Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 28, 1957

"Is This Parallel?"

Barney Cargile, Jr., Opelousas, Louisiana

Until recently I was confident that the sponsoring church cooperation was scriptural, not that I could prove it but blinded with prejudice and confidence that the majority was right I passed it off with the expressions "church splitters" "hobby riders," etc., but now that I have begun to investigate, many doubts have arisen in my mind concerning the scripturalness of the sponsoring church.

Doubts particularly arose from discussing the Bible with my brother-in-law, who is a "big" Baptist preacher, about missionary societies. I was trying to show the unscripturalness of the society and one of my points was that the church's autonomy was lost by having to give to the society. It was pointed out to me however that all Baptist churches maintain their autonomy and no one church has any control over another. Each Baptist church is completely independent just as the churches of Christ. He said that the convention did not make laws and no church had to send messengers and there was no penalty if they did not.

I knew all this but what caught my ear was what he next said. "A local church does not have to contribute to the society. The churches are completely autonomous and they decide how much will be sent to the society, but should they desire they would not have to send a penny, but could use it on local work or in anyway they desired, therefore they do not lose their autonomy, for they have the liberty of deciding whether they will send and how much. Most send for many who are small cannot do much, thus they have fellowship in preaching to the lost."

How many times have I said those very words, "a church does not lose its autonomy by giving to a sponsoring church for they decide whether or not they will give and how much to give thus maintaining their autonomy."

I do not know all the answers, but I do know that I have been defending the sponsoring church on the same grounds as the Baptist Missionary Society. We must awaken and diligently seek for that which is scriptural, lest we become like the denominations round about us.