I don't believe that I have written you a letter before.
I am happy that you are one who has asked for The PLAIN TRUTH, and I want you to know personally how very grateful I am for your interest. It is a real privilege to be able to send it to you — a blessed opportunity that has come to me to be permitted to write The PLAIN TRUTH for so many, many interested people to read from Coast to Coast, and even in other nations.
You see, we have a very different policy from any I know in practice today. We publish a very different national magazine — without subscription price. Although our policy prevents me from begging for money over the air, or even mentioning its need for this great work except most rarely, I do urge all our listeners in every broadcast to send us their names and addresses for our mailing list, so we may send them The PLAIN TRUTH — and without subscription price.
Do you know WHY I probably have never written you before? And now that I stop to realize the real reason, I want first of all to hasten to APOLOGIZE for this neglect. You'll see what I mean in a moment.
Let me explain this way: I remember one night I had told a congregation that if we really believed Jesus was right when He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," we would THANK those who permit us to serve them, instead of those who serve us. That seemed very strange to my hearers, I noticed. After the service, Mrs. Armstrong and I drove an elderly lady to her home in our car. On helping her out of the car at her home, it occurred to me I ought to practice what I had preached, so I warmly thanked her for permitting us the privilege of rendering her this kindness. Instinctively she started to say, "Oh, no — I'm the one to thank YOU!" — when she caught herself, remembered the sermon, laughed and said, "Well, you're welcome!"
And now is my face red! Long ago I should have written you and THANKED you for permitting me the fine privilege of writing for you, and sending to you, The PLAIN TRUTH! For it is, indeed, one of the great privileges of my life, for which I have, time and again, thanked God! You see, I have written to those who sent in tithes, or contributions for God's work, and thanked them for giving — but I realize new I have neglected to write and thank you, and all the rest of our vast mailing list who are not co-workers, for permitting us to give! The policy I mentioned above is this: Unless a listener to the radio program, or a reader of The PLAIN TRUTH voluntarily, without solicitation, becomes a co-worker, we make no request for money. Approximately 10% of those receiving The PLAIN TRUTH are co-workers — and it is their tithes and offerings, voluntarily sent, which make it possible for us to send The PLAIN TRUTH free to the other 90%, and also to send out the radio program over the most powerful radio stations to a Coast to Coast audience every day (or night) of the year. So now I do, from the heart, want to say THANK YOU! And I shall try, if God will give me strength to write it, and move our co-workers to provide, to send you The PLAIN TRUTH every month this coming year!
Here we are again coming to the Christmas shopping season. Did you ever stop to ask WHY people give Christmas gifts?
Actually the custom started in ancient paganism. If you'd like the real TRUTH about Christmas, how it started, where it came from, what the Bible says about it (and you'll be SURPRISED!) just write for our free booklet, "The Truth About Christmas." But people think they give Christmas presents because the wise men presented gifts to the Christ child.
Notice how it is written: "And when they (the wise men) were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto HIM (Christ) gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matt 2:11). These are not cheap, but the very finest, most valuable — the things most in esteem among themselves. Actually, the truth is they presented these gifts because it was CUSTOM to present gifts to a KING — and Christ was born to be King of all the earth!
But did you notice that they did not TRADE GIFTS among themselves? They did not give presents to each other. They gave their gifts to CHRIST! And what are people doing today? Today, at this Christmas season, people usually forget, or neglect Christ and His work, and spend all their money EXCHANGING GIFTS BACK AND FORTH AMONG THEMSELVES!
The truth is, as we approach this Christmas shopping season, the precious work of Christ is having a terrible financial struggle. It is meeting a severe test of faith. And we know many of our regular co-workers who regularly contribute to this important work thru the year will neglect it or put it off so they can spend all their money trading gifts among their relatives and friends! It is a time of sore trial and great test of faith for those who have given their lives to the work of Christ!
And so without apology I make a bold suggestion: This is not a request — but I pass it on to you as a SUGGESTION for you to think over, and do as you yourself wish, or feel God leads you: THIS Christmas shopping season, WHY NOT GIVE A GIFT TO CHRIST FOR HIS WORK? Won't you feel better about it if CHRIST is on your list? And, in fact should HE not be placed at the very HEAD of the list, instead of the bottom — for the largest, most generous gift of all?
Let me just say that money given to this work of God is spent in proclaiming the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to a nation- wide cumulative audience of more than SEVEN MILLION people every week — in sending out The PLAIN TRUTH and tons of other literature, all free and without price — and in conducting what we believe is America's finest and best, the surely one of its smallest liberal arts colleges, Ambassador College, in Pasadena, where young men and women of purpose, nearly all working their own way thru, are being trained in the TRUE VALUES of living, for useful, successful lives, many of them in the service of Christ. Hundreds of precious souls have been thoroughly converted this past year thru this dynamic and glorious work. And, as near as careful tests and estimates can calculate, every dollar placed in this work carries the true GOSPEL to TWO THOUSAND PRECIOUS SOULS! I know of no such economy or efficiency in reaching multitudes anywhere. This work is incorporated as "RADIO CHURCH OF GOD," and officially approved by the Internal Revenue Bureau as a non-profit religious association, so that any amount up to 15% of your net taxable income sent to this work as a donation is automatically tax-exempt on your income- tax return.
Again, let me THANK YOU, sincerely and from the heart, for your interest. Your name continues automatically on our mailing list. I hope to make the broadcasts and The PLAIN TRUTH even more interesting this coming year!