Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 7, 1960
NUMBER 47, PAGE 1,14a

Policies Of Christian Schools, Inc.

H. Osby Weaver, Dallas, Texas

We do not question the right of brethren, apart from the church, to build and maintain schools in which the Bible is taught along with other subjects, as long as such schools remain an adjunct of the home and separated from the church. If a complete separation of church and schools is maintained, and good morals prevail in the schools, any objections which we have to them will fall into the realm of judgment.

We sincerely question the need of such schools. It is our conviction that the huge sums of money necessary to maintain them could better be spent preaching the gospel unto every creature. The philosophy which attempts to rear and properly educate our children in a sheltered and secluded existence is questionable. We do not feel that a brotherhood monastery is the best place to equip our children to meet and solve the problems of life. The apostle Paul did not order us to withdraw from the sinners of the world and have no contact with them for "then must you needs go out of the world," he said, but he did order us to avoid association with our brethren who are persistent sinners. To attempt to build a wall around our children to prevent their being contaminated by the world seems to be drawing the line on the wrong class of sinners. Then, too, it robs our boys and girls who are Christians of the opportunity to influence and teach their school chums who are not Christians. The number of youngsters who have been led to Christ by this kind of association is legion. Any effort to rear stalwart Christians through isolation from sin, seems to be an admission of the weakness of our own position and an acknowledgment of the power of the devil over us. Shall we concede that association with the world will defile our children rather than expect the world to be influenced for good by their contact We are presently unwilling to make any such concession.

Aside from the foregoing matters of judgment, we scripturally oppose such as Christian Schools, Inc. being tied to or supported by the churches. Such schools, even when they start out of the church, will wind up in the church. Usually they start out, but Christian Schools, Inc. is an exception to the rule. They started in the church (with church support furnishing housing) and promise to get out when they get in a little better financial condition and can erect their own buildings, yet all the while denying that the schools are church supported.

In a former article regarding Christian Schools, Inc., we raised the question relative to the conviction of the officials of those schools. We asked: "Just how many of those connected with Christian Schools, Inc. actually believe it to be wrong for churches to contribute to such schools " We continued, "It would be interesting to know whether the decision to refuse support from the churches (if it is to be refused) was reached as a result of policy or principle." Since writing that, we have received a document headed "Policies" of Christian Schools, Inc. It is signed by the chairman of the Board of Trustees. Article 9 says: "It shall never be stated, implied, nor otherwise indicated, that Christian Schools, Inc. is sponsored, supervised, supported or operated by nor a part of the organization of any congregation of the Churches of Christ in Dallas county, or elsewhere, nor any other religious or civic institution. Christian Schools, Inc. is a nonprofit institution operated by individuals meeting the requirements of the New Testament to be Christians. Funds for operation of all schools will be from tuition, contributions from individuals, businesses, endowments, trusts, and projects of the Parent-Teacher Association, Associated Women's Organization, and other associate organizations affiliated." Whatever is said in the above article 9 comes under the heading of "Policies". We believe "the curiosity of an honorable mind willingly rests where the love of truth does not urge it further onward and the love of its neighbor bids it stop," but we would still like to know just how many of those connected with Christian Schools, Inc. in official positions actually believe it to be wrong for churches to support such schools and would they reject a contribution from a church if it were offered Article 9 quoted above is a wordy and impressive looking statement when casually read but when properly analyzed we still find cause for fear and apprehension. It is said that "funds for operation of all schools will be from tuition, contributions from individuals, businesses," etc. We doubt not this, but will there also be funds from churches. The Bible teaches salvation by faith, but that does not exclude baptism. And their saying funds for operating these schools will come from tuition, individuals, businesses, etc. does not exclude funds from the churches. Because the Bible teaches that we are saved by faith does not warrant the conclusion that we are saved by faith only. Because Christian Schools, Inc. will get funds for operation from the sources mentioned in article 9, does not warrant the conclusion that they will get funds from these sources only. "But", says one, "does not article 9 say that `it shall never be stated, implied, nor otherwise indicated that Christian Schools, Inc. is sponsored, supervised, supported or operated .. . . by the churches of Christ' " This is quite an ambiguous statement and commits the schools to nothing but secrecy. If the churches do support the schools "it shall never be stated, implied, nor otherwise indicated" — they just won't tell it! Why be so eelish [SIC] about it? Why not come out forthrightly and say, "Because it is wrong for them to do so, Christian Schools, Inc. will not accept contributions from churches even if it is offered" if that is what article 9 intended to convey, then demonstrate the sincerity of the pronouncement by getting out of church buildings. Or is it right to do temporarily what is wrong to do permanently

To say that "it shall never be stated, implied, nor otherwise indicated, ...that Christian Schools, Inc. is . . . supported by churches of Christ" is to fly into the face of what has already been stated by those who said it never would be stated. Either that, or else the churches are in the real-estate business. For under the heading "Building Facilities" in the above mentioned document the following is "stated": "All schools will operate this year in buildings leased to the schools by churches...." Now, the churches are either collecting lease money from the schools or else they are providing the buildings free. If the former be correct, then churches are in the rental business. If the latter be true, then churches are supporting Christian Schools, Inc., and it has so been "stated, implied, and otherwise indicated." To deny this conclusion is about as convincing as a drunk so inebriated that he reels yet denies that he has had a drop of anything to drink. Are Christians in Dallas considered so lethargic that no objection to churches engaging in the lease and rental business will be forthcoming, or are they supposed to be so naive that they will not know that churches furnishing housing for the schools is church support for the schools? If so considered by others, we cannot share such feelings toward them. We believe there are too many brethren awake to the dangers facing the church today and will object to the church going into business and supporting secular schools.

It is not the work of the church to build, maintain, support, sponsor, or subsidize in any degree such schools as Christian Schools, Inc. To do so is to reduce the church to a common level, sacrifice its holiness, and prostitute its divine purposes.

If it should be granted that article 9 of "Policies of Christian Schools, Inc." does clearly and openly disavow any connection with the church and refuse church support, (which it does not) what assurance do Christians have that it will be that way tomorrow or next year or the next None whatsoever! An introduction to the articles of the "Policies" says: "The following policies are recommended for the operation of each school." These policies are only recommended. Suppose these are those in the system that do not see fit to follow the recommendations It is only "recommended" that "it shall never be stated, implied, or otherwise indicated that Christian Schools, Inc. is . . . .supported by churches of Christ." It didn't say they could not receive the support; it just "recommended" that they not "state, imply, or otherwise indicate it." Furthermore, Article 13, which is the last article in the "Policies" says: "The Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend any of the foregoing policies and make any additions as it deems wise for the correct and efficient operation of the schools." There you have it. The Board only "recommended" that "it never be stated, implied, or otherwise indicated that the schools are supported by the churches" then reserved the right to change that if they "deem it wise." Suppose the Board "deemed it wise for the correct and efficient operation of the schools" to call upon the churches to put the schools in the churches' budgets, what would keep them from doing it Certainly not their policies, for no matter how much it is contended that said policies are straightforward, they have reserved the right to change them at will. Because of the huge sums of money needed to sustain these schools, we doubt not that in due time the Board will "deem it wise for the correct and efficient operation of the schools" to make such a call. We sincerely hope that it can be said of us, `You were wrong." But if we are not, many will find out too late perhaps that these harmless, helpless looking institutions which they cared for so tenderly in their infancy have grown into ruthless Frankenstein's to torment their benefactors who created and maintained them. Churches will also find out, too late for most to do anything about it, that these institutions adopted in infancy, when approaching maturity are not nearly as fond of their parents as they once were of them. Churches then become subservient to them and ruled by them.

All such warnings go for naught if brethren insist upon dethroning God and His word and enshrining in their place the idols of men's hearts erected by human wisdom. When this is done, we may regret and sympathize, but we cannot aid, for "eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind. — Desire conceals truth, as darkness does the earth."