Vol.III No.IX Pg.8
October 1966

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Someone drove up in front of Oaks West building, and asked if this was "the church that is against everything.

This is what I call the "Prejudice Premise," and if it is allowed to stand there can be no honorable discussion. "You can't get there from here!" Perhaps the proper reply to such a question would be, "You must be looking for the church that is against nothing!"

I know a church that spent 51% of its entire budget for evangelism outside its local work; (i.e., in "new" and foreign fields-- not counting its support of a local preacher or local meeting work) and this is a "doing nothing" church -- in the eyes of another group that sends $5. per month to a benevolent society.

The "Prejudice Premise" is used in a little story that has appeared in various orphan home publications, ending with, "I like the way I am caring for the fatherless much better than the way you are not caring for them." The whole thing assumes that someone objects to caring for orphans, and that the issue is the method of care. Both these premises are utterly false.

Let's reconstruct the anecdote: "First man: "I don't like the way You organize saints to do church benevolence." Second man: "Well, I am always ready to find a better way. Tell me, how do you organize saints for church work?" First man: "I preach and practice the independent local church organization as set forth in the New Testament; with oversight, treasury, and work on a local rather than a "church-hood" or universal scale." (Acts 14:23; 6:3 1 Tim.5: 16 I Cor.16: 2-3 Acts 11:30)"

A Missionary Society, accepting contributions from a hundred churches, may use exactly the same method of preaching (and a Benevolent Society, the same method of caring) as a local church operating under God's plan for church organization. The method of organization (or scope of it) is the issue -- and folk who use a prejudiced premise to avoid the real problem are advertising their fear of truth.

Prejudice is a terrible malady. It blinds us, makes us insensible to the most obvious truths. Perhaps none of us are entirely free from its blight, but if we are aware of its dangers we should calculate its influence before drawing hasty conclusions.