Federal Aid to "Christian Education"
It is well known that David Lipsc0mb College (and perhaps others) has requested and received FEDERAL AID TO EDUCATION. This is in direct conflict with our right of separation of church and state as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. This is in direct conflict with what these men of that school have preached and taught against for years and years. Their own action in this case has proven their "Voices of Concern" in times past to be purely hypocritical. Many of them took the initiative in sounding the warning against the aggression of Catholicism. Catholics seek to infringe upon our constitutional rights of separation of church and state by getting involved in political matters that serve to their advantage. They would gladly take control over anything and everything in this society of ours. Thus we feared federal aid to education because this would be an advantage to Catholics in their ambitions. Sad is the history of any country that came under the power of Romanism. Hence we feared for our nation when we saw the forces of Catholicism working their way into our politics and government.
Now our college-in-the-budget promoters have shown an open disregard for our constitutional rights as they have accused the Catholics. You may say David Lipscomb is a school of secular education and therefore has the right to seek financial aid from the federal government. I answer, it should be strictly secular in its nature, but this can no longer be the claim. By seeking church support they have made it church-related, because the basis for seeking church support no longer makes it a secular school exclusively. Even IF it were in no way connected with the church, it would be unwise for that school to seek federal aid for the government has a way of dictating to those it supports. But this is not my issue and I could not dictate in matters along this line. However, I speak out and rightfully so when I know this whole matter involves churches of Christ.
Church Support--Federal Aid: A Dilemma
I will point out how inconsistent is the plea for church support for the school that seeks federal aid at the same time. This will prove these men to be disloyal to the laws of God as well as to the law of this nation--our Constitution.
The reason Baxter says the church should support the school is, that it trains preachers and elders, and the church depends upon its services. And as we have seen, it maintains elders' workshops, "mission work," and other projects in connection with "Campaigns for Christ," etc. It definitely carries on many functions for the church and in definite interest of the church. So, as Baxter said, the "schools are needed and can be used by the church." THIS IS HIS DEFENSE FOR ASKING MONEY FROM CHURCHES. Why, then, is it wrong for the government to support CATHOLIC institutions and right for the government to support DAVID LIPSCOMB that "can be used by the church?" So now we not only have the college working for the church, but the government supporting the school that is to service the church. But in view of this, if Baxter would DENY that the school is an aid to the church, this denial would destroy his means of obtaining church support. He would have no defense by which to ask for one dime without this argument. (Of course, he completely ignores scriptures to begin with.)
But in order to get federal aid these men have to deny the very argument they raised when asking for church support--if they are conscientious and law-abiding men. In an effort to get government support, they must now argue that Lipscomb is entirely secular with "no strings attached" to the church whatsoever. Serious-thinking brethren could not yield to the thought of supporting a school that has a right to ask for government help because it is in no way connected with the church. Who is the man who would admit the government can support a school working in the interest of the church? Have my brethren gone so far as to think the church can support anything the government is supporting? I know many brethren have scrapped the SCRIPTURAL position that the church can support only that within the bounds of the organization and work of the church, but have they gone so far as to reject our basic, constitutional right of separation of church and state?
Colleges and Societies
Consider what has happened more than a hundred years ago when brethren began supporting missionary societies. But my liberal brethren who opposed this on the grounds that it was another institution apart from the church have transgressed far beyond this liberal trend into the rankest form of modernism and lawlessness as evidenced in this issue under consideration. At least the missionary society was concerned and involved in the work that rightfully belongs to the church. Our brethren today involve the church in secular matters, wholly unrelated to the work of the church. The audacity of brethren knocking the missionary societies while at the same time they ask churches to support government-financed human educational enterprises!!!
I ask, were not the advocates of the societies defending them on the basis of "expediency" to "aid" the church in preaching the gospel? And do not Baxter and others oppose the societies today upon the argument that they are separate organizations from the church and therefore churches have no right to give their work over to them or support them in any way? And further, do not our brethren today use the same arguments of the society defendants to promote church support of colleges and thereby destroy their own arguments against them (societies)? 'What inconsistency! They use the same argument to defend their schools they oppose when others use them to defend missionary societies. AND in addition, they use the same arguments to defend church support of government-supported institutions. Still further, do they not have to deny the argument they "borrow" from the missionary societies to gain federal aid? (They borrow that same argument to defend the school that they deny in their opposition to societies, then in turn they must deny that argument they "borrowed" to gain federal aid.)
To be consistent, they either HAVE TO REJECT FEDERAL AID TO RECEIVE CHURCH AID IF THEIR ARGUMENT IS CORRECT THAT CHURCHES DEPEND ON THE SCHOOL, OR THEY WILL HAVE TO REJECT CHURCH SUPPORT TO RECEIVE FEDERAL AID IF THEY ARGUE THE SCHOOL IS SECULAR IN ITS NATURE WITH NO CONNECTIONS WHATSOEVER WITH THE CHURCH. As they now stand, they proved they have misrepresented, either to the church or to the government -- OR TO BOTH! If they accept both church and government support, this will prove they show disregard for our Constitution which guarantees separation of church and state, and they show disregard for God's law which teaches separation of church and any human institution.
But if they keep federal aid, this will prove Brother Baxter as teaching false doctrine in light of what he preached on Questions and Issues of the Day, from which we quoted earlier. These brethren will prove deliberate falsehood on their part, for all the time they were seeking help from churches because the school was doing the work of the church, they were, at the same time, seeking federal aid upon the denial of that argument. Let them show us how they manage to justify government aid without denying the school is working in the interest of the church! AND let them show us how they can ask for church support without denying it is completely secular in its nature, a human organization having nothing to do with regard to the work of the church whereby they are justified in seeking federal aid, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 9, pp. 10-12
January 8, 1970