By Mike Willis
Those of our readers who have been with Truth Magazine since its beginning know somewhat about its history. However, since not all of our readers are acquainted with the history of the paper, I would like to relate some of that to you. Truth Magazine began some twenty years ago as a format in which the issues which were dividing the church could be discussed. From its beginning, Truth Magazine was a controversial paper designed for the member of the Lord’s church who wanted to see both sides of the issues of institutionalism and the sponsoring church discussed:
The paper was very useful to brethren in the North and served the Lord well in teaching brethren the sinfulness of the sponsoring church concept of organization and the sinfulness of church support of human institutions. To the brethren responsible for the founding of Truth Magazine, many among us owe a debt of gratitude for their bold stared for the truth of God’s word.
More recently, the writers of Truth Magazine have been forced to take a public stand against Satan on another front. Brethren were becoming infected with a concept of unity which was nothing less than compromise with Satan. Indeed, one of the major papers published among us had one on its staff who was totally sympathetic with this position, Consequently, Truth Magazine again assaulted the strongholds of Satan by exposing the false doctrines and false men who were propagating this error. Those who have been readers of this paper are well aware of the stand which those of us who are associated with the paper have taken in opposition to these false doctrines.
As a matter of fact, the must justifiable criticism which I have heard anyone make of Truth Magazine was that it became obsessed with the issue of exposing the falseness of the “unity-in-diversity” concept of fellowship. There is no doubt in my mind that there is some truth in this criticism; 1 see it more clearly now than when we were in the midst of the battle. Nevertheless, there was never any doubt in anybody’s mind about on which side of the fray we stood or to whom our allegiance was given. We have always tried to give first allegiance to Jesus Christ and His word and stand, regardless of how popular or unpopular that stand has made us.
A Different Paper
However, must of us who are associated with the paper are convinced that we have already done about all that we can to expose the unity-in-diversity concept of unity which is presently being circulated among the brethren. We have called attention to the false doctrine and the false men who are circulating such pernicious evil. Brethren are awake to its dangers and are holding special studies to inform brethren of the evil. Having exposed that error, we feel that we can move on to other grounds at the present.
Let no one misunderstand me. We shall continue to publish materials from time to time which expose the issues and men who are propagating this new heresy. The unity-in-diversity group is not dead. It is still making some in-roads which we will have to fight and to announce to brethren: However, we have no intention of allowing Truth Magazine to become a one-issue paper.
I would like to present to our readers some of my aspirations and aims for Truth Magazine. By letting you know more of my intentions, you will be better qualified to decide to help us or not to help us whether it be in the promotion of the paper by getting subscriptions for us or through your contribution of articles on various subjects. So, here are some of the things which I would like to accomplish through the pages of this paper.
1. I would like to edit a paper which is useful to every Christian. Through the recent years, Truth Magazine has tended to circulate largely – among the preaching brethren. Its articles have been too scholarly for the average Christian and longer than most Christians will read. Though our pages will contain materials of this sort from time to time, I would like to see the average issue- become more useful to the man who sits in the pew. Hence, I want to edit a paper which is well balanced, i.e., it contains articles on a variety of subjects pertinent to the every day living of the Christian life.
1. I would like to edit a paper which comes to grips with the problems which Christians are having to face. For too long, we have been bogged down with one or two issues to the neglect of other matters which are equally important. Churches : are having to face problems other than the sponsoring church concept of church organization and church support of human institutions or the unity-in-diversity apostasy. We need some material which deals with some of these problems.
Elders, deacons, and other saints would like to read some material on why churches are dying on the vine because of not growing. They would like to see material designed to help them to reach the lost of their community. Brethren would like to have some help in overcoming the temptations which the world is throwing at them and their children. Frankly, I want to publish a paper which comes face-to-face with these problems and presents the answers which God’s word has for us.
3. Must of all, I want to edit a paper which is true to God’s word. The paper which is useful to every Christian is one which is totally loyal to the word of God. A paper which comes to grips with the problems which we are having to face in our homes and in congregations across this nation is only useful if the answers which are given to these problems are biblically sound. Hence, I want to edit a paper which is true to God’s word.
I Need Your Help
In order to accomplish these worthy goals, I need your help. First of all, I want to appeal to our writers to ask them to send material on a variety of subjects. I remember one occasion in which we were preparing a special issue of Truth Magazine for the Pekin, Indiana church to pass out at a county fair. They wanted the issue to deal with first principles inasmuch as the greater portion of the people attending the fair would not be Christians. As I helped work on that special issue of the paper, I found that we did not have enough material on first principles to put out one issue of the paper, although we had manuscripts coming out of our ears. I had to go home and write an article on the church in order to complete that issue of the paper.
Therefore, I am asking those who contribute articles to Truth Magazine for publication to send me material on a variety of subjects. I need material on such things as the action, purpose and subject of baptism, the oneness of the church, the organization, names, worship, etc. of the church, things which pertain to the Christian virtues, how to be a better husband, wife, or child, etc. If you have been thinking of sending an article for publication in Truth Magazine, give some though to writing on some subject other than unity-indiversity, institutionalism, or the sponsoring church. God’s word speaks on subjects other than these.
Secondly, I want to appeal to our readers to help us increase the circulation of Truth Magazine. With this change in view for the paper, I think that you will find Truth. Magazine more recommendable to your friends. Hence, I would like to request that each one of you recommend the paper to your friends who are Christians. The teaching of God’s word through the printed page will edify young Christians and solidify older ones.
Too, Truth Magazine is one of the best bargains in religious literature. Priced at $7.50 per year, Truth Magazine brings sixteen pages of religious literature into a home fifty times a year. Now you compare that price with those who are charging $9.50 for coming into your homes twenty-six times a year or a price comparable to our own but which comes into the home only twelve times a year. By comparing, you will see that you are getting a much larger quantity of teaching for the subscription price of Truth Magazine than through any other paper published among us. Then, I will guarantee you that. the quality of material will be excellent and well-balanced. So, again let me request your help in building the subscription list to Truth Magazine.
As I begin the venture as editor of this paper, I request your prayers and help to make this paper a useful tool in the propagation of God’s word. As it has been in the past, Truth Magazine can once again meet spiritual needs of brethren as we teach the word of God via the printed page.
Truth Magazine XXI: 35, pp. 547-549
September 8, 1977