free tuitionWe wrote yesterday about Professor Hamann and his objection to free tuition at the seminaries in Australia.

Here is the report on his rationale written by J.T. Mueller in the Theological Observer section of CTM way back in 1951.

He draws this conclusion especially from 1 Tim. 5:3-16, where St. Paul makes
provision of congregational support for such widows only as are destitute or in
need. Some commentators hold that the official position of these widows was
analogous to that of the elders, but whether this is true or not, the Apostle’s
advice is clearly set forth in v.16, where he writes: “If any man or woman that
believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged;
that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.” Dr. Hamann adds: “These widows,
too, the congregation should not be expected to support while there were relatives
upon whom that duty naturally devolved.” To the question “What has the support of
widows to do with the training of church workers?” Dr. Hamann replies: “More than
appears on the surface; for a careful study of St. Paul’s words in vv. 4, 8, and 16
will probably convince most theologians that he is not merely formulating a
principle for the occasion in hand, but is applying to that occasion a principle of
much wider and more general validity. It is this, put very briefly: Christians
should not expect the Church to do for them -and this includes members of their
family -what they can well do themselves. This is, of course, also an axiom rooted
in the normal Christian’s sense of equity and responsibility; that is, in the last
analysis, in the law of Christian love. The Church is not to be ‘charged’ or
‘burdened’ to save the pocketbooks of those to whom God has given ample means.” The
principle here set forth is one of the greatest importance also for us in America,
where socialized views of free and ready help by some higher power are imperceptibly
being absorbed by workers of all kinds, including church workers. It is true,
college courses for the pastoral or teaching ministry today demand much more by way
of expenditure than they did many years ago when “things were still cheap,” but the
student who ruggedly works his way through college and parents who take pride in
seeing their sons through college without church help, will derive from their
self-sacrificing devotion lasting benefits in self-reliance and self-respect which
they will never regret. To help persons who need no help is certainly as harmful (if
not more so) as not to help those who need help. As a rule, too, it is not the
student or parent in the higher bracket that too readily sues for assistance.