Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 16, 1956

School - Church Lending Agency

Robert C. Welch, Louisville, Kentucky.

Another very serious threat to the independency of churches has been recently announced by David Lipscomb College in the Gospel Advocate. Approximately $100,000.00 of endowment funds have been allocated to the starting of a loan fund to be used by the "churches of Christ engaged in building projects," according to the feature article in the May 31, 1956 issue. Thus the college will have begun another direct controlling connection with churches. It is a well known fact that they are asking for and receiving contributions from churches. Thus, for some time they have been seeking to combine congregations in one phase of activity, in spite of protests that in so doing they are forming another denomination, like that formed by the American Christian Missionary Society a century ago.

The United Christian Missionary Society has its board of church extension which is a lending agency for church buildings in the ranks of the Christian Church. Churches of Christ are not going to lose their independency in having a denominational organization called a missionary society; they are going to be denominationally different, they are going to form their denominational organization under "Christian Schools." One more link in the chain has been forged by adding the church loan branch of the DLC operation. In such organization churches of Christ are rapidly growing into a distinct denomination.

Will any person be so naive as to think that a church which does not believe in supporting such schools from its treasury will be able to secure a loan from this school? One could as easily find a Christian Church which refuses to be connected with the UCMS securing a loan from its board of extension. Brethren have not been writing much within the past year on the specific practice of the school's encroachment on congregational independency. Independency has only been dealt with in a general way in the discussion of human institutionalism. While this specific fight has lulled momentarily, DLC has taken advantage of the lull and has forged ahead in binding the churches together more securely through herself.

This is not a criticism of the existence of a school in which the scriptures are studied along with secular education. It is not a criticism of a school's receiving individual contributions. Nor is it criticism of a school's having endowment funds from which income is derived through loans. But let it be emphasized: there is no stronger voluntary bond, there is no greater losing of independency, than for churches to contribute to an organization in which its future members are taught their spiritual and moral precepts and practices, to which those churches have indebted themselves morally and financially. No Christian Church has ever been bound to the missionary society to a greater degree than a church will be bound to David Lipscomb College under her present announced practices. She has now developed the exact machine over the churches which her founder spent his life opposing. The name of that valiant warrior is now as much out of place over the doors of that institution as the name of George Washington in the governmental halls of Russia.

It is time for us to wake up and face the facts. The tornado is not merely approaching, it is here, we are right now in its center. It is getting time for us to quit talking about the "dangers threatening" the church, and begin noting the ruin and wreckage already made. It is now time for us to begin cleaning up from the storm. We need to be working to salvage and restore what has been wrecked by its ravages. With this latest move David Lipscomb College has gone as far as the Missionary Society has gone in her control of churches. The only difference is in relative size and number of churches involved. We must try to save as much as we possibly can from her increasing gluttonous grabbing and gorging of money and power, within and over churches of our Lord.