Vol.III No.X Pg.7
November 1966

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Boles Home is just a "home" like any other home, except for substitute parents. If churches can support any home, why can't they support Boles home? Please answer plainly.


(1) Scriptures do not teach us to support any "home" as an institution, divine or otherwise. Failure to see this makes the first big "gap" in the "home" support argument. Basic needs of poor saints were supplied (ACT.6:; ROM.15:26, etc.) but even this was not a blanket "support" in the modern sense of taking responsibility. Lazy needy saints were not fed (2TH.3:10-12). Younger widows were not "taken into the number" -- and whatever that means, it describes the open door for the "widow indeed" (1TI.5:9-16).

We are far wide of the mark when we think of the church as a fund-raising institution, for the support of any other institution, even of another church. Emergency assistance to a church in need (2CO.8:) is a far cry from "contributing church-sponsoring church" roles of today.

(2) Boles Home qualifies as "home" about like a "Home Cooking" sign on a Manhattan restaurant. It is a place to sleep and eat, etc., like a ship for a sea-borne sailor, a "home away from home" -- and I'm sure many unfortunate children appreciate it as such. I do not depreciate the general welfare function such benevolent societies perform. But it is not the work of the organized church; and it is absurd to call this highly institutionalized refuge a "home" in the same sense as a father, mother, and their children make a "home". The so-called "parents" in these institutions (and they can't make up their minds who the "parents" are-??) do not support their own "children" to the extent of their ability, and then take assistance only when their own funds are exhausted. They draw a salary (often very substantial) for the "care" they render. This is home?

The charters of these benevolent societies (called "homes") clearly show their institutional status. The executive board of Boles Home ("parents" according to some) are also in control of the Stephenville Home. Does this make them bigamists? In the Birmingham debate Guy N. Woods repudiated such an arrangement -- said he would oppose such if it ever came. Well, it came! But Guy is quiet now.

In reality, the "home" argument is strictly for local consumption -- for such as the writer of this question -- for use in debate, to confuse the gullible listener. The Superintendent, the executive board, the legal papers, the planners of these benevolent societies know better. I can, and do grant that they feel this is a worthy work; and since they accept the social gospel philosophy of church work, they feel this should be supported by churches. But they know their society is not a "home" in the sense it is often presented to the brethren.

If they would divorce their society from the church they would have a fine human benevolent institution.