By Connie W. Adams
A report to subscribers accompanied a renewal notice for 1993 from the editors of Christianity Magazine. This letter contains some serious charges against some unnamed brethren. If the charges are true, proof should be cited. If they are not true, then truth and fairness calls for an apology and correction.
The following statements are quoted from this report:
Doctrinal Soundness: We know that Christianity Magazine has been attacked in recent months in a manner that we con-skier reckless and irresponsible. No one of us agrees with everything that is published in the magazine, nor, for that matter, in any other magazine. On the other hand, we want to reassure our readers that the five editors of the magazine have exercised the utmost care to assure that Christianity Magazine is filled with solid, practical, and scriptural teaching. No one who reads the magazine has any reason to believe otherwise.
None of the editors of this magazine has changed his views on any doctrinal matter, nor have any of us relented in our efforts to uphold truth and oppose error. The five of us have held thousands of gospel meetings in hundreds of churches; most of you have heard us preach and teach. We stand today where we always have stood, and Christianity Magazine reflects our commitment to truth. Do not be misled by extremists who have their own cause to promote.
Purpose of Christianity Magazine: It has never been — nor is it now — the aim of Christianity Magazine to lead any sort of movement. We have no disposition to meddle in the affairs of local churches and we certainly have no desire to direct “brotherhood” affairs. We do not intend to “line up” followers or create a party. We decry the transparent efforts of others to do precisely that.
This magazine was founded to provide teaching and edification that can be useful to a wide readership, both Christians and non-Christians. We have every intention of continuing in that direction. The paper is widely read and has been useful in teaching the lost and strengthening Christians.
We want to assure our readers that we have no intention of turning the magazine into an organ of personal attack and abuse, no matter what course others may take.
One of the editors of the magazine has told me that all the editors were not in agreement about this report being sent out and he also took action to secure word that no more of them would be sent. We commend this action. Even if an error was made in the business office in sending this out without knowledge or agreement of all the editors, the fact remains that someone among them formed this letter and it was sent out to a good number of people. The charges and insinuations in it are serious and reflect the thinking of whichever man composed it. It raises the following questions for the editors of Christiantity Magazine to consider:
Who are the ones who have made “reckless and irresponsible” attacks? What did they say that falls into that category?
Who are these “extremists who have their own cause to promote” and what is that cause other than the defense of truth?
Who are the ones who are trying to “line up followers or create a party”? What are their “transparent efforts” to do so?
Who has personally attacked and abused them?
Much has been said in Christianity Magazine about brotherly love. We have been challenged to show kindness toward one another. We have been offered a positive approach. What was said in that report was neither brotherly, kind nor positive. Their editorial policy is such that they cannot respond to these matters in the magazine. They must either do so in one of the other papers which has an open editorial policy, or else in direct mail to their subscription list.
I, personally, have a deep love for all five of the editors of Christianity Magazine. I consider each one of them a friend. But I do not believe that their wide reputations exempt them from review from honest brethren when they pre-sent material which defends brethren who have sown the wind on a subject as dangerous to souls as marriage, divorce and remarriage. Are they at liberty to say whatever they want to say, open whatever Pandora’s box they wish to, and the rest of us can only smile and nod assent or else be stigmatized as “reckless and irresponsible,” “extremists” who are out to “create a party” and to indulge in “personal attack and abuse”?
We call upon these good brethren to name the offenders and offer the proof of their charges, or else apologize for their unkind, unbrotherly and negative report.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7, NKJV).
(Editor’s Note: Since receiving brother Adam’s reply to the Christianity Magazine mailout “A Report, ” the editors received enough criticism from brethren that they decided to quit distributing the former report and to publish a sanitized version of the same report in their January 1993 issue. That version of the report eliminated many, but not all, of the objectionable, derogatory statements made about brethren. There was no admission that sin was committed in the report and no apologies were made. This publication of the sanitized version of the report no more corrects the errors of the previous report than a person who owed $500 on his Visa Card resolving to pay cash for additional purchases would take care of his debt. The editors of Christianity Magazine need to make correction of the sinful things they said about their brethren in the first mail out. Until they do, brethren should continue to hold them responsible for the objectionable statements in the report.)
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 5, p. 4-5
March 4, 1993