This, I hope, will be GOOD NEWS for you!
A new magazine is to be born — just for OUR CO-WORKERS! You will receive your copy every month — starting as soon as we can edit and print the first copy. The need of it, as an additional service to our family of Co-Workers, who serve with us, was impressed on me only last night. I do not yet know even what we shall call it. Possibly "Our Co-Workers' Magazine." Or, "Our Co-Workers' Journal."
I want to tell you more about the tremendous strides that have been made in this great WORK OF GOD during the past year. One year ago I could never have remotely IMAGINED what great leaps ahead we would be taking. You see, I am not the Head of this Work. It is not my work, it is GOD'S. And Almighty God has set His divine Son, the living (Eternally living) Jesus Christ as its directing HEAD. And HE has been given ALL POWER — all the power that exists in the entire vast universe — as He Himself said (Matthew 28:18). And, saying that, He gave the Great Commission He is using YOU and me as His instruments in carrying out today! His is supernatural power. He lays the plans — opens the doors — leads the way. Our part is to walk through those doors, and to FOLLOW where He leads.
The one single greatest leap ahead ever given to this Work at one time was last summer, when the advertising pages of Reader's Digest opened to us. We had been using double-page advertising space in Reader's Digest eight and nine years ago — in Britain and in Australia and New Zealand. At that time we placed a straight religious Gospel message in that space. But the home office of Reader's Digest, in the United States, had a policy against religious advertising. So they closed their pages to our use.
Since, we have come to see that a straight Biblical religious message, using religious words and terminology, will not be read by a majority of the readers of mass-circulation magazines with millions of copies circulation. It is the same with broadcasting. Most radio and television stations refuse to let religious programs go out over their facilities. They know that such programs have a very limited audience — they call it the "religious audience." There does exist a small minority of the public who listen to such programs. Some sit and listen to them nearly all day. Some stations of small power do specialize in religious programming. This small religious audience will sit and listen to one program after another, if they can find such programs on the air.
But radio and television station managers know that the BIG audiences of the general public will immediately tune out religious programs, and turn the dial to something else.
It is the same with advertising in magazines.
That is why, gradually, more and more, we have been CHANGING the format of The WORLD TOMORROW program — and of The PLAIN TRUTH magazine. We do not seek to reach the "religious audience." We do not seek to take members away from their churches. Christ's Commission, which He is carrying out with those who voluntarily accept His draft as Co-Workers with Him in God's Work is written in Matthew 24:14: "And this Gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end (of this world) come." The living Jesus Christ is using us as HIS INSTRUMENTS in reaching ALL NATIONS — and the WHOLE public in those nations - not a small religious minority of the people.
To do that, WE HAVE TO SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE. When we talk of "conversion," "grace;" "repentance," the "Old and New Covenants," the "Second Coming," "born again," a very large part of the general public just don't understand the language. And when we speak of "the precious blood of Christ," and "the cross," and "accepting Christ as your personal Saviour," they get embarrassed and run away, or tune you out. That terminology is just NOT THEIR KIND OF LANGUAGE.
If I am in France, and a Frenchman who can't speak my language — English — tries to talk to me in French, it's all "Greek" to me. I just don't understand him. So we are now really REACHING the world, by talking and writing in THEIR KIND OF LANGUAGE.
Let me give you an example. In our new booklet, now revised, "The Seven Laws of Success," which I wrote, I didn't start out asking "Have you given your heart to the Lord?" That would have driven them away. I started out talking about what THEY are interested in, in THEIR language. I ask, "Did it ever occur to you that there might be a reason why so many people make a failure of life?" And then, "Are YOU one who is wrestling with the problem of 'making ends meet?"'
I am speaking THEIR language, about something EVERYBODY is concerned about. Then I give the reader some shocking FACTS about suicides, business failures, etc., showing that NONE need fail — there are LAWS that cause success or failure. Then I tell them about my own experiences as a young man, 23, on the editorial staff of a national magazine, questioning hundreds of business men on the causes of failure or success. No mention — YET — of God, or their need of Him. No, they are more interested in Clark Gable, movie star — so I describe him, tell them interesting things about him, and ask, was he a success, after all? Next, about rich men I have known — who followed the first six laws of success, but not the seventh — and THEY WERE NOT HAPPY, and their "success" died with them — it didn't last. All the time I am getting a point across — preparing their minds for THE TRUTH — yet talking THEIR LANGUAGE about things THEY are INTERESTED in.
I show them that "all accomplishment is not success." Then comes "The first Law" — not a word about religion, the Bible, or Christ. Then an explanation of the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th Laws of Success — and still no mention of anything religious. Yet all the time the reader's mind is being prepared for what is lacking.
Finally, page 52, the sub-head: "Still We Need Law #7. "And notice how I lead the reader, who may never have had any interest in the Bible, or Christ, into really SEEING and UNDERSTANDING why he NEEDS Christ — and the teaching of the Bible.
This explanation of the 7th Law starts out: "But still, these 'Successful' men I have described, followed these six principles. They gained their goals. They made money. They attained recognized status. They enjoyed the passing pleasures. Still their lives were empty — they were never satisfied — they were discontented, they never found lasting, permanent, enduring happiness — they did not take their acquisitions with them when they died, and their fame died with them. What they lacked — what ALL lack who fail of REAL success, was the application of Success Law #7 — the most important law of all! That is the ingredient that would have changed everything!
Finally I come to the IMPORTANT part of the book, in a manner to banish prejudice, open their minds, and induce willingness to CONSIDER what follows. I did it this way:
"When serious illness strikes, people call the doctor. It is automatic for most to rely on human professional knowledge and skill — on material drugs, medicines and knives. But finally, when the attending physician — perhaps with specialists called in collaboration — gravely shakes his head and says there is no more that medical science can do — it is now in the hands of a higher Power — then, at last, most people cry out desperately to the Creator God!"
That is the first mention of God — on page 53. It is a statement all must accept. Then the booklet continues:
"Is it possible that the living God might be a factor in determining the success or failure of one's life? Few have thought so. People will ignore all their lives any idea of divine guidance and help — yet if one should find himself on a foodless and waterless raft after a shipwreck in mid-ocean, it is remarkable how quickly he would begin to believe there really is a living God! In last-resort desperation, most people will cry out to Him whom they have ignored, disobeyed, and set at naught all their lives."
The reader knows this is a true statement. It makes him think. He probably realizes that is exactly what HE himself has done! This approach opens the mind of the reader, without offending him, or causing him to turn away. So I make a statement he is prepared now to accept, from his own selfish viewpoint:
"Yet, if we are to enjoy the good things of life — freedom from fears and worries, peace of mind, security, protection, happiness, abundant well-being — the very SOURCE of their supply is the Great God! Since all comes from Him anyway, why not tap the SOURCE from the very beginning?"
Then I am prepared to state that 7th Law, and to go on to give it UNDERSTANDING — and I think I have reached hundreds — perhaps many thousands — of minds heretofore CLOSED to reading or hearing anything about God and His connection with THEIR LIVES personally!
You have noticed this new approach on the radio programs. If you live where you may view the TV programs of The WORLD TOMORROW, you'll notice it there.
With our new approach, putting nothing religious in the ads, many magazines are opening their pages to us that never would, before. And we are now reaching MANY MILLIONS that could NEVER be reached with a straight religious-sounding message. This is the sensible, effective, result-getting approach that is reaching about 150,000,000 people today, worldwide, that we were not reaching at this time last Year!
So now, more than ever, we need another magazine, to supplement The PLAIN TRUTH for our Co-Workers — and for all who REQUEST this kind of magazine, that WILL be a magazine of BIBLE TRUTH, making ITS teachings PLAIN!
Yet this very magazine advertising program is GIVING US SERIOUS PROBLEMS, caused by the very success of the ads. The response has been OVERWHELMING! It has added hundreds of thousands of new readers to The PLAIN TRUTH! It is causing additional millions to TUNE TO THE BROADCAST.
But we are finding that the cost of purchasing this advertising space is only a PART of what it is costing. It has made it necessary to open two additional foreign offices to receive the mail requests and send the requested literature. It has made necessary an expansion in number of employees on our staffs in ALL foreign offices — renting larger quarters, Increasing number on payroll. And this is Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, India, Mexico City, England, Germany, Switzerland (serving France also), South Africa, the Middle East, Canada. It is costing much larger sums in MAILING COSTS. It has forced us to purchase additional large presses at Pasadena, our Texas printing plant, England, and Australia. It means heavy additional paper purchases. You see, this is a BIG work, worldwide!
All this is GOOD! — it means WONDERFUL growth in the Work — it means we are reaching at least a hundred and fifty MILLION more people than before — and that is exactly what the HEAD of this Work, Jesus Christ, has led us into. But we are simply going to have to tighten our belts, and try to contribute more money if we possibly can — for we are now on the HOME STRETCH of this whole Work, nearer and nearer to Christ's coming — to the END of this world and the BEGINNING of the wonderful, happy WORLD TOMORROW!
It also confronts us with another serous problem.
In 1960 we began to encourage loans from Co-Workers as a means of increasing the dollars available for the Work. Many Co-Workers responded. The total amounts were comparatively small in 1960 — but they helped. But the total amounts we have received as loans have increased every year. And now our Business Office, and financial advisers have brought a problem to me. I am sure that many of our Co-Workers have believed that LOANS do as much good for the Work as tithes and offerings. But THAT IS NOT TRUE — because loans must show up on our books as LIABILITIES — and demand short-term liabilities at that — NOT as assets.
Because of the careful manner in which we have handled finances, banks and insurance companies have come to recognize us as a successful, reliable, and financially sound organization of integrity.
This situation was brought to my attention because, I, myself, had made such loans. I think I have mentioned before that, in 1947 when Ambassador College was starting, a home had been providentially offered to Mrs. Armstrong and me at half its market value without even a down payment, and no interest. The payments, I discovered on figuring, would be no more than we had been paying for two rented rooms in a rooming house in Eugene, Oregon. We had sold our home there two years before, and put the money in the Work. But living in this rooming house, without a real home of our own, we had to eat meals at restaurants. My wife was a very economical cook — and we could eat on far less cost at home than at restaurants. The combined cost of restaurant eating, (our two sons were still unmarried and living at home), plus the room rent, just equalled the payments on the home in Pasadena, plus the grocery bill. It certainly seemed providential — and it was a well-built, fairly large house, yet far less costly than a very small house.
About three-and-a-half or four years ago, we sold our home, and, keeping one-sixth of the money to pay capital gains tax and add a little to our personal bank account, we LOANED the five-sixths to the Work. I'm afraid we, like many Co-Workers, took it for granted that it would help the Work as much as an outright gift or donation. It was a fairly sizeable sum, because property values had increased, and we sold it at appraised market value, but had bought it at half market value. Of course it had been paid for and we owned it clear when sold. Then when my wife died, nearly two years ago, there was a fairly good sized insurance payment to me which I also loaned. There had been a few other loans - when I sold my car, for example. So, our business executives came to me with this problem, and I myself had several thousand dollars on the books as a loan. I thought — as I know many Co-Workers have thought — I probably would never need to ask for it — but, just in case of an unexpected emergency, I would have this to fall back on. Of course the loan was made so that at my death it became a donation to the Work.
So I want to tell you what I have done. At first, I thought I would turn this into a donation at the rate of a certain amount each year which I could deduct on my income tax. Then I realized that if I did this, either 1) I could not deduct my tithes and regular offerings, and special building-fund offerings — for they amount to between 28% and 30% a year — as much as the law allows for deduction: or, 2) it would mean not paying in the tithes and offering out of income, these years, but merely crediting this loaned money in lieu of tithes and offerings. Result: I have just GIVEN the entire amount AS A DONATION, and I shall not try to deduct it on my income tax, but keep on contributing up to 30% out of income. I have PAID income tax on all that money — and now I will sacrifice any tax advantage in donating it, because that way I can put more money into the Work.
As it is today, I do not own any property — not even an automobile. What, then, if some unexpected emergency should come along, that would need this sum of several thousand dollars I am donating? I have thought of that, of course. The answer is, I HAVE A GOD TO TRUST, AND I SHALL RELY ON HIM!
I wonder how many of YOU Co-Workers did as I did — loaned to the Work money you didn't really expect to have to ask to be paid back — but making it a loan, supposing it would help the Work AS MUCH, and then, IF an unexpected emergency happened, you could ask for it? I wonder how many who did that, as I did, would now join me in releasing the loan, and turning it into a donation — or if you feel unable to do that, turn part or most of it into a donation? THAT WOULD HELP THE WORK GREATLY!
Now PLEASE UNDERSTAND! I do NOT say that loans do not help — THEY DO! — but THEY DO NOT HELP THE WORK AS MUCH as tithes and offerings given outright.
Another thing. Over the years, only about 20% of these loans from Co-Workers have been asked to be paid back. WE KNOW, by experience, that in all probability, 80% of the loans on our books as liabilities will not have to be paid back. But bankers or anyone examining our financial statement do not know that, and we have to show the loans as short-term demand loans.
THEREFORE, I CANNOT now set a policy of refusing to take further loans — for WE DO STILL NEED these loans of larger amounts — especially of from one to several thousand dollars. BUT, I will now ask, if you can, that you please stipulate that it is not to be repaid at more than 20% in any one year. That would put it on the books as a time loan, and would help us show a better financial statement. If you will do this, and if some unexpected emergency should arise so that you seriously need more than 20% of it returned, if you will in that event simply write to our business office, or to me, explaining the need, we will do all in our power to accommodate you or help any way we can.
But if you feel YOU CAN'T send in your loan with that stipulation, but could loan it subject to demand at any time, send it in, for it will HELP! It will simply help us MUCH MORE if you do make this stipulation, and STILL MORE if you can give it outright as a donation.
To those of you who have helped the Work by loans, I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your confidence, your interest and your great help. At the same time, in the interests of the Work itself, let me repeat: MONEY LOANED DOES HELP, BUT IT DOES NOT HELP AS MUCH AS MONEY GIVEN OUTRIGHT. So I do ask, if you possibly can, then give outright as much as you are able — but if you have a sum on hand you simply are UNABLE to give outright at this time, but could let it be working in the meantime under the direction of the living Christ in His Work, then send it as a loan.
The need will be far greater this year than ever before. So I have made this frank explanation to you. I had other things I wanted to say — but I shall have to hold them till next time — and will get to work on that new magazine you will be receiving as soon as we can get it started.
You are having PART in the most important activity on earth today. Our living HEAD of the Work, Jesus Christ, is speeding His Work forward as never before. Let us be thankful, rejoice, and TRY HARDER to help. Let us PRAY MORE EARNESTLY for the Work. THANK YOU!