Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 17, 1969
NUMBER 49, PAGE 4-5a

Editor I A L

"Do You Really Care?"

By the time this paper reaches our readers several thousands of you will have received a personal letter from the editor, together with a little brochure asking the question, "Do you REALLY Care?". This letter has not gone out indiscriminately, but has been sent to a selected group of Christians whom we believe to be interested and concerned.

Frankly, we are hoping to wage a sort of "peace offensive." We are trying to reach many thousands of brethren in the "institutional" churches with a simple plea that we explore the areas where we might work together, and try, as much as possible, to compose our differences as we face a common enemy — the threat of classical liberalism. This is the most destructive and divisive force ever to hit the American churches. It has brought ruin and devastation to each of the great denominations, splitting them asunder, weakening and destroying their influence throughout the world, rendering them impotent to meet the horrendous problems of an atheistic, materialistic society. That the same withering blight now looms on the horizon for the churches of Christ is too obvious to discerning people to be denied. And as this threat becomes more apparent and well-defined, we believe there are many thousands of sincere Christians (in the institutional churches) who will find they have a great deal more in common with the brethren they have previously dubbed "anti" then they have with those who would now lead them into liberal denominationalism.

Just as an example of the "trend" now developing, here is a recent notice in a widely circulated gospel journal:

"The elders of a growing congregation in a university town are looking for a brother with creativity and imagination to launch a work with their young people. They do not want someone who will simply do things within the building but who will take advantage of witnessing situations and undertake genuine Christian service in the city and community. Although this is a non-instrument congregation, the question is not made a test of fellowship, and the brother selected may be from any segment of the restoration movement." — (Mission Messenger March 1969)

This "non-instrument congregation" quite obviously has decided they will be quite as willing to have their young people taught by a man with "creativity and imagination" who will teach in favor of instrumental music as by a man who would teach against it. Does anybody want to hazard a guess as to just about how long it will take this — "non-instrument congregation" to become an "instrument congregation" with this sort of attitude and teaching?

There are many thousands of truly humble and sincere Christians who will NOT "go along" with trends such as this. And it is these people whom we are trying to reach with the message of truth through the Gospel Guardian. These are our brethren in Christ; they worship the same God we serve; they honor the same Christ we honor; they revere the same Bible we hold dear. And however misguided (in our judgment) has been their devotion to Herald of Truth and the centralized cooperative arrangements, we do not for a moment doubt their sincerity and real desire to follow the teachings of Christ.

We have a growing list of people in a great number of "institutional" churches who are telling us they will be glad to receive the Gospel Guardian into their homes, and will weigh prayerfully and conscientiously what it may teach. They do not agree with us about benevolent societies, centralized co-operative arrangements, and some of them (but by no means all) think we are way out of line in our opposition to church contributions to the colleges. But ALL of them, no matter how they feel about these things, are concerned about the growing threat of "liberalism" — the denial of the supernatural in religion; and they feel a kindred spirit with us as we face this common threat.

We cannot, of course, send out any appreciable number of subscriptions to these concerned Christians without the help and financial backing of you, our readers. Do you REALLY care? Do you want US (the Gospel Guardian force) to make an effort, and do YOU want to make an effort toward trying to heal the breach, and at least work out some areas in which we can cooperate and work together as brethren?

Well, that's what we want to do. And that's what we hope you want to do. Your response to our personal letter will indicate how right (or how wrong) has been our evaluation of your feelings and desires. As we round out twenty full years as editor of this journal (Volume Twenty closes with the next issue), we want to do so with high hope and supreme confidence that thousands of our readers, faithful and loyal brethren in Christ, will be sending in whatever funds they can provide to enable us to reach our goal of putting the Gospel Guardian into the hands of a vast host of new readers. Will you help? Let us hear from you.

F. Y. T.