Vol.VI No.I Pg.4
March 1969

A New Payment Plan

Robert F. Turner

CHILDREN DRAWING PAY FOR ATTENDING CHURCH... says a recent Louisville Courier-Journal article by Staff writer — Brenda Thompson. Three downtown Louisville, Ky. churches are paying children up to 75 a week to attend.

The ministers at the three churches — Central Presbyterian... First Christian... Fourth Ave. Methodist—-said they see nothing wrong with the idea. Well, that settles that! (?)

They said rewards for good behavior and performance — including such things as allowances, zoo trips and baseball games — are both common and appropriate for children in todays middle class society.

Now brethren, before you knock it, lets see you consider the principle involved, as compared with church-sponsored camps, banquets, recreation directors and their work, area-wide hamburger fries, etc. The chief difference is that these denominational churches have been honest with themselves — just admitted that they were paying the children to attend.

The Louisville children go to the Christian church on Monday or Tuesday for study help, to the Methodist church on Wednesday or Thursday for drama, photography, cooking, music or science clubs; and to the Presbyter— an church on Friday for arts, crafts rid games. and to pick up their weekly allowances. Three absences from he study-help and club meetings mean automatic expulsion. Would anyone deny that many of our churches could fit into such a program nicely—with the possible exception that they would never expel anyone for anything.

There was surprisingly little opposition from the congregations of the three churches, said Gilbert R. Solley, director of education at Fourth Methodist. It sounds as if he expected opposition — though whether on the basis of principle or expense I can not say. My guess is that there would be little objection among many of our liberal brethren on the basis of principle — for several reasons.

Reason one: To truly object on the basis of principle, one must understand the principle well, then make application. But when brethren grasp the principle that would forbid this Louisville project, ergo, they have ruled against too many of their own current practices.

Another reason: Objecting is too much like the despised antis to be very popular. Think positive! Be progressive! Love the little children. Dont rock the boat!

I have a feeling that many of us have drifted further into the paying of this world rewards for supposed service to Christ, than we realize. Do we urge obedience to the gospel because our people are friendly or everyone needs a church affiliation or youll like our preacher?? It is easy to allow Vacation Bible School rewards to drift into carnal attractions. The conscientious preacher will frequently examine his work, to see if he is entertaining people or teaching them. Maybe we should take a second look at this new payment plan!