"Let's Ignore Him . . . Maybe He Will Go Away"
Hobert A. Mobley
When we are bothered by something that doesn't appeal to us, we sometimes say, "Let's ignore it; maybe it will go away." This seems to be the attitude of the Trustees of the Midwestern Children's Home near Morrow, Ohio. On May 18, 1965, they sent out a letter to several churches in the Cincinnati-Dayton area announcing the purchase of a farm for $66,500 on which to build the Children's Home. This letter requested that the churches "Support this endeavor with their prayers and money so that children without homes will be in Christian Homes."
Certainly a thorough investigation should be made of any proposed expenditure of the Lord's money. So I wrote a return letter on June 2, 1965 that read as follows:
We are in receipt of your letter of May 18 seeking support for the Midwestern Children's Home. Before a decision can be made on our part, we need some additional information concerning this project. Will you please answer the following questions?
1. How much is the total anticipated cost of this Children's Home and what is the anticipated annual operating cost?
2. How many children are now waiting to be admitted to this home when it is completed? May I please have the names and addresses? We have members here who are interested in adoption.
3. What congregation (s) of elders will have the oversight of this operation?
4. Who originally started this project?
5. What scriptural authority do you use for building and maintaining the Midwestern Children's Home from the treasuries of the churches?
6. What will be the organizational structure of the Home?"
An entire year has passed and the Trustees have not answered the letter. Is it because they do not have the time? I can say emphatically, "No," because they have found time since then to carry on an extensive program of lectures, picnics, letters begging churches to furnish picnic tables, kitchen utensils, etc., for the home. Why no answer? I am persuaded that question number five requesting scriptural authority for what they propose to do has kept them from answering. Our Lord commands, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15). The Trustees have chosen thus far to disobey God rather than answer the questions. Could it be that they have reasoned, "Let's ignore him . . . maybe he will go away?" I do not intend to go away, but will continue to ask for scriptural authority for things done in the name of Christ. Even if I should "go away," the question will still have to be answered in the judgment (John 12:48).
Those who thought this church-dividing monster would never be a problem in the mid-west must now awaken to the reality that one exists in the form of Midwestern Children's Home. It does not seem to make much difference to these brethren about the division caused by this project; they are going ahead anyway (I Cor. 1:10).
The May 15, 1966 issue of the Bardstown Road Church of Christ bulletin (2010 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky) stated that a goal of $250,000 had been set to provide funds for three initial cottages, a water and sewage system for the entire operation, and paving and operational costs for the first two years. This article also disclosed a plan to build a total of forty cottages at a cost of $35,000 each. This eventually will entail a capital outlay of $1,400,000.00. On May 31, 1966, an article appeared in the Daily News, Warren County Bureau, 209 Bank Building, Lebanon, Ohio, stating that the $250,000 goal had been met and a new goal of $1 million has been set for this year. This will build ten cottages, they say. Some hasty calculations reveal that close to two million dollars will be required to facilitate this project and cover operational costs for the first two years. Then they must continue to beg for operating money as long as the institution exists.
Another article appearing in the above paper, May 11, 1965, said:
"The camp portion of the grounds will be used for a Christian Youth Camp. Hartman said the lake sold the board on making the purchase. It has a swimming beach, fishing piers, and several small islands." (Emphasis mine, H.M.)
Still another article in this same paper, dated June 3, 1966, had this to say:
"Families, and outdoorsmen looking for a nearby place to cap this summer are being urged to consider the wooded grounds of the Shady Lane Youth Camp on Long Spurling Road" (Property of Midwestern Children's Home). (Emphasis mineH.M.)
Now, brethren, take a good look at what these men are asking the church to do:
1. Build forty $35,000 "Cottages" for orphans that evidently do not exist. Incidently, how many of you own a "cottage" like this?
2. Finance and operate a Christian Youth Camp.
3. Finance and operate a swimming beach and fishing piers
4. Finance and operate camping facilities for families and outdoorsmen.
Warnings have been sounded out time and again that acceptance of one item without scriptural authority will inevitably lead to acceptance of others. The things listed above prove that these warnings were timely. Thank God that brethren throughout the world are awakening to these dangers and taking a stand for the truth.
In the meantime, we are calling upon those affiliated with the Midwestern Children's Home to stop ignoring us and give the scriptural authority for these things they are asking the churches to finance and operate.
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 12, pp. 9-10 September 1966