By Ervin Driskill
Brother Gayle Oler continues to write as though his statements, concerning the relationship of Boles Home to the church and whether it is doing the work of the church or the home, had never been met or answered. In B. H. News, January 25, 1962, he has this to say, “Boles Home is doing the work of the home and not the church.” Well, let us suppose that B. H. was emptied of all children and the facilities were used for 350 “widows-indeed” and churches were maintaining their care. Would this be the work of the church or the home? I Tim.5:16 certainly identifies such care of widows as the work of the church. (This does not mean a centralized arrangement of caring for widows indeed, under one eldership, would be right; I only use the illustration to show what is and who is the obligation of the church). My point is this: What makes B. H. caring for 350 children doing the work of the HOME and B. H. caring for 350 widows doing the work of the church? Does Gayle deny that I Tim 5:16 sets forth the work of the church? One of two things is true: (1) Either B. H. (under its present set-up) is doing the work of the church and not the home or (2) I Tim. 5:16 is not a picture of the church at work. Either you deny I Tim. 5:16 or you give up the present set up at Boles Home.
Caring for my family is my obligation and, that which is my obligation becomes my WORK. This is true of any person or organization. When I am unable to meet my obligation I am no longer accountable for the work. When the church steps in, it has accepted its obligation and it has therefore become ITS WORK. From this it is evident that if the church has any obligation to children in B. H. and is meeting the obligation then, it is the WORK OF THE CHURCH and not THE HOME that is being done. These are evident facts and they cannot be gainsaid. If any of these liberal brethren think otherwise let them expose the fallacy. At least two major things are wrong with B. H. (1) They have fostered a work on churches, that is not the work of the churches and, (2) they are having them do it through a human institution.
It has further been argued that caring for orphans is a Religious Work. (Jas. 1: 27.) However, the charter of Boles H. says, “Every director believes, and is required to believe in order to be a director, that the LOCAL CONGREGATION of the church of Christ, IS ALL AND THE ONLY ORGANIZATION AUTHORIZED TO CARRY ON CHRISTIAN WORK OR WORSHIP and that such organization EXCLUDES EACH AND EVERY OTHER ORGANIZATION for the purpose of conducting or carrying on RELIGIOUS WORK or worship, whether the same be missionary or OTHERWISE.” (caps, mine R.E.D.) Notice then, the following:
1. The church being the ONLY ORGANIZATION for carrying on RELIGIOUS WORK, excludes all other organizations for carrying on that work (Boles charter).
2. Boles Home is ANOTHER ORGANIZATION carrying on RELIGIOUS WORK. (Jas. 1:27.) Therefore, Boles Home is excluded by its own charter.
But, with the former before us we reach this conclusion:
1. Another organization to do or carry on RELIGIOUS WORK is an impeachment of the wisdom of God in establishing the church to do RELIGIOUS WORK.
2. Boles Home is that other organization. Therefore, Boles Home is an impeachment of the wisdom of God.
These brethren must either deny Boles Home is doing a RELIGIOUS WORK (and when they do they give up their argument on Jas. 1:27 and it applying to the church rather than the individual), or they must admit Boles Home is doing the WORK OF THE CHURCH, or THEY WILL HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER CHARTER.
Our brother further says, “B. H. sustains exactly the same organizational relationship to the church of Christ that any other home does.” That then, means there is no such relationship or connection and, if so, what right do men have setting up such an organization and soliciting and receiving contributions from churches? Could we set up natural homes and solicit and receive contributions from the church? We could if B. H. sustains the same organizational relationship as any other home. I can give as much scripture for one as he can for the other and there is none for either.
If men in the church, set up a Missionary Society and make its establishment and continual existence depend on church money and, its policies and operation are set by a board, it becomes an organization of the church; there is organic relationship but, these same men can set up a Benevolent Society (Boles H.) and it is not an organization of the church; there is no organic relationship. Those who so reason are either mighty shall low or, are too dishonest to admit their inconsistency.
Gayle also says, “So B. H. stands in the exact PLACE of the home, and in no other” and then argues there is no difference in the natural home and Boles H. How can B. H. be “the home” and at the same time “stand in the place of the home?”
The following are propositions I shall be happy to affirm and deny:
1. Resolved: The New Testament teaches the church’s obligation, in benevolence, extends to saints ONLY.
2. Resolved: The New Testament teaches the church has a responsibility to care for orphans who are not saints as well as those who are.
I will affirm the first and deny the second. Let someone first establish the right of the church to support orphans per se and then we will discuss the relationship of Boles Home to the church etc.
It becomes a little disconcerting for brethren to state their belief in the all sufficiency of the church and then come forth with a lot of specious palaver trying to prove their unscriptural practice is in harmony with their statement of belief.
Truth Magazine VI: 7, pp. 13-14