Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 2, 1964
NUMBER 47, PAGE 5,13b

"The Care Of All The Churches"

C. D. Plum

"Besides these things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." (2 Cor. 11:28)

If ever a preacher suffered, Paul did. In second Corinthians 11:23-27 he enumerates a great catalogue of distresses he was called upon to endure for Jesus' sake. And then in verse twenty-eight, there were distresses besides these: "The care of all the churches." And note, too, brethren, the care of all the churches was a "daily" distress.

John had his Diotrephes, Paul had his Alexander (2 Tim. 4:14), and Christians should profit by their experience. There are times when one becomes pretty much discouraged, one who loves the Lord, I mean. Paul was in such condition, though he never gave up the fight.

I think I can feel his plight when he wrote these words: "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me; I pray God it may not be laid to their charge." (2 Tim. 4:16) No doubt there were some who believed what Paul was preaching and fighting for. Perhaps they told him privately they were with him, that they backed him 100%. Good for them if they did. That helped a little. But what would have done Paul and the cause of our God which he was contending for more good, would have been for these well wishers to speak "out" in public and commend the fight for right that he was making. This would have put them squarely behind the truth. This would have added their influence to that of Paul's. This would have carried more weight. This would have given Paul courage. He said, "No man stood with me." But, thank God, the Lord stood with him, and strengthened him. My, how warming this must have been to that fighting soldier's heart. "The Lord stood with me."

I do not know all his distresses that came upon him because of conditions of individual Christians and congregations. But there were Peter's and Barnabas' dissimulations (Gal. 2:11-14), being forsaken by Demas (2 Tim. 4:10), the persecution by Alexander, the carnality of the Corinthians, the "observing days, months, times, and years" at Galatia (Gal. 4:10,11), the sleepers at Ephesus (Eph. 5:14), the contention at Philippi (Phil. 4:2), etc. Enough indeed to give him a "daily" headache.

In view of these things and others, no wonder Paul asked for the faithful to pray for him. To stand against things that are evil, against great odds, requires strength from on high. In these matters man cannot but feel his utter littleness both in the sight of God, and in the sight of the problems that confront him.


The care of all the churches is still a burden to be wrestled with. The "watchmen" on the wall still need to be clear-visioned, and men that God can depend upon to give a cry of warning. I believe we need to rethink about Ezekiel 33:7, "So thou, 0 son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me." If watchmen fail to warn, they will lose their souls along with those they failed to warn. How can any preacher, elder, or teacher sleep the sleep of indifference when so much is wrong among us? How can they close their eyes to the evil about them, in the lives of members, and in the congregations? We may not know the half of the dangers among us, even as Paul may not have known all the evil existing in his day. But, brethren, let us observe a few things of the present.

First, let me put in a word of commendation. Financially, the church is doing better than ever before, at least so far as my experience goes. This is good if we use it scripturally. And the church is larger in number than ever before. This too is good if the quality of Christianity pleases the Lord. But with the great numerical growth, and financial growth among us many perplexing problems arise. Problems, brethren, that I must admit cause me great concern, and cause me many sleepless nights, as, I suppose is true of many others. But what are these problems?

1. There are among us some dear brothers and sisters who actually create problems. Making a problem where there were no problems before they created it. Usually this problem is created by some "unmarried man or woman," or married people who are not blessed with children, (Sometimes it is otherwise.) These without children imagine they know what my children need, or the other brothers' children's needs. Instead of letting each parent look out for his own children's social and recreational pleasures, it is proposed to call my children and others together in the woods, and fields for days on end where they play and worship. In many places this is tied directly to the church treasury, in other places indirectly. If this had not been proposed, children would not have thought of this. It was not a problem until some one created the problem.

On such occasions, at night, movies are shown, and some pretty rank ones (by mistake, it is claimed). Maybe so, I shall let God be the judge. But this now is a problem among us, and is causing division among us, Let us alone is the cry. And come over and see the good we are doing it is said. The digressives have been making that cry for years. Many teen-agers are baptized who passed up many opportunities to be baptized at home. This baptismal service is not always coupled with the reverence that it should be on the part of some. Yea, some that are to be baptized. Too much giggling and light heartedness is often displayed. This is not the fault of older ones. And perhaps not manifest on the part of all youth. But, eyewitnesses can testify that such existed. (0 God, give us back again the peace of mind, and the fuller fellowship we had before this problem was created among us!)

2. Mixed bathing, and shorts worn by some in the church is another problem among us. Actually, my wife and I have made calls, or started to make them, until we found men and women folk so near undressed that our ears burned with shame. Modesty, where is our modesty? Yes, verily, I believe this is a violation of 1 Timothy 2:9. But, brethren, such attire (or lack of attire would be a more correct way to express it) is also condemned under the term "lasciviousness," which is named as a work of the flesh. (Gal. 5:19-21) Lasciviousness may be defined as: "tending to produce lewd emotions." Yes, this is among us, and it a "daily" headache.

When some preachers, and some official's wives in the church, with other brothers and sisters go in together (swimming) this problem has gotten out of bounds. Brethren, what next?

Brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus, and for his sake, and the sake of "unity" and "purity" of the church, won't you rethink this matter, and restore peace on these points, and save your soul? Please believe me when I say I am not making a personal fight against what I consider evil among us. God forbid. I am not fighting people.

I am pleading for the true principles of Christianity among us. Pleading, brethren, for what we used to be, and what we ought now to be, "one in Christ Jesus." Brethren, he "that soweth discord among the brethren is an abomination to the Lord." Those who introduced these problems are to be blamed for any broken fellowship that might exist, just like those who disturbed the fellowship in the church by the introduction of instrumental music in the worship. Brethren, dear brethren, as we plead for the separation of church and state; let us practice the separation of church and recreation. God help us all.

— Rt. No. 3, Box 135, Coraopolis, Penn.