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Shelter in the Word is a new magazine designed for people with no "Church of God" background. It is being produced by the Servants News staff. The first issue is included with this issue of Servants News, and will continue to be included until it makes economic sense for it to be mailed separately. Shelter in the Word will be produced every other month. Its purpose is to assist in individual spiritual growth. It is designed to help its readers learn to study the Bible (on their own or with others) and to establish a lasting relationship with the Eternal.
The magazine will encourage people to study the Bible, to do what it says, and to talk about it with others. Christ often healed people first, then taught them truth. Shelter in the Word will attempt to serve people firstanswer questions that they have, and show them that the Bible can help them. It will expose the errors of some popular Christian doctrines, but the method will be "let us help you understand a common mistake"S. This gentler approach avoids the in-your-face, "I told you so method." (Sometimes a Sabbatarian attacks others for keeping pagan holidays that these others think are in the Bible, rather than letting them discover it in the Bible for themselves).
Some Servants News readers will probably think that Shelter in the Word is "not strong enough." They may even object to our treating Shelter readers like they have a relationship with the Eternal. These same people may even say "unbaptized people dont know enough truth to have a relationship with God." We would like to point out that Jesus spent nearly his entire ministry talking to people who did not have the Holy Spirit, yet he taught them that they could pray, and that their prayers would be heard. We intend to produce a variety of additional booklets to teach the deeper truths. We realize that the Eternal has to open peoples minds. Shelter in the Word can be there to help teach those minds, but it cannot force its way in there.
Shelter in the Word will not promote membership in any organization. The editors will make every effort to be sure that articles do not assume that the reader has any knowledge of "Church of God" groups, their theology and their problems. The publication is aimed at people with interest in the Bible. As Paul was a Jew to the Jews, and a Greek to the Greeks, we want to be a Judaeo-Christian Truth Seeker to the Judaeo-Christian Truth Seekers. We realize that a religious publication of this nature is not going to appeal to everyone. The Eternal will certainly work through others to attract the businessmen, the highly educated, the atheists, and others who may be uninterested in religion.
There will be no cost to the magazine, and no advertising. The magazine will be on loose-leaf, 8.5x11 white paper. This makes it simple to produce, simple to mail, simple to copy and simple to study. It is hoped that a circulation will be created by Sabbatarians making them available to people whom they know might be interested. We do not have resources to mail tens of thousands of copies. Nor do we have the resources of answering numerous telephone calls and letters. We hope that Sabbatarians using this magazine as an evangelism tool will try to give each issue to their friends personally, and ask if they have questions. This is the same kind of concern that the early disciples had for others who asked about "that way."
Today, office stores and copy stores can quickly make good quality copies of two-sided paper. Some charge as little as 4 cents for both side of a page. This means one issue of Shelter in the Word can be copied for about 50 cents$1 at more expensive stores. It costs us about 25 cents to print a copy and 25 cents to mail it. So the total cost for you to copy an issue is somewhere between the same as our cost and twice as much. However, the value of the personal contact (when you copy and deliver the publication) cannot be underestimated. Also, you have the option to "dress up" the magazine if you think it would help someone to read it. You could place it in a nice binder with a clear plastic front, or have it copied on to nicer or colored paper.
On the other hand, if someone loses interest in the magazine, you will obviously not keep copying and giving it to them. (But if we mailed it directly, we would have no way to know when they lost interest.)
We realize that you may find some people who are interested in Shelter in the Word, but it is not practical for you to hand them each issue. We have no objection to you mailing them a copy yourself, but it does cost less for us to mass-mail it. We will give a subscription to Shelter in the Word to anyone who writes or calls in for it themselves. We will give a subscription if someone else writes or calls and tells us that a third party has specifically asked to receive it. At this time, we would rather not accept requests to send the magazine to others who have not requested it. We would rather that you find out that they really want it, first. If you think somebody might be interested, send them a copy yourself, and ask them to contact us for a subscription.
We do not have an objection to people placing ads for Shelter in the Word in other publications, but please give your own address and/or phone number as a contact point. If you leave copies of the magazine in waiting rooms or other public places, we ask that you include a page of your own with it, directing inquiries to yourself. First of all, this will show you how effective your work is. If you get several requests for subscriptions, it may not be practical to deliver them personally. Please wait a few days until you think most of the requests are in, and send them to us all at once. We also recommend that you keep track of the names and addresses yourself. You may wish to organize a Bible study (even an in-home one) and invite these people in the future.
Shelter in the Word is intended to be one of many tools for use in local evangelism. It is designed for use by some believers to reach some other people. No one should ever think that this is the one way to teach new people. For some people, it may not be helpful at all. Even for those that it helps, it cannot make up for personal contact, Bible study, and in-depth literature. There are many other good resources that can fulfill other specific needs.
Comments on Shelter in the Word and article submissions are welcome. For either a sample copy or free subscription, please write to: Shelter in the Word, PO Box 220, Charlotte, Michigan, 48813. Telephone: 517-543-5544, fax: 517-543-8899, e-mail: email@example.com
When William Penn was 17, he was expelled from Oxford University for daring to criticize certain Church of England rituals. On a cold winter day in 1668, 24 year old William Penn paced back & forth in a cramped chamber in the famous prison, Tower of London. What for you may ask? Arrested for blasphemy after publishing a pamphlet that questioned the doctrine of the trinity.
The Bishop of London had decreed that if Penn didn't recant publicly he would remain imprisoned for the rest of his life. Penn's reply was unequivocal:
"My prison shall be my grave before I will budge a jot, for I owe my conscience to no mortal man".
Fortunately William Penn did not have to live out the rest of his life in prison. He did much to promote religious toleration in England and founded the colony of Pennsylvania, also noted for its religious toleration.
submitted by Robert Pinto