One would think from the way some preachers, editors, and writers talk, write and act that we are totally without any right to publish The Examiner and set forth our views. Of course, they have a right to do so, but we don't. How dare us think that we have such an obligation and freedom! We do not have their endorsement, we do not parrot their party line and shibboleths. We are not of their party or sect; we are not a part of the professional clergy. They resent our intrusion into an area that belongs exclusively to them -- the official, ex cathedra proclaimers of truth! They condemn our "movement," as they have derisively labeled it; but their "movement" is justified and holy. And it took only one issue of The Examiner to bring down their wrath and opposition upon us. Isn't that amazing? After only one issue they announce "War Declared." They are motivated by the same spirit and self-interest as were the Pharisees in their opposition to and rejection of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and His apostles.
Some of these preachers are "exceedingly mad" against us and they are "breathing out threatenings and slaughter" against us. They openly acknowledge that they intend to destroy us, stop our so-called "Individualism Movement" (the prejudicial label they have given us) completely. They have branded it as "heresy." Thus, they will punish and banish us for daring to try to teach and reach you -- the people in the pews -- with our message. You belong to them and their control over you is threatened. You must be isolated and insulated from The Examiner and us.
As I have stated already, it took only one issue of The Examiner to bring down their wrath and unholy opposition upon us. We welcome honorable examination of what we offer, and also welcome honorable opposition from any who feel the need to give it. But the kind given so far is not honorable nor is its purpose righteous. For example, I have not seen any "examination" or opposition that fairly and correctly stated our position on any matter. And there has been a lot of it.
They have marshaled all the carnal weapons that they can command to use in their "war" against us. Such as prejudice, distortion, half-truths, deception, falsehood, fear, intimidation, and appeals to flame the passions. This is done to protect their flock from The Examiner. They don't trust you to read it. They want to poison your mind, frighten or scare you so you won't read it.
It is interesting that hundreds of preachers have requested the paper and receive it. Why is it right for them and not for you? One editor explains it this way. He claims that they are the "mature and knowledgeable;" that is, "the elders, preachers, and scholars" are such! They can read this paper because they are "mature and knowledgeable," but you can't because you are not "mature and knowledgeable." Hence, this is the reason why they need to do your thinking and studying for you, and tell you what you should and should not believe. Even tell you what you should and should not read, just like the Catholic Priest does it for their laity. The Examiner is under their ban and you are not to read it. Yes, definitely, they want you to read their papers, those on their approved list. But you are suspect if you dare to exercise your freedom and read this paper.
That editor who declares that the preachers are the "mature and knowledgeable," charges that we have "carefully selected" the audience for this paper. He then avows that "those who are considered more mature and knowledgeable have been scrupulously avoided." In the same connection he recognized that "the target audience for this paper is the people in the pews," as we have plainly stated. Look what that editor has confessed:
1. The target audience for The Examiner is the people in the pews.
2. But "those who are considered more mature and knowledgeable have been scrupulously avoided."
3. Therefore, the people in the pews are not among the "more mature and knowledgeable," according to this arrogant editor!
In his very next sentence the editor clearly pictures what he thinks of you -- the non-preachers. Remember now that. he has acknowledged that The Examiner is addressed to the people in the pews. Then he says: "As one reads the appeals within the pages of The Examiner, it becomes apparent that an effort is being made to reach the 'dissatisfied,' the 'unfulfilled,' the disgruntled, the prejudiced, and the uninformed." In his view, that describes the people in the pews!
Let me put it even plainer:
1. That editor admits that The Examiner is addressed to the people in the pews.
2. But he also charges that "within the pages of The Examiner ...an effort is being made to reach the 'dissatisfied,' the 'unfulfilled,' the disgruntled, the prejudiced, and the uninformed."
3. Therefore that editor charges that you -- the people in the pews are "the 'dissatisfied,' the 'unfulfilled,' the disgruntled, the prejudiced, and the uninformed."
Such preachers insult and show contempt for their own members -- the people in the pews -- by trying to shield them from The Examiner. One preacher tried to make us appear evil and sinister because we had received the church directory of his flock and sent them the paper. This same preacher felt it necessary for him to "examine The Examiner" in his bulletin and in his pulpit. There, sheltered and protected, he can say what he pleases. So it is with other preachers. You can't "examine The Examiner" for yourself. Only they, the "mature and knowledgeable" can do it; and they must do it for you. For the same reasons and just like the Catholic Priests do such things for their laity.
I have been trying to tell you and sent out almost 8,000 copies of the last issue to help you understand --that many of these professional preachers have no real respect for you and your ability to think and study for yourself. In their view, you are like poor dumb sheep. Our approach and appeal is totally the opposite and therefore we come to you directly with this paper.
You can read and study it for yourself and make up your own mind. It is your decision to accept or reject in part or in whole.
In the very first issue of this paper we announced that you -- the people in the pews -- are the target audience for this paper! It is not a paper for the preachers even though over 500 are on the mailing list! In my judgment, many of them are not receptive at all to what we are discussing in this paper. They have a selfish, vested interest in the entire church structure set-up that we are examining and exposing. In fact, the located preacher set-up is the biggest part of the problem! Their job, their livelihood, their whole professional career is wrapped up in this institutional "local church" structure and operation. They will defend it as the Pharisees defended their operation and their control of the people. The Pharisees were the instigators behind the cry of the multitude to "crucify him, crucify him." So it is in our case. The preachers are afraid. Like the craftsmen who made their livelihood by making images of Diana, goddess of the Ephesians (Acts 19), so our preachers earn their living from the craft of "the local preacher" or "the minister of the church." It is a concept and practice totally foreign to God's word. Therefore, they manifest the same spirit and utilize the same weapons of opposition as did the Pharisees and the craftsmen to defend their livelihood! It is understandable, but it is wrong!
Let me warn you, my brothers and sisters, that these men (not all the preachers by any means) will intimidate and threaten you, and even manipulate the elders to "cast you out" of their church institution if you read The Examiner; if you talk about what is taught herein favorably with others, send it to others; and especially if you dare support this work financially. It has happened!
In one city in Texas, meddling, malicious preachers manipulated the two ruling officials of the local church institution to order two families to renounce their support of The Examiner or else! No discussion. When these saints refused to bow to this decree, they were told to leave or else face further action. These officials refused to discuss the paper or anything taught in it in the light of God's word. In fact, one official had never read The Examiner! In pontifical fashion, these modern Diotrephes-type (3 John 9) men edicted "renounce or die." Well, praise God, these noble people chose "to die" rather than sell their convictions and their souls by bowing to the dictatorship of ungodly men.
I cite the above as an example of what some preachers will do to you also if you read and discuss the things in The Examiner with others; and especially if they discover that you agree with anything in it or dare to financially support it. These preachers will compass land and sea, resort to nearly any method to force you to "stay in line." Therefore, be warned! Disciples who sell out to the dictatorial rule of elders and preachers are not subject to Jesus Christ, they are subject to the clergy.
It is time that the people in the pews realized what has happened to them. Remember that as these preachers teach it, you must become a member of one of the local church organizations, and therein serve under the control of that corporate body. Just like the Roman Catholic Church teaches and practices this! This is the same type of institutional control to which thousands of Christians submit in the various local Churches of Christ. They do so honestly thinking they are obeying the Lord. The control gets tighter and the situation is getting worse. You can count on it.
Well, we press on with the same prayer of the early disciples who were victims of the same sort of oppression and persecution from the same type of people:
"And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence..."
(Acts 4:29). -- CAH