Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 20, 1955

Somebody Give Me An Answer, Please!

Farrell Till, Searcy, Arkansas

When anyone questions the custom of employing a located evangelist as practiced by the churches of Christ, he is almost immediately branded as a digressive Sommerite. Probably some will accuse me of the same thing even though I emphatically state that the practice of employing a located evangelist can be substantiated by the New Testament.

Perhaps I should present some scriptural arguments here to prevent anyone from branding me as a Sommerite, but I shall trust that each reader will assume that I know what I believe.

However, the fact that the New Testament does teach that a congregation has this right does not nullify the fact that this right can be abused to such an extent that it then becomes sinful. By way of illustrating this, let us notice that the New Testament teaches that a preacher is entitled to be paid to support him in his work. Yet I hardly think that anyone would teach that he should be paid $100,000 per week for his work, because such an exorbitant salary would be an abuse of his right to receive pay for his labor in the gospel.

Certainly this illustration serves to show that the church can abuse its rights and privileges to such an extent that they become sinful.

According to our best sources of information, there are 15,000 congregations of the Lord's body in the United States and approximately the same number of preachers. Almost all of these congregations try to employ a located evangelist to work full time in one community. The abuse should be obvious. If these 15,000 congregations each hire a preacher to work full time in one community, there will not be any left to preach to the hundreds of other cities in the world, cities where the Lord's church is entirely unknown. Some of you who are so satisfied with our present system give me an answer, please! With all of the gospel preachers "hog-tied" to 15,000 towns and cities, most of which are in the Southern United States, WHO IS GOING TO PREACH THE GOSPEL IN THE NORTH? IN SOUTH AMERICA? IN EUROPE? IN AFRICA? IN ASIA? — Come on. Some of you located "pastors" give me an answer.

To answer this question, all that one will have to do is show how that the two men whom Farmer Brown hired to paint his bee hives (fifty in number) will ever complete the task if they remain at the first two that they start on and put coat after coat after coat on them, and never go on to paint the other forty-eight. If you can solve this one, the other one should be just as simple.

Somebody give me an answer, please! How will the gospel ever be preached to all of the nations as long as the present situation exists? Fifteen thousand evangelists in a nation of 150,000,000 people . . . . 100 evangelists outside of the United States to preach to approximately 2,000,000,000 people . . . . DON'T TELL ME THAT SOMETHING ISN'T WRONG SOMEWHERE!