Vol.I No.IX Pg.5
September 1964

Second Affirmative - J. L. Hines

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner, you have a wonderful spirit, and I love you for it. This kindly spirit will surely heal a DEEP WOUND in the heart of the Lord's church. Brother, you did not try to dodge the issue, but came forth as a Christian and stated an apostolic situation. It is true that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

Our brother admitted the "Judean brethren, (including the Jerusalem church) became DEPENDENT. (Acts 11:28) Some years later this condition was repeated (Rom. 15:26 2 Cor. 8:) and alms were sent by other churches to supply their "want"+++ until they could again meet their own obligations." But our brother makes a distinction of being DEPENDENT by choice and DEPENDENT by destitution (without choice). I must demur. As there is not a person who is not DEPENDENT, so it is with churches. Even the church where our brother worships is DEPENDENT on other churches for its very existence.

I must insist that the "judean churches" under the authority of Jesus Christ, through His Agent, the Holy Spirit, and by the direction of His apostles (ambassadors) did CO-OPERATE in the matter of "giving and receiving" and yet NOT ONE OF THEM lost its INDEPENDENCY (autonomy). My brother rushes in to say: This is a case of destitution, which came to an end, when the cause was removed. Exactly so, but still here is the undisputed case of CONGREGATIONAL COOPERATION with divine approval. But our brother would say: HIGHLAND created a situation. Well, if that situation is within the framework of divine economy; what right have we to say: IT IS UNSCRIPTURAL? I am not concerned where the ABILENE program started, but, is it scriptural? I am not confusing DEPENDENCY with "FREE AGENCY." A church has the scriptural right to undertake any scriptural program, and leave the door open or solicit help to carry on that program, and any church has the scriptural right to help a sister church or not help.

A church loses its INDEPENDENCY when it delegates its right, as a church to another and becomes subject to another; but no church loses its independency when it, of its own free choice, chooses to help another in the PROCLAMATION of the gospel, or chooses to help another in CARING FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS. Try Jas.l:27 and Acts 6:, also 1 Cor. 16:1-4.

Why does the church at Burnet take up collection on the first day of every week? This scripture has been misused by "our brethren" for years. This money is in the treasury, yet "we" take it out for every purpose "we" wish and think is "scriptural." Why not?