Vol.IV No.VII Pg.6
August 1967

"Societies" And "Adjunots"

Robert F. Turner

The word "Society" has a bad connotation among members of the church of Christ, especially when applied to some church adjunct. The "adjunct" is freely accepted by "marching" liberal brethren everywhere -- World Radio, Campaigns for Christ, Inc., Herald of Truth, Boles Home, etc. -- although there is hesitancy in calling these adjuncts "adjuncts," and downright aversion to calling them "societies" (Some brave reader will "Refuse" this paper on the basis of the above.).

But facts are stubborn things. The word "society" as used in this context means, "a voluntary association of individuals for common ends". The bad connotation, mentioned earlier, developed among members of the church of Christ in earlier years, when "missionary societies" "ladies aid societies" and the like were issues among brethren, leading to the so-called "Christian Church" division (Today's "Christian Church" is simply yesterday's liberal brethren, gone to seed.).

A missionary society consisted of "a voluntary association of individuals" intent on furthering the preaching of the gospel (As those forming today's Gospel Press society.). It became an "adjunct" to the churches because churches voluntarily contributed to its treasury, using it as a media through which to do some of their "mission" work. Domination of the churches by the societies was not an avowed purpose or intent. In fact many societies had clauses in their charters sharply forbidding such. Autonomy was not wrested from churches -- certainly not in early stages of the development. The churches freely gave away their autonomy, in their zeal to do "good works" via these adjuncts. These things are clearly revealed in "our" history, and why men like Reuel Lemmons can not see it, I do not understand. Words have their "day" and then give place to other words. "Society" was a popular word in the latter half of the last century. It was freely attached to Orphan Homes, Schools, and the like by brethren whose counterparts now shun the word like the plague (Today's "fellowship dinners" and "area-wide young people's meetings" were once called "fairs and festivals" and are outlawed as such in many "creeds in the deeds" today.). The point in all this in most obvious to any who will THINK.

Liberal brethren today are condoning, encouraging and supporting exactly the same things -- in principle -- that led the digressive movement of the last century. Benevolent Societies, Missionary Societies, Advertisement Societies, Promotion Societies, and many more, are made adjuncts to the church, and sap the strength of that divine institution. Today's promoters have simply relabeled the mess, and gullible brethren are swallowing it, hook-line-and-sinker.

Early stalwarts contended that the single independent local church was its own "missionary society" and "benevolent society". They were called, "Anti-s" by the digressive element of yesteryear -- even as those who object to today's adjuncts are societies are so branded. AM I BECOME YOUR ENEMY BECAUSE I TELL YOU THE TRUTH??