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The Worldwide News
Just one more thing: Are you dull of hearing?Just one more thing: Are you dull of hearing?
Dexter H Faulkner

   Every month, the work's Editorial Services Department receives hundreds of letters from readers responding to the Church's publications.
   The majority are positive and complimentary; they come from people who are thrilled with the truths they are discovering and who want to express their appreciation to Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong and our writers.
   We also get complaints from readers who disagree with us, hut not many.
   There are also heartwarming and sometimes heartrending letters from people who share personal experiences with us.
   And then there are the letters that puzzle us, the ones that make us wonder how well we are doing our job or how well some of our readers understand exactly what we are doing.
   One reader writes: "I could be wrong, but there seems to be less meat and more milk in The Good News of late. Granted, we need our memories refreshed from time to time, but we also need to move forward and grow in grace and knowledge ... I certainly wouldn't want to deny new members and others being called this food, but I'm undernourished myself."
   Yes, as per Mr. Armstrong's inst ructions, we are concentrating on basic, practical. Bible-oriented articles in The Good News. Our Good News audience has grown to more than 90 percent nonmembers in the" last few years, and it is our commission as a Church to instruct them in God's way. (Matthew 28:19-20).
   Over those past few years, there are few major topics we haven't covered everything from third tithe to healing to how to pack your suitcase for the Feast. Of course, heavy, extremely detailed instruction is left to your ministers to bring to you in sermons and Bible studies.
   But this reader's statements bring up some disturbing questions: Are some of our Church members growing "dull of hearing", {Hebrews 5:11)? Do some feel they've "heard it all before" and that therefore they don't need to listen or read as carefully?
   Do some of us, like the Laodiceans, think we are "increased with goods [such as spiritual knowledge], and have need of nothing" (Revelation 3:17)?
   Bible study is a continual duty. No matter how many times you study even the same passages of Scripture, God can give you new insights. The knowledge of God should always be exciting, refreshing, stimulating.
   Remember the noble Bereans, who "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11). They never felt "undernourished" by any of the precious gifts of knowledge God gave them.

Test yourself

   Are you bored with The Plain Truth, The Good News and the work's other publications? Do you skim them casually without striving to find the messages God has in them for you?
   Test yourself! Here is a set of questions about information that appeared in either The Plain Truth or The Good News within the past two months. See how many you can answer accurately and then ask yourself how much you may be missing by the way you treat the publications:
   (1) What is the most successful way to manage your income? (Hint: The answer is not tithing.)
   (2) What is the most universally believed false doctrine in the Christian world?
   (3) True or false: Church service projects should take No. 1 priority over any other possible uses of your time.
   (4) What specific signs in a child could indicate that he or she has been the victim of some form of molestation?
   (5) True or false: A recent agreement between Britain and Spain gives Spain sovereignty over Gibraltar; Britain has thus relinquished one of its last sea gates.
   (6) What was the original impetus for the growth and development of science and technology?
   (7) True or false: Signing letters "in Jesus' name" is perfectly acceptable when brethren write to one another.
   (8) Where did John the Baptist learn about the ceremony of baptism?
   (9) What causes 75 percent of speech problems in children?
   (10) True or false: The Bible predicts that a climactic "battle of Armageddon" will occur at the end of this age.
   How well do you think you did? These are but a few of the literally hundreds of important bits of knowledge each of the publications contains every month. Statistics show that the average reader forgets 66 percent of what he or she reads within 24 hours of reading it. After 31 days the average reader forgets 79 percent of what was read. Memories fade away rapidly when they are not reviewed or used.
   Well, I'm going to be mean. I'm not going to give you the answers to this little quiz. If you aren't sure of some of the answers, go back and read the publications more carefully.
   Whether it's "milk" or "meat" is not necessarily the question. The question is whether you really understand what you read and therefore whether you are able to apply it in your life.

Truly hunger and thirst

   Most of us may not be as well off spiritually as we think we are. Neither are the Laodiceans. Remember? "Thou... knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked " (Revelation 3:17).
   If any of us are "undernourished," it's not God's fault, and it's not the fault of the magazines. The knowledge is there for those who truly hunger and thirst after righteousness, whether you are a 25-year member or a person who has just picked up his first Plain Truth off a newsstand.
   I don't intend this column to be an exercise in self-justification or an attack on readers who ask honest questions or make sincere statements. I just want to refresh our memories, as the writer said all OUT memories, mine included about something the apostle Paul said, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12)!

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The Worldwide NewsJune 10, 1985Vol XIII No. 12
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