Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 18, 1951
NUMBER 24, PAGE 13-14b

The Gospel To The World

Vaughn D. Shofner, Fort Worth, Texas

In our observations of the positive positions taken by brethren on preaching the gospel of Christ to the whole world, we have seen no proof that places a single member of the church against carrying out this part of our responsibility. We have read a lot of prattle intended to upset and arouse emotions by implying and openly stating that certain brethren are opposed to the spread of the gospel. This is a misrepresentation of facts, and all these sly innuendoes, insinuations and accusations which put certain brethren in this "anti" group are so like the sectarian's way of defending his positions of error we are made to wonder if those who take this unfair means of justifying themselves are as scriptural as they claim.

Yes, we've received information from several who do not think you can set up a method contrary to the Bible in carrying out this part of the work. There has been much said against the idea of centralized control of the contributions of countless churches. The entire New Testament was written without sanctioning anything of the kind, and throughout its teaching it emphasizes the autonomous government of each church.

Yes, we've heard that such does not exist and only "antis" could imagine it. Friend, it seems strange to us that those who for years have fought battles against error and have been regarded as sane and sound contenders for the faith would have suddenly turned from this rational stand to fly off into fields of fancy. The methods used being questioned by such men is proof that there is doubt at least, and since there is a way to do these things apart from the doubtful, why fight for that which brought about the challenges? This disproves their statement! There is something wrong, and their fight to justify the wrong proves that something carnal is leading!

No, we haven't read all the 25,000 words of the Colorado Champion's thesis. We suppose we are not alone in this laziness, but our imagination, plus some information, tell us that there are several on both "sides" who have never traveled all its lanes of repetition. We should be shamed by the failure, we reckon, but we believe we got the gist of it. It reminded us of a horse our father once owned, and of which he said, "he can trot all day in the shade of a tree." And too, these ramblings through the "Music Halls" of Houston (surely there are a hundred) failed to ring the bell in our limited understanding. If a thing is right why prove its rightness by the rightness of something else, or by the wrongness of something else? Right will stand alone! Why grasp unnecessary straws? A scriptural stand has never needed proof from any other source! But if you insist on using this kind of help, for the sake of integrity, get a parallel.

No, we're not deceived! We know the brother will be rewarded without our insignificant help. Why right now a great FOUNDATION is well on its way toward declaring his "doctorate." When a few million copies of the thesis are sold, we suppose (we said suppose) he'll be ushered into greatness. But now were we to be asked for advice, we'd advise against this printing splurge. You might sway some big churches and big preachers into influencing the sale of them, friends, but you can't make people read them. None of us want to be guilty of unholy waste.

Preachers And Churches Of Policy

We've been observing the growth of the canker of politics and policy among the preaching brethren and the churches. There are preachers that take a stand "for it" at one place and a stand "against it" at another. They find out the position of the brethren where they are, they consult "their college," weigh the "sides" on the scales of popularity, and they get on the "right" side. Such a preacher is no more than a professional, plundering the treasury of the church. There will always be a right way and a wrong way, and honest people will take the way they believe to be right. We can not be honest and take them both, and our convictions are dead if we do.

There are some churches that are not led by elders, but by colleges and preachers and papers and organizations. They stand where their college, their paper, their preachers, their organizations stand, and in leadership and many practices they are strangers to the Lord. Too often the preacher chooses the "evangelist" for the meetings, and they have been known to speak against some because of personal feelings, dictates the program of practice; their favorite organizations present their beliefs, and the Bible is pushed to the background. This trend is exactly what started the apostasy which brought about the Roman Catholic Church. A man who preaches against them or against the doings of their favorite preachers or against their favorite organizations will be "ruined," they say, for they disregard his convictions, his sincerity, his lesson, the principles for which he stands, and they set about to make their prophecy come true and reward them with sweet revenge.

Caring For Widows And Orphans

In our observations we have not noticed a single person writing or speaking against the church's responsibility to care for orphans and widows. Yet we've read a lot that implicated, if it did not specifically state, certain brethren as being against this work. We've read and heard from many the warnings against organizations larger or smaller, or in any way apart from the church, doing the work of the church. We've seen articles devoted to the way the Bible teaches this work to be done, and concrete examples have been given. We are made to wonder why this challenge could be made and how ways different from the ways existing in many cases could be argued for, if all of the present methods are scriptural and above doubt.

We have read of one brother who visited "Childhaven" and it brought on a "shibboleth," and impassioned by its spell he took his pen in hand and released a great tirade against an imaginary crowd that cries, "It is Corban" He soared to eloquence in behalf of little ones and sang praises to man and beast on a certain plot of ground that were doing so much for them. He railed against newspapers, and he took a sniff of "the smell of 'missionary society'." He quoted and paraphrased the Good Book in his endeavor, and called on God "to forbid that a technical point of 'organization' " should cause people to fail in service.

But we failed to get the point! We do not know a single preacher or paper that is not "for" this good work of caring for the needy. Simply because some have questioned some of the methods being used does not, in fairness, friend, mean that they are not as concerned about the unfortunate as our excited brother. Why they have given ways according to their convictions that would care for thousands more than are now being cared for! Shall we take it that this crusade against them is admission that there is fault somewhere in the ways of our brother-crusaders? Why accuse of refusing to care for the little ones when the plan of your "Corban" criers will care for more? Argue? Yes! There's a right way! There's a wrong way! Contend earnestly for the faith and mark the ones who cause divisions by their innovational And may we all forget personalities, weigh the principles of every argument in the balances of God's eternal truth, and may we pledge ourselves to do, but let us do according to God's appointed way!