Vol.VII No.II Pg.6
April 1970

Exodus, But No Moses!

Robert F. Turner

Two years ago I preached for a church in New Jersey, and heard how one EXODUS movement worked. When the planners came into this community and found an estab- lished church, with adequate property, well located for the members and those with whom they worked, they insisted that the church building be sold, and that the members (with their treasury) be added to their EXODUS effort. A few heeded the liberal and status-conscious call but more stable minds prevailed, and most of the church continues to meet at the original location, and serve God according to their ability.

Recently this was brought to my mind anew when I read a form letter from a church in Erie, Pa.; listing $39,952.27 in out- standing debts, and asking for $50,000. because we stand to lose everything this small congregation has unless we receive help immediately.

It seems an Exodus Erie was planned (by some think BIG organizers) that promised to bring 100 families to this area. The Erie brethren, less discerning than their conservative brethren in N. J. , fell for the spiel of the brotherhood busybodies, and set in motion a building program to accommodate the expected inflow. Instead of 100 families, two families came. (Count them: one, two.)

And if that isnt enough, the letter says, The reason for our financial need can be attributed to our building program to a great extent. We regretfully admit that through failure of an improperly handled program and affairs pertaining to it, we are now without money to pay for what has been done already and none to finish the building which is useable but not completed.

Further, If you have contributed any to Exodus- Erie in the past four years, will you please indicate the amount below and to what it was designated — such as Exodus—Erie Building Fund, Exodus— Erie Evangelistic Fund, Jerry Overby, etc. We need this information in order to complete an audit since part of our records have been misplaced.

I feel sorry for the brethren of the original church in Erie. Having worked in difficult fields, with small groups of saints, I know how tempting the promises of the Exodizers must have sounded. Youll be a BIG church, with a fine building, on the RIGHT side of the tracks! Excuse me if I remember, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Matt. 4:8-9) Jesus understands their failure (Heb. 4: 15-16) and will forgive if they will repent and turn to Him.

If brethren want to move to N.J., or Pa., and plant the cause of Christ, in a new field, this is wonderful. But they should know that the seed is the word of God (Lu. 8:11) and not a fancy building, built on the wreckage of another congregation. Church-hood planners do not respect the independent church, serving God according to its God-given ability.