Vol.VII No.IV Pg.6
June 1970

Old Bait, New Fish

Robert F. Turner

In the Apr. 14, Firm Foundation Dr. J. D. Thomas reported that Pres. John Stevens (ACC) was advocating a way for churches to become financially involved in a scriptural way in the training of preachers in our accredited schools. He explained, Specifically, churches could hire young men on their staff of preachers and support them while they are in attendance at a Christian college and preparing to preach. The church would not be contributing to the college, but would simply be supporting the preacher during his time of preparation for preaching. This is scriptural, inasmuch as churches now support the local minister while he is preparing to preach next Sunday.

I fail to see how anything can be scriptural inasmuch as — we do so and so. A thing is scriptural when the SCRIPTURES authorize it — and a PhD. should understand that. But the schools want some of that financial blood that is now going to church operated preacher schools.

And should the churches really send support to the preacher — after all the propaganda we have heard to the effect that preachers are dishonest, and money should be sent to some sponsoring church rather than directly? What is wrong with contributing to the college according to We Be Brethren — bro. Thomas book?? Is it not apparent that this is another college try for the church treasury — the same, in fact, as that made by Pres. A. C. Pullias (DLC) a few years past? What possible advantage has accredited BIBLE knowledge over any other, to BIBLE preachers? My memory is none too sharp, but I recall this same plea in the history of earlier efforts to get support for colleges; and it is amazing that men who supposedly keep up with such an important issue would be caught by it now. But bro. Reuel Lemmons. in an editorial of Apr. 21, (F.F.) follows in the same path with bro. Thomas. How long will it take him to see where he is being led?

He thinks, The church has better control over the education its preachers get if it is paying the bill. At the risk of shocking the editor, this preacher would like to announce that he does not belong to (i.e., is not the property of) the church. but is an individual belonging to Christ. I expect brethren (individually and/ or collectively) to support me because I am engaged in the work of the Lord and we have this common interest. I work with my brethren, and enter into agreement with certain ones to function collectively in certain things; but I am not a Church of Christ preacher (in that party sense which is so common these days).

With our preachers, going to our schools, where we control the education our preachers get — (and the once common practice of putting such statements in quotes is now a rarity) how long will it take to convince churches to quit kidding themselves, send the money to the school, and let the college run the show?

I think bro. Lemmons had better read up on the college-in-the-church budget arguments of the past century. I think bro. Thomas already knows!!