Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 29, 1959

"Do We Preach The Truth?"

C. D. Crouch, Lumberton, Mississippi

In another periodical a brother recently wrote under the above caption, and I have appointed myself to say something about some of the things he said. It is a self-evident truth that one may preach a sermon, every sentence of which is true, and at the same time, the sermon would not contain all the truth that should have been included. In other words, all that he preached might be true, and yet, if he withheld some truth that he should have preached on the same subject, he has not preached the "whole truth." Paul said he "shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God." It is possible therefore, that some preachers may fail to preach the "whole counsel of God." It is possible therefore, that some preachers may fail to preach the "whole counsel of God", and at the same time, everything that they preach is "truth". It is also true, that some things that are not "truth" may get into some of those sermons. But let us note some of the things the brother said under the above caption. "Something is wrong somewhere and it does not take a genius to know that". That statement might find application in many ways, and in many places, but, note the following: "I have been waiting for over a year. And I am still waiting. Why the delay? Why has Gospel Press been unable to place an article in 'Readers Digest'?"

Then, he assumes that "some brethren must think the cost is too great". Following that he "estimates" the cost would be but "two cents" per member of the church. Then he raises the question if there could be something "wrong with our organization". After that surmise is mentioned, he says: "If our organization is wrong, let us admit our error and change our procedure". It might be stated in great plainness of speech, that the "organization" God has given us in the divine revelation He has supplied for us, is most certainly not the type of organization required for the things he has been "waiting" for. The organization God has given us is the church our Lord purchased with his blood. And only in the local sense is the church contemplated as an "organization". The entire "body of Christ" which is composed of all Christians simply contemplates the "Body of Christ" as a "body" with Christ as the "Head" and every Christian as connected with Christ in a vital, life-giving and life-sustaining manner. There is no "organization" of the universal body through which all members may "pool resources" and function as an organized body. God has ordained that each local congregation shall function through the organization which is God-appointed. The "bishops" and "deacons" are divinely appointed, but they are to function as servants of the local church only. So, there is no machinery divinely authorized which would make it possible for the universal church to undertake to "put an article in the 'Readers Digest'," or anywhere else.

That imitation "Knights Of Columbus Society," in Dallas, Texas which is misnamed "Gospel Press" has no divine authority to speak for the churches of Christ, nor for Christ. It has no divine right to exist. It is not a "gospel press", nor is it even correctly called "Press" in any legitimate sense. The brethren who organized it got their inspiration from the Knights of Columbus. They even mentioned that Romish concern, and its activities in the matter of newspaper publicity when they organized. "If the Catholics can, through Knights of Columbus, advocate their teaching through the press, why can't we do the same?" That was the way they reasoned. Gospel Press is a misnomer. They have no printing press; they have no "newsprint"; no subscription list. In fact they have no "service" for sale in any way, form or fashion. It is just an "Imitation Knights of Columbus Society." It has no right to exist in the realm in which it proposes to function. But, let us suppose that it is scriptural, for a moment. The Brother "estimates" that "two cents per member" would supply the needed amount for an article in Readers Digest. That cost has been stated as $31,500.00. It would seem then according to his "estimate" that the universal church has now in the U. S. A., 1,575,000 members. "Two cents per member" would supply the $31,500.00. If all of that set-up is right and scriptural, then why would it not be scriptural and right for that same organization, to put evangelists in the field to preach the gospel? Or if their work is "too heavy" for them to undertake any other activities, then what would be wrong in another group of brethren organizing another "Gospel Press", and calling it "Gospel Press No. 2".

Say, thirty members who are willing and able to contribute personally, $100.00 per month for one year, would start it with $36,000.00. Then fifty members, who could and would supply $50.00 per month, each, would add another $30,000.00 to the kitty. Then if 100 members can be found who could and would give $10.00 per month, each, this would add another $6,000.00. Thus "we" could have a total of $72,000.00 in prospect for the first year. The brethren then could proceed to organize "Gospel Press No. 2". Thus far, only 180 members are mentioned as being interested in such a project. Out of 1,575,000 members, that is a very small number. They can thus organize, with a "president" and a very large number of "vice presidents", "secretary and treasury", and other "officers" as they may deem needful. Then too, they can organize an "Editorial Committee", whose duties in the organization would be to select, and "interview" prospective preachers, and decide upon their "fitness" for the work of preaching the gospel. Such an organization is just as scriptural as is the so-called "Gospel Press" of 3816 Gaston Ave., Dallas. The outline given above is substantially the same as the one in Dallas. And if "two cents per member" will supply the $31,500.00 for an article in Readers Digest, "ten cents" per member per month, will raise $1,890,000.00 per year to support preachers of the gospel in fields where the gospel should be preached. That, according to my calculations, (based on the brother's "estimate" of the number of members of the church, universal) would support three hundred and fifteen preachers for a year, and at the rate of $6,000.00 per year for each preacher. Surely it is a good work to preach the gospel where the church is not known. Now if Gospel Press in Dallas is scriptural and right, "I am waiting" for some one to explain why the "Gospel Press No. 2" as outlined above is not also scriptural. Will I get the explanation? I have been waiting for a reply!