Jerry C. Brewer
Things churches consider of prime importance are reflected in their bulletins. Churches which take the Great Commission seriously use their bulletins to teach the gospel to both saints and sinners. That is what faithful churches have always considered to be the purpose of a church bulletin, produced at a cost paid from the treasury of the Lord’s church—not a “newsletter” as so many have become in the last couple of decades or so. Good bulletins teach about the church, salvation, the atoning death of Jesus, right living, faithfulness, and a myriad of other things necessary for folks to know who want to serve God. In far too many instances today that isn’t the case. Because the church has caved in to a Social Gospel mindset, churches now utilize their bulletins as newsletters for public relations, stroking the egos of their members’ families and everything else but the Truth.
One bulletin of that sort to which I subscribe comes from a large, doctrinally weak, compromising church in Elk City, Okla. Their bulletin of March 13, 2013 had the entire front page devoted to pictures of members’ children showing their animals at the Beckham County Livestock Show. There were pigs, sheep, and cattle, but no Bible teaching on that page. Nor was the Bible taught on any of the other pages. Those pages listed items like “Men’s Prayer and Coffee,” a notice of the church’s office closing for Spring Break, a “Teen Building Open House,” a “Friend Day,” an announcement of “No Wednesday night meal March 20th,” a menu of spaghetti for March 27th, and 14 birthdays listed on one page, along with an anniversary announcement. But no Bible articles to teach the lost or strengthen the church—just a couple of cute items that said, “When the world pushes you to your knees, you are in a perfect place to pray,” and “Life is fragile–handle with prayer.”
Now, here’s the tragic thing about this church. It was once a pillar of doctrinal strength in Western Oklahoma, producing a bulletin filled with Bible teaching, conducting a preaching school, and hearing great men preach in its gospel meetings, among whom were Leroy Brownlow, Franklin Camp, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., V. E. Howard, Guy N. Woods, Foy Smith, J. T. Marlin and a host of other sound preachers from a previous generation.
But, alas, that congregation has sold the truth for a mess of public relations/Social Gospel pottage and saints are left today with a “newsletter” reporting pig, sheep and cattle shows.