If the College is an Adjunct of the Home, Then....
At a certain level, when
closely examining a subject and all its ramifications, the tedium and
particularity can become great. In fact, if not careful one can become
inundated in such matters and forget the main issue. There can be a
legitimate truth that is an outgrowth of a primary
truth and, yet, that consequential truth can be so exaggerated and misapplied
that it forfeits any semblance to the original truth. I believe such to be
the case regarding schools among brethren and the exalted, exaggerated role and
place some have assigned to them. First, let us realize that the church is
the "pillar and ground of the truth," not some man-made entity functioning as
the local church, whether it be a foundation or school (I Tim. 3: 15, I believe
it is evident that the local church is primarily the reference in the
expression, "...pillar and ground of the truth"). The local church with
its structure, overseers, treasury, etc., is the organization observed in the
New Testament in and through which brethren pooled their resources to
collectively preach the gospel (cp. Acts 13: 1-3, 14: 26-28). There
were no foundations, orders, or societies set up to collectively preach the
gospel, with or without church support, having their own treasury, board of
directors, president, etc. "Gospel meetings" were not conducted by such
bodies as, "The Protector of Truth Foundation" or "Jerusalem College," a school
"focused on spiritual education to prepare the student for heaven.""The family is to
have a spiritual environment and the gospel is to be presented. The family
has tools at its resource to assist in presenting the gospel. One such
resource would be schools and foundations that are
especially designed to provide the family the opportunity to present the
gospel. To deny these schools and foundations that are the adjunct
of the home the right to function is to attack and seek to destroy the family!"
In order to support and
attempt to justify the existence of certain foundations such as the Guardian of
Truth Foundation and schools of the order of Florida College, some have resorted
to the old argument that the foundation/college is the adjunct of the home;
therefore, these entities functioning in providing the means for Christians to
collectively preach the gospel and so function outside the local church have the
right to exist. An article written by Foy E. Wallace, Jr., "The Home And
The School," (The Bible Banner, Vol. 1, No. 3, Sept., 1938, p.3) has been
resurrected as the proof article, an article I shall briefly reference below.
First, consider a quotation:
Since some find it easy to
transition from one area to another even in matters incongruous, all the while
claiming such to be analogous and fail to distinguish between apples and
oranges. I, again, remind the reader of what is being imagined:
Brethren forming "Save the Truth Foundation," let's say, in order to
collectively preach the gospel under the oversight of their president, board of
directors, and financed by their own treasury, or forming their school to
prepare men and women for heaven, all of this being performed under the heading
of a family providing spiritual nurture.
Let us return now to Foy E.
Wallace's material that is being offered as definitive
proof for brethren functioning through such orders as Florida
College and the Guardian of Truth Foundation.
Foy asked in the title of his
well known article the following, immediately providing the answer:
Do Colleges Have To The Church?
The answer to the above
question is, 'There is none.' The college is neither the church, a work of the
church, a part of the church, nor an adjunct of the church."
Hence, Foy is not addressing
privately funded entities comprised of brethren
attempting to pool their resources to disseminate the gospel, but rather the
church support of colleges, a very important missed point!
"The college is
first, last, and always, an adjunct or extension of the home. While many
so-called 'Christian' colleges have people on their staffs who are denominated,
'Vice President For Church Relations,' the Bible knows nothing of 'church
schools.' Neither is there any Bible authority for churches to support colleges
from their treasuries. That question, which was debated nearly seven decades
ago, persists to this day as colleges go begging churches for money.
What, then, is the 'Bible
college?' It is an auxiliary indeed, but not to the church.... Paul said: 'Bring
them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.' This is the solemn
obligation of the parent and the sacred mission of the home. But when the child
reaches a certain 'school age,' when it must pass from the home into the school,
does the responsibility of the parent cease? Is it not still the serious duty of
the parent to select the school where the influence of the home is continued? In
this matter, then, the school simply takes the place of the home and the teacher
assumes the responsibility of the parent. So the "Bible college," or the
"Christian college," or whatever you may please to call it, is no more than
auxiliary to the home. It supplements the work of the home."
Let it be known that parents
sending their children off to a school, a school that they believe to be
suitable in environment is not the issue. Such a school may have in place
certain discipline of a moral nature and may even teach the Bible in their
school curriculum. Again, this is not the problem. It is when the
school becomes a functioning "missionary society" to reach out and teach the
gospel that the problems begin. When the school advertises itself as more
than a school, a source of spiritual enlightenment and has in place special
gospel meetings (call them "lectureships" if you like) that designedly function
in unison with the mission statement of the school, allowing Christians to pool
their efforts to collectively prepare men and women for heaven that the school
is seen as more than just the adjunct of the home.
I have been asked:
"Don, may a father teach the Bible in his home?" The
answer is, "yes." The next question is, "May a father invite a
preacher in to address his family?" Again, the
answer is, "yes." The third gradational question
is, "May a father invite two preachers in to teach his family?" By
asking such questions, the promoters of the privately funded societies to
preach the gospel think they are making a solid argument. To cut to
the chase, here is what they must really present: A father who decides to
expand the teaching to a much boarder scope and audience. He invites
different preachers, decides to form a treasury to defray expenses, incorporates
his organization, for oversight they appoint a president and board of directors.
The father and the organization are now providing a means for Christians
collectively and corporately preaching the gospel to save the lost and edify the
saved. Yet, these brethren expect us to believe that such a foundation is
tantamount to a father teaching the Bible to his family!
"The church is not
in the school business. The only way the church can
Scripturally do its work is through the elders of the local congregation."
To this, I say, amen!
I would add that we need to
let the school be a school and not aschool/church. It is not the place of the
school, any school to be a seminary, a provider and
trainer of preachers (cp. 2 Tim. 2: 2). The local church is the only organization, having structure, treasury, and oversight,
in and through which Christians are to pool their resources to
collectively preach the gospel to the lost and edify
the saved (I Tim. 3: 15). To contend otherwise is to
reject what is taught and exemplified and appeal to
the silence of the scriptures (Heb. 7: 14). All forms of institutionalism,
church supported and privately supported, need to be exposed for what
they are: unscriptural arrangements and practices. These men-made
entities with their attendant politics create cliques and political
machines that in turn create problems that reverberate
throughout the brotherhood! They are both another
example of brethren being dissatisfied with God's
arrangement and going on the selfish premise of, "We Have A Right!" (See
addendum.) All to which we have a right is what God has taught and, in
this case, it is the matter of Christians collectively
working through local churches with their elders and treasuries to propagate the gospel and so
prepare men and women for heaven.
Foy Wallace concludes in his
"...Let the school
stand where it belongs, apart from the church, as an aid to, and adjunct of, the
Regarding such matters, I
readily concur! However, when a school or
foundation starts acting like a local church, it has assumed the identity of the
local church and becomes an anomaly and gross distortion of what God would have.
We can see how those who
argue that the school is an adjunct of the home and want their own societies to
preach the gospel can easily exaggerate and conclude
that if the college is an adjunct of the home, then..., but on what
basis and with what rationale does such foundations as Guardian of the
Truth operate? The G.O.T.F. is not a school; hence, how can it even
for argument's sake be considered as an adjunct of the
home? Such brethren are seen as both illogical
and desperate, even to the dividing asunder of God's
Those who oppose privately
funded societies to corporately preach the gospel are now being labeled as
"family haters," men who are out to, "destroy the family." What a stretch!
We sometimes sing the song,
"The Church" (Sacred Selections for the Church). The first stanza goes,
"The church of Christ follows Christ's Word, Where he doth speak, there we are
heard; Where He is silent, we are too..." To argue for such societies is
to reject what is observed in the New Testament and play on the silence of the
scriptures (I Tim. 3: 15, Heb. 7: 14). The song continues (fourth stanza):
...Work thru His church, don't go a-stray, O follow not the mind of man, For God
gave us a perfect plan." We are to collectively preach the gospel through
God's plan, his church, the local church, with its
structure, oversight, and treasury. To build foundations, etc., to provide
the collective milieu, having their own oversight and
treasury, is the "mind of man."
We Have A Right is a publication
of the Guardian of Truth Foundation. In this work, Dan King and Mike Willis
contend for the right of individuals to pool their resources in a private or
man-made society or foundation in order to collectively preach the gospel.