Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 28, 1954
NUMBER 37, PAGE 2-3a

Jakim And Kareah -- No. 3 — Modern Pictures In Old Frames

Thomas B. Warren, Fort Worth, Texas

(Note: This is the third in a series of imaginary conversations between two Christians who lived in the time just following the days of the New Testament. The fact that references are made to inventions which did not at that time exist will not, I think, detract from the principles involved. — T.B.W.)

KAREAH: Well, well, here is my old friend Jakim from Thyatira! How are you? And how is the good congregation there getting along?

JAKIM: Well, Kareah! We are all getting along fine. The congregation seems to be zealous for the work of the Lord. How is the work going with you brethren at Jerusalem?

KAREAH: Before I tell you about the work of the congregation at Jerusalem, let me first show you something that I personally am doing. I have been commissioned by the Jerusalem Society for the Publication of Bible Encyclopedias to write a section in their new encyclopedia.

JAKIM: I suppose that is quite an honor. What is it that you are to do?

KAREAH: Oh, I am to give the correct meaning of a few terms. I already have most of the terms explained.

Would you like for me to read them for you?

JAKIM: Yes, I would like to hear what you, or anyone else, would have to say about a Bible subject.

KAREAH: Fine! Here it is:

"Objective Case Preacher" — A preacher who dares to voice a question about a practice of his brethren. This type of preacher has no vision. He can see only the dangers in a plan devised by a congregation, but he cannot see the great possibilities for good in plans which involve a tie-up of almost every congregation of the Lord's church. This type is very undesirable.

"Nominative Case Preacher" — A preacher who does not ask questions about plans devised by his brethren. He feels that it would not be "Christ like" to question such matters even if the purpose of such questions were to clarify certain questions in his own mind about such plans. This type of preacher has great "vision." He focuses his attention on the good a plan can accomplish instead of being "objective" and asking whether or not it is scriptural. This type of preacher is very desirable.

"Anti-Missionary Preacher" — One who does not go "all-out" in urging brethren in hundreds of congregations to all send their funds for preaching the gospel to a big central, "overseeing" congregation. He believes that the local congregation is perfectly adapted to, and wholly adequate for, the accomplishment of the mission with which God has charged it, without setting up a "brotherhood tie-up" of hundreds of congregations. This is another undesirable type of preacher.

"Receiving-Planning Congregations" — Congregations which "think" up the schemes for other congregations to support. They plan their activities with the funds of the brotherhood in mind. Such congregations are the ones who really accomplish something for the Lord.

"Contributing Congregations" — Congregations which supply the funds for the plans of the "Receiving-

"Planning Congregations." — Such congregations are really very insignificant in accomplishing the Lord's work.

"Receiving-Planning Elderships" — Elderships which plan work that involves the funds of the entire, or almost the entire, brotherhood. They are men of great vision, especially when it involves the finances of others. These are the men who really accomplish something.

"Giving Elderships" — Elderships which do not devise plans for the brotherhood to support. Rather, they are content to turn over most of the finances of the local congregation over which they are supposed to have oversight over to a "Receiving-Planning Eldership." — Such men are usually poorly qualified to devise Plans for the brotherhood.

JAKIM: Is that all of it?

KAREAH: Oh, no! But it is all I have finished at the present time. I am on my way home now to work on more such material.

JAKIM: It seems to me that it would be better if you not only did not write any more such "definitions" but also threw away those which you have already written!

KAREAH: Jakim! You wound my tender soul! Why do you say such a thing?

JAKIM: Because the "definitions" you have given are not according to "sound words."

KAREAH: Now you are pouring salt into my wounds! I have always been praised for my soundness.

JAKIM: Yes, I know that you have, and for that very reason you are likely to deceive a great many brethren into thinking just as you do. Men who have always been known to be false teachers are not likely to mislead anyone.

KAREAH: But what do you see wrong with what I have written?

JAKIM: It would be easier to tell you what I see right about it, for there is so little that seems to me to be right. First of all, you stigmatize faithful gospel preachers who ask questions about the plans which are advanced by other brethren.

KAREAH: But such questions cause doubts to arise in the minds of brethren and so cause the contributions to stop coming in.

JAKIM: If "plans" will not meet the test of being put under the light of the scriptures, not only doubt but opposition should arise in the minds of brethren. In fact, Paul commanded children of God to "prove all things." There is surely something wrong when brethren do not want others to even ask questions about some of their practices. Kareah, according to your definition of an "objective case preacher," Paul himself would be an undesirable preacher, for he certainly called into question many of the practices of the brethren at Corinth and other places. Also, your definition of a "nominative case preacher" shows clearly that you think that God is not concerned with HOW His children carry out His commands. Surely a reading of Leviticus 10:1, 2 will rid your mind of this delusion.

KAREAH: Perhaps you are right, but the questions many are asking will very likely stop the brotherhood from sending contributions to us at Jerusalem, and then where will our big plan be?

JAKIM: Perhaps where it originated — back in your laps! Your "plan," it seems to me, will divide the congregations into two classes — in fact, this is the way you have defined them: (1) receiving-planning congregations which plan work and get the money to operate the plan from other congregations, and (2) giving congregations which do no "brotherhood" planning, but rather simply send their money off for other congregations to use.

KAREAH: But what is wrong with that?

JAKIM: There is just no scripture for it, that's all! Just as there is no scripture for the distinction which some brethren are making in calling one "elder" the "bishop" and all of the other "elders" by the designation "presbyter." All elders are equal, and this distinction will, it seems to me, lead to the development of a hierarchal form of congregational organization. In the same way, there is no authority for this distinction in congregations. It, too, it seems to me, will lead to the development of a struggle for power between two or three congregations.

KAREAH: But congregations cooperated in the times of the apostles.

JAKIM: They surely did, but you cannot find where they had anything like what you brethren have. The example of sending aid to a congregation in time of distress is no authority for you to set up yourselves as a "brotherhood headquarters" to solicit the funds of the entire brotherhood on a permanent basis. You brethren at Jerusalem owe it to us in Thyatira to leave our funds out of your planning and let us do our own planning. Local congregations are equal and the Lord planned them to carry out the mission of preaching the gospel without a hierarchal organizational set-up or anything that is akin to such a set-up.

KAREAH: But we will never preach the gospel to the world that way! Don't you see that this "plan" which we have is wiser than the way you are advocating.

JAKIM: The way I am advocating is the way the apostles and others of New Testament days did it. I may not be able to see why it is wiser, and it may not be the way I would have planned it if it had been left up to me, but by faith I will accept it as the best way and leave the results up to the Lord.

KAREAH: Jakim, you have disturbed me! I must go now, but I want to study this question at greater lengths at a later date.

JAKIM: I will be glad to study more. I will see you later, for I wish to talk to you about some of your other "definitions." Goodbye for now.