Truth Magazine - "To Be or Not to Be"

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois

Many people have questioned the controversial nature of the articles that regularly
appear in TRUTH MAGAZINE. To some the content is "contempt" and the teaching torment. However, our aim and aspiration are not to arouse anger or agitate. Rather, our hearts are set upon learning and living the truth of God as found in the Book of God, the Bible. All constructive comments, criticisms, and complaints are welcomed, for they aid and abet us in our earnest endeavor to live and labor "according to the pattern" of New Testament teaching.

The subjects are NOT selected:

1) So that we may engage in public ridicule.

2) So that we may spitefully offend the feelings of brethren.

3) So that we may, just for the sake of publicity, gain attention.

No, our purported purpose and desire is to exalt Christ by calling all men back to the truth as it "is in Jesus." The doctrine of Christ is covered by Conflicting, contrary, and confusing creeds and by abominable denominational division. By promoting the truth we can propagate the faith and perpetuate the church. We stand ready to "strike hands" and hearts with all who will renounce and denounce religious modernism and liberalism for the New Testament plan of work and worship.

Still, though, there are those who believe that TRUTH MAGAZINE should not be printed. WHY? For what reasons should it be terminated (or "exterminated" as our enemies would say)? SHOULD IT BE SILENCED?

1. Because people do not agree with it? This is obviously an absurd objection. It matters not what you believe or teach, someone will disagree with it! If disagreement is the charge, then the name of Jesus should never be breathed. The controversial Christ was treated by the Jews the same way some would treat this magazine. The parallel is apparent in a "paraphrase" of John 7:12, "And there was much murmuring among the people concerning TRUTH MAGAZINE: for some said, it is a good magazine: others said, Nay; but it deceiveth the people." Should Christ have been muzzled because they disagreed concerning Him?

2. Because the articles are offensive to some people? Stephen transformed a multitude into a mob with his teaching. "When they (his audience) heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and gnashed on him with their teeth." (Acts 7: 54) Jesus was likewise "guilty." "Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?" (Matt. 15:12) After speaking on another occasion, "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself" (Jn. 8:59) Shame on the Lord! Is there not someone who thinks He should be "put out of print?"

Audience reaction to the apostle Paul was not always accompanied by applause--"some mocked" (Acts 17:32). The Jews disagreed so vehemently and violently that they started riots in the cities where he preached. (Acts 13:50; 14:4, 5; 17:5) The same ones who would make Brother Willis an ex-editor would cancel a meeting with the apostle Paul.

3. Because the articles involve arguing the Scriptures? Some sincere people feel that it
manifests a lack of piety to argue or dispute the Bible. Jesus argued the Scriptures (Matt.22:23-33) but the apostle Paul did so often that Luke says, "And Paul, as his
manner (habit, custom was reasoned with them out of the Scriptures"(Acts 17: 2). Moffatt's translation says that Paul, in this instance, was "explaining and quoting passages" to prove his position. (See also Acts 9:29; 17:17; 18:4, 19; 19:8: 28:23, 24.) Thus, if it is wrong to discuss scriptural disagreements, then Christ and Paul sinned.

The pages of this magazine are open to an honest search of the truth. It does not speak well of one's upbringing when he maligns our motives because he cannot answer scriptural arguments. Others, however, may choose to remain silent and serene against the encroachments of error, but the tide of truth is on our side, and we shall continue to carry the fight, to wage the war within and without, so help us God!

TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 2, pp. 25-26

November 13, 1969