Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 4, 1966
NUMBER 13, PAGE 4-5a

Roosting Time


Remember that old adage about "chickens coming home to roost"? Well, it is now "roosting time" for all those "middle of the roaders" who eight or ten years ago were trying so desperately to make a distinction between Boles Home (Childhaven and the Missionary Society. Read carefully the article by Brother Roy E. Cogdill appearing on the front page of this issue. Boles Home, Incorporated is EXACTLY the kind of operation which Guy N. Woods in the Birmingham debate condemned as unscriptural and sinful because it would be "the same as the Missionary Society."

So complete and perfect is Boles Home's fulfillment of what Brother Woods declared to be unscriptural that one might almost get the impression the Board of Directors had studied Woods' speeches--with a dedicated determination to pattern their operation as closely as they possibly could after the picture he outlined of an unscriptural set-up! At any rate they have truly fulfilled the pattern.

The facts here are too obvious, open, documented, admitted, and publicized to be argued. The question now is: what are our "middle-of-the-road" brethren going to do about it? Are they going to stand by the position they (and Woods) so stoutly proclaimed in 1957; or will they now repudiate that stand, swallow these latest developments of Boles Home, Incorporated, and warn the churches against a bunch of trouble-making "antis" who hate orphan children?

Dare we make a prediction? Yes, we dare. And without the least qualm of uncertainty we go on record as predicting that the vast majority of our "middle of the road" brethren will accept the latest Boles Home development without so much as a tiny flicker of a protesting eyebrow! The reason is obvious --- 1966 is nine full years down the road from 1957. That which would have been unthinkable and impossible of swallowing nine years ago will now be blandly accepted with a glow of satisfaction, and wisely hailed as "progress"! Such is the paralyzing power of a little leaven of error and false teaching. A few years ago Gayle Oler himself would have drawn back quickly from any such proposal as he now advocates; his Board of Directors would have rejected it without a moment's hesitation. But that was before the "new look" among the churches of Christ had begun to be accepted.

All of this can serve but to emphasize to those who still have some respect for the word of God that once brethren have begun to let human judgment, human reasoning, and human opinions guide them instead of a "thus saith the Lord" there can be no logical stopping place. And, make no mistake about it!, this is not the end of the story for Boles Home and Other benevolence organizations which have fastened themselves onto the churches. We believe it to be inevitable that agitation for some sort of "unified promotion" program shall become stronger and stronger in the years ahead. Boles Home and Abilene Christian College will likely want to resist such a development for purely practical and selfish reasons ---because they are now getting the "lion's share" of available dollars. But the pressures from too many other schools, "homes", camps, hospitals, and world-wide projects will eventually prove too great. Competition for the churches' contributions will become too fierce. And some sort of centralized planning board will have to be set up to pro-rate the monies. Indeed, more than one "promoting brother" has already put out tentative "feelers" as to brotherhood reaction to such an arrangement. Look for it in the years ahead.

And what about those few thousand conservative congregations which still want to do all things "according to the pattern" of God's word? They will view with interest (and probably detachment) the battle coming up. But it will be a casual interest, colored with deep sorrow and regret, of course, for the apostasy of those who once walked side by side with them in the army of the Lord. But the apostasy will have gone so far, and the hope of reclaiming erring brethren will have become so slim, that probably most faithful Christians will view the struggle much as they now view the fight within the Presbyterian Church to re-write the Westminster Confession of Faith, or the effort within the Disciples of Christ denomination to "restructure" their church organization.

We will still hope, and sincerely pray, that each new development of the apostatizing brethren will serve to shock a few of the better informed ones into a realization of what is happening. Indeed, that has been happening fairly often these last two or three years. We have information of a rather sizeable number of individuals (and a few entire congregations) which have awakened to what is happening, and have repudiated their former acceptance of such things as Herald of Truth, Church of Christ hospitals, Benevolence Societies, etc. But error is deadly and insidious. Every time a new error is accepted, the chances are lessened that any error will be rejected. For the heart becomes hardened. And the "monster of frightful mein" (Alexander Pope) becomes familiar and common-place will be finally accepted and embraced. We see it happening right now with Boles Home. It will happen in other areas as time goes by.

F. Y. T.