Is Servants’ News too controlling ??

Within the last few months Servants’ News received several letters condemning us for not printing "all of the articles we receive." We were accused of printing only what we understand the truth to be—and suppressing the truth that the Eternal wants to be printed. The answer to this is very simple: We receive about 50 times as much material as we actually print.

1) We read a lot of it, but do not have time to read all of it.

2) Of what we read, we have time to thoroughly study only a small part.

3) Of what we study, we have time to format only a small part.

4) Of the writings we format, we can afford to print and mail less than half of them in Servants’ News. The longer ones we send only by individual request.

Since we have time and money to print only a small portion of what we receive, how do we decide what to print? We could pick out the articles that are easiest to proofread and format, or we could select articles at random. But we know that there is a greater condemnation on one who teaches error (Jms 3:1). We believe that we should print those items that we understand to be the most scripturally accurate, and not print those that have (to us) obvious scriptural difficulties.

We realize that we have only a tiny fraction of biblical and historical knowledge available to mankind, and even a smaller part of the true knowledge available to the Eternal. We do not do a perfect job of discerning, but we must try.

It is hard to believe that our refusal to print an article could be considered an attempt to suppress the truth of the Eternal. If Servants’ News fails to see an important point of truth, are not there dozens of other ministries that also print articles from their readership? Is the great God of the Universe not capable of reaching His people with His message?

We are obviously not a controlling hierarchy for these reasons:

1) We have no control of local congregations—we encourage readers to live by their own understanding of the Bible, not by what we say.

2) We encourage our readers to learn from a multitude of present-day sources—Servants’ News provides access to and sample copies of a great variety of religious publications.

Why Do Some SN Articles Disagree?

We have received complaints about some Servants’ News articles and/or writers who disagree with each other and/or with long-held "Church of God" doctrines. This is the opposite of the above complaint. Even though we believe the Eternal has given us understanding in some areas, there are many complex subjects where we are uncertain. We publish a variety of articles in the hope that they will stimulate learning and that together we will find the truth.

Some readers have said that anyone who publishes a variety of viewpoints must be publishing some error and is therefore a tool of Satan. When we are publishing error, we may well be a tool of Satan. But being a tool of Satan is probably something all of us do fairly often. Supposing a very kind and converted friend of yours thought they were going to die, would you do what you could to try and save them? When Peter tried to tell the Messiah that he would not have to die, the Messiah said "Get behind Me, Satan!" (Matt 16:21-23). Did Peter stop talking so he would never be a tool of Satan again? No, he learned from Christ, kept talking, sinned again, and repented again.

Before the Acts 15 conference, some men were teaching one approach to circumcision, and some were teaching another. After they had made their decision, did they decide to reject all those who had been teaching the wrong way as tools of Satan? No. They wanted them to teach the right way. There are other examples of where teaching on a specific doctrine changed over time—the eating of meat offered to idols is one example (Acts 15:29, 1Cor 8:4).

We do not know of any error-free publications. We think it is better to admit that we might have some error (so we can find it and change) than it is to pretend that we have no error. Please realize, you do not need to agree with all Servants’ News’ articles in order to be served by it. —NSE