Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 27, 1964

Who Is Paying The Bill?

Walter N. Henderson

The last week in June many brethren and churches received two letters and a Harding College bulletin advertising a "Christian Workers' Workshop and Preachers' Forum" to be conducted at Harding College August 4-6, 1964. The letter-head on one of the letters and the envelopes read as follows: "Herald of Truth radio and television program of the Highland Church of Christ, Box 2001. Abilene, Texas." I am wondering who paid for this advertising?

There must have been considerable cost involved in this, for it is a neat job, and it was mailed first class. I have no way of knowing how much it cost as I do not know how many were mailed, nor the cost of printing and the labor involved. I believe 50,000 would be a fair guess. Some think that 100,000 would be nearer correct. Postage alone for 50,000 would be $2,500.00. I very much doubt the paper, printing, and labor could have been furnished for another $2,500.00, but in order to be very conservative in my estimation, I will say that it cost $5,000.00 to put these letters into the mail. It may have cost much more. Who paid this bill?

The whole thing was boosting Harding College and its seminar on Communism. Did Harding College pay the bill? It should have. I am sure they paid for their bulletin being printed, but who paid for the two letters and the postage? If Harding did, why were they not mailed at Searcy, Arkansas, instead of Abilene, Texas? Why was the Herald of Truth's stationary used? Why should the College send these bulletins all the way to Abilene and bother an organization dedicated to preaching the gospel of Christ with mailing its advertising matter? Has the Herald of Truth turned into an advertising agency? Or has it become the servant of Harding College?

Did the Highland Church pay this bill out of its treasury? If so, it is supporting Harding College out of its treasury. This is not the mission of the Lord's church For years Highland has been begging other churches for money to carry on the Herald of Truth. If she is able to give thousands of dollars to Harding College, why should other churches be asked to pay for Highland's radio and television work? This violates everything the New Testament teaches about one church helping another church. The only need Highland has is spiritual rather than financial. Highland is far richer financially than most of the contributing churches. Will the elders of the Highland Church tell us who paid the bill?

Did the Herald of Truth pay this bill? If so, why? Was this bill paid with money contributed by the churches? Many of these churches are opposed to church support of colleges. Are the elders of Highland, who are also the directors of the Herald of Truth, forcing these contributing churches to support Harding College? If this bill was paid with money these churches supplied, then, this is what is happening. If this be true, brethren who could not see a violation of church autonomy in the Herald of Truth arrangement before this, ought to be able to see it clearly now. If these churches entrusted their money to the Highland elders to preach the gospel of Christ over the Herald of Truth program, and instead they paid this bill with it, they are guilty of misappropriating funds. This is not Christianity.

This is the price churches will have to pay when they begin to support human institutions. Harding College, the Herald of Truth, the Gospel Press, institutional homes, and all other kindred organizations are human institutions. When churches open the gate for one to come in, the rest will come in the same gate. The same reasoning that lets the church support one human institution, will demand that it support them all.

The elders of the Highland Church should tell us who paid the bill. Furthermore, they should be able to give us chapter and verse for their action in this matter. If they cannot do this, they need to repent of acting without divine authority.

— P. O. Box 692, Clermont, Fla.