With this issue we complete one year of publication --six issues of The Examiner. It has been a busy and fruitful year. The response has been tremendous. The circulation of the paper skyrocketed from the very first issue far beyond anything we dreamed possible. Commendation and words of encouragement have been overwhelming. Requests to send The Examiner to others are greater now than ever.
The paper is scheduled for five years, if it lasts that long. At that time a decision will be made to continue it, start another one, or stop publication, it has never been our purpose to start a paper to continue on and on. We have a definite purpose, a special thrust, that motivated us to begin this paper. It is unique and special, dealing with the areas we think desperately need attention and study. It is about as several readers have recognized -- someone is finally saying some things that many of us have known for years needed to be said openly and forthrightly. This is not a "one issue" paper; but a "many issues" paper, and all of them are related.
The Examiner is not a "party paper." It represents no one segment or sect of the Church of Christ. We have no "party" to establish or promote. We are opposed to all of our parties and sects; but we love and accept all those saints of God ensnared in all the various divisions among us. Gratefully we acknowledge and welcome readers from about every kind of Church of Christ group. We are not trying to build a following. Our concern is that all of us more fully follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are not trying to force any teaching or position upon anyone. We merely present the respective views and teachings for your consideration and examination. That is all we do. What is offered herein is yours to evaluate in the light of God's word and to accept or to reject as you judge what is truth. We can't -- and won't -- make the decision for you and nobody else should be allowed to do so. We believe that you have the ability to make this judgment for yourself; and we know that it is your responsibility to do so (Acts 17:11; I Thess. 5:21).
The financial help has been very encouraging and we are grateful to all who have helped in any way. As the circulation continues to increase, we will need more and more financial help. As I write this, we have over 10,000 new names and addresses of Christians to whom we need to send the paper for a "trial period." As you can imagine, it will cost a lot of money. We must have your help, whether little or much, as soon and as often as you can. Will you help share the load and ensure that this vital work will be done? Please do. Remember that all contributions are tax deductible.
This is a labor of love offered in behalf of all Christians. Just for the record it should be understood that my wife and I in no way receive any financial payment for our work with this paper. We have no paid employees. But we do have a big, big task that requires many days of hard work each month. We are engaged in this work of faith and labor of love because we must do it! This is true of all the others who are involved and those who financially underwrite this work.
We have abundant evidence that The Examiner has caused an awakening and a lot of serious study on the part of many disciples. It is very encouraging. Such is desperately needed. Articles have been written, booklets published, sermon series preached, special classes set up, preachers have "examined The Examiner" in public and private efforts; and they have attacked and opposed The Examiner, as well as me personally. There are many, many Christians who are studying and thinking. For all of this, we are thankful.
Maybe the younger people are correct when they predict that we are in the beginning of another Renaissance, an awakening on the part of the rank and file, the non-clergy (and, praise God! many of the preachers!), those who are sick of the denominational Church of Christ institutional religion of today. It is apparent that definite changes are in the making. That is what reformation is all about. Our concern should be with keeping the reformation, renaissance, in harmony with God's will.
The Examiner will be used to encourage and help in the awakening and the return of God's people to the simple undenominational ways of the Lord. We must free the people from the slavery of the institutional, organized religion! God's truth is the only remedy. But it is absolutely essential to help people to recognize their slavery and the drift into apostacy. Therefore, we will try to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in plain language so that all who will can understand. Our appeal is to those of the honest and good heart.
You need this paper as an aid in being informed, challenged, and aroused to your individual responsibility in the renewal of God's people. We need your help, your prayers, and your labor where you live to accomplish this common objective. If enough of us arise to the need, we can turn God's people from the path of apostacy, back to God. Will you help us? -- CAH