Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 13, 1962
NUMBER 19, PAGE 3,10-11

News And Views

Charles A. Holt, 4552 University Dr., Wichita Falls Texas

More To It Than "Child-Care"

Even at the risk of being misunderstood by many, and even castigated by some I want to point out a rapidly developing trend that must be checked at some point. As never before churches are entering into the work of "child-care" and "orphan homes?' Multiplied thousands of dollars are being channeled into this form of benevolence. In all my experience, I have yet to find a Christian who advocates letting them starve, freeze to death, or drowning them! All realize we must help those in need as we have opportunity. The only variance found in this matter is HOW the work should be accomplished. But all feel kindly toward the needy child.

But there is one facet to all this that has been relegated to the background. It is the problem of delinquent parents! While we have centered our interest in the temporal needs of the child, we have overlooked the spiritual destitution of the parent. For it must be universally recognized that the "orphan homes" aren't caring for "orphans." They are actually caring for "east-offs" from the broken homes. We ignore the broken vows which blight our society as we center all our attention on the unfortunate child! But really the child is in far better condition than the parent! The parent stands in spiritual condemnation — and we must see to it that public condemnation is also placed upon him!

I would not for a minute minimize the need of the child, but I do contend that the church is obligated even more to the parent! The child may be hungry and ill-clothed, and yet be saved in eternity. But until the parent faces up to the responsibility he owes to the child, there is no way by which he can possibly be saved. Shall we continue to minister to the body of the child (not yet accountable to the gospel), while ignoring the soul of the transgressor that has caused this tragic condition in the life of the child? How often have the representatives of our benevolence sought out the needy child, even to crossing state lines, yet have not once confronted the parent (the one most in need of what the church can give), to more fully show parental responsibility?

A concerted drive by the church throughout our land could have marked influence on this social cancer that eats at the vitals of our nation. The voice of the church must be heard by every disciple setting the example of parental care and providence. But it must also be heard in the open disapproval of broken homes by all members! If all Christians would publicly show their abhorrence to any parent who casts off a child, more could be done for both the child and the parent than all "child-care" projects! Further, an appeal to proper authorities should be made to see that the interests of the child is respected by all such delinquent parents.

Even nature teaches this lesson on caring for the off-spring. Only recently I heard of a cow being consigned to the butcher because she did not care for her calf! Is a mother in our society to be less responsible than a cow? I also remember a prime hog that was butchered because he killed some of his own pigs. But what of a man who leaves his children without the necessities of life? Somewhere our sense of values have become so warped that we expect more from dumb animals than responsible folk in our society! It is time that universal protest be heard against all such degenerate behaviour. Such reprobates must come under the scathing rebuke of all decent folk. We have not awakened them to the gravity of their sin by merely caring for the children they have produced and then shoved off on society.

This deplorable condition will not soon be corrected by building more and bigger "orphan homes." Soon judicious men and women will be asking how much such efforts have added to the problem by publicizing our willingness to relieve any "incompatible" parents of the responsibility of their children! Many are willing to saddle the church with the task, knowing that we will "take care of the kids." This solves their problem, dissolves their marriage, but does not absolve the guilty! But have we been so tender and liberal in this matter that we have also been aiding and abetting this evil? Has our willingness to shoulder the burden promoted a sinful disregard on the part of wayward parents? Just what is our obligation to every child deserter? Shall we condone the act of abandoning children without any rebuke to the natural parents? Such a course will contribute to the delinquency of more and more reprobates and degenerates who will use the kindness (?) of the church as an "easy way out."

Gentle reader, please don't read any more Into this than I have written. Of course, we must help every child in need. We must do all we can to alleviate the suffering. But HOW can we best help the child? And what can we do to help the PARENT? Can't you see that we face a problem which is not solved by "orphan homes," and one that challenges each individual to rise in defense of the sanctity of the home as God ordained it? What is the church doing about the delinquent parents who stand under spiritual condemnation? "Think on these things."

— Dillard Thurman in Gospel Minutes, Dec. 8, 1981

Who Is Sound?

Much is said these days about who is a sound preacher and which is the sound church. Those who are liberal in their attitude toward the church's engaging in recreational and denominational arrangements for work have persons and churches of the same kind as they in mind when they speak of "faithful" preachers and churches. Those who are opposed to such things have in mind those persons and churches who similarly oppose those things as they speak of "faithful" preachers and churches. But it is entirely possible that one is just about as faithful as the other, or that one is about as faithless as the other.

The Lord insists that we "be sound in the faith." (Titus 1:13) He also requires that we be "faithful unto death" (Rev. 2:10); and that we be "faithful in all things." (1 Tim. 3:11)

The Pharisees were meticulously sound and faithful in their tithing. But they were far from sound and faithful in a number of things which the Lord required. The Pharisees were never condemned for being exacting in observing any requirement of the Lord. They were condemned for their falling to keep other commands of the Lord, but were commended for that which they meticulously observed. Note the following:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone." (Matt. 23:23)

Church members have been known to engage in various forms of dishonest business practices; but because they attend regularly and contribute liberally they get to be considered faithful by others. By the same rule the apostle Peter could have considered Simon the sorcerer a faithful Christian when he thought to obtain the gift of God with money. (See Acts 8:20-23)

They have been known to engage habitually in various forms of immorality, but when they attend regularly they are considered faithful and are made public examples of faithfulness by giving them public part in the worship. This was the condition existing in the church at Corinth which necessitated the severe censure of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.

There is far too great a tendency to consider a congregation faithful merely because it does not financially support some separate human organization; when in fact, it may be the harboring place of all the disgruntled and immoral outcasts of the surrounding churches, embracing all kinds of evil doctrines and practices with all kinds of personal strife and wrangling. The church at Ephesus would not permit some things to come in, but because they had left their first love their candlestick was about to be removed. They were right in one thing and were commended for it, but that one thing did, not make a faithful church. (See Rev. 2:2-6)

Preachers are sometimes considered sound because they preach the truth on the institutional question but their personal life may be far from exemplary. One may be constantly engaged in personal, bitter bickering; but because he "stands on the issues" he is thought to be sound. Another is "sound" even though he may have been involved in a trail of "affairs" in his preaching itinerary. Of course he Is not sound in the faith even though he may stand for the truth on some issues which confront churches today.

— Robert C. Welch, via Faith And Facts

True Tolerance

There is, unfortunately, a kind of easygoing, spineless indifference, bereft of any positive conviction, which sometimes passes as tolerance, but which is worse, even, than intolerance....

But true tolerance is an utterly different thing from this. What it involves is no complacent shilly-shallying about my views of the truth, but a recognition of the other man's right to do his own thinking as I do mine; to reach his own conclusion; and then to hold his own honest convictions as frankly as I hold mine. It means that I have so much confidence in the truth that I can trust it to win its way without any other compulsion than that of its own intrinsic worth. I shall reason with the man who differs from me and seek to persuade him by showing him WHY I believe as I do — but try to coerce him, never.

True tolerance means earnestness of conviction combined with respect for the conviction of others. It is, as Phillips Brooks once pointed out, a fusion of love of truth with love of men. Strong love of truth without love of one's fellows makes the bigot. It is this which has lighted the fires of persecution in every age. Love of one's fellows, on the other hand, without devotion to the truth, makes the sloppy sentimentalist. The blending of the two makes the ardent, and, at the same time, tolerant spirit.

— Samuel McCrea Caveat, from W. Anaheim bulletin, Anaheim, California

Television And Our Children —

There are 46.9 million homes in the U. S. equipped with at least one TV set, according to a 1961 Nielson report. Viewing time in that year averaged 6 hours and 4 minutes per day for each family. This comes to 42 hours and 28 minutes each week. Allowing 8 hours for sleep, this means that of our 16 waking hours the average home has a TV set blaring nearly 1/3 of the time.

There is probably little difference between the viewing habits of church members and the "average" Americans. We at least hope there is a difference.

Even if the programs watched were all wholesome, too much time is spent before the TV set. And when we consider what is shown during this time, there is little wonder that our children sometimes act and talk as they do, or that we have grown careless and indifferent to spiritual things. We spend 42 hours each week feeding the carnal mind on the husks of TV's "vast wasteland," and feel good if we can manage a few minutes to feed the soul. Brethren, these thing ought not so to be!

Some children can name all the stars on the western shows, but they cannot name the twelve apostles. They know the language of underworld slang, but they are not familiar with the language of the Bible. They can find time to spend hour after hour to watch TV, but they have to miss Wednesday night and Sunday night services sometimes "to get homework for school."

What effect does this continual diet of brutality and violence, drinking and immorality, have on our children? The PTA Magazine says, "A widely held opinion (among experts EK) is that the repeated exposure to violence and brutality may blunt children's sensitivity to human suffering." Exposure to constant killing can also create a low regard for human life. Vengeance portrayed in a favorable light and that constantly, as it is on TV, can cause a child to believe that to be a man one must avenge himself of every wrong he sustains. (Try fitting the TV doctrine of vengeance into Romans 12: 19-21.) Drinking, dancing, sexual looseness, gambling, and such like are nearly always presented in an enticing light. Drinking is made to appear natural and common. "What will you have to drink?" has replaced all other forms of greeting visitors.

It is about time for us to start using some control over the TV viewing habits of our children, as well as ourselves. The thing is here to stay and we are going to have to live with it, but there is no reason it should dominate our lives, or be allowed to ruin our children. For their sakes especially, we must exercise some restraint in this matter. There is something badly wrong when children are allowed to see what they please, when they please, and as long as they please.

We need to get back to making home more than a place to eat, sleep and watch TV. We need to turn off the slavish tube and silence its blaring speaker, so we can have a little more time to teach our children about God and other important things in life. Parents still are responsible for training up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph. 8:4) How well do you measure up to your responsibility in this area? Don't let TV rob your children of your companionship. It can do so very easily.

— Earl Kimbrough, via Words of Truth

Debate Propositions Baytown, Texas

7:15 P. M. — September 17th RESOLVED: It is unscriptural for churches of Christ to send funds to a Benevolent Home in order that orphans may be adequately cared for.

AFFIRM: W. R. Jones, DENY: H. C. McCaghren 7:15 P.M. — September 18th

RESOLVED: It is scriptural for churches of Christ to send funds to a Benevolent Home in order that orphans may be adequately cared for.

AFFIRM: H. C. McCaghren, DENY: W. R. Jones 7:15 P.M. — September 20th

RESOLVED: It is scriptural for churches of Christ to send funds to another church in order that the receiving church may preach the gospel over the radio and television.

AFFIRM: H. C. McCaghren, DENY: W. R. Jones 7:15 P.M. — September 21st

RESOLVED: It is unscriptural for churches of Christ to send funds to another church in order that the receiving church may preach the gospel over the radio or television.

AFFIRM: W. R. Jones, DENY: H. C. McCaghren 7:15 P. M. — September 24th

RESOLVED: The scriptures teach that "aliens" can be given benevolent assistance from the church treasury.

AFFIRM: H. C. McCaghren, DENY: W. R. Jones 7:15 P.M. — September 25th

RESOLVED: The scriptures teach that only those who are "saints" can be given benevolent assistance from the church treasury.

AFFIRM: W R. Jones, DENY: H. C. McCaghren