Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 5, 1961

From A Preacher's Note-Book

James W. Adams, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Gospel Press

Gospel Press Is A Human Organization Created By Some Of The Brethren For The Purpose Of "Teaching God's Word Thru Pages Of National Magazines." (Quotation From Letter-Head Of Gospel Press.) When It First Saw The Light Of Day, Considerable Emphasis Was Given To The Fact That It Would Make No Appeal To Churches For Their Support. The Publicity Implies Even That No Contributions From Churches Would Be Accepted. This Organization Has Been Widely Publicized And Supported By Brethren In Oklahoma And In Oklahoma City. The Two Letters Which Follow Will Be Interesting. One Of These Was Received By Us This Week. The Other Was Mailed From The Nashville, Tennessee Office Of The Gospel Press And Bears The Signature Of One Of The Vice-Presidents Of The Organization. It Is, Therefore, To Be Regarded As Completely Authoritative And As Representing The Official Procedure And Practice Of The Organization.

Letter No. 1, received by us this week, has the following statement stamped in large red letters on the outside of the envelope; "WE ARE ASKING EVERYBODY IN OKLAHOMA TO HELP." HARVEY SCOTT. The letter follows:

Dear Oklahoma Co-Worker:

Would you give one dollar or more to help place the ad "What is The Church of Christ?" in Life magazine?

You have the opportunity now — A group of workers here in Oklahoma have asked the Gospel Press to allow us to raise $11,000 needed to place this ad in Life — It will appear in the October 31st issue going into over 6,000,000 homes.

This is the first time in the history of this magazine that it has contained a religious ad — A group of us here in Oklahoma City area believe we can raise the $11,000 needed in our state — But we cannot do this without your help.

We want to ask you today to mail in a contribution — We only wish we could talk with each of you personally and ask your help — This is impossible but we can ask your help today.

One dollar will allow you to help reach over 500 people — Won't you send in at least one dollar today?

With your help we can do this — May we count on you?

Sincerely, Lewis G. Hale

Dr. R. E. Owens.


Harvey Scott

Delmar Owens

This is an exact copy of the letter which we are preserving in our files.

Now, please read letter No. 2 which follows. This letter is copied from "NEWS and VIEWS" by Charles A. Holt, Florence, Alabama. It appeared in the Gospel Guardian, October 20, 1990, Volume 12, Number 24. We are writing brother Holt for a photostatic copy of this letter for our files.

Elders and Minister Church of Christ

Dear Brethren:

You will agree that preaching the gospel to every creature in our generation is the most urgent challenge we face. We must also count the cost and make the Lord's dollar go as far as possible. We can reach 1000 individuals through the enormous circulation of the national magazines for only $1.73. To reach the same number with a postal card, the postage, the printing and typing would cost at least $60.00.

In our fall campaign we are asking ever congregation to give the fifth Sunday contribution in October, or give all over regular expenses one Sunday in October or take a special contribution one Sunday in October. If the announcement is made with enthusiasm for this work every Sunday for three weeks before the contribution is taken, the results will be overwhelming.

Yours for spreading the kingdom.

Vice President Signed: Paul Hunton, Here Is An Organization Which Is Not The Church Or, A Church, The Professed Object Of Which Is "Teaching The Word Of God," Making An Appeal To Churches For Contributions From Their Treasuries. The Appeal, Therefore, Is For Churches To Seek To Fulfill Their Obligation, At Least In A Measure, To "Preach The Gospel To Every Creature In Our Generation, Through The Gospel Press Teaching Society. On What Basis Can An Individual Who Endorses And Support Such An Organization Logically Or Scripturally Oppose A Missionary Society? The Letter From Our Oklahoma Brethren Is Addressed To Individuals And Their Appeal Appears To Be To The Individual. This, However, In No Sense Excuses Them. The Missionary Societies Will Also Accept Individual Contributions And Also Make Such Appeals. Could Our Brethren Make Individual Contributions To Missionary Societies? Can The Churches Do Their Work Of "Preaching The Gospel To Every Creature" By Delegating Their Responsibilities In This Regard To The Gospel Press Teaching Society? If So

Why Cannot They Discharge Their Responsibilities In This Regard Through A Missionary Society, A Human Preaching Society? We Should Like Much To See An Answer To This Question From Our Oklahoma Brethren Who Endorse, Support, And Solicit Contributions For The Gospel Press.

(J.W.A.) Neither Poverty Nor Riches

"Two things have I asked of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and use profanely the name of my God." (Proverbs 30:7-9)

The two request of this passage suggest two great needs of human character: (1) Integrity and (2) Equilibrium, A man who is fundamentally dishonest will be wrong in all of life's relationships. A man without integrity is a lost cause. Hence, we ought to pray that we might be "removed far from falsehood and lies." This has to do with what a man is within. It has little or no relation to the circumstances that surround him.

On the other hand, the second request has to do with life's circumstances. People are often creatures of environment. They are molded and shaped by their surroundings. Especially is this true of the environment of youth. Balance is a wonderful thing. An automobile steers beautifully and smoothly when its wheels are in balance. When they are out of balance, one must wrestle with it to keep it on the road. A sea voyage is a delight until the sailor loses his balance; resulting seasickness turns it into a nightmare. Upset the balance staff in your watch and the entire mechanism will go wild. Balance or equilibrium in human character is quite important. Often the circumstances of life upset the balance of the individual and destroy his character.

Our text suggest two extremes in the realm of environment or circumstances; namely, poverty and riches. It also suggests the safe realm lying between the two; namely having that which is "needful." Riches breeds arrogance. The full man feels no particular need of Jehovah. He is self-sufficient. Money talks. Poverty, on the other hand, breeds humiliation, bitterness, and inordinate cravings. The rich man, satiated by self-indulgence, will say with contempt, "Who is Jehovah?" The poverty stricken man will, motivated by hunger for that which has been denied him, "steal." Out of a state of humiliation and bitterness, he will "profane the name of his God." When we have that which is "needful" for us, we ought to thank God and therewith be content. Many sigh for riches, but few have the ability to possess them and maintain their equilibrium at the same time.

(J.W.A.) "Mark 'Em Detour"

The following story from the July issue of Nuggets is not only funny, but it has a point that brethren these days ought to consider.

A motorist traveling toward a backwoods area stopped at a filling station to fill up his tank and to ask about the road ahead. The service-station man thought a bit and then answered, "They say the roads in the next county are fine, but you got to watch the detours. They're bad."

The motorist drove on and suddenly realized he had gotten off the road somewhere and was now on a detour. The filling-station man was right. It was bad. Passing a farmer plowing near the fence, he stopped the car and shouted, "How do I get off this detour and on one of those fine roads you're supposed to have in this county?"

The farmer stopped plowing and shouted back, "You won't never get off the detour. Our folks just won't stand for bad roads in this county, so they just took down all the road signs and marked 'em 'Detour.'

For many years, the brethren have been pointing out the error of denominational practice. They have sounded off against choirs, extra organizations such as missionary, ladies aid, young people's, and benevolent societies, recreational and entertainment enterprises by churches, tradition rather than scripture as a standard for religious practice etc. etc. etc. They have been calling for chapter and verse from the word of God for the authority to do such things.

Now, the brethren are still anxious to claim affinity with the Scriptures, so they have just erected signs reading, "Detour," on all their roads. It would seem that their philosophy is: "Change the name of the thing done, and make it a part of the practice of a church having the designation, "Church of Christ," on its building and all is well. It is not only becomes right, but the reputation of churches of Christ fort, scriptural practice is preserved. Call a choir a "chorus," call a missionary society a "sponsoring church," call a benevolent society a "home," call a ladies aid society a "ladies Bible class," call a young people's society a "youth forum or rally," call church recreation and entertainment "fellowship," say "we've been doing it this way for years" rather than give a "thus saith the Lord" and be sure that the church doing these things has "Church of Christ" on the sign outside the building and ALL IS WELL. There is no cause for alarm. The "ship of Zion" sails on calm seas. Let the brethren call their roads "Detours" until the judgment if they please and it will not make them such. What they are is not changed by what they call them. Call the unscriptural practices to which we have alluded what they please and they will not change what they are. Let them pride themselves while they do it in not being willing to "stand for bad roads" — "tolerate unscriptural practices" — and the fact remains that their so called "Detours" are but renamed "roads" of denominational error. (J.W.A.)