Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 18, 1958
NUMBER 33, PAGE 6-7b


Lloyd Barker, Searcy, Arkansas

One definition given by Webster for the word camouflage is: "any disguise or deceptive expedient." We are all familiar with the efforts of warfare along this line. This also takes place in religion. There are many divisions in the Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and other denominations but they pretend to put forth a united front and thus deceive many.

Brethren, also, are stooping to this deception in the "Benevolent Organization" controversy. Those who oppose brotherhood organizations to function for Christ's churches, whether separate organizations from any local church or hid under an eldership, are slyly branded "Antis:" It may be of interest to the reader to know that there are Three opposing ("Anti") positions among those brethren who promote organizations through which the church universal is to function. They are: (1). The Gospel Advocate position that all benevolent work is to be done in an organization separate from the church. Brother Woods says that an orphanage under elders is as wrong as Catholics taking over the government, and that the Firm Foundation position is ". . . absurdly ridiculous." (Gospel Advocate, March 27, 1958; p. 194). (2) The Firm Foundation position that all brotherhood orphanages must be under a local eldership or in the church. Brother Lemmons says that the Gospel Advocate position ...can very easily destroy the church." (Firm Foundation, Feb. 4, 1955). This surely is an opposing ("Anti") position. (3). A third one you may not have noticed could be called the "Broad-minded View". There are many brethren who say the benevolent work may be done either under an eldership or through a separate board and that the Advocate and Firm Foundation are both "making laws where God made none." If the Bible gives absolutely no "How", then why insist that there is a Pattern — the church cannot be over orphan care or position (2) above. Either position, (1) or (2), insists that there is a binding Pattern excluding the other one. Position (3) excludes (1) and (2) as creed makers. Thus, many of those who have made so much fuss about there being no "How" or Pattern have certainly found one. Despite the fact that there are clearly Three opposing positions on benevolent work, each condemning the other, they often "join hands", as did the Jewish sects in Christ's day, to fight any opposition.

Sometimes great efforts at deception are made, like Guy Woods' effort in the Advocate to try to make brethren think that Brother Lemmons has jumped to the Advocate position. This has definitely been shown to be false. Even Brother Lemmons himself said in a recent letter that Brother Woods had misrepresented him. Several of us wrote him expressing our desire for him to write an article exposing this falsehood and not to be pressured under. He writes, "It is nothing new to be misrepresented. I found soon after I became editor of the Firm Foundation that brethren would stoop to that if it fitted their private ambitions. If I tried to answer every misrepresentation it would take up the entire paper every week.

I have had to follow this policy: I try to state as plainly as I can what I believe the truth to be. Then, when it is in print it will stand there for ready reference on the part of anyone who wishes to check it. When someone misrepresents me, brethren can then compare the misrepresentation with what I actually said, and it usually boomerangs. This instance to which you refer has done that." Woods' silence shows it has "boomeranged" on him. Why has he not apologized?? Will he?

Woe Children's Home Of Lubbock!!!

The Children's Home of Lubbock and all such organized homes have the condemnation of the Gospel Advocate. As was noted above, Woods said that for elders to function as elders over an orphanage is as evil as the Catholics taking over the government. Here is a quotation from a letter written by Brother White, who is superintendent of the orphanage and also an elder of the Broadway church: "The Children's Home here operates under the elders just as all other phases of the church program." No one can say that the elders aren't serving "as elders" over the orphanage because the statement says they are over it as in "all other phases of the church program." If they are over anything "as elders", they are over the Children's Home "as elders". Thus we have the Advocate as opposed to such orphanages as anyone could be. Does this make her an "Anti" paper??? Of course such papers will continue to say there is no "How" and to condemn all who oppose churches functioning through human organizations.

Still another effort to camouflage is put forth by T. B. Warren and others. They say opposition to their institutions is really dying out fast. According to them one would think there aren't over a dozen faithful left. This makes one wonder why a new paper (The Spiritual Sword) was started to do nothing but fight those who don't line up, why as many as two articles and many slurs appear in nearly every issue of the Advocate, why tons and tons of bulletins and printed material are circulated, and why so much preaching is done to stop any opposition if it is all practically dead anyway. This would be like a man spraying his house to kill a few flies. After filling the house with a thick cloud of DDT, he sees a small number of the Few still barely moving before their sure death. Rather than wait until they die from the first great attack, he fills his fly spray again, warns all the neighbors to bring their sprays, gets a new fly spray and an extra barrel of DDT and they all continue a much greater battle than the first one. Naturally, we can see that the Advocate knows there are a multitude of faithful preachers and churches, or why such an effort to stop their growth?

Often we are told that anyone who is willing to care for orphans could easily obtain many from the brotherhood benevolent societies anytime he desired to do so. Letters from these places, however, state the very opposite. A letter from Potter Orphan Home and School states, "You were misinformed about getting orphans from Potter Orphan Home most anytime . . . We have several hundred letters from couples wanting children. Quite a large number of couples have already been approved." They only have one adoptable child but several hundred couples wanting children and many approved. A similar letter comes from Lubbock stating they have many couples desiring children but no children that they may put in even foster homes now. Many other like statements could be given. This shows how some will misinform brethren in an effort to blacken some faithful preacher or church.

One seldom hears warnings of brethren drifting from those who defend the Benevolent Organizations. Anyone who voices out warnings is sneered as being a radical. Maybe the following information will cause some to think. There are many preachers and some faculty members here at Harding College who endorse instrumental music in worship or a missionary society for churches to cooperate with. This is openly admitted by preachers who defend "our" Benevolent Organizations. One preacher told me that he knew about 20 preachers here last year who said instrumental music is Scriptural in worship and there are many here now. A debate is scheduled with one preacher here who will affirm it is authorized. Have brethren lost all fear and think the church can do no wrong?

One should surely be on guard today to do as Jesus said, "Watch". (Lk. 21:36.) Many are very zealous to camouflage their own actions and hurl at the faithful such phrases of judgment as "mean", "dirty", "church splitter", etc. as Ahab did in I Kings 18:17, when they themselves are the guilty ones. Reporting what someone said is not judging, but impugning another's motives as "sarcastic", "orphan hater", etc. certainly in judging when the accuser does not know the person's heart or whether he is a hypocrite or not. The Lord will condemn the guilty unjust judges. Jesus said, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged". (Mt. 7:2.) If we judge a man a hypocrite and factious and he isn't, we shall be condemned as a hypocrite and factious person. Think twice brethren!!