Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 15, 1970

The Day Grows Brighter


We publish this week the rust in a series of articles by Brother Roy Cogdill reporting on a trip to the Philippine Islands made by him and Brother Cecil Willis last summer. These articles will have already appeared in Truth Magazine; but we deem them of sufficient interest and value that they deserve as wide a circulation as possible. While there may be a thousand or so of our readers who also receive Truth Magazine, there will be many others who will be reading the highly interesting and informative articles here for the first time.

We wanted particularly to publish these articles, and to use them as one example (one among many) of the growing interest of conservative brethren in those rich harvest fields outside the continental United States. For a long, sad twenty years now faithful congregations within the States have been in a fearful struggle, fighting for their very lives against the sweep of "institutionalism," as seen in such popular programs as benevolent organizations, centralized evangelistic efforts, world-wide radio and television combines under boards of various kinds (usually the elders of some church), church support and advocacy of secular schools (from kindergarten to graduate levels), etc. Thousands of churches and brethren were unable to with-stand the pressures, and became engulfed in the tidal wave of apostasy. Congregations which came through the tragedy were often left weak and bruised from the struggle. "Foreign" fields were largely forgotten as small, weakened congregations sought again to get on their feet in hundreds of communities.

But the day grows brighter. As the tide of liberalism grows stronger and ever stronger in the institutional churches, they become themselves involved in problems of gigantic proportions — and their pressure and hostility against those whom they derisively dubbed as "antis" begins to subside. At the same time, many sincere and godly brethren, realizing (as they did not before) that there "is no stopping place" once human wisdom has been allowed to supplant divine authority, are having some second thoughts about their promotions. It all adds up to: lessened pressure from the liberals; increased hope for the future on the part of those who have weathered the storm — and an exciting and growing interest in the far-flung nations of the earth where Christ is not known!

The trip by Brethren Cogdill and Willis is but one indication of this interest. A growing number of churches are becoming interested in supporting faithful gospel preachers in Australia, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, South America, Canada, Japan, and other promising fields. Brother Cogdill thinks the Philippine Islands may well be the "key" to the evangelization of the entire southern Pacific archipelago. His venture into that area was fraught with many difficulties and hardships (and dangers), but he feels it was highly worth the while. It is to be hoped that such trips as this may serve to focus attention of many churches on the vast possibilities in the under-developed nations of the world. It has always been the case (even in the days of Christ and Paul) that the poor and less privileged are much more willing to listen to the gospel than are the affluent and sophisticated. It was "the common people" who heard Christ gladly. (Mark 12:37). And Paul wrote that, "not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." (I Cor. 1:26). Rich people and rich nations are simply not as likely to be interested in spiritual things as are the poor and down-trodden. It has always been so.

We suggest a careful reading of the series by Brother Cogdill. One of the surest and most certain ways on earth to build churches at home is to get them intensely interested in and committed to spreading the gospel away from home. This does not necessarily mean across the seas, but it does mean outside of the home community. It has always intrigued the interest of Bible students to note that while there were no doubt many "prophets and teachers" in the great church at Antioch, the Holy Spirit chose what must have been the two best qualified and most experienced men in the whole congregation (Barnabas and Saul) to send abroad. All too often churches have reversed that order.

— F. Y. T.