Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 5, 1950

Who Can Build Up The Church?

A. Hugh Clark, San Antonio, Texas

Strange as it may sound to some, not just any one can help build up the church. Not every one who is a member of the church can help build up the church. The more some people do to help build up the church, the more they hinder the church, because their lives are known to be such that if the church allows them to have any leading part in its work, or even to be thought of as congenial with the standards of conduct for which it contends, the church will be so immeasurably lowered in influence that it will be hindered instead of helped.

Because its founder and head said of his disciples, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world," the church and the world are always on opposite sides of moral and spiritual issues. Any time therefore a member of the church gets off side on the moral issues of life, he is thoroughly disqualified to fight the battles of the church, because no man will or can fight against his real self. Moreover, any man who can get the consent of his heart to compromise the moral standards of the gospel is so lacking in knowledge, understanding, and spiritual judgement, that he is unfit to be trusted with any spiritual responsibility.

Through the radio and the printed page, with subtlety and persistence, the liquor interests have pierced the armor of the home and, clothed in the habiliments of both glamour and respectability, they are keeping before our people the damning poison they dispense. The result is that drinking and drunkenness are growing at an alarming rate, and many church members are being drawn into the vortex. There are some who keep liquor in their homes for beverage purposes, and serve it socially on occasion, at parties, etc. It has been said of them that they sit at home Sunday night, while the services are being conducted at the church building, and with their worldly friends sip their cocktails and mix their drinks. Such people are unfit to be received into the fellowship of the church, much less to be allowed any leading part in the conduct of its affairs. And until they can be made to realize this, acknowledge their sins and reform themselves, the church they try to help will only be hindered and the more they try the more it will be hindered.

Who then can build up the church? Only such as are willing to qualify by, "Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly and righteously and godly in this present world." These are the only ones who can build up the church, and these and only these are welcome in any faithful congregation.