Vol.VIII No.III Pg.6
May 1971

Warning, From 1919

Robert F. Turner

My files contain a copy of the following article, Combines in the Church by C. M. Pullias, with this notation: The following article was first printed as a first page editorial in TIDINGS OF JOY, published in Nashville, Tennessee, July, 1919. So we are reprinting a reprint, which may account for one place where it seems a line is missing.


All combines in religion are dangerous because they violate a cardinal principle of the Bible. Just as much so as to put asunder what God has joined together. Men want to build something big, and therefore they combine a number of small things They fail to see the value of small things, hence they despise them, but (perhaps God uses little things) that the power of God might be manifest and might confound the mighty with the weak and the wise with the foolish, and the big things with the little things that God in all things might be glorified and that no flesh should glory in his presence.

But men would take this glory from God and bestow it upon themselves by combining the small things. For an instance, one would yoke a number of local congregations together to do a given work. This destroys congregational independence and sets up the very thing God sought to avoid in arranging nothing larger than a local congregation through which to work and worship. True enough, the church in one sense includes the saved in their intense aggregate, but God has tempered the body together as it has pleased him, and let us be satisfied with his work. An individual is responsible as far as he is able, so also is a congregation; but no farther. A combine is to get more power, but the work is of God and God does not need our help in any such way. God works in and through us to do his will, but only by his means and arrangements. Any other drives God from the work and makes it wholly of men.

The main principle violated by a missionary society is combining of all the congregations to do what God has assigned to one. There is no work that cannot be done by the power of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. (Eph. 3:20,21) That which the church has not the power to do, then, should not be considered. Beside this we might say this way of a few getting together and saddling on the church of Christ orphan homes and schools or anything else is a very serious thing, and will in the course of time prove to be a curse to the church. An individual Christian or congregation might have a school or orphanage if it is able and so chooses, but to have one for the church at large is to bind what God has not bound, so whatever befalls one befalls every one. All such combines are wrong and in them the man of sin is working, just as in Pauls day; and in the course of time he will be revealed to the sorrow of the church. (2 Thes. 2:3-10)

To be concluded, next issue.