Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 31, 1958

Brother Brewer's Explanation Is Out Of Date

Frank Reeder, Abilene, Texas

In a small tract called "Is the Church of Christ a Denomination?" by Brother G. C. Brewer is a controversy in trialogue form between Brewer, Partyman, and Stranger. On pages 17 and 18 we have the following from Partyman:

"In Fort Worth I find another body of the same people. In Dallas I find them again. I go over the state and I find them in every county and in nearly every town. I find that they have a school at Abilene and a paper — a party organ — at Austin. They also have one or two orphanages ... and yet, I find that these people — this band, party, cult or denomination of people — universally and uniformly have the unmitigated audacity to claim that they are not a denomination."

On page 19 is Brother Brewer's answer. I give a part of it.

Let us look at schools, orphanages, papers, etc. Church institutions are supported by church money just as state institutions are supported by state money. This state money is appropriated by the legislature and comes from taxation. The same is true in religious denominations. The Methodist Church is your denomination and you must be acquainted with its workings. The Methodist church at each place is assessed or taxed so much by conference, and these conference dues must be raised. From all sources the Methodist Episcopal Church has quite a revenue. Now, with this money conference builds schools, orphanages, publishing houses, etc. The money for these several purposes is appropriated by confernece. Now, the churches of Christ have no conference, no source of revenue and own no institutions. They do not compose a denomination.

Some Christians are conducting a college at Abilene, but the institution must make its own way, be financed from the individual funds of its promoters or by freewill offerings. The same is true of papers and orphanages that are operated by members of the church of Christ. If they were denominational institutions, they would be supported by denominational money, appropriated by denominational officials, and would not need to have a man out begging funds. But the churches of Christ have no denominational officials, no denominational money, and no denominational institutions — for the reason that the church of Christ is not a denomination.

Notice that what Brother Brewer said about the college he said "The same is true of papers and orphanages that are operated by members of the church of Christ." He said "churches of Christ . . . own no institutions." I read in the Frascati Orphan Home Paper: "The Crescent Hill Church owns and operates a home for homeless boys in Frascati, Italy. The home is under the supervision of the elders of the Crescent Hill Church. J. R. Chisholm, one of the elders, serves as business manager. This work is financed by the free-will contributions of hundreds of churches of Christ and individual friends from some 30 states and 5 foreign countries." They had 33 boys.

Also they were selling the paper: "3c per copy; 50c per year." On page 19 we have this statement from Brother Brewer:

"The Methodist Church owns property in this town. Now, suppose something should happen to take all Methodists out of this town. Who would get the Methodist Church building? Would not that property belong to Methodist organization or ecclesiasticism, and could not the presiding elder of this district sell the property and turn the money into use for Methodists elsewhere?"

We ask, what would happen if something should happen that some of "our" brotherhood institutions should close? What would happen if the Highland church decided to stop the Herald of Truth? Could they not sell the supplies, typewriters, etc., and use the money for churches of Christ elsewhere? Could not the Broadway elders sell the supplies in Germany that they appointed a committee to oversee, and use the money for a church of Christ elsewhere? What happened when the elders of a church in Texas wanted to change preachers of a church in Germany? What sometimes happens to big preachers who don't submit to some Nashville teaching? Well, if we get all the "elements" put together it might be called a "situation.' "Situation is a psychological word for emergency among "promoters" who get in desperation for argument.

Brother Brewer's expiation was good when it was written — more than thirty years ago.

If some say "we" don't have all the organizations that the Methodist have; I answer that neither do Methodist have all that the Catholics have, yet they are a denomination.

As to headquarters, in the Firm Foundation of Oct. 15, 1957, page 662, after a statement that there are 24 faithful congregations in the Philippines, we have the following:

Headquarters in Baguia

"The headquarters of this work are in Baguio City, several hours' journey north of Manila."

That is the national headquarters. The sponsoring church is in Los Angeles.