At the close of an article in Concordia Nov. 28, 1946, defending Ladies Aid Sales, Mr. G. Ten Elshof dropped a remark that should not pass unchallenged. I quote: “Perhaps if the brother would make an exhaustive study of the reasons why our various church expenses are continually rising and who are doing this and why, and that at ‘company expense’, we shall have something more concrete to discuss.”
This remark has nothing to do, of course, with the debate about the sales conducted by our Ladies Aid Societies. It is not my purpose to become a party in that debate. Nor is this necessary. The arguments raised against such sales in the debate will not prevent our ladies to continue, with a free conscience, to devote their time and efforts to the support of various causes such as the Standard Bearer, Christian Schools, our own School, and the like. Only, instead of being compared to the money changers in the temple, our ladies deserve a word of commendation and encouragement.
But the remark at the close of the article by Mr. Ten Elshof must not pass unnoticed. Perhaps, it will be challenged in Concordia, but up to the present I have not noticed any reflection on this remark.
In the brief paragraph we quoted above, the brother makes some very evil suggestions and insinuations, and, by implication, is flinging serious accusations against some parties in our churches, and against our churches in general as a denomination. Concerning these insinuations as such, I would say:
- If there is any truth in them at all, the brother should have brought his objections and indictments to the proper ecclesiastical gathering rather than shout them from the housetops in Concordia.
- If the brother, nevertheless, considered it more proper to publish his indictments to the world, he should have clearly stated them, rather than move about in the foul air of dark insinuations.
- If they are not true, and the brother cannot substantiate them, he should openly retract them, and confess his wrong.
Let him, therefore, answer his own questions:
- Are our church expenses continually rising at a rate disproportionate to the rise in the general cost of living, and of wages, and to the need of our churches?
- Who are doing this except the proper parties?
- Why are they doing this, if not for the well-being of our churches, and for the cause of God’s kingdom?
- Are they doing this “at company’s expense,” i.e., without proper authorization from the company itself?
Is not the company itself doing this, quite according to the incorporation laws of this company to which also brother Ten Elshof subscribes, that is, the Church Order?
Indeed, we must have something more concrete to discuss!