Vol.V No.VI Pg.2
August 1968

"Brotherhood" Institutions

Robert F. Turner

A "CHURCH OF CHRIST" Retirement plan is now on the market. It is developed by (--and who else?) Christian Benefits, Inc. This "non-profit organization" operated by "members of the Churches of Christ" has been formed to provide "Christian Benefits" right here on earth, in the midst of moths and rust.

Looks as though we must reconstruct our ideas about "Christian" benefits. They can be laid up here, with interest compounded annually, plus allocated dividends.

Seriously, we are not objecting to sensible planning for old age and the expenses that continue after our earning power has decreased or ceased. We do believe, however, that truly Christian benefits (benefits promised the Christian) are of more enduring nature, and are realized in eternity. We do not object to brethren being in the insurance or retirement planning business as a legitimate commercial venture. But we deny that the church of Christ has any connection with such matters, and we deplore all efforts to capitalize on Christ's name.

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According to the "Christian Chronicle" (7-1968) Ohio Valley College built an auditorium to be used for daily chapel and Bible classes — and now can use it for neither. Seems the U. S. government loaned $76,000 to construct that building, and now says it is illegal to use the facility for "sectarian instruction or religious worship." (Higher Education Facilities Act) "A director of higher education has informed the school that upholding Christianity in any way in the Bible classes would be construed by the government as sectarian instruction." The daily chapel period would involve "religious worship."

I suggest you take another look at an earlier situation — history of the University of Kentucky, which brethren thought they owned. (Details are in "Search For Ancient Order" by West; about 1865 is the date, although do not have the book with me to check) The government had granted some land and perhaps other considerations; and the brethren found out, to their consternation, that they thereby nullified their freedom to control and keep "sound" the instructions there. "You can't git nuthin; fer nuthin;!"

In the face of history, law, and horse sense; brethren keep trying to "own" something without denominational machinery, exercise brotherhood control without brotherhood harness, "get" something without paying for it, and prove something without scripture.