Vol.III No.VI Pg.5
July 1966

The "Foy" I Knew And Loved

Robert F. Turner

For past two issues we have quoted from "WHAT THE CHURCH MUST DO TO BE SAVED," a classic sermon by Foy E. Wallace, Jr., repeatedly preached and published thirty years ago. Consider! -----------------------------

"Today any man or group of men can start any institution they please to start, put it in a benevolent basket, label it "Your Baby," and place it on the doorstep of the church with the appeal "Please, take care of it"! That is taxation without representation. Again, I say, the delegate system of the digressives is better than that, for in that case there would be a voice in what is started.

The church is about to become the unwitting and unwilling victim of institutionalism, and institutionalism is about to become a racket. Where is the scriptural precept or precedent for scouring the country for orphans, transporting them from sections far and wide to an institution that was not created by reason of orphans in that particular community, but which a promoter created by searching for orphans?

Am I against taking care of orphans? I am not. But I am against the institutional racket. It is the duty of the church to care for their dependents -- and they should provide the means of doing so under their own supervision. If individuals wish to operate hospitals, inns, homes or schools, it is their right to do so, but the church cannot operate institutions. If the church can do its benevolent work through a board of directors, why not its missionary work through a board of directors? If one is a society, why not the other? There is therefore no such thing as "our institutions," if by "our" you mean the church. Institutionalism was the tap-root of digression. It has always been the fatal blow to congregational independence. It destroys the individuality of both the congregation and the Christian, as Nazism and Fascism destroy the individuality of their citizens in Germany and Italy. Back of institutionalism is party pride. People say: "Your church does not have any great institutions; it is not missionary and benevolent." We would say: "O yes it does!" and "Yes we are!"

And we come to love the institutions more than the church. Schools, for instance -- and this is the test: Criticize the church, and it brings no rise from these devotees of certain institutions; but criticize their school and they will have a fit, and your name thereafter, henceforth and forever is a hiss. But brother, the college is not the church nor can the church own and operate it. It is private and secular and belongs to the man or group of men to whom it belongs. It is an adjunct of the home, not of the church; auxiliary to the family, not to the congregation; and parents and interested individuals, not churches, should sponsor and support them."


Above taken from "Certified Gospel" pp. 155-156. The same may be found in the July, 1939 Bible Banner. THIS IS THE "FOY" I KNEW AND LOVED.