Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 24, 1960
NUMBER 45, PAGE 4-5b

United Fund -- Highland Style

J. D. Tant, Clayton, Okla.

The various charities existing in the United States have in late years decided that their purposes would be better served if they lumped their appeals in one gigantic drive, and then had the monies appropriated to them by a central organization.

It would seem that the brethren at 5th and Highland in Abilene are following along this same line of thinking.

We noticed some interesting facts while reading through the December 17, 1959, issue of the Gospel Advocate. This issue, dealing primarily with Highland and the Herald of Truth, contains these words on page 807:

"The budget for 1959 was set by the elders at $132,500, or $2,548 each week. Included in the budget were eighteen homes for orphans and aged persons. Besides the Herald of Truth, the elders included these mission items: local Mexican work; Dyess Air Force Base building; support of Robert Lawrence in the Northeast; Groton, Conn.; Marshfield, Wis.; Rochester, Minn.; Sanatorium, Texas; Italy; Hamburg, Germany; Durango, Mexico; and Torreon, Mexico."

This makes a total of thirty (30) projects that are being supported out of Highland's coffers And all the while they are begging for more money from other congregations to carry on their own "exclusive" work. With just a little more effort, Highland could indeed become the central agency for the "United Fund of the Churches of Christ." All those desiring support could save money and effort by just making a report of how much needed, and then letting Highland make one gigantic drive. Or maybe it would be better to divide up the evangelistic, benevolent, and edification fields among Highland, Broadway, and possibly Madison, Tenn. That way more people could get in on the glory.

And we also read in the same issue on the editorial page (page 802) this statement:

"The Hillsboro church of Christ, of which this writer is a member and an elder, is wholeheartedly supporting this work. (Referring to Highland's radio and TV program — JDT.) We at Hillsboro render this support voluntarily . . . The Highland Church in Abilene has no jurisdiction over Hillsboro. Our autonomy is in no sense in jeopardy. The Highland congregation uses the money we contribute according to our wishes:" (emp. mine — JDT)

Who's kidding whom? Did the writer know about those thirty (30) projects in the budget? And one might gather from that statement that Highland's autonomy is the one in jeopardy, since she is merely reduced to being an agent of Hillsboro, simply doing what Hillsboro tells her.

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(Editor's comment: We believe the above brief article emphasizes the developing concept of some sort of "unified promotion" among the churches of Christ. We have become aware in recent years of a growing exasperation among brethren with the constant BEGGING campaigns to which every church in the brotherhood seems to be increasingly subjected. One of the most fantastic pictures we can imagine is that of Highland Church sending her representatives into the weak, struggling little churches in the truly "mission" areas of our own nation to beg, cajole, wheedle, plead, beseech, (and sometimes threaten and browbeat these little congregations!) into sending their contributions to Highland for the Herald of Truth. If anybody thinks the picture is overdrawn, he simply needs to get out and travel around a bit. One brother said that Brother Cawyer had almost literally "kicked the door down" to get his plea before a certain congregation in the Northwest. This has happened in many places.

Sooner or later (and probably a lot sooner than many brethren realize) there is going to be a push for some sort of "United Promotions" among the churches of Christ, somewhat similar to that used by the Baptists and the Christian Churches. As it is, the orphan homes and the churches with the slickest promoters and most ruthless "pushers" are getting too big a cut of the pie; and the little orphan homes, youth camps, schools, etc. are being squeezed out. Resentment is mounting!

Meanwhile, those thousands of faithful Christians who are a bit nauseated at the whole sorry spectacle will just go on their own way, sacrificially giving of their swans to build new congregations, care for their own needy, and advance the kingdom of truth.)