Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 4, 1964

Wiser Than The Children Of Light

Henry A. Kirkland

From the headline story in the Roseburg, Oregon, News-Review, April 28, 1964, comes the following excerpts:

"Harry Holt, whose baby-lift resulted in homes in this country for more than 3,000 Korean orphans, died in Korea today of a heart attack....The baby-lift began after Holt went to Korea in the summer of 1955 to adopt eight unwanted orphans...Holt, a wealthy farmer and a deeply religious man, became so impressed with the plight of the orphans that he opened an adoption agency in Korea. Then began the baby-lift that brought joy to hundreds of American couples...Friends said Holt spent his entire wealth on the baby-lift and the Korean orphanage."

The orphan child of Korea has lost one who practiced what Jesus called, "pure religion" in James 1:27. I have been told he was Presbyterian but do not actually know what church he belonged to. I know he was not a member of the church of Christ in Cottage Grove which is the nearest sound church in that area. However, he practiced what he believed and proved his faith by giving his wealth, time, and possibly his life for he had a weak heart. If men will be accepted into the eternal home for such good works alone, Harry Holt will surely be there. What disturbs me most is the many who claim to be members of the body of Christ, but whose actions are the opposite of this fine man.

Jesus said, "....the children of this world are, in their generation wiser than the children of light' (Luke 16:8). Today this still holds true in the realm of benevolence, especially as it involves homeless children. Let us take notice.

Some months ago, the Gospel Beacon, published by one of the brethren in Springfield, Oregon, not far from Harry Holt's home town, devoted an entire back page to the statistics of our homes" for children. According to this glowing report, there are 29 homes with 1500 children and $10,000,000.00 invested in property. Harry Holt, an individual of much less wealth, but with a heart like the publican in Luke 18 was able to accomplish TWICE as much as those who claim to be "children of light"! This is a pathetic commentary on Christians!

According, to the news story Mrs. Holt was to go to Korea to bury her husband for she said, "He wants to be buried with his babies there." How very different is this from the report in a church bulletin in Sacramento, California, where the editor states:

"The Sierra Children's Home has been filled for several weeks now and 19 children have been turned away because of insufficient space (a previous report stated the hiring of a full-time social worker to help find children for they had even talked to parents of children in their attempts to "fill" their vacancies HAK). It is heartbreaking to turn these children away when they are in need of so much. The building of a new cottage is planned and the Home needs and welcomes advice, ideas, and whatever financial support we can give them...."

Brethren this was in the bulletin of a congregation with elders, 6 deacons, attendance of 200 and contribution over $300 weekly. Still they can't find room nor provide for children which they believe "need so much"! Yet Harry Holt, even in death, wants "to be buried with his babies..." How true it is that, "there are none so blind as those who will not see."

The term visit in James 1:27 and Matthew 25:36,43 is a late form of episkopeo from which we get our term Bishop or overseer (Vine's, page 190). Thayer says it means to "look upon or after" and is the equivalent Hebraistically of "to look upon in order to help or to benefit" (Page 242). Vincent (Vol, I, page 736) says. "James strikes a downright blow here at ministry by proxy, or by mere gifts of money. Pure and undefiled religion demands personal contact with the world's sorrows: to visit them in their affliction." All of this on the true meaning of this word no doubt prompts some brethren's silence in quoting of authorities but also prompts Adam Clarke to state or ask, "Reader, what religion hast thou? Has thine ever led thee to cellars, garrets, cottages, and houses to find out the distressed?" (Volume VI, page 804).

Men ought to hang their heads in shame when they will split congregations over a 25 - 50 contribution per member per month, for some human institution which "belongs to the brotherhood." Especially so when ALL 29 of them combined are not doing as much as one dedicated individual did in a few short years! We can meet every responsibility in this realm if one-third of the members of the church would only become one-half as dedicated in their service as this man was. Those who say it can't be done by individuals or individual action alone may now politely choke on their words. They better also prepare for the final judgment when such men as Harry Holt will rise up and condemn them because they will not see, neither will they do the Lord's will. Surely the children of Light can do better, if they will do it according to the pattern of God's Word which was so fittingly proved by the activities of one of the devoted children of this generation.

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17)

— Box 275, Dillard, Oregon