"Our" Work in Mexico
Charles F. House
San Luis, Arizona
"Our" Work in Mexico? Perhaps you think this is a strange heading for an article that is intended to explain more in detail certain phases of gospel preaching in Mexico. Perhaps you are wondering what denominational man or what "co operational" brother wrote it; or even if a gospel preacher wrote it at all! Evidently, this is a subject that some of us need to study. Denominational people and denominationally minded brethren, have much to say about "our school," "our orphan homes," "our old folks homes," "our colleges," "our work in foreign lands," etc. When we hear such phrases we immediately recognize that those using them are untaught. It is the same whether they are denominationalists or brethren. We have read many fine articles in TRUTH MAGAZINE regarding such, and it is not the intention of this article to discuss this matter in detail at this time, but to inform you about gospel preaching being done in Mexico and along the border.
We know from the divine record that one reason Jesus was crucified was because of ignorance. The people actually did not know what they were doing. They crucified the Lord "ignorantly and in unbelief." In contrast to that, Jesus taught that "Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the truth shall make you free." We are interested in knowing TRUTH--nothing else. The devil is working constantly against the truth. He always has been and always will be. He seeks to confuse, to conceal, to pervert and distort the truth and thus to "make null and void" whatever progress the truth might be making -- whether in Mexico or anywhere else.
History bears out the fact that the church in the first century fell away because she forgot the truth. She forgot that Jesus alone had all authority in heaven and in earth; that he loved the church, and had purchased it with his own blood. They forgot that they were to love one another and to love the Lord. They grew to believe that man's wisdom was better than God's; they substituted man's ways for God's. Through the devil's influence that simple organization of the original New Testament church (Phil. 1:1) was perverted. A "clergy" developed to rule over the affairs of the congregations.
This tragic lesson was not understood by our own brethren of a century ago, for blindly and foolishly they repeated the same mistake. Without scriptural authority, they established a man-made organization, separate and apart from the local congregation, and devised ways and means of trying to bring all congregations into partnership and participation with this organization in preaching the gospel. They also perverted the worship, adding instrumental music to the simple singing that God had authorized. By these departures, and others more subtle and cunning, they established a new denomination, leading thousands of God's people into apostasy.
Within recent years, there are incontrovertible signs that another great tide of digression is sweeping our land. From the Pacific to the Atlantic and from Canada to the borders of Mexico, the great battle for truth and righteousness is being waged. Faithful preachers of the gospel have suffered and are suffering, in the fight, along with many others. Brethren have been ostracized, maligned, slandered, lied about, and financially hurt because of their stand for the truth. Because these very same brethren insist on doing "Bible things in Bible ways," and sticking to the pattern as set forth in God's Word, lines are being drawn and denominationalism rears its ugly head within the body of Christ. Just recently I was refused the use of the building of an Arizona church near the border, where I wanted to conduct Bible classes in the Spanish language because "I was against orphan homes." Sometime before that, I was told by the elders of another Arizona church near another part of the border that I "could never again preach in the building where they were elders, because of my position on the issues."
In Mexico, in the towns of Tecate, San Luis, and Sonoyta where I spend my time laboring for the cause of Christ, the autonomy of these congregations is fully recognized and respected. The brethren have been taught these things. We know the scriptures teach, and we firmly believe that all congregations are equal in God's sight. Thus, there are no "supervising" congregations, "sponsoring congregations," or "mother churches" giving orders to these little Mexican churches. No elder or preacher has the right to dictate to these brethren how they are to run their affairs. Every time I preach a gospel sermon in a Mexican church, or conduct Bible classes there, it is done by the invitation of THAT LOCAL CHURCH. As an evangelist, under the divine authority of Christ I have established congregations within Mexico, along the US-MEXICO border. Mexican brethren have assisted much in all this work. My wife and I are members of a Mexican congregation, in subjection to our brethren there as regards our actions as Christians, and with the New Testament as our rule and guide. Not only do I work with and help the congregation where I am a member, but as I have opportunity, I preach the Gospel in other places. To the limit of my ability, I seek to advance the cause of truth in Mexico and along the border. For many weeks I have been studying "the issues" by correspondence with a brother in the state of Tennessee, sending him much material and many outlines of Bible teaching on the subject.
I frequently translate reports between Mexican preachers and supporting brethren in the U. S. A. who want them. I help the American churches and the Mexican brethren in their communications with one another. I urge churches to send DIRECTLY to the brethren they want to support. This is in harmony with Philippians the 4th chapter. I teach Mexican brethren that the church of our Lord is all sufficient to do the work that the Lord intended for her to do without the aid of unscriptural, unauthorized, man made organizations.
At the present time there are six Spanish-speaking evangelists working along this far western border and in Mexico. These men are working full time in the Lord's business. Each one of them receives his support DIRECTLY from supporting congregations or individuals. Plans are going forward for two more men to start full time very soon. Each one is faithful to God's Word and fully capable to handle it, having been thoroughly indoctrinated in God's ways.
I am now trying to work out plans for my personal support for the year 1964. Up to the present time several congregations and individuals have supported me. An ideal situation would be for one congregation to assume my full support in order that the aid coming from others in smaller amounts could be released to expand the work still farther in Mexico and help other evangelists to devote their full time to the work.
If interested in further details please write; better yet come down to see me. San Luis Arizona is on the US-MEXICO border and is 24 miles south of Yuma, Arizona. We live in a trailer parked on the Bill Crane place on the U. S. side of the border. Elders, let me hear from you as soon as possible.
Truth Magazine VIII: 3, pp. 8-9,24 December 1963