Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 29, 1954

"Keeping Up The Fight"

Hoyt H. Houchen, San Antonio, Texas

Paul wrote to Timothy, "Fight the good fight of the faith ..." (1 Tim. 6:12) In "keeping up the fight," there are a few things that we are endeavoring to accomplish here at Highland in San Antonio. "The fight" can only be carried on by the church at large when each individual congregation does its own work. This is cooperation and I am therefore happy to report a few activities of this particular congregation.

The elders here believe that the members should be informed on the issues that are facing the church. They realize that for a congregation to be sound, it must be informed. To achieve this goal, our work of preaching and class teaching is supplemented by the purchase of fifty Gospel Guardians each week, these to be distributed among the members. The New Testament clearly teaches us how the church is to function but because the Gospel Guardian presents both sides of this controversial issue among brethren, the members are helped to understand this truth by reading the paper and evaluating the different points that are made. Because brethren in many places are uninformed on how the church is to function is the reason that they have gone all out for brotherhood institutions and "sponsoring" church programs for the brotherhood such as "The Herald of Truth."

As we purchase these gospel papers each week, we are able to see the difference in buying literature from a private human institution such as the Roy E. Cogdill Publishing Company, and supporting that firm with regular donations out of the church treasury. We can also see the difference between lodging a preacher in a hotel during a gospel meeting, and placing the hotel in the church budget. We are also able to see the difference between taking care of a sick person in a hospital, and supporting the hospital with contributions from the church treasury. We can also see the difference in a local church presenting and financing its own work such as a gospel meeting or a radio program and asking other congregations to announce it, and a congregations becoming the "overseeing" church for a project that it alone cannot finance and thereby becoming the "sponsoring" church for the brotherhood. The church is not in the publishing business, but a congregation may purchase supplies and literature from a private printing business. The church is not in the hotel business, but a congregation may take care of a preacher in a hotel by paying his expenses. The church is not in the hospital business, but a congregation may pay the expenses of a sick person in a hospital. A congregation is to do its own work, but it has no right to act for the brotherhood by becoming an "overseeing " church. We can see these differences and we believe that others can when they reason carefully. The reading of the Gospel Guardian will help brethren to understand these truths and that is why the elders here at Highland make the paper available for the members to read.

On a local Sunday morning broadcast, we have been hammering hard on the doctrines of the "faith-healers" who precede and follow us on the same station. As a further means of placing the truth in the minds of the radio listeners, we ordered one hundred copies of Brother Roy E. Cogdill's excellent booklet on "Miraculous Divine Healing." This is a sermon delivered by Brother Cogdill on October 5, 1952, at Bowling Green, Kentucky, during a tent meeting conducted by Mr. Charles Jessup. We made this thirty-eight page booklet available to the radio audience, free of charge, and after only a few announcements had been made, nearly all of these booklets were mailed out. We were delighted with the results as several requested them who are not members of the church. This booklet is a thorough treatise of the subject and it can be purchased from the Gospel Guardian for twenty-five cents, each, or seventeen dollars and fifty cents, per hundred.

Beginning Tuesday night, April 6th, Highland inaugurated a series of fifteen minute broadcasts which will be heard every Tuesday night over XELO (800 k.c.) at 8:45 (C.S.T.). Since this is Highland's work, this broadcast will be presented and financially supported by Highland Church. XELO, located in Juarez, Mexico, is a 150,000 watt, clear-channel station. Based upon a mail survey, the station has a coverage of thirty-nine states, and it has been heard in nine different foreign countries.

Frequently the question is asked, "How can a nationwide broadcast be carried on scripturally?" I do not know that a nation-wide broadcast is indispensable to preach the gospel of our nation in the first place, but if such is to be done at all, it certainly must be done scripturally. I am convinced that when each local church carries out its own program of work, within its own framework and within the capacity of which it is financially able, the job of carrying the gospel to the lost will be accomplished. But what constitutes a nation-wide radio program anyway? Is it not coverage? I have always understood that if preachers were preaching all over the United States, then that would be nation-wide preaching. If, therefore, each individual congregation all over the United States that is financially able to do so would maintain a radio program, if in its own judgment it believes that radio is a good means of preaching the gospel, would not a nation-wide radio program then exist? If not, why not? It would not be "the" radio broadcast for "the churches of Christ" sponsored by an "overseeing" church, but it would be nationwide radio preaching. It has also been my understanding that if gospel preachers were all over the world preaching the gospel, then that would be world-wide preaching. If, therefore, individual congregations here in the United States should send financial support directly to gospel preachers in various parts of the world as we have New Testament example (Phil. 4:15,16), would that not then be world-wide preaching? Where then do some brethren get the idea that in order to get the job done, it has to be done through some "sponsoring" church? The work of preaching the gospel is "big business" but it is not to be done in a different way than the Lord intended. The end does not justify the means.

In "keeping up the fight," we are endeavoring to do the work that the Lord wants done, but we shall continue to oppose the idea that the church can scripturally do its work by establishing human institutions and "sponsored" brotherhood projects. Let each local church do its own work which it is capable to do and tend to its own business. These things that are dividing us will then be laid aside and the Lord's work at large will be done scripturally. This is "the fight" that we are waging and we plan to "keep on fighting" for the sake of the Lord's church "which he purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)