Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 28, 1961

Preaching The Gospel Without Offence

Jesse G. Jenkins, Fort Worth, Texas

The March 23, 1961, issue of the Gospel Advocate was largely dedicated to testimonials in behalf of the Herald of Truth. On page 186 G. Vincent Gaskill testifies to the Herald of Truth's worth in the following words:

"A little more than a year ago there came to the deep South the greatest opportunity in this generation for preaching the gospel of Christ. By the providence of God, and the united support of congregations in this area, a two-year contract for televising the Herald of Truth was signed with Station WALA, Channel 10 TV. This in itself was quite an achievement, in view of predominantly Catholic influence here; which in the past had been exerted against the churches of Christ because of some unfortunate radio preaching. To the knowledge of this writer, there has been no opposition to the Herald of Truth program by the Catholics, or any other denomination. .... It is our personal conviction that the Herald of Truth program has greatly enhanced the prestige of the church of Christ locally. The high quality of the program and the absence of any objectionable features, have tended to build a very favorable impression of the church."

The very fact that the teaching done on the Herald of Truth has "no opposition" from "the Catholics, or any other denomination" rises as testimony against it. Paul wrote, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12) Jesus said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matt. 5:11) And, "The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:20) Oh, that brethren could see that when they make the gospel palatable to a disbelieving people, they are reigning as kings — but without Christ.

The Herald of Truth promoters are not the first ones to think they have found a way to make the gospel of Christ palatable to an unbelieving people. Some of the members of the church at Corinth math, the same mistake. In 1 Cor. 4 Paul wrote them: "We are fools for Christ's sake (when we preach the gospel, we are persecuted), but ye are wise in Christ (ye have found a way to preach Christ without offense); we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable (when ye preach, the world honours you), but we are despised (when we preach, the world despises us)." Paul told them: "Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us." Thus when the Corinthians preached in such a way as to bring no opposition from the world, but rather to "enhance the prestige of the church" in the eyes of the world, they were reigning as kings — but without Christ. In an effort to save them from complete apostasy, Paul wrote: "Be ye followers of me." In other words, stop diluting the gospel to where it is palatable to a disbelieving people and start preaching it full force in an effort to please God instead of man.

The ground that has been gained by God's people has not been gained by removing "objectionable features" from the preaching. Alexander Campbell wrote: "No man ever achieved any great good to mankind who did not fight for it with courage and perseverance and who did not, in the conflict, sacrifice either his good name or his life. John lost his head. The apostles were slaughtered. The Saviour was crucified. The ancient confessors were slain. The reformers were excommunicated. If I am not slandered and misrepresented, I shall be a most unworthy advocate of the cause which has always provoked the resentment of those who, fattened upon the ignorance and stupidity of the mass, will not try to think or learn."

Foy E. Wallace, Jr., wrote: "The spirit of pacifism is taking the fight out of the church. But the conflict between truth and error is unending. Victory does not come by truce. God's terms are unconditional surrender.... The church grew when the fight waged and the battles raged. When the letup came in the fight, the let down came in the church. It is said that the sectarians do not fight any more. That is because the church has quit fighting and they have nothing to fight. If gospel preachers will fight now as preachers fought then, the denominations will also fight now as they did then.... and truth will triumph now as it triumphed then."

When men today, like the Corinthians of old, remove the "objectionable features" from the gospel, they reign as kings with the Corinthians — but without Christ When the Herald of Truth began, the sermons were forceful. There was much in them that would offend the disbeliever. But it was inevitable that the same spirit of disrespect for Bible authority with which the Herald of Truth was born and with which it has been sustained would finally show up in the teaching done thereon. I have seen several of the TV programs of the Herald of Truth, and I can testify along with G. Vincent Gaskill that I have seen nothing thereon that would be offensive to the Catholics or any other denomination. This in itself is prima facie evidence that the gospel as taught by Christ and Paul is not being preached on the Herald of Truth. And be assured that the anathema of God rests upon any who preach "another gospel." (Gal. 1:6-9).