Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 10, 1958

A Joke . . . Or Is It?

Forrest Darrell Moyer

In The Rotarian, May, 1958, p. 64, there appeared this story:

Wife: "John, I'm ashamed of the way we live. Mother pays our rent. Father pays for our car and its upkeep. Aunt Martha buys our clothes; my sister sends us money for food. I don't like to complain but I'm sorry we can't do better than that."

Husband: "You should be. You've got two uncles who don't send us a dime."

At first this struck me as being funny. But I got to thinking about it, and it took on a more serious aspect. Certainly Mary's folks ought to help them out if adversity overtakes them. But it would be downright wrong for them to do so if John were just a gigolo or a sponger or a sluggard.

John's attitude sort of reminds me of some statements I have heard by some (certainly, not all) of the promoters of sponsoring churches. The other churches (the "sending" ones) provide the funds for the program of work that is under the control and direction of the "sponsoring" church. Of course, the only trouble is that there are some churches like those two uncles who didn't send them a dime. Evidently, those two uncles were "antis" — they just didn't believe in cooperating with John and Mary or in helping out other people.

However, let me ask you: "Is it right for a man and wife to get by like those two?" All of us would say, "No." Let me ask again: "Is it right for a church that is not in want to receive funds from other churches that it may carry on a program of work that is far beyond the financial power of that church? Was money ever sent from one church to another for any reason other than to relieve the want of the receiving church?" A church's being in want (such as was Jerusalem in Rom. 15:26) is a far cry from a church's planning an extensive program of work beyond its power and then begging others for money to carry on that work (such as Highland and the Herald of Truth). I am persuaded that all of us should be able to see the difference.