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."

     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:

"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!"

     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:

"What Relationship 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!

     Foy continued:

"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!

     Foy wrote:

"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 article:

"...Let the school stand where it belongs, apart from the church, as an aid to, and adjunct of, the home."

     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 people.

     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."

     Addendum:  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.