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LET THEM GO DOWN
Coaxing the devil to support the Gospel is a modern devise. The primitive church knew nothing of it. When Paul was collecting funds to aid poor saints at Jerusalem, he used no fairs, festivals, “mum sociables,” kissing games, or other sacrilegious snares, to accomplish his object. The Christians paid their own bills, and did not expect Satan to pay for the weapons which they used in warfare against him. When the devil does support a church, he does so in his own interest. He carries on his operations with a full knowledge of the fact that “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.” For every dollar paid out of his coffers to the church, he receives full value. Church partnership with the evil one never benefits the former, but always the latter. Hands off!
Untold harm comes to the church by the use of even questionable measures to raise money for the support of God’s work. It creates the impression on the minds of the world that the church is a kind of pauper, dependent for its existence on the community, that it is a sort of genteel beggar, which it is proper and fashionable to support; that it is an object of charity, or even pity and contempt, which is grateful for the tolerance of the people that let it live. The ungodly regard such churches as engaged in seeking money rather than souls, and exalting wealthy members more than poor saints. To stand before the world in this light is humiliating and degrading beyond expression. Such churches ought to be cleansed or closed, cured or killed.
Churches that are doing the Lord’s work, and are worth supporting can be supported without the use of questionable means. Others deserve no support. Let them go down.—Banner of Holiness.
— September, 1880 —