Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 23, 1954
NUMBER 20, PAGE 10-11a

"The Herald Of Truth"

R. Ervin Driskill, Birmingham. Alabama

Brother Jack Meyer writes an article in the Advocate of July 29, 1954, in defense of the Herald of Truth and says, "This television and radio program has enough advantages to more than justify the expense, and to warrant churches and individuals in making it possible." Thus, he begins his defense with an assumption but, this has been characteristic of ALL that I have read in defense of it. Brother Meyer, the advantage of a thing does not prove it scriptural. Let's establish its scripturalness and then point up its advantages. Those who oppose the Herald of Truth have never opposed "blanketing the nation and world with the gospel of Christ." We're simply interested in it being done scripturally; Bible things done in Bible ways, as the saying goes. Further we covet the respect of the Lord first, and the "respect of the listening audience second." The approval of the listening audience does not prove Herald of Truth scriptural.

I have never heard those who oppose Herald of Truth say the gospel was not preached but that does not prove the arrangement Biblical. The fact the truth may be preached, and the scope of its coverage, does not prove it is scriptural even if it didn't cost but fifteen cents per month.

It is true "whole areas have learned of our identity and position" but such was also true in Paul's day, without any such arrangements. The gospel was preached to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:23) but there was no pooling of funds of churches into the hands of elders of some local church, to do it. We believe it can be done that way today. Brother Meyer and others are not satisfied with doing it according to the example left us. Their way will "demand the respect of the listening audience" so much better than the Lord's. We are not averse to people knowing the facts either but that too misses the Herald of Truth issue entirely.

Let Herald of Truth bring forth the facts and figures that it "has made hearts more receptive to face-to-face preaching and explanation" than local programs carried by local churches. Brother Meyer, do you have that information? Still, this would not prove Herald of Truth to be right. '

Was Paul trying to do something big to make an impact on governments? to have governmental officials on his side or wasn't he trying to make an impact on the sinner. It now appears the MAIN OBJECTIVE is to do some big thing to court the favor of people and governments instead of preaching the gospel to sinners without fear or favor. I fear bigness may have played a part in its investigation for it seems to be prominent in its continuation. But, suppose we had the favor of the governments of the world; would that make Herald of Truth scriptural? ? ? ?

Another proof (?) offered is that Herald of Truth has "given us greater respect for our ability." Personally, I have always believed there wasn't anything the Lord wanted the church to do, the church could not do. I believed it before Herald of Truth was organized and I believe it now. Our failure to "see" our ability to do a thing, does not justify creating something unscriptural to make us see it. This, then, does not justify Herald of Truth unless Herald of Truth is first scriptural.

Brother Meyer's idea of Herald of Truth helping the church, from the standpoint of singing, does not prove Herald of Truth is scriptural. The issue is not whether the singing is good or bad but is Herald of Truth scriptural? If it is scriptural, and the singing is good, fine, but if Herald of Truth is unscriptural then it matters not how good the singing; the thing is wrong. I would welcome an article by Brother Meyer on "the scripturalness of Herald of Truth" and not one on "the good singing"; "the contribution it has made to building up our respect for our ability"; "the influence it has on the listening audience or, the impression it has on world governments"; "the advantage it has from a monetary standpoint" or "how it has blanketed the nation and foreign countries with the gospel." The thing has to be scriptural before it can be worth ten cents, to the cause of Christ. Moreover, the planning of scriptures, songs, and sermon along the same line only proves that THAT is good, but it is poor proof that Herald of Truth is scriptural.

Brother Meyer says, "When a small group of men carry on a relentless war against such an effort, repeating the same false accusations, it is to be expected that some SINCERE and HIGH-TYPE people will be misled." Brother Meyer is my friend and brother but I am sorry he has resorted to such insinuations about any of his brethren. With him, those who oppose him and Herald of Truth are INSINCERE and a LOW-TYPE people. This statement, within itself, gives evidence of the weakness of Brother Jack's efforts to sustain Herald of Truth. He seems to want to count noses and prove Herald of Truth is right because only a "small group of men" oppose it. Brother Meyer, God and one man is a majority. Truth is never settled by the number who hold up hands. Brother Meyer seems however, to put it on this basis, and if he wants to PROVE Herald of Truth by such methods I will be glad to submit a list of those against it if he will submit one of those for it. This would be interesting, whether it proved anything or not. I have recently been in the northwest and southeast and it was refreshing to me to find so many opposed to the enterprise.

Brother Meyer hopes those "deceived by these efforts will learn of their error." I regret he did not deal with the ISSUE and help them learn rather than pursue the course he chose. Brother Meyer thinks "a missionary society is an organization of men, in various localities, banded together into an organization out of and separate and apart from a congregation." Brother Meyer, it is not the location from which the men come and band together (necessarily) that makes the society. Tell me why a society could not be formed from men of the same location. When men of the SAME congregation band themselves together to plan, select the preachers, OVERSEE and do the work of 1080 churches, they are as much a missionary society as if they were from various localities. They are an organization, separate and apart from the 1080 churches,' and are planning, OVERSEEING and using funds of other churches. They planned this radio and television work of the churches and are using the money, elders of these churches should be using and overseeing. Brother Meyer's definition of a society is all right only it is too restricted. Homewood is contributing to a society only they are not aware of it because Brother Meyer has assured them they are not.

Brother Meyer, if Herald of Truth is not CENTRALIZED CONTROL, with LOSS OF CHURCH AUTONOMY, just what control does Homewood have over Herald of Truth? Tell us! Did Homewood plan Herald of Truth and can she stop it should she want it stopped? Did Homewood determine the pay of the preachers and can it change the salary, or preachers, when it so desires? Does Homewood have the OVERSIGHT of Herald of Truth? Do any of the 1080 churches have the OVERSIGHT and CONTROL of Herald of Truth? If not, who does CONTROL it? If Highland CONTROLS it, isn't ALL THE CONTROL CONCENTRATED IN HIGHLAND and if so, why wouldn't this be CENTRALIZED CONTROL?

Brother Meyer, you say, ".... it is not a case of one church doing all the work for other churches. We are doing our OWN WORK in Birmingham, Africa, and other places, as well as assisting in this work." In other words, you deny Highland is doing Homewood's work in Herald of Truth — that you are assisting Highland do Highland's work. When you determine what makes Africa YOUR WORK (and you admit it is) then you have determined that which makes Herald of Truth YOUR WORK too. If sending to Highland is not YOUR WORK (but the work of Highland) then, sending to Africa is not YOUR WORK (but the work of the church in Africa). If you're going to make Africa YOUR WORK, then be consistent and make HERALD OF TRUTH YOUR WORK TOO, and when you do you have Highland CONTROLLING and OVERSEEING the work of Homewood and 1079 other churches.

It should further be shown (and not just asserted) that the advantages of Herald of Truth outweigh those of local origin and therefore a saving in money. And, be it remembered, a saving in money does not prove the scripturalness of Herald of Truth.

Brother Meyer, if no one could stop any false teaching, if Herald of Truth taught such, would that not show no one but Highland elders had the power or control to handle nation-wide — yes, world-wide radio and television evangelization. And would that not be CENTRALIZED CONTROL? The Pope has but little more power than this. Local programs could be stopped by the local elders but one on a nation-wide scale could not unless Highland wanted it stopped. Where is the passage, or principle, that makes it right for Highland to ask churches to help in this work and where is the passage or principle that makes it right for elders of other churches to relinquish their responsibilities to Highland and to turn money to Highland that they themselves should be using?

Inconsistency does not prove the issue either. The only objection I have heard of Herald of Truth being "too big" is that it is "too big for Highland" (by their own admission). If then, it is too big for Highland, by what right do they have to undertake it? Give the principle please. "As a people who can do more" — does not mean we can do more than the local church can do unless God has a plan for the church universal to function. When you produce the plan for the church universal to function it will be the LOCAL church doing ITS WORK, without any such arrangement as Highland has. If contending for local church action (without combination and pooling of funds and power) is making a law where there is none, why is it? I'm certain the Bible doesn't teach both. Finally, Brother Meyer urges churches and individuals to "rally to the undertaking with large and small amounts" without citing ONE PASSAGE to prove its scriptural right to function.