"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.XI No.I Pg.11-12
January 1949

Why I Am Not A Member Of Tanda Lodge

Wallace W. Thompson

To begin with, I do not know whether the "lodge" would have me or not. To say the least, the church has a good advantage here, offers membership to "whosoever will." But if they would receive me as a member, I would not be such for several reasons. Surely nobody cares to do away with free speech, unless they have a tyrannical disposition. The word "lodge" is misleading. The words "resort" and "club" and "incorporation" describe the organization better. This "club" is located at Arroyo Drive & Lakeview Drive near Big Bear Lake, California. It has a board of directors eighteen strong, a President, two Vice Presidents and a Treasurer. Of course by now more officers may have been added to the roster. So far as I know, none can belong unless he is a member of the church. This makes the "club" a peculiar one, distinctive. In fact that makes it a "church club." It is a project to provide entertainment, amusement, fun-fests, relaxation for the footsore and back strained, and at the same time teach the Bible... It still costs to spend time in the "camp", therefore there is no financial advantage for members of the church.

REASON (1) It is a fraternal order or society involving brethren in the joint enterprise. Thus rules and regulation's of admittance and membership become necessary. As such, it is an association of persons to promote a common object and good-fellowship. One could as well indorse the "Red Cross", "Masonic Lodge" "Odd Fellows" or any other like organization. It puts the church in the "resort" business, and will no doubt be forced to claim a "no profit" institution. How much different is it than a "Country Club" in plan and organization? None in the least. The men are higher class, yes; stand for better principles, but in organization and plan all are alike.

REASON (2) It would take from the church some of my time and financial support for the furtherance of the gospel. Any organization the size of this one and the price of it ($65,000.) requires time and financial support. To me that is a great sum of money for recreation and relaxation. To some $65,000 may not be many dollars, but I'm sure it would go a long way in spreading the truth in a foreign land, or at home for that Matter.

REASON (3) No New Testament church ever set an example of giving to such an institution of worldly delight. It seems to all the faithful this REASON its enough to discard the whole thing. Thus, the institution cannot be a Bible one for there is no Bible example. Several Christians saw the ancient arenas, but were fed to beasts as the sacrifice of their faith, to the shrieking and shrilling crowd a pleasing sight! What people do in the name of religion is indeed appalling.

REASON (4) The New Testament church is definitely committed to the building of stronger souls for eternal habitation. Therefore it ought not to enter into the "building of better bodies". Not one command does Jesus give the church to provide for the recreational needs of the members. The home provides for this, so does the school, so does the government. Millions are spent by all the taxpayers yearly to provide such as we have access to today. Cities spend fortunes in providing parks for the playful people. Rarely are charges made to go there and enjoy the day in relaxation. Let us leave this responsibility where it has ever been, and not burden the church therewith,

REASON (5) To belong, in my estimation, lowers the standards of the church of the Lord, and is a reproach to the authority of Christ. This calls for criticism from the world and renders ineffective our statement that, "We have no human societies or organizations." The Big Bear brethren will have a hard time making a member of the "YMCA" understand that Tanda Lodge is not the "YMCA" of the church of Christ! This is a just and honest comparison. There is not a thing claimed for Tanda Lodge that is not claimed by the "YMCA" or "YWCA". It would be interesting to know if the Tanda Lodge lovers are opposed to the organizations of the Christian Church. Their attitude on them might reveal their purposes and belief, if only we could get them to say what they believe in this matter. How they could condemn them, I do not know!

REASON (6) It is a hindrance and obstacle to the truth and the church. It takes time and talent to operate a "club" and "lodge", time that ought to be spent by preachers and members in exalting the church. The more time and talent spent in a thing, the more interest and care will develop. Soon, to the officers and directors, the matter will mean more than anything else in their lives, the idea that it must exist will become an obsession. They who oppose it will be called enemies, thus alienation of brethren will set in. For this cause it should not exist.

REASON (7) Brethren are disagreed upon the question of owning and supporting a pleasure resort, therefore, such ought not to be supported that will drive the wedge of division between brethren when such is unnecessary. If the Bible taught it, then it would be a matter of faith. As the Bible does not teach it, to push it or shove it upon the brethren is wrong. It becomes a cause of stumbling and offense.

REASON (8) Politics and powers enter into an organization of this kind. A clamoring and cry, a peal and plea will be made for the chief seats. Such instigates jealousy, envy and hatred, causes a rift even in a "brotherhood" of union workers or club members.

REASON (9) Not all popular men in the church are sound in faith, thus, overnight, the whole affair might fall into the hands of ungodly men that do not love the truth and have less love for the preachers of righteousness. Some are modernistic in faith, some are denominational in belief, others are weak, and a few have not enough faith to say they have any! An organization of this sort can do irreparable harm.

REASON (10) Through this order the church in this section can be controlled to some extent. How? There are elders of the church on as directors. There are preachers. Oppose the lodge and they oppose you. This has already occurred. The leaders of the movement will continue to oppose any preacher that opposes it. Therefore, I cannot belong to it.

REASON (11) Young people will be led away from the simplicity of the gospel on the subject of church organization. They will grew up in the environment of 'the Lodge, believing that every church has a right to its own "Country Club" and "Pleasure Resort". The next generation will be tempted to go beyond their fathers, and no telling what kind of organization they will secure and set in operation by the side of this one.

REASON (12) And this is a Bible REASON, "Bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness with Contentment is great gain."

REASON (13) Belonging to it would violate Col. 13:1-2 with part of my affections set on "earthly" things.

REASON (14) Such a breach in the walls of Zion opens the floodgates for other organizations and institutions.

In Conclusion

A few Bible examples might call our minds away from such and cause them to abide on heavenly things. It is hoped that every member of this lodge will consider these things. I am not writing this to be disagreeable, but because I believe I am right in the matter. Recall Exodus 32, and the attitude of the people when Moses was receiving the Law? A short time previous they had seen demonstrated the mighty, miraculous power of Jehovah. But shortly they forgot all this. They demanded an idol, a golden calf to worship. Aaron consented. In the name of religion they violated the first three commandments, laid fear aside and took their choosing. The record states, "And the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Solomon gave the Lord's wisdom, hear it: "He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man" (Prov. 21:17). The church then that fosters sport, pleasure, is a "poor" church. Babylon was a walled fortress, an empire of mighty bulwarks. But she fell while the old king was toasting a 1,000 lords and using the vessels of the temple in a wine-feast. It was in this night of mirth that God wrote the doom of this great kingdom. What was the epithet? "Weighed in the balances and found wanting!" The younger son of Luke 16 was headstrong and impulsive. Calling for his inheritance, he wasted it in riotous living. He left home, friendship, security and love. He became associated with evil companions, he sought the far-away places, the retreats, 'spending all, not foreseeing the future. Had he stayed where he was, the story would be one of prosperity to poverty, from home to hell. But the young man came to himself and went to his father. How often has this been re-enacted in the lives of boys and girls of today! There was the Corinthian church, lost to pleasure and lust. They had their philosophers, wisdom seekers and men pleasers, their divisions, court trials with brethren, incest between two of its members, the members were carnal, they were having loud feastings when they should have been eating the Lord's Supper with sobriety and understanding. A church with as much fun-making and merry-making as this one had in it has little time to fulfill the commission of the Lord. It is high time for all faithful and God-loving men to stand together, to cry out against these modern evils that threaten to engulf the church with societies and make it as common as any denomination on earth that stands for nothing. Our whole duty is to "Fear God and keep his commandments." It is a sad sight when professed lovers of truth use cunning craftiness to deceive and delude God's elect with moves that appeal to the lusts of the flesh. And it is sorry indeed when we are so gullible to accept such in the name of religion, labeled. "For our young people." Let us cast these things overboard, lest they shipwreck our faith and overthrow the faith of others. May the church with us all, be enough!

The New Testament was divided into verses by Robert Steven in 1551.