Vol.III No.V Pg.7
June 1966

"Kingdom Babies" At Mt. Dora?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Please comment upon MAT.19:14 and MAT.25:45, as these passages pertain to the support of Mt. Dora Orphan Home from the local church treasury.


The big problem here is finding any connection at all in the passages and the question.

MAT.19:14 refers to little babes, (see MAR.10:13-16; LUK.18:15-17) and by saying "of such is (belongeth) the kingdom" Jesus makes innocence, purity, and trusting simplicity essential characteristics for all who would be citizens in His kingdom. (He is not saying the kingdom consists of babies; nor -- far less -- that babies are born in sin, wholly depraved, and should be brought to the kingdom for salvation.)

If the church treasury is to be used to support everything Jesus used as an example of purity, the kingdom, etc., then we would have to take care of sheep, fruit trees, humble Publicans, and what else. To step from the babies used as examples, to church support of a brotherhood (?) institution is ridiculous in the extreme.

Matt. 25:31-46 is the judgment scene. Vs.40 (to the saved) reads, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me". Feeding, clothing and visiting brethren of Christ is obviously that which occasioned His praise. And there is nothing here whatever to suggest organized church work, even of one independently operated church. How anyone could see a group of churches operating collectively, through a "church-hood" institution; producing a general welfare program -- well, it defies explanation. And vs.45, the passage of the question, is even further away. "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these -- " is talking about the most humble or "insignificant" brother of Christ; and has no reference to babies. (Babies in prison???)

If the querist meant that babies (MAT.19:14) are "in the kingdom" and therefore should be supported; would he sanction turning them out of Mt. Dora when they reach the age of accountability? If not, why the argument? Isn't it obvious to any thinking person that anyone who couples these passages is hard up for scriptures? They are far wide of the mark.

Christians are concerned about the needs of all people; saints, sinners, adults and children. But this doesn't warrant church support of "church-hood" child-care, or prisoner-care institutions. Let each church care for her own obligations (children or prisoners, if you please) and not go running over the country trying to find more objects of charity, so as to build up a state-wide, section-wide, or even nation-wide project to place at the door-step of other churches. The local church has a God-given obligation in benevolence (1TI.5:16 Acts 6:1-f) and faithful Christians will be satisfied to do God's work in God's way -- going no further.

Even scriptural local church work doesn't remove individual obligations.