Modernism in "Church of Christ Colleges" (VI)
It would be unfair for me not to point out another argument Baxter made to justify th support of "Christian schools." He said: "The orphans' home and the .Christian schools must stand or fall together." (Questions and Issues, pg. 29)
Colleges and Orphan Homes
This proves that Baxter and others were using the orphans' home issue for a long time to condition the brethren into believing it was right for churches to support the schools. Having conditioned brethren to support the orphans' home out of church treasuries, the next step was to get them to accept the college issue because BOTH ARE HUMAN ORGANIZATIONS. BOTH ARE SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH. Baxter based his argument upon the premise that both stand on the same principle. What is true of the one is also true of the other. Since this is true, let us see how this works in the reverse. If it is wrong for the church to support David Lipscomb College (which has a right to government support because it is a secular institution}, then it is wrong for churches to support the orphans' homes because, as he said, they "MUST STAND OR FALL TOGETHER."
Since the defense of the one stands on and by the defense of the other, then this is an undeniable fact: Whatever argument they use to justify seeking federal aid for that SCHOOL serves as a death-blow to their defense of church support of ORPHANS' HOMES, for they "STAND OR FALL TOGETHER." In other words, to maintain our constitutional rights they must maintain the school carries on no function or work given to the church; hence the church cannot in any way become involved in it. Therefore, the orphans' home carries on no function given to the church and thereby is not justified in seeking church aid for a work not given to the church because "THE ORPHANS' HOME AND THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS MUST STAND OR FALL TOGETHER !"
Brethren, this statement of Baxter is a most dangerous and misleading bit of sophistry employed by those who CANNOT appeal to scriptures for their defense of what they seek to promote. This statement proved no scriptural point; it only proved his statement to be based on unsound reasoning.
Brethren can be led into thinking that upon the basis of this observation, it is right for churches to support colleges. But further consideration of this matter can reveal that it may only prove that BOTH PRACTICES ARE UNSCRIPTURAL. For what is true of one is true of the other. In other words, it may be equated to a question such as: Why is it wrong for me to steal if it is right for Johnny to steal? The truth of the matter is, if it is right for Johnny to steal, it is also right for me to steal. What needs to be proven is that it IS right for Johnny to steal in the first place before I can make a defense for my act of stealing. Since Baxter admitted that the basis upon which both issues stand is inseparable, this can only mean that church support of orphans' homes is as unscriptural as the other.
Our controversies with denominationalists over baptism, faith only, etc. are no more serious than the present day college-in-the-budget issue. In effect, this issue is a more deadly evil to the church because it can do more to destroy its New Testament characteristics in every phase than any of our controversies with non-Christians.
It began with support of orphans' homes, or care for "poor little hungry orphans" and climaxed with this evil of modernism now being thrust upon our brethren. Really, this "poor little hungry little orphan" could starve in the unsupported (church) orphans' home ii ever these brethren reach the goal for which they used this orphans' home issue in the first place. This issue was merely a TOOL for these college promoters. Once the builder has the finished product, he lays aside his tool. And so these orphans' homes can he left to neglect and decay into ruin once the college issue is settled into a "finished product." They can then lay the "tool" down to rest, and finally forget all about it.
Many articles have been written, many sermons preached to point out how unscriptural it is to support human organizations of any kind out of church treasuries. There simply is no scriptural authority to justify the attempts made by these college-in-the-budget promoters. Hence, as is the case of church support of orphans' homes and many other departures from scriptural authority, their only defense is, or rests on the quibble, "WHERE THERE IS NO PATTERN." This is a wholesale rejection of Bible authority for our practice and preaching, for if you cannot find it in the Bible, THERE IS NO PATTERN! This, then, is to admit one does not need scriptural authority for ANYTHING we practice or preach, for if we do not need authority for one practice, why need authority for all we do or say?
This is modernism in its truest form as evidenced among the most liberal thinking religionists that deny anything and everything found in scriptures. The modernists deny scriptures; hence their only alternative is to appeal to human wisdom and reasoning. They are guided by what seems most reasonable in the light of their own' thinking. Thus they appeal to no higher authority than their own, by which they deny Divine authority.
So also with these WHERE THERE IS NO PATTERN advocates. Since this is based on something apart or aside from THE PATTERN, or the Bible, they appeal to no higher authority than their own; hence they deny God's authority. Oh yes, they pay lip service to His name while at the same time they turn a deaf ear to what He speaks through His word.
If you are conscious of the firm grip these schools hold over many churches, and if you are concerned with these modernistic practices among these schools, can you not see the sinfulness of churches supporting schools and allowing them to carry on any given work entrusted to the church? AND CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT THIS SIN INVOLVES THE ORPHANS' HOME BECAUSE THEY "STAND OR FALL TOGETHER" UPON THE SAME PRINCIPLE?
As I have stated at the beginning of this series, I write this out of the sincere desire to cause you to think about these serious matters. Can you, in the light of all this evidence, still follow the false teachings of the college-in-the-budget promoters? Can you find peace and rest in your soul if you deliberately pursue this course after you have been convinced it is wrong? Brethren, think on these things.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIVG: 12, pp. 9-10
January 29, 1970