Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 25, 1956

An Aim That Really Did Get The Job Done

Herbert L. Coffman, Houston, Texas

Personally, it saddens me when men sacrifice much, undergo hardship, deprive themselves and their families of much to preach in a foreign field where Christ has not been named in this generation; and then when they appeal for help in their work — have their words called "silly" and themselves aligned or "just about" so with a teacher of false doctrine. Brother Farrell Till has made such a sacrifice to go to France, and he has made many appeals for help. Some of the appeals helped to cause at least one family to go to France. The appeals caused at least one congregation to do something about mission work. And these appeals have also caused many preachers (among them, myself) to stop and re-evaluate how much sacrifice they are making for Christ. And if I personally never go to a mission field, these appeals will still have not been in vain as far as I am concerned. For they have already caused me to be more devoted to the Lord's work here where I am. But these appeals have somewhat irked Brother R. Ervin Driskill of Lewisville, Texas. They irked him so much that he wrote up in the Gospel Guardian of September 20, 1966 Brother Till himself and his article that appeared in the June 12, 1956 issue of the Firm Foundation.

In the course of his article Brother Driskill made just about every charge in the book against Brother Till. He called Brother Till "silly," accused him of pulling "a little green," charged him with being "empty of knowledge," charged Brother Till with "just about" joining up with Brother Leroy Garrett, implied that Brother Till was "opposed to an evangelist working with a local church," implied that he (Brother Till) thought that his work was the most important of all, and accused him of "casting a reflection on those who faithfully preach God's word in the States and holding himself up as a Paul." About the only sin that I can think of that Brother Till wasn't accused of was the sin of adultery. And the only nice thing in the whole article that Brother Driskill said was a back-handed compliment that Brother Till was "full of zeal."

I, too, have read some of Brother Till's articles — in fact all that I have seen. I, too, have been in correspondence with Brother Till (initiated by me). But I never received the impressions that Brother Driskill did. And when I read Brother Driskill's article reviewing Brother Till my spirit rebelled within me at the interpretations Brother Driskill received and placed upon Brother Till's articles — and most especially at the unfair and incorrect charges made against Brother Till. For this reason, I am writing in behalf of Brother Till.

Brother Till aimed and is getting the job done in France. Brother Till also aimed and it is evident from Brother Driskill's article that Brother Till hit home. To me, personally, Brother Driskill writes like a man who had his feet out in the aisle and got them thoroughly and electively stepped upon. And Brother Driskill resorted partially to personality arguments to try to answer Brother Till.

Let us notice some of the things that were said. Brother Till believes that in France he is laying a foundation that hasn't yet been laid. Brother Driskill, believes that Brother Till isn't because "the people of France have had New Testaments for centuries and it is full of Paul's sermons." In a letter, recently, Brother Till said he searched the city of Nancy, France, and could find only about four New Testaments in the French language. Four Bibles for 130,000 people. Some foundation for a located evangelist to build on!

Brother Driskill says:

"Brother Till admits one can scripturally build on the foundation of others without sinning (1 Cor. 3:10-1), but then condemns them for doing so. He raises the question `How few do you suppose have ever preached the gospel without building on another's foundation?' Brother Till hasn't and isn't but he would leave the impression that he is following Paul (because he is in France) and those who preach in the States are not imitating him. If it wasn't for faithful preachers, in the States (whose efforts contribute so to building up the cause here), he perhaps would not be preaching in France. We shall see how many years Brother Till spends in France and how many nations he evangelizes after that. Will he eventually return to the States and join the 99%' who are making it their aim to build on the foundation of others?"

Brother Driskill, we realize that you are a faithful gospel preacher. We know that the States are the springboard for missionary activities in France and other places. We realize that you do a wonderful work. Soothe your ruffled feelings, sir — YOU ARE IMPORTANT. We all know it and Brother Till knows it too. He has acknowledged this. For your information, Brother Driskill, Brother Till was not condemning anyone for having a located work, or building on another's foundation. Nor was he casting reflection on any faithful gospel preacher. Nor was he attempting to join up with Brother Leroy Garrett. The thing that he was doing was urging gospel preachers — like you and me — who faithfully preach God's word in the States to do a little more, make a little more sacrifice, take a little less money, and come over to help him. The only preachers that he was urging to do this are the ones who can come and don't. If this be condemnation of me and you, then let us both make the most of it!

Brother Driskill, I, too, have talked with many foreign evangelists and read after a great deal more. But I have yet to find one who thought the work in which he was engaged was more important than the rest. I have found them to think that foreign missionary work was harder, more exacting, requiring more sacrifice and generally on less money than work in Texas. Brother Driskill, it is articles such as yours that help to cause the brethren to think the Gospel Guardian is against mission work.

Let all of us therefore be tenderhearted, compassionate, loving as brethren and hold up the hands of those making great sacrifices in the mission fields instead of weighting down their hearts — and thus their hands — with unfair criticism!