How’d you like to have a product everybody needed, with a world market and no competition?
That is precisely true of the Church of Christ! She has had committed to her the Gospel. It is indispensable to the eternal welfare of all men. Its worldwide propagation is the mandate given to the Church by her Lord. No other institution has this message, this mandate, or this market.
Think what a businessman would do in equivalent circumstances. He’d make a killing!
But what of the Church?
Again and again she has been guilty of downgrading the Gospel—marketing the same product, promoting the same program as all the other organizations. Inevitably she loses her distinctiveness and becomes just one of many community organizations working for the “betterment of society.” No longer unique, she must compete with Community Chest, Red Cross, PTA, and so on for the energy, time, talent, and money of men. Inasmuch as churches seem to be offering the same service as other organizations, Mr. Citizen assumes he is doing his “Christian duty” without ever getting involved with the Church. And the churches have no one to blame but themselves. Neglecting their unique task, propagation of the Gospel, they have defected to social, political, and economic affairs, giving them priority.
Be absolutely sure of this: When churches default, service clubs, lodges, and community organizations are not going to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
The Apostle Paul has a word for us: “I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. Woe is me if I preach not the gospel.”—DR. RICHARD C. HALVERSON, pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Washington, D. C.1
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