Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 29, 1956

High Pressure

C. R. Nichol, Homestead, Florida

Some years ago a "Union Meeting" arranged by a number of the denominations was conducted in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and likewise in a number of other cities. The "Union Meetings" are not as often had now, as a few years ago.

In Chattanooga the meeting was, to a large extent, under the oversight of the "Ministerial Alliance."

A large tabernacle was erected near the center of the city; and much publicity was given to the meeting. The first night of the services, the popular evangelist made the announcement that the tabernacle had not been paid for, and that he would not begin the meeting till money was in hand to pay the hill for its erection. Following that announcement, he began the raising of money, with: "Who will be the first man to give $100.00 to pay for the erection of the tabernacle." There were six men who quickly made promise of $100.00 from firms they represented. After much persuasion he announced: "Those who gave $100.00 or the business firm giving that amount will have their names in the morning and evening papers tomorrow. The people reading the papers will know WHO is in for a great meeting, that they are behind the soul-saving program we are now to have." After much pressure in an effort to get the promise of $100.00 he began to ask for men who would give $50.00. Numbers were enrolled in that class with the promise that their names would appear in the papers. Calling the names of those who made the promise of $50.00 each, he stated that those who gave less than $50.00 would not be mentioned in the papers.

Then he called for those giving $10.00. Numbers responded. Then followed passing the baskets for the amount to be given less than that sum, for the tabernacle. It was a pressing effort to get money. "High Pressure."

Did you hear of the man being sent out by the church of Christ, to visit the churches throughout the land to raise money to build a meeting-house in some place, or for some other work in a town, or work a congregation had undertaken? Did you hear his speech, and how he insisted that each member give something to the work? The man seeking to raise the money was working on a salary. Yes, I know of the man who was commissioned to raise money for a project, and promised a percent of all money raised! Was there any "urge" on the part of the preacher to get a large donation from each place visited?

Do you know the preacher, who with a congregation was working, and marked success was attending his efforts, as reported in the religious papers; when some sister congregation approached the preacher, offering him a larger salary than he was being paid. The preacher reported to the elders where he was working that he had an invitation to move to another place at a larger salary than they were paying him; that he did not wish to leave them, but — b-u-t, he was finding it difficult to pay his actual expenses with the salary they were paying him? That possibly he could do as much good in the place offering a larger salary, and, — a-n-d. "High Pressure."

You heard of the minister who was invited to leave the congregation where he was laboring, and work with another congregation at a larger salary. One of the members of the congregation asked one of the minister's children: "Is your father leaving us, and moving to ______________ where they will pay him more than we are paying him?" The lad made answer: "I do not know. Dad is upstairs praying over the matter; and mother is downstairs packing to move."

Yes, I have read the passage: "Give as you have been prospered." Also: "God loveth a cheerful giver." Covetousness is idolatry. (Col 3:5.)