Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 23, 1950

"The Reputation Of The Church"

Leonard Mullens, Dallas, Texas

Sometimes, sad to say, congregations of the church of Christ are known almost alone for their negative characteristics. They are opposed to this; they are against the other. It would be well for us to emphasize the positive side of our Christianity. What do we stand for, as well as what we stand against, is surely important. People of the world are apt to be more interested in what we do, than in what we do not do. And what do we do? What do we stand for? A Christian will naturally be opposed to the things that God opposes, that is true, but what are we getting at now is that we need to let the world know that we stand for something, and that our Christianity is not all of the "Anti" spirit. We do have some brethren who are "Anti-Everything" brethren. I am ashamed of them. Let us show the world about us that the church of Christ can accomplish the hard and the difficult thing, and yet still remain within the limits that God has set for our lawful activities in His work and worship. In the church, we are set to do that which the world cannot do. Let us labor to show the world how well we can do so, and at the same time follow the Lord's Book in the effort. And it can be done, brethren. Why should we be known only for what we stand against? Let us be known for the things for which we stand.

Some of the brethren think that the outsider who visits the church services has come for the express purpose of being opened up on, so to speak. We have declared "open season" on all such visitors. Such an "anti" spirit more often drives him away than otherwise. Christians ought to be joyful in living the Christian life, it is true; however, it seems to me about all the joy some of the brethren get out of their religion is when some outsider is deliberately embarrassed by an "anti" spirit. Let us teach outsiders what we stand for, and not just what we stand against. After all, they have paid us the compliment of visiting with us in the hope that God was in our midst.

No, converting outsiders is not like punching cows. The old cow is roped, thrown, tied down, and the brand of the owner is forced upon her. This is not the way to convert men to Jesus. And yet, the tactics we use sometimes reminds one of a cowpuncher out after a wild cow. Men after fish do not employ the same method in catching them as they do in catching wild cows. Some one remarks that the reason is seen in the fact that fish and cows are not the same. This is true; and so men and cows are not the same. We place inducement in the form of a bait on the hook for the fish, and we try to give the fish what appeals to his appetite, so we might hook him. In our work with outsiders, let us work with a heart filled with compassion for lost souls, and let us appeal to him with the love of God, and the sacrifices of Jesus, never forgetting to emphasize the drawing power of the cross of our Saviour.

Let us show the world what we stand for, and in that very action, she —shall also see what we stand against.


Hoyt Bailey, 132 W. 'Wabash, Enid, Okla.: "Six more have placed membership recently. Please send us names of members or prospective members who are moving to Enid,"