Campuses, churches, and coffeehouses are aglow this month as hundreds of returning students and street Christians recount God’s doings during their summer abroad.
The California-based Youth With A Mission (YWAM) organization sponsored 200 youths who split into teams and went into all the world proclaiming the Gospel and mobilizing local nationals. American Don Stevens and three New Zealanders mobilized hundreds of British youths into street and door-knocking evangelism campaigns. In Mexico, fourteen YWAMers recruited hundreds to witness door-to-door in Queretaro, and a Mexican-Canadian team slipped into Cuba.
Other YWAMers went to Denmark, Germany, East Africa, Tanzania, New Guinea, and Southeast Asia. One team evangelized along the “Hippie Trail” through Southern Europe, Turkey, Afghanistan, and India, with impressive results at a university in New Delhi.
Seventy-five YWAMers marched into the hippie section of Copenhagen, their arms raised in the familiar “one way” sign as they sang “He is Lord.” Then they knelt in the street and prayed, “claiming” the city for God. After opening “The Way Inn” coffeehouse they were kept busy day and night rapping about Christ with youths who jammed in from all over Europe.
More than a dozen YWAMers reported “thrilling” experiences as they preached and sang in Egyptian cities—and met thriving local contingents of turned-on-to-Jesus young people.
Continuing an upward trend of past summers, churches and Christian colleges linked up with foreign-mission boards and fielded hundreds to work side by side with missionaries all over the world. They served as office clerks, school teachers, translators, medical aides, jungle evangelists, and even carpenters.
The Oriental Missionary Society sent thirty summer interns to the Far East and South America. One, Houghton College student James Long, rounded up $1,500 (virtually all summer workers must raise their own support) to work with missionaries in India. OMS youths who taught English in evening classes in Ecuador reported “many” decisions for Christ.
Americans aren’t the only ones who traveled for Christ. The Belgium Gospel Mission hosted forty-five from many nations who evangelized in streets, tents, parks, and homes in Mouscron, population 40,000.
Many got academic credit for their summer work—such as seventeen who went from Lancaster (Pennsylvania) School of the Bible to Haiti in one of the best-organized intern programs.
Dozens of Christian music groups sang about Jesus. Street Christians were active, too. Ex-doper Lonnie Frisbee and a team from Calvary Chapel near Costa Mesa, California, conducted weeks of street and tent meetings in Stockholm. Ex-hippies preached Christ to hundreds in Hyde Park, London, and established Christian houses in London and Amsterdam.
All in all it was a summer of fulfillment.
A Call To Duty
An eight-cent postage stamp to be issued next month portrays a pathetic youth hooked on drugs. It is a depressing reminder of one of the nation’s worst problems, but it can also remind Christians to spread the Word, says a spokesman for the Jesus culture, because Jesus has the best cure rate in liberating addicts from drug dependency.
Indeed, Teen Challenge and similar anti-drug ministries report an average cure rate of more than 50 per cent among users who accept Christ and stay in prescribed programs beyond the first few weeks. An army psychiatrist confirms a cure rate of 34 per cent in a GI-operated Christian halfway house in Viet Nam. Statistics of secular programs fall far short; lately some communities are hiring Jesus people to head up anti-drug centers.
Groups of young Christians have recently volunteered to go to Southeast Asia to work with the thousands of hooked GIs there, but church-state implications, liability risks, and logistical problems dim hopes of such travel. Besides, says a Pentagon spokesman, Christian GIs are on the scene.
Last month an army major investigated Jesus movement anti-drug ministries on the West Coast for the Pentagon. Maybe Jesus will be drafted.
The Living Bible: A Record
Within weeks of its release in late July virtually the entire 500,000-copy first printing of The Living Bible was sold out, reports Tyndale House sales manager Wendell Hawley. This was the largest Bible press run ever made in the United States. A second printing of 100,000 is scheduled this month.
The Living Bible is a paraphrased version by Kenneth Taylor, an evangelical who owns Tyndale. Profits from the record sales, states Hawley, are being channeled largely into Tyndale House Foundation to support Bible translators working in forty-two countries.
Many bookstores called at the last minute saying all copies on order had already been spoken for and they needed more. Arnold Durbin’s Baptist Book Store in Irving, Texas, depleted its supply of 1,000 within a week and had orders for nearly another 1,000.
Officials at Doubleday, marketing the Bible to the general public, say business is brisk in secular bookstores too. The firm has scheduled a full-page ad in the December 3 issue of Life magazine.
Taylor, father of ten children, began paraphrasing the Bible about fourteen years ago for use in family devotions. He did much of his initial work while commuting between his office in Chicago and his home in suburban Wheaton. When several evangelical publishers rejected his manuscript on the New Testament epistles, he printed 2,000 copies of The Living Letters himself on credit in 1962, and later founded Tyndale House.
In addition to its book and Bible line, Tyndale publishes: Church Around the World, a 120,000-circulation monthly religious news sheet for insertion in Sunday church bulletins; Christian Reader, a 160,000-copy bi-monthly digest of magazine articles; and Have a Good Day, a 300,000-circulation monthly soft-sell evangelistic tract. One large Chicago business distributes 3,000 of the latter in monthly pay-check envelopes.
EDWARD E. PLOWMAN
Parochaid: Drawing The Lines
President Nixon has become entangled in the parochaid issue, but whether excessively or properly so is a matter of hot debate.
Speaking to the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council last month in New York, Nixon made a pledge of support for aid to non-public schools. His extemporaneous remarks followed a lengthy plea by New York’s Terence Cardinal Cooke, who charged that the denial of government assistance to nonpublic schools is “unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory.”
While advocates of strict church-state separation howled at Nixon’s “open scoffing” at the Supreme Court rulings last June, private and parochial education leaders loudly applauded the “dramatic reaffirmation” of government aid. The Court had invalidated direct financial assistance to non-public elementary and high schools in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, even if the money is used for secular instruction (see July 16 issue, page 34).
Nixon praised parochial schools for teaching “the moral, spiritual, and religious values so necessary to a great people in great times,” and said: “As we see those private and parochial schools, which lay such great stress on those values, as we see them closing at a rate of one a day, we must resolve to stop that trend and turn it around.… You may count on my help.”
The personal promise was a surprise, though Nixon had earlier appointed a commission to study the potential for aid to non-public schools.
Quick rebukes came in editorials of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Washington Evening Star, as well as from the American Jewish Congress and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Will Maslow, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, charged that the President’s promise is a “turning aside from his Constitutional responsibility.”
While protests rose on the day after the speech, Nixon met with New York officials for a briefing on newly passed legislation providing $33 million in state aid for non-public schools for “secular” educational services, including teacher salary supplements. The program is being challenged in light of the recent Supreme Court decisions.
Cooke advocates state laws providing direct aid to parents of non-public school children. On the federal level, opportunities for federal assistance lie in tax-credit or voucher programs.
Though the Supreme Court has drawn the lines on the educational chalkboard, the picture is not finished yet.
Lutherans: A Matching Plan
Plans are in the air for a world fellowship of conservative Lutheran bodies to match the more liberal Lutheran World Federation.
Three hundred delegates to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) meeting in Watertown, Wisconsin, adopted a proposal to initiate consultations with orthodox Lutheran churches around the world to form the new organization.
Upon recommendations by WELS president Oscar J. Naumann—reelected to his tenth two-year term—the WELS invited the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) to join in organizing support for the new group, to be patterned after the former Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America.
Delegates also instructed the denomination to observe closely the progress of the Federation for Authentic Lutheranism (FAL), composed of congregations dissatisfied with recent developments in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). A WELS leader predicted the FAL might join the proposed world fellowship.
The WELS is displeased with the LCMS for voting altar and pulpit fellowship with the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1969. Reporting on the latest stage of the feud, Naumann disclosed that he had rejected without reply an invitation by Dr. J. A. O. Preus, LCMS president, to accompany him to Viet Nam to help secure humane treatment for American POWs.
The Synodical Conference, model for the new world fellowship, was founded 100 years ago and included the WELS, LCMS, ELS, and the former Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (SELC). After the WELS and ELS withdrew, objecting to LCMS joint work with more liberal Lutherans, the conference disbanded and the SELC was absorbed into the LCMS.
A record $12.4 million budget for the next two years was adopted for the 381,000-member WELS, with 1,000 congregations in thirty-five states.
From Rome, With Love
Pope Paul VI sent a message to the first Inter-American Catholic Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, calling on Catholics to include an “evangelical testimony” in their social, political, and economic endeavors. The world needs to see the certainties of personal redemption “through the merits of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Thou Shalt Not Copy, Right?
A lot of churches are breaking the law, and somebody might get sued.
That is the consensus of several music publishers. They point out that one of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt not steal”—and that churches do this every time they reproduce a chorus or anthem without permission. Law prohibits the reproduction of any copyrighted music (in whole or in part, including lyrics) in any way without the publisher’s permission.
In this day of advanced mimeograph equipment and inexpensive copy machines, it is not uncommon to find even staunch evangelicals singing from illicit anthem sheets and chorus books.
At the last Church Music Publishers Association meeting the problem was aired, as it was the preceding three years. Only this time a few publishers, frustrated over repeated but apparently vain attempts to warn and inform churches, said they were “ready to get tough.” Southern Baptist music executive William Reynolds told CHRISTIANITY TODAY a lawsuit or two will show that publishers mean business. Such action, he predicted, would scare most churches away from their pirate practices.
But publishers are reluctant to do this. As Singspiration executive Jack Raisley—himself a composer-arranger—said, suing a church would create ill will and be bad for business. Besides, Raisley added, many churches are ignorant of the law.
But ignorance will not stand up in court, cautions Reynolds. Although he and others have written widely on the subject and issued warnings during ministerial and music conferences, the word either does not get around or is largely ignored.
Most of the lawbreakers seem to think that music or lyrics can be copied without permission as long as the copies are not sold. Not so, says Donald Hinshaw of Carl Fischer Company, adding that no publisher really wants to sue a church for what amounts to theft.
An Arlington, Virginia, minister whose church youth group innocently mimeographed lyrics of gospel choruses conceded that he would have to side with the publishers “if that’s the law.” He mentioned lack of adequate staff and time to write the many requests for permission needed for putting together a chorus book.
Raisley says that in most cases publishers would probably grant permission to reprint lyrics but not musical scores. Choirs that use contraband music copies, he adds, “are robbing my bread and butter.” He has offered to buy and donate any music that his own church needs rather than see the church break the law.
The copyright law is one of the most vague on the books (see Editorials, page 32). Attempts to revise and clarify have repeatedly failed. A new bill under consideration will broaden “fair use” provisions and clear up some questions. The purpose and amount of material copied without permission will be considered, as well as how this affects the “market” of the material. These new considerations could affect churches, but most reprinting of church music without permission will still be outlawed.
Meanwhile the “fair use” doctrine seems to be the only available guideline: “The line between ‘fair use’ and infringement is unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that can safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not avoid infringement.” Interpretations of the doctrine vary, and the copyright office suggests that the best thing to do is to obtain permission in all cases. This is what many churches have failed to do.
A related issue concerns the taping of phonograph records without the producer’s permission, a forbidden practice that is proliferating as rapidly as cassette recorders among young people.
In a different vein, it is also wrong to alter copyrighted music to make an “arrangement,” unless permission is secured.
Composer John W. Peterson says that a lawsuit against an individual, a church, or a denomination is now “a very real possibility,” and he hopes that pastors and other church personnel will get the facts about the copyright law. He relates that in one church he saw “neatly stacked about fifty photocopies of one of my five-page anthems.” To a composer, he sighs, this is discouraging.
How to bridge the information gap? Every publisher and musician interviewed suggested that a story in a major religious periodical would do the most good.
CHERYL A. FORBES
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