Whatever became of the erstwhile "Total Situation" sophism set forth by brethren Deaver and Warren, and stressed by them and others for a while? Most likely it went the way of the old-fashioned "Mother-Hubbard" dress, since they had so much in common — they both "covered everything and touched nothing." I believe that verbose syllogism proved one thing for its authors, namely, that they could "crowd more words into the smallest ideas" than any other contemporary writers.
Brother Oler tells us that "A faction (so labeling those who are opposed to the practice of churches in building and supporting separate organized institutions for doing the work of the church) is a party of English words, says, "A faction is a party in disloyal opposition." So this controversy involves and centers in this question: Who is disloyal and to what? In religious activities loyalty to divine Fiat is imperative. Now this question: Who is disloyal, the party who refuses to "go beyond what is written, or the one that caters to anything that man can invent or imagine? I think there is just one answer.
It is indeed unfortunate — near tragic — that the peace and progress of the Lord's church should be threatened and retarded by present contention among brethren. It so happens, however, that the strife is over questions that, for the most part, should never have arisen. Had it not been that the previous scriptural order of our worship and services was being contaminated by the adoption of sectarian innovations, there would have been no cause for loyal brethren to raise their voices in protest; But under the circumstances their protestations are amply justified. And neither their speech nor writings marks them as aggressors, but rather as defenders of sacred principles which are being violated.
Apropos of the current discussions as to the scriptural right of churches to build and support orphan home projects, brother L. Brownlow seems to have studied the matter thoroughly, and given us (in B. H. News) the final solution "IN A NUTSHELL." He says supporting these homes is the same as supporting a hospital. Here is the way he puts it: "The church is not a hospital, and a hospital is not the church; but the church helps the hospital and the hospital helps the church." It must have required the most abstruse and concentrated thinking to wrestle with this complex theorem and emerge with such a profound deduction. If he considers that as the ultima thule in proof of his position, let him try on the following for size: The church is not an Electric Service Co., and an Electric Service Co. is not the church; but the church helps the Electric Service Co. and the Electric Service Co. helps the church. These are parallel; but in neither case is the church supporting the institution; it just buys its service. Now turn up the "shell," and who is the... I mean, where is the "nut"?
When I think of a thousand churches over the nation pooling their money for use by one church in setting up an elaborate and expensive headquarters machine to broadcast one twenty minute sermon per week, and that to comparatively few interested listeners (save those who are already members of the church), and of the meager results that follow such spending, I always think of two boys who were courting the same girl. One carried her candy, flowers, etc. alternately, but his wooing seemed far-off, and was without apparent warmth. The other sat close, talked seriously and with warmth and fervor. He poured out his heart's desires; he appealed to her feelings, not to her appetite. Which won her affections? The latter. Asked why? She said the former tried to use "tact" while the latter used "contact." The moral of this analogy should be obvious to persons who think. Think what each of these congregations could accomplish by using this extra money to send a preacher to places where there is no church or to where one exists but is weak or young! Past experiences show what great results follow having a preacher on the ground — not on the air. In this way the "contact" method is used. Moreover, in the business world generally, when the average adult sees that he is not getting proper returns on an investment (and the above contributors are not), he withholds his capital from that channel. Some are doing that in this case; but maybe all rules have some exceptions.