Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 19, 1982

When The Wheels Won't Roll

Cecil B. Douthitt, Fort Smith, Arkansas

The conflicting factions into which our ultra liberal brethren are divided have not been able to agree after much contention on how to get the wheels of institutionalism to rolling when (as they describe it) a baby or little child, after being hit by an automobile, is found with blood stained face lying in the street in front of the meeting house.

They propound the question: Who scripturally may care for the wounded child', with about the same attitude of finality and apparently for the same purpose as the Sadducees who asked: "In the resurrection therefore, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her." (Matt. 22:28) The Lord's answer to the question regarding the wounded child is as clear, simple and easily understood as his answer to the Sadducees'' question, "Whose wife shall she be?"

If these various segments of institutionalism could be persuaded to stop arguing among themselves, every one for its own pattern, long enough to read the God-given pattern of the "good Samaritan" who, as an individual aware of his own personal responsibility and obligation to all in need, when he saw the wounded victim, "was moved with compassion and came to him" and graciously supplied the care and service needed immediately without any organizational fanfare or consultation with the priest and Levite who usually were quite stooped in traditional institutionalism (Luke 10. 30-37), they then might be more helpful to life's unfortunate, and a great deal less verbose.

One faction contends that caring for wounded babies in the street in front of the meeting house is church work, and therefore must be done under the oversight of the elders and within the framework of the church.

Another faction rushes in and yells, "No, no! You are wrong. This wounded baby must have 'in loco parentis' and elders as such cannot be 'in loco parentis.' We must have a child caring institution under a board of directors, and this board can be 'in loco parentis' and hire a superintendent who can hire servants to minister to this wounded baby; provided, enough money can be begged from the churches to pay first the salaries of all workers, and then have enough left over to supply the needs of the wounded child."

Then the "middle-of-the-road" segment arrives with its pattern and declares that the "middle-of-the-road" pattern and policy is always right and all other patterns are wrong. They argue that nothing can be done for the child till they can get it in the "middle-of-the-road."

While the liberals grunt and groan, grumble and gripe in their efforts to get the wheels of institutionalism to rolling, if some compassionate and intelligent Christian did not come up and ignore the liberals as the "good Samaritan" ignored the priest and Levite, and put into practice the God-given pattern of individual and personal obligation and responsibility, the poor little wounded child might be half grown before it got its face washed.

God's people in recent years have heard so much about "organization," "centralization" and "our institutions," and so little about individual and personal responsibility, till a great many now evidently think that the duty of individual action as set forth in the divine pattern of the "good Samaritan" should be derided, quarantined and called ''anti-ism."