Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 28, 1952

Those Bread Lines In Japan -- Reviewed

H. F. Sharp, Blytheville, Arkansas

In the March 13th issue of Gospel Guardian I had something to say about the "approach through benevolence" that characterized the work in Japan. Brother Charles W. Doyle takes exception to some of the things said and styles my work the work of a "skillful propagandist." Have you ever seen the work of a man questioned? If he is right, he proceeds to give reason for his work by the scripture, and if not, he decides the best thing to do is cloud the issue with false accusations. Brother Doyle tells how much he is doing and from his article one would get the idea he and the others in Japan are doing more than anyone in America. My work is not too much — preached over 800 sermons last year, was wasting a little more time engaging in three debates with Baptist preachers, and teaching five Bible classes each week. Brother Doyle wants to know what I have been doing and promises to imitate my work. Go to it brother Doyle; imitate my work, and by all means imitate the way it is done.

In the article under consideration we were pointing out by the term "bread lines" the approach to the benevolent work of the church. We feed people in Blytheville, and clothed 96 people during the last disaster in Blytheville which was April 1st. We gave these 96 people four changes of clothing including at least one pair of shoes to each person. We feed the hungry as we have opportunity and according to our ability, we hope. We do not set up a controlling agency and become a sort of overseer for the entire brotherhood or at least a number of churches. The term "bread lines" is a simple way of describing the whole "approach through benevolence" that all the missionaries (nearly all) in Japan have been using since the war.

He says I talk like I had been on the scene actually and had witnessed it. Well, I have read the reports of brother McMillan and the book published by brother W. W. Otey as he quoted from the report of one who made a visit for the purpose of making suggestions. This report was sent out to a great number. Did the report have false charges? I am not responsible for brother Doyle's lack of information, even if he has been on the field. Here is a copy of the report in part:

OUTLINE — REPORT ON JAPAN Our needs 1. Definitely we need nurses.

2. We need a community center (building to serve for that).

3. We need a school.

4. We need sewing schools, English classes, commercial classes.

6. One good high school and college bracket.

6. Cafeterias.

Now, brother Doyle, if that is not the "bread line" idea exactly, what in the name of heaven is it? Can you read in the New Testament that Paul made a survey and recommended to the elders in Jerusalem and the report was sent to the brotherhood; his recommendation that the new work in Rome needed nurses, building to serve for community center, cafeterias, schools, sewing schools, high school and college bracket school? Just produce one verse in the New Testament and the controversy between brother Doyle and me will be over and he will have a new convert. By the way, did you notice in my first article mention was made of establishment of schools and recreation centers? Why did not brother Doyle notice this since he had to write something? Does he know he cannot defend this from the budget of the church or from the church treasury? Brother Doyle says he has no reason to doubt my sincerity and then talked about my article as the work of a "skillful propagandist." Seems to me he is like the squirrel in the cage, running around and getting nowhere. He thinks I am concerned about some of the Japan workers emphasizing a "social gospel," to the neglect of the true Gospel. Are you brother Doyle? I know nothing of a "social gospel" but maybe the Christians in Japan do. Is this the food they are getting spiritually? Even after saying he has no reason to doubt my sincerity he further charges the term "bread lines" is calculated to appeal to prejudice and to stir up "ill-feelings and unpleasant emotions." Brother Doyle if I knew of a man doing that or thought one was appealing to prejudice etc., I would have reason to doubt his sincerity. What is wrong with the man? Further he says "This is the name-calling device, and the use of it is very effective when we want to discredit somebody but feel that the facts would not be strong enough to do it." Can he still say he has no reason to doubt my sincerity and make such a statement? He must have gotten out of the squirrel cage and gotten on the merry-go-round.

The number of persons clothed is emphasized — we are happy some of the thousands are clothed. But remember, when Paul preached in new fields the Gospel was the source of their conversion and his need was for workers spiritually minded, who could preach the Gospel of Christ and never did he ask for schools, nurses, cafeterias, etc. The Gospel is the power of God to save, Paul preached the Gospel without all this talk about the way or approach to sinners. "Is it nothing to ye, all ye that pass by?"