Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 23, 1958

Inclusive And Exclusive Feature Of The Holy Scriptures

Pryde E. Hinton, Dora, Alabama

It is admitted by all reputable teachers of the gospel that whatever is not included in a command, example, or inference, is excluded. For example, bread and the fruit of the vine EXCLUDE all other elements for the Lord's Supper; the first day of the week in Acts 20:7 excludes all other days; the inference that it was taken every first day of the week excludes taking the Lord's Supper monthly, yearly, etc. However, it is taught in no way that we must take the Supper at a certain hour of the first day of the week; so that is optional.

If we had only the Great Commission, and no scripture like Acts 11:19-26, and others like it, we could not only "go" by any means at hand, at any time or place, but we could also build and maintain any kind of organization our wisdom might elect, to do the going and preaching. But since God unquestionably gave us an organization, the congregation, as at Philippi, "with the bishops and deacons" (Philippians 1:1), we know that all organizations except the church are excluded. Certainly, this is SAFE. The spread of the gospel during the first century by this organization, "as such," and by individuals, also proves beyond any reasonable doubt that God's kind of organization is adequate: Col. 1:23, etc.

If I were inclined to measure by human wisdom and sight, I would point out that the churches have failed, in many cases and areas. That overlapping has been done in the missionary work of the churches and individuals. That one church, or even a dozen churches, might not be able to do a certain work in a given area. That one church may not be able to support a radio or television program. But I can also point out that I know many individuals who cannot give $20.00 per month, the exact amount needed to do a certain work. But what does all this prove about what the New Testament teaches relative to this matter? (Israel was not actually able to take the Promised Land, either.)

The New Testament certainly teaches that one organization has been bought with Christ's blood, and set in order, to do this teaching and preaching work, when it is to be done collectively. That excludes all other ORGANIZATIONS.

Moreover, Acts 11:27-30; 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 5:3-16, etc., just as clearly teach, (at least to my simple mind) that this matter of organization is exactly the same in benevolent work. There are many cases when it is not only right for the individual to take care of the needy, but wrong for the church to do so, "as such" — when all act through the congregation, and/or use funds from the treasury of the church.

It is my conviction that all of us are neglecting what is by far the greatest part of the benevolent work as done by the early Christians, such as Acts 9:36-43; 1 Tim. 5:10; James 2:14-17; James 1:26,27 (read both verses to see that it means individual work); Hebrews 6:9-12; 10:32-39; 13:1; 13:15,16 — just to list a few such scriptures. We need to preach, and teach, and PRACTICE, that which these and other passages admonish about such work. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ — INDIVIDUALLY. Much of our work (things done in the body) that will determine our eternal destiny, is individual work which you and I must do ALONE.

Speaking of Yater Tant's listing several marks of modernism, such as social drinking of alcoholic drinks, modern dancing, taking the family to the public swimming pool, etc. Brother Pat Hardeman writes ("Advocate," Sept. 4):

"We are all also united in esteeming those things in virtues which the Bible point out as such — EXCEPT in the case of churches giving help to the starving sinner. They say it is evil for the church to take money from its treasury to 'do good to all men' in spite of Gal. 6:10 which so commands it."

I may be too dense to see it, but where, or how, does Gal. 6:10 COMMAND a church to take money out of its treasury and help a starving sinner? Brother Hardeman, that passage no more says or teaches that than Acts 16:31-34 teaches infant baptism. Brethren, this is the best that a man with great training can do in favor of the things advocated by the so-called "institutional brethren." I'd like to see you try that again, Pat. You fell flat on your face that time.