Vol.XI No.IX Pg.6
November 1974

Thirty Years Ago

Robert F. Turner

Browsing some 45, 46, 47 editions of Truth in Love (Alabama), it is clear that often those who warned of digression in the organization and work of the church, did not grasp the extent of coming digression nor some fundamentals needed to stop it.


Garvin M. Toms (T.I.L., June 47): It should be borne in mind that each congregation is an individual entity. Although it is a part of the body and is related to every other congregation, yet it is independent of all others so far as its government is concerned and is subject only to its Head. The members of Christs body are not congregations, but saints. (1 Cor. 12:l2-f) The sister churches concept was the basic fallacy of Alex. Campbell, and led to the missionary society then, and to the multi-church arrangements of today.

Toms, again: One congregation might assist another in a good work; and several churches may unite their efforts to accomplish more as did the churches of Macedonia in contributing to the poor saints in Judea. But the New Testament authorizes no organization larger than the local congregation or smaller than the church as a whole for either missionary or charitable purposes. (1) When churches send independently to the same need, (as did churches of Macedonia and Corinth— study 1 Cor. 16:1-3 each does its own work of sending alms to the needy church. If unite their effort means pooling funds at the disposition of an executive board or sponsoring elders, (2a) this is not what the Macedonian churches did; and (2b) in such we have formed an organization larger than the local, church. Highland in Abilene is not a church in need, yet her elders oversee and spend the funds of thousands of churches. It is the organizational medium for the contributing churches radio and TV work. The N. T. does not put local elders over brotherhood work.

Glenn L. Wallace (T.I.L., Mar. 45) says, There is as much authority for a United Christian Missionary Society in the Church today, as there is for some editor, some school president or some preacher to name himself the organizer and the solicitor for missions among the Churches. Glenn had made reference to the late chief of missions much in the news of 45. Is there any more authority for some sponsoring church to name herself the organizer and the solicitor for missions among the churches? None!!

Billy H. Hood (T.I.L., Dec. 46): Let it be clearly understood that the work of the church is not simply to entertain: it is not to compete with the organizations of men, the modern theatres, and places of amusement. Further it is not to do the work of the Community Chest or the Red Cross. The work of the church is much greater than any human organization. It has a work that no human institution in the world can do. Its primary work is to teach and preach to men and women the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by which they are to be saved. . . Amen! But I would cut out the word simply. Other than that— if bro. Hood is still living today, I wonder what he thinks of the current social work of some churches?