Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 28, 1957
NUMBER 30, PAGE 7a,9b

They Missed The Point

Roy E. Cogdill, Lufkin, Texas

The Sixth and Izard Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, borrowed $40,000.00 from the Orphan Home at Morrillton when they built their new meeting house. At first the loan was kept a deep, dark secret, but then it leaked out. Evidently there has been some criticism of the Home for lending to one church money contributed by other churches for another purpose entirely, and they have felt the pressure of this criticism. At any rate, the Sixth and Izard Church through a letter written by Brother Cleon Lyles and signed by the elders of the church recently undertook to explain so that the Home will not suffer the criticism.

They explain that the money had been contributed for improvements at the Home; that such improvements were delayed; and that Sixth and Izard had borrowed the money for only a few months, paying very substantial interest on it, and that the loan was well secured by personal endorsements, and was repaid in due time or before.

In all of this they miss the point of the criticism and by their very attitude and action have substantiated the very thing that brought on the criticism. By the loan they have obligated themselves to the point that they are now promoting the interest of the Home far beyond anything they had ever done before or likely would have done under other circumstances. Brother Lyles recently on his radio program used the time he was supposed to use preaching the gospel to promote the interests 6th the Home at Morrillton and to beg money for it. He prodded other churches to contribute to the Home by the example of Sixth and Izard recently sending a $1,000.00 special contribution out of its treasury in addition to what they contribute regularly. Then on top of all that, the circular letters were mailed out by this congregation to other churches around the country soliciting sympathy and money for the Morrillton home. That is quite a bit of interest for one congregation to suddenly take in an institution separate and apart from the church. The reason for the interest and efforts is apparent. It is not an interest in the welfare of orphans, else they would have taken such action long years before. Quite obviously they are under an obligation to the Home; they feel it, and are seeking to do something about it.

The Home at Morrillton would profit by putting off their building program again and lending their money out some more. They then could put some other churches and preachers under obligation and get some more help — if such efforts really help them.

Gratuities, gifts, loans and such like are likely to sway your thinking and influence our attitude toward the truth. "Our" institutions will promote the interest of any preacher or church who will promote them. They have many favors to extend. A recent $2000.00 scholarship awarded by a certain school to the daughter of a certain preacher was not on the basis of achievement or scholarship, but quite obviously for the rather cynical purpose of "buying" that preacher's influence for the school. Already his attitude has changed wonderfully. In the past he has been openly critical of anyone who took part in their programs; now, however, he is scheduled to be one of the prominent speakers on their "lecture" program. He is actively promoting the interests of this school, and may even succeed in getting the big church where he preaches to contribute out of its treasury to the school if they need any money. After all, why shouldn't he? It is no more unscriptural for a church to contribute out of its treasury to a school where the Bible is taught along with secular subjects, operated by a board of directors separate and apart from the church, than it is to contribute to an Orphan Home separate and apart from the church and operated by a board of directors. The same scripture which justifies one justifies the other. No man can condemn one and uphold the other. They are both operated by a hoard of directors separate and apart from the church. They are both larger than a local church: are both engaged in secular as well as spiritual activities. There is no difference in principle in the church supporting either of them.

Passing out free scholarships to well paid preachers, promoting preachers into prominence, and other favors political in their nature can change a man's attitude from criticism and disfavor or downright opposition to one of outright support. Someone may say, "Oh, you are only jealous." We have heard that charge. But just remember this: Any of the rest of us could enjoy these same favors were we willing to barter away our souls for a mere mess of pottage. If one is going to play politics, why does he not get out of the church of the Lord and into the political arena where he could at least engage in such activities without being a hypocrite.