Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 2, 1967

Answer To "Give Me Liberty Or A Secular Job"

Elliott Hill

Brother Harold Fite's article in Gospel Guardian of September 21st, 1967 is about the most severe criticism of Elders and Christians in general that I have ever seen written by a gospel preacher. It seems to me a man who has such a low opinion of God's people would refuse to accept their hard earned money.

Jesus said in his day "The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few. " This always will be true. Too, there is a shortage of Elders in the New Testament Church. A few preachers have knocked, belittled and humiliated Elders so long that it is almost impossible to get qualified men to serve. The members would show respect for the Elders were they taught God's truth.

Not long ago I heard a preacher say in the pulpit that the Elders had no right to tell him what to preach or not to preach. He also stated among other things that they had no right to set an hour for the assembly. His grand theme and favorite passage "Neither as being lords over God's heritage." The fact that the Hebrew writer says "Obey them that have the rule over you" does not register in his thinking. He referred to members of his congregation as "old rotten dried up branches," as "hypocrites and seat warmers." So some preachers do not deserve "Liberty" all the time.

For a number of years I have worked at a "secular job" and preached much of the time too. Also I have served as an Elder in one congregation. As I look at things now, all of us should have the greatest love, admiration and respect for any God-fearing man who will accept the responsibility of being an Elder. May I ask if a man who has a "secular job" has "liberty" as outlined in his article? That idea is but a dream. He could not write an article about his company similar to this one and continue his job.

At present I am president of a very small wholesale lumber company. I work forty-five to fifty-five hours per week. Someone in our company has known where I was every night for the past ten years. You could call our office anytime and locate anyone of us within a few hours. You could ask where we were one year or two years ago on a given work day and the bookkeeper would have it within a few minutes. Each salesman turns in a written report each work day stating the customers visited, approximate time spent on each call; the miles driven and all pertinent details. One may dream of liberty in a secular job but it is not there. Were I going to serve as a full time Gospel preacher, I would welcome an opportunity to talk over my work schedule with the Elders. Were it necessary to leave town I would not hesitate to tell them. Then I would keep a daily record of my work to make sure that I was studying my allotted hours.

Brother Fite, if you have a good salesman in the congregation ask him how he treats his customers. He must get along with his clients, he must "pamper" them, he has to be a "relation men" and "backslapper." After you talk to him you will say "I sure have it good."

-P. O. Box 24051, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224