Radio and the Divine Commission—No. 1

Are you capitalizing radio's unique possibilities?

By DALLAS YOUNGS, District Leader, Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Radio has unquestioned potentialities as yet never perceived or capitalized in the presentation of our message to the world. Every successful achievement in this field should therefore receive our careful study. The three articles which follow are of excep­tional practical value as a presentation of one of the effective procedures in the radio presentation of this message. In article r, Elder Youngs convincingly tells of the importance of radio preaching and the opportunities it affords. Articles 2 and 3 are replete with practical suggestions on method and procedure, and Article 3 sets forth in detail a plan that has proved convincingly practical and workable. We commend study of the series to all of our workers.—Editor.

With the earth's multiplied nations and its teeming inhabitants approxi­mating two billion people, Christ's commission "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" presents a gigantic, colossal task. Yet, colossal as it may be, the Lord has seen fit to lay it upon the remnant church. The remnant church must not only accomplish the task, but must do it before the Lord can establish His king­dom. Our hearts thrill at the marvelous ac­complishments of the past in our work ; but as we contemplate the multitudes of earth yet un­warned, we must recognize that our greatest task lies before us. How are the multitudes in heathen lands, and the multitudes of city and country in so-called Christian lands, to be brought the "witness of the gospel" quickly?

The remnant church has used the facilities of rapid transportation, the printing press, the stereopticon, and other inventions to the best of advantage in the proclamation of truth. Yet in spite of all this, millions in the Orient have never heard of the salvation that is theirs through Christ. Multitudes are without God and without hope. In our own blessed and favored land, other millions know not the Lord. Crime, atheism, and paganism are in the as­cendency. How can knowledge of salvation through Christ, the binding obligation of the ten commandments, the imminent coming of our Lord, and associated Biblical doctrines be given to the peoples of China, India, Africa, and the islands of the sea in a brief period of time by the remnant church ? How can the no-law theory, the flood of false doctrines and worldliness, be counteracted by the true mes­sage? These questions are of supreme importance to every Seventh-day Adventist who loves his Lord and longs for His soon coming.

It is God who has given us the preaching commission; and it is God who will provide the means for carrying it out. Who can say that God has not given us the wireless radio, by which the preacher can proclaim the truth to thousands and millions, for the completing of His work ? But I wonder if the remnant church has been as quick to recognize the value of radio as it was to see the power of the printing press—as quick to utilize the one as the other ? Certainly, such a God-given means of multiplying hearers should be utilized to the utmost.

Radio is the culmination of wonders. With a giant hand it hurls the preacher's voice with the speed of light—not across an auditorium, but across a continent. Radio annihilates time and distance. It crosses deserts, mountains, and wastelands, carrying a message in a mo­ment where it would take a speaker days or weeks to go. It enlarges the speaker's sphere of influence as does no other medium. It gives him standing with the public in his locality. It takes the preacher's pulpit into the home. In the quietness of the home, atten­tion to the speaker's words is undivided. Ill­ness or accident ofttimes causes one to think of eternal things for the first time. The sick in sanitariums and hospitals and the inmates of other institutions receive immeasurable benefit from a broadcast of Bible truth: The last message should constantly flow over the air waves.

Radio is playing an increasingly large part day by day in the affairs of our modern world. There are now more than twenty-five million radio receiving sets in the United States in as many homes, with an estimated audience of approximately seventy-one million listeners above ten years of age. There are twice as many radios as telephones in homes. It is estimated that there are more than five million radios in automobiles. In two decades, radio broadcasting has taken America, and is fast becoming popular in all the world. In India, the people are too poor to own a receiving set; so they have the village radio, and the people gather for the programs. The prevailing illiteracy of India is a tremendous handicap to the missionary. But even though the Indian may not be able to read God's last warning message to the world in his own language, he can understand it little by little as he hears it over a radio. What an opportunity radio offers, and will increasingly offer, to preach the gospel quickly to heathen peoples.

Does radio broadcasting mold public opin­ion? It most surely does, else manufacturers would not spend multiplied millions in adver­tising their commodities, ranging from break­fast cereal to automobiles. Does religious broadcasting pay ? Does it mold religious thought? Does it render valuable aid in evan­gelism? Will it, if used rightly, add to the church membership and increase the tithe? Unquestionably, it will !

According to a survey, there are a total of 590 Catholic programs on the air, carried by 655 or more purely commercial stations. In addition to these, four broadcasting stations are owned and controlled by Catholics. We exceed the Catholics in some things, such as per capita giving. But in radio broadcasting, our voice is a faint whisper as compared to a mighty roar. This should not be ; the voice of truth should sound above all other voices. God blesses the proclamation of the truth; but it is impossible for Him to give fruitage unless the truth is voiced (broadcasted).

God blessed the disciples at Pentecost with 3,000 conversions when they gave voice to present truth. The Jewish nation failed in God's purpose for them because, despite their favor­able geographical position, they did not give God's truth to their heathen neighbors. Disre­garding Christ's explicit instructions, His fol­lowers remained in Jerusalem and Judea until forced to flee from persecution. But when they fled everywhere, voicing the truth for their time as they went, God raised up believ­ers and churches, until in Paul's day the apostle declared, "The gospel . . . was preached to every creature which is under heaven." Col. I :23.

The former secretary of the Radio Com­mission once said, "The radio is without parallel as a medium for carrying the human voice to every ear, regardless, in the main, of where it may be or what walls or other ma­terial obstacles stand between." And one of the vice-presidents of the General Conference makes this observation:

"As I travel through the great cities of North America and other countries, and view the vast cen­ters of population, I wonder how we are ever to warn the world in a single generation of time. We seem to make progress so slowly. We seem to be covering the territory only inch by inch, as it were; and many times I ask myself the question, How will these millions ever be reached? But somehow, since the radio has come into more general use, it has given me a new vision of the possibilities of a very quick work for God. I believe that many of our ministers in this and other lands, should qualify as radio evangelists to do a successful work in broad­casting the message over the air. The radio is the most important auxiliary we now have, and I be­lieve that God has brought it into use in our day for the primary purpose of making it possible to give this message to all the world in a very short time."

We believe in radio, but we are using it in a very limited way. We are not getting a tithe of the free time that could be ours for the asking. Some stations will not sell reli­gious time, but practically all, from the largest to the smallest, give time free to churches and religious groups. There is much better oppor­tunity for getting free time from the smaller independent station than from the more power­ful, of course. Yet WLW, Cincinnati's 500,­000-watt station, gives free time to the Cache Tabernacle in Indianapolis. This program boasts the world's largest permanent choir. The larger the station, the more attractive the program must be to the public, in order to get free time.

Little difficulty was experienced in getting free time for Chief Kata Ragoso of the Solo­mon Islands over the larger stations, following the 1936 session of the General Conference. Why ? Simply because the chief was an un­usual attraction. In his trip across the United States, a number of large radio stations gave our mission work and our denomination the finest kind of free publicity.

_________ To be continued in April

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By DALLAS YOUNGS, District Leader, Williamsport, Pennsylvania

March 1941

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More Articles In This Issue

Theological Seminary Objectives

Address at dedication of the S.D.A. Theological Seminary, Takoma Park, D.C., Jan. 21, 1941.

Creating and Promoting Evangelistic Spirit

Presentation at Bible and History Teachers' Con­vention, Washington, D.C., August, 1940.

A Crusade for Youth in 1941

If ever ministers were confronted with a crisis hour in guiding and binding our youth to the advent movement, they are now.

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Prophetic Guidance in Early Days

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In Defense of Fundamentalism

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Editorial Keynotes

Advent Source Research Project—No. 3

The Period of Christ's Priestly Ministry

Till when will Jesus minister as man's high priest?

How Sunday Observance Entered the Church

One of the persistent questions of the day, which still arouses considerable discussion, is the origin of Sunday ob­servance in the Christian church.

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