Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 7, 1953

From A Sister In Christ

(Editor's Note: We've made it a rule not to publish anonymous material; but the following letter is going to be what all rules are supposed to have — the exception. This person signs herself "A Very Confused Sister," but as we see it that is the only place in her letter where she missed the point. She is troubled, but not confused at all. There is certainly no sign of confusion in her clear-cut, ringing indictment of the modern church. We think she sees clearly what "ails" us. And if somebody wants to get critical of her "a woman" for saying such things let it be remembered in justice that she did not write for publication.)

April 15, 1953 Dear Brother Tant:

I only know you through the pages of the Guardian but I like what I read. Surely there must be numbers of preachers who can SEE what we are doing in the churches today and will find the courage to cry out against it. But why should we expect them to be braver than hundreds of us who SEE but are afraid to speak out lest we be ostracized. Of whom are we afraid? I guess it is public opinion and the desire we all have to be liked and the fear we have of ridicule and criticism.

About 20 years ago when I discovered the church you read about in the New Testament I was thrilled beyond measure and continued to be up until four or five years ago. But something terrible is happening and it is happening at such a rapid pace that I am terrified. We are becoming a "proud and stiff-necked" people. MATERIALISM is sweeping the churches. Our big and beautiful buildings have drawn in great numbers of "half-converted" members. SOFT PREACHING is not only the order of the day but the only kind tolerated for any length of time. Due to the "big-business" of running the "big churches," hordes of young deacons have literally taken over the affairs of the church. Successful businessmen are being selected as elders, not for their spiritual qualifications but rather so that they may promote the church at a faster pace in doing BIGGER things and attracting more and more people. The few remaining preachers and elders who would stem the tide are immediately labeled "pokey," "old fogies" and "non-progressives." No longer is it sufficient to give of our means on the first day of the week as God has prospered us. Great schemes are promoted, fellowship dinners are held and who'll give a thousand dollars? Love of God is being overlooked as our motive, the simple Gospel of Christ is being pushed into the background in our hustle and bustle to "out-do" the denominational world around about us. May the Lord help us to stop and see where we are going? WHERE ARE WE GOING? If our groups of highly-progressive deacons were to announce pie suppers for raising funds I wonder how many of us would raise our voices in protest.

We need to get down on our knees, confess to God that we are losing the way and ask him to help us back into the simple, straight and narrow way. We need a good old-fashioned GOSPEL MEETING with one of those so-called out-of-date Gospel Preachers. What has become of them? Have we scared them off?

Our friends and neighbors who are really searching for the Truth attend our services but since "negative" preaching is frowned upon they never "catch on" that we have what they are searching for. Those who are attracted by "big-doings," gorgeous buildings, super-duper entertainments are coming in droves.

The brows of some of the elders and preachers are becoming furrowed and they look as if they realized things are getting out of hand. But harsh criticism from the "don't know any better, haven't studied the scriptures" young deacons and the "big-promoter, highly-successful businessmen elders" soon override their objections.

Being a woman I can only sit back and pray fervently that God will intervene and defeat us in all that we attempt that is not in harmony with His will. Maybe we will accidentally get hold of a Gospel preacher who will show us the error of our way and is not fearful of losing either his Big Job or his "prestige" in the brotherhood.

May God help us to renounce MATERIALISM and go back to the Bible standard.

A Very Confused Sister