bob Melear, Culver City, California

In the preceding article we discussed the missionary society and the errors of this institution. We proved that the missionary society is wrong in:

(1) Name

(2) Organization

(3) Design.

We now desire to complete our discussion.

Same Principle Wrong Wherever Found

If we have found principles which are contrary to God's word, then anywhere these same principles are found they will be equally as wrong. Illustration: If the name missionary society is wrong because it is a name that has not been authorized by God, then the name Methodist Church would be just as wrong because it is a violation of the same principle. So, wherever these principles, that we have found to be wrong in connection to the missionary society, may be found, they will be equally as wrong regardless of the way in which they are being manifested. Now may we progress to the issues of the day.

Institutional Homes For Orphans And Aged

The issues are not whether the orphans or aged are to be cared for, but rather the scriptural method for caring for them. Let us not cloud the issue as so many have and say that those who oppose some of the methods employed are against taking care of the needy.

The institutional home for the orphan and aged is a direct parallel to the last two principles found to be wrong relative to the missionary society. It is an organization separate and apart from the church, through which the church acts to execute her mission. It is an organization larger than the local congregation, which is God's only organization, and it is to benevolence the exact same thing that the missionary society is to evangelism. If it is wrong to do the evangelization (which is a part of the church's mission) through a human institution outside the church, then it certainly is just as wrong to do benevolence (which is a part of the church's mission) through a human institution outside the church. It is the violation of the same identical principle. Its very existence challenges the all-sufficiency of the Lord's church and is contrary to the doctrine of Christ.

Also, the organization of the institutional type home is identical to the missionary society in that its government is composed of a board of directors, board of trustees, or some other humanly devised form of government. The God of heaven does not authorize anything even remotely akin to this. Thus, the missionary society is no more sinful than the institutional type homes.

"Brotherhood Homes" Under Eldership

"Herald of Truth"

"Message of Master For the Millions," etc.

There are many who are completely convinced of the foregoing, namely, the error of institutional homes in the brotherhood, who have not yet concluded as to the wrongness of the "brotherhood" homes under the elders of a single congregation. The same prominent fact is true of the Herald of Truth radio and television broadcast, the Lubbock "Method" of evangelism, etc., etc. I am persuaded that if the same consideration is given to the latter the same result will be inevitable.

The above mentioned "movements" are essentially the same in principle and design, thus we shall deal with them collectively and set forth the principles of which they are the violators.

Herald of Truth, etc., are in revolution to the third principle that we employed in connection to the missionary society. This principle is design.

The design of the Herald of Truth, etc., like the design of the missionary society, is to organize congregations of the Lord's body, not in a congregational way (for the Lord has done this) but rather into a multiple congregational activity. The Highland elders, the Alhambra (California) elders, the Broadway elders, etc., are simply the agency through which the church universal or a multiplicity of congregations may seek to discharge their responsibility to God and man. The work that they are doing as a unit is a work that God commanded each to perform individually and organized them individually to satisfactorily accomplish this end. However, the above mentioned elders are saying not by word but by deed, "A congregation of the church, within itself, cannot support a network broadcast, etc., thus, we will contract for, take the oversight of, and be the receiving and distributing agency through which the brotherhood can function in this work."

This, brethren, is wrong, unscriptural, and is a direct attack upon the sufficiency of the organization that God has set forth in His word. In other words, the positive conclusion that one must reach if he is to go along with these "methods" is that the local church (God's only organization) is incapable, within itself, of properly doing her work and meeting the needs of the day. This is absolutely contrary to the gospel of Christ.

The only example in God's word of a group of congregations sending money to one congregation is when the recipient congregation was in dire need and the contributing congregations came to her aid to relieve that condition. See Romans 15: 25-29; II Corinthians 8-9; II Corinthians 16.

This pattern does not fit the "brotherhood" homes, the Herald of Truth, the Message of the Master for the Millions, or any other permanent machine developed in the brotherhood, whereby a number of congregations are contributing to one congregation on a permanent basis.

Analyze, for just a moment: is the need greater in Abilene for the gospel to be preached than it is in New York? Certainly not! The New Testament pattern for congregations contributing to one congregation is: that the money be sent to the place of need, certainly not to another congregation that is in no more need than the senders. The Highland church, etc., is taking upon itself a capacity that is foreign to the New Testament and it makes no difference what the nature of the work (whether evangelism, edifying the saints, or benevolence) it is a violation of the same gospel pattern.

The Highland church, the Alhambra church, the Broadway church, as well as others, are receiving and distributing agencies for the church universal and acting in this way without God's authority.

The elders of a local congregation are overseers of the local church ONLY. They cannot go out and begin taking the oversight of other congregations fully or in part with God's approval. And the fact that the congregation that is being taken into the oversight of another is willing does not even touch the issue. A congregation might be willing to accept the jurisdiction of the pope of Rome. Would their willingness make a grossly sinful act justifiable? The local church is completely autonomous and has not the authority to delegate this power to another whether individual, church, or board of directors.

If the above be true, the "brotherhood" homes, the Herald of Truth, the Message of the Master for the Millions, the Lubbock "Plan," and all similar works are condemned by God's Holy Book.

Truth Can Be Seen By All Honest, Truth Seeking People

Truth is not something that can be seen by a few but impossible for the rest. Truth is that which can be seen by everyone who will approach it properly and investigate it thoroughly. I believe with all of my heart that the above statements are true to God's word. I ask that you "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." (I Thess. 5:21.)

My earnest prayer is that this may be used to help alleviate the growing division among the members of the church for which Jesus bled and died.