By Roger Jackson
Brother Warnock is in a terrible bind! I knew that he had said too much for his own good when he said the church has an obligation to some orphans. He will not allow implicit authority for church support of orphans rejecting syllogisms with component parts and constituent elements in paragraph 4 and insisting on a direct statement in paragraph 2. They like to do this and then deny it. So the passage has to say “orphans,” “home,” and “church.” But the only passage in the Bible that says anything about orphans is James 1:27, and he says it does not authorize the church to do anything! That is why you can’t find the passage I asked him for – the one obligating the church to “some” orphans. Come clean brother, you don’t believe a word of it!
The only argument he has is that James 1:27 is addressed to the individual and therefore is exclusively individual. That is why he kept arguing about “himself” instead of what I argued about the construction. However, he cited Titus 3:1 to prove the church can obey the laws of the land. However, Titus 3:1 says, “Put them in mind. . . ” Brother Warnock, since when is “them” churches? How can you get the church into “them”? Does your James 1:27 rule not apply to Titus 3:1? Does it not apply to Ephesians 5:19′s “yourselves”? Tell us how you get the church into “yourselves” by your James 1:27 rule. Does your James 1:27 rule not apply to Colossians 3:16? Tell us how you get the church into “you,” “one another,” and “your.” Does your James 1:27 rule not apply to 1 Corinthians 14:26? Tell us how you get the church into “every one of you.” Or does your James 1:27 rule apply only to James 1:27 and Galatians 6:10? It looks like I was right when I said you brethren have a rule you will apply to only two passages. I believe the church is in every one of them, but you can’t and be consistent on your James 1:27 rule. I wish you had shown my principle wrong like I did yours instead of just saying you rejected it. I already knew that!
When brother Warnock cannot answer an argument he just changes it, creating a straw man, and tears it apart. Just try to find his answer to my construction argument on James 1:27. Happy hunting! He can answer it now since I do not have a response.
We have converted brother Warnock! He says the church can provide a house for 22 orphans. He also says the church can obey the laws of the land. In some states they would require that his house full of orphans be incorporated. He has a home with a board supported by the church with the only regulation being that it must be able to support it without any help from other congregations. Run that one by your third graders and even they can see you have lost this debate!
He says after I get the church into James 1:27 I then argue the church can’t do the work. Why, brother Warnock, the church’s work is “to visit,” i.e., benevolence. You are the one who has it operating a home with 22 orphans. Looks like we both agree another institution is necessary in the care of orphans. Did you put your 22 orphans in a church or a home? Welcome to my side of the issue!
Reading James 1:27 a la Warnock, it says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, for the individual Christian exclusively to visit every destitute person in the world and keep himself unspotted from the world.” However, Warnock would immediately violate his version by setting up an orphan home with 22 orphans in it and support it from the church treasury, allow it to form a board in compliance with the law and condemn others who do it as false teachers.
Warnock’s diagram is a false representation. I argue the right of the church to give to one work which employs a board not several works through one board. Please do not misrepresent me brother Warnock. Do you not believe the individual Christian may support an orphanage, widowage, or hospital? Does that mean the individual Christian can give to one board to do all of these for you? Quoting Warnock, “. . . a blockbuster of practicing individual religion by proxy.” Answer me without misrepresenting me.
I said brother Warnock was being deceptive when he said the church had a responsibility to some orphans. He cited that and I thought he was going to answer it, but instead he switched off and brought up an abuse but never gave an answer! Mike, this is exactly what I said he would do if “institutional” were included in the proposition. I am going to make a charge again because you have not answered it and I would like to see your answer in print. Brother Warnock does not believe the church can help an orphan because he is an orphan, but because he is a saint; hence his statement is pure deception. Why don’t you give us the passage (like you required of me) that says the church is responsible for some orphans? You can’t do it, can you? All that you could possibly do is give one that does not say the first thing about the church and orphans, but you have ruled that out rejecting syllogisms and such. Looks like we are in the same boat brother. We both have a church supported orphan home we say the Bible authorizes but only one passage that says anything about orphans – James 1:27. I have no trouble, but you do since you require “a passage” which has orphans, home and church in it and you reject James 1:27. You shot yourself in the foot brother!
My opponent continues to demonstrate his desperation by maintaining that a jail is a benevolent institution like a home, He had rather talk about hospitals, jails and widowages than orphans homes because he knows he has got one just like I have and every objection to mine scores equally against his. He referred to my “saints only” hospital, but in doing so again shows how he must change what I said to give any impression he is answering it because I said the owners must be Christians and the services free (benevolent). He switched to the patients. He scoffs at the idea that “the brethren’s hospitals” are not businesses. I know of one that is not. Mr. Webster also said a hospital could be, “1: a charitable institution for the needy, aged, young or infirmed” (Webster’s New Collegiate, p. 553). What if your 22 orphans, in your orphan home, got sick? Could you just treat them at home? Ever hear of a “field hospital”? A hospital may only be a place where medical care is administered, and every veteran knows it. Knollwood, to be consistent, would have to refuse to treat them since it would be operating a hospital. You never did deny that you could be forced to allow injured people to die in the streets during a natural disaster before you could allow them to be brought into your Knollwood building for treatment. If that is pure religion, you can have it. You’re hurting, brother Warnock, and we know it.
Brother Warnock says if the church has the same relationship to the government as the individual does then the church can do what the individual does. Bless your heart that is exactly what I have been trying to get you to see in the peculiarly religious point and now you have made my argument! The lights are on brother! When the individual and church share the same relationship to a work (done just because one is a Christian) what authorizes one to do it authorizes the other to do it. However, if it is special class legislation (to fathers, wives, servants, children, etc.) only the special class may do it. James 1:27 commands a work (visit) just because one is a Christian. May the church visit? May the individual visit? Who are the objects of this visiting? Orphans and widows! Reader, this is why he tried to get off on “himself” because he has some canned arguments on it but does not know what to do with “visit” as it relates to construction.
He does not believe the individual can discharge an obligation through the church, but lie cannot explain Galatians 6:6 in light of that law so he chose to misrepresent me again. He said the church paid him. But that did not fulfill Galatians 6:6. When are the brethren at Knollwood going to fulfill this individually addressed passage which you say cannot be fulfilled through the church? Talk about individual religion by proxy!
He says the “we” in Galatians 2 is Paul and Barnabas and gives a lesson in English to prove it. I already knew that. What I wanted to know is why the “we” went out and fulfilled that “we” command by using church treasuries? What does that do to your James 1:27 law? Is it not because the only passages you will apply your law to are James 1:27 and Galatians 6:10? It is a false doctrine that makes a special law for two passages. We have learned that it does not apply to Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, Titus 3:1 or 1 Corinthians 14:26. If the rule I go by is wrong show it like I have yours.
Weldon and Bullinger got “all kinds of afflicted” in “widows and orphans” so Weldon wants me to get “church” into “himself.” Have you forgotten, brother? You are the one who made that argument; my argument was on “visit” in the construction. However, I shall accommodate you by using the same process you did to get the church into the “them” of Titus 3:1. Just trot it out for us.
Weldon says James 1:27 does not allow the church to help orphans, but it is the only New Testament passage that mentions orphans. Since he requires that a passage mention orphans before it can be used to authorize support of orphans, what passage would he be forced to use to authorize the church’s obligation to “some orphans”? Right? James 1:27! That is why you cannot find the answer to my request for authority for his statement that the church is obligated to “some orphans.” He is hurting!
He says my syllogism is invalid because “institutional home” is undistributed in the premises. He obviously knows nothing about distribution. Copi says, “A proposition distributes a term if it refers to all members of the class designated by the term” (Copi, p. 183). The term “home” is generic, referring to every type of home, and appears in three of five premises. The syllogism is valid, the premises are true and the conclusion is demanded. We have a sound argument that proves the proposition.
Weldon finishes his insufficient negative with one last misrepresentation and an insult. He said attacking your opponent is a ploy used by denominationalists when they are being “taken to the cleaners.” If so, what does it indicate about Weldon Warnock now? Perhaps that is another rule that applies to everyone except Weldon Warnock.
Look at how he misrepresents me: He represented me correctly as saying being a good father is not peculiarly religious, then adds, “Since when is being a good father not a religious act?” Is that how you took me to the cleaners – by deliberately leaving out a word so you could answer the material? Shame on you! Reader, are you going to follow men who will do things like this? Why even atheists are good fathers. They do so on some basis other than religion, so it is not peculiarly religious. Christian fathers are good fathers because of their relationship to the child and their relationship to God. I know of only one reason these brethren act as though they cannot understand that argument, viz., they can’t afford to understand it.
Readers, this is the best they can do! If this false doctrine they have in common could be defended Weldon Warnock would have done it. Can you honestly say brother Warnock has answered my material? I am satisfied you can and will see that he has not.
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 11, pp. 340-341
June 4, 1992