Vol.V No.VIII Pg.2
October 1968

Protecting The Property

Robert F. Turner

As more and more brethren are rejecting the liberal trends among us, and new churches are being formed, there is renewed interest in how to "protect" this newly acquired property from the hands and use of digressive elements. Many conscientious saints have been forced out of meeting places they helped to build (they could either condone and support unscriptural practices or "get out") and they have obtained new buildings at great sacrifice. What is to keep them from losing this property also?

Traditionally, an effort has been made to draw up property deeds which will maintain possession for "sound" brethren of the next generation. Usually this "creed in the deed" is little more than a catalog of past problems, and fails, to guarantee anything respecting the future tests, with their problems yet unfolded. At the logical end, these statements of "orthodoxy" become party paraphernalia, and the building is the dowry given to those who will be wed to the creed of the original owners. One can not protect the purity of the church, nor its property, by carnal methods.

The alternative to carnal warfare (2CO.10:3-6) is to capture hearts with the truth of God. This is done by preaching and teaching, not by quarantine tactics. "Except Jehovah build the house, they labor in vain that build it" (PSA.127:1). The finest building in the world will be of little value in building up the cause of Christ, in the hands of poorly taught, "house-worshiping" people. It may even be a grave hindrance to the spiritual growth they sorely need.

"Protecting property: is so poor a reason for teaching truth that I hesitate even to make these statements. However, since this is my subject, please hear me out.

If "sound" brethren wish to keep their property (Ughh!) they must see to it that "sound" doctrine (negative as well as positive) is preached from the pulpit and in the classes. They must not tolerate "broad principles" alone, but must welcome application. If this "drives someone away" you may console your materialistic hearts with the thought that these who leave are the ones who, otherwise, would one day take your property.

Further, for your own protection, you must welcome constructive criticism of your teaching and preaching. Bible study must be objective, your faith and practice tested by fire, if "the property" is to remain in the hands of true Christians, rather than become the property of a sect. Save souls if you would "save the property.