By Hoyt H. Houchen
Servants of the Lord are frequently called upon to perform some task in addition to their regular routine of activity. While all should be willing to serve in every way possible, we may face some requests with more reluctance than others. This is not because we do not wish to serve, but because the requests need to be evaluated carefully. To perform the assignment efficiently we must decide whether we have the time to do it, if we are qualified to do the work, and if we are willing to meet its responsibilities.
When Mike Willis contacted me by telephone a few weeks ago and asked if I would do the question and answer column for Truth Magazine (explaining that Larry Hafley, who had been editing the column, would not have the time to devote to it because of other activities), I was reluctant to accept the job due to the considerations above. I asked for a few days to think it over since the request came as a complete surprise for me. Those afore mentioned considerations, with others, were turned over and over in my mind. After due consideration, and still entertaining some doubts, I responded to Mike Willis by telephone and accepted his request. I appreciate the confidence that he and others have placed in me, and I can only say that I shall humbly and prayerfully do my best – not only to answer the questions submitted to me as adequately as possible but to maintain the quality and dignity of Truth Magazine.
A column of this kind requires much time and thought. It is undertaken in addition to my local work which requires hours of study, preaching, and teaching Bible classes, gospel meetings, writing for various journals and serving the local church as an elder. But others are just as busy and perhaps some are busier. So, if I can contribute something more to the Lord’s work I am willing and glad to do so.
The fine work done by Larry Hafley in this column is appreciated. I ask that you please present your questions clearly and to the point and I shall try to answer them in like manner. I make no claim to know all the answers and I am not embarrassed in the least to say, “I do not know.”
I do not expect all the readers of the column to agree with all of my answers. Many questions are controversial, some have “gray” areas and cannot be answered with a definite “yes” or “no.” Some questions I shall not be able to answer and some I shall only be able to throw some light upon, possibly not always completely satisfying the querist. Whatever views I express shall be my personal convictions based upon what I believe the Bible teaches.
This is a new role for me, but I shall try to deal with all questions, exercising the proper attitude and in a way that will be acceptable to the one God whom we serve.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 31, p. 498
August 7, 1980