By Ron Halbrook
A new gospel paper named The Sword & Shield was launched in the Republic of the Philippines during 1999. It is being published quarterly under the able editorship of Lordy G. Salunga. The masthead quotes Ephesians 6:16-17, “taking the shield of faith . . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” which well expresses the spirit of this new journal. Each issue carries the following clear statement of the purpose of the paper: “The Sword & Shield is committed to the open study of the Scriptures and to the preaching & teaching of the truth. It is set for the defense of the Gospel. It is not the voice of the church but each author speaks only for himself.”
With the special encouragement of Jim McDonald and Bill Cavender, brother Salunga agreed to publish and edit this new paper. Those of us who know Lordy have complete confidence in his soundness in the faith, his ability as a writer, and his sense of fairness, the very qualities most needed to effectively edit a gospel paper.
Brother Salunga’s first editorial, entitled “The Sword & Shield Begins,” includes the following statement of principles which will guide this new journal:
Any journal has underlying principles and guidelines to steer its existence. This paper will be an open paper. This means first that both sides of an issue will be given an equal opportunity in its pages. Truth does not fear investigation. Christ told the Jews to “search the Scriptures” for these “are they which testify” of him. Christ did not fear investigation. Truth is with him. The editor does not have respect for papers which fashion themselves to be “gospel” papers but shy away from controversies and would only allow articles which are positive in nature and discussion of issues affecting the brethren are never allowed. They “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” Such a philosophy is alien to the Scriptures. . . . The New Testament is replete with examples of brethren discussing an issue to resolve it (e.g. Acts 15). This journal will encourage such honorable discussion of issues affecting the brethren in the light of what the Scriptures say. It is set for the defense of the Gospel! The Scriptures are our standard. The paper will expose error and name the names of the exponents if need be. Paul wrote the Ephesians, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them . . . all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light” (Eph. 5:11, 13) (The Sword & Shield I, 1 [Feb.-Mar.-Apr. 1999] 2, 18, 11).
A paper published on such principles is the friend of truth and the enemy of sin and error.
Most articles to be published in The Sword & Shield are to be written by Filipino brethren. So far, a number of experienced and seasoned preachers have written excellent articles, including R.G. Carino, Sr., Domie A. Jacob, Juanito Balbin, Emilio S. Lumapay, and Cipriano S. Carpentero. Also, a number of younger men are producing fine material, including Egdon Sabio, Richley Lumapay, Ric Darasin, and Rolando P. Azurin. Good articles by W.G. “Bert” Enostacion and the Torreliza brothers, Leonito and Romeo, have appeared. The front page series by brother Carino entitled “The Scriptures Came from God” is superb, as is Cecilio S. Galosmo’s recent article, “Preaching the Whole Counsel of God” (I, 3 [Aug.-Sept.-Oct. 1999]:6-7, 13). These materials would be suitable to appear in any gospel journal published in the U.S.
Virtually all articles will be written by Filipino brethren because there are many strong, sound, solid Filipino preachers. There are so many dialects in the Philippines (about 80) that English is widely used as a common avenue of communication. Therefore, most articles in The Sword & Shield are in English, though some are in the national language (Tagalog) as well as in other widely spoken dialects (Cebuano and Ilocano). A wide range of subjects will be covered so that the paper will serve as an evangelistic tool, cover topics of interest among saints, provide some news of the work around the Philippines, and provide a question-and-answer column.
Filipino readers may receive The Sword & Shield free upon request to the editor by writing Lordy Salunga, P.O. Box 6, Tarlac City, 2300 Tarlac, Republic of the Philippines (e-mail address: lordy 1 @flashemail.com or Isalunga@hotmail.com). American brethren who may wish to read this new journal should send brother Salunga $10.00 each year. The gospel is spreading far and wide in the Philippines and multitudes of souls are being saved, just as occurred in the early days of the church in the book of Acts. The Sword & Shield will be a valuable asset to the Filipino brethren to strengthen the saved and help the lost to be saved!
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