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While preparing the series on denominationalism, I found a booklet written by G.C. Brewer by the above title, with the sub-title “Can a man be a Christian and not belong to any denomination?” Brother Brewer lived in 1884-1956, but neither the date nor publisher of the booklet is given. After googling G.C. Brewer’s name, I found that in 1938 he had called for churches to support colleges. That indicates this booklet was written before 1938.
Following are some quotes from Mr. Stranger, Mr. Partyman and responses by brother Brewer.
Mr. Partyman said: “Now, I find here in Lubbock an organization of religious people wearing the name of church of Christ. They...have their official board, own property, employ a preacher of their own faith, and carry on religious activities...In Fort Worth I find another body of the same people...I find they have a school at Abilene and a paper—a party paper—at Austin. They also have one or two orphanages...Is the Abilene Christian College a church school? Did not this church recently send a donation to that school? Do they not have men out soliciting aid all the time?”
Brewer’s response was: “Some Christians are conducting a college at Abilene, but the institution must make its own way, be financed from the individual funds of its promoters or by freewill offerings. The same is true of papers and orphanages that are operated by members of the church of Christ. If they were denominational institutions, they would be supported by denominational money, appropriated by the denominational officials, and would not need to have a man out begging funds. But the churches of Christ have no denominational officials, no denominational money, no denominational institutions—for the reason that the church of Christ is not a denomination.”
Mr Stranger said: “Well, you know the Lord teaches us to take care of orphans and educate our children. We need organizations for this purpose. You admitted that if your institutions were church owned, they would not have to beg. That seems to be an admission that the denominational method is the best.”
Brewer replied: “No, it only shows that men will work according to their own own plans more readily than they will submit to the laws of the Lord. Members of the denominations pay taxes, but members of the body of Christ give as they are prospered (1 Cor. 16:2). They give as they purpose in their hearts (2 Cor. 9:8), not grudgingly or of necessity because required by their church officials. The Lord doesn’t want his work carried on by the devil’s money… To serve the Lord acceptably we must serve him willingly, gladly, gratefully, and from the heart fervently.”
Mr. Stranger asked: “Do you people have any organization except the local church?”
Brewer’s answer: “Absolutely none.”
As we mentioned in the beginning, brother Brewer later changed his mind, and by 1938 had decided that churches of Christ should support colleges. Those who supported the American Christian Missionary Society (established in 1849), soon added instrumental music to their worship. Many congregations that have supported Abilene Christian and other organizations are now introducing instrumental music into their worship. Do you see any lesson from history? When people lose their respect for Bible authority, and do not know how to establish authority, they do not stop with one departure. Those who oppose church support of human organizations are not opposed to the work of teaching or benevolence, but are for doing things according to the laws of the Lord.
Copyright Midway Church of Christ 2014 This page last modified July 03, 2014