The Broadcast in Jeopardy

Radio Evangelism in Action

By DONALD F. HAYNES, Announcer, Bible Auditorium of the Air, New York City

Radio presentation of the historic gospel of a'". salvation from sin and the imminent return of Jesus is being placed in increasing jeopardy by the opposition of modernists. Determined efforts are being made by religious modernists who take offense at references to the "blood atonement" to drive the evangelistic presentation of the gospel off the air. Among recent protests is that con­tained in an article by Charles M. Crowe in the Christian Century of August 23, 1044. By way of introducing his article, "Religion on the Air," he refers to "the recent action of the Mutual Broadcasting System, prohibiting solicitation of funds over the air on religious programs, and ban­ning all paid religious programs on Sunday after­noons and evenings, after the middle of Septem­ber."

Mr. Crowe's criticism is leveled chiefly at ap­peals for money and the promoting of various name-getting devices on religious programs. The gospel broadcast is thus attacked at what may be, and often is, considered its weakest point—its ef­fort to support itself with the gifts of the radio public. In this matter, as in so many other things, -some have given more offense than others. And it is the most offensive which are cited as flagrant examples of the trend of all evangelical broadcast­ing. Mr. Crowe suggests: "The network religious radio program racket; capitalized by independent superfundamentalist revivalists, will not be elimi­nated nationally until Mutual goes the whole way and bans paid religious programs altogether, as the other networks have done." One of his spe­cific targets, named with others, is the Voice of Prophecy.

Not content with proposing policy for the Mu­tual Broadcasting System, Mr. Crowe takes a step further by saying : "Perhaps the only way such programs can be eliminated is by a ruling from the Federal Communications Commission against the sale of time for religious broadcasting." Here is a frank statement of purpose to ban all "rack­ets," that is, all "paid religious programs."

Thus when we add to the preaching of the gos­pel, appeals for funds, enrollments, offers of free souvenirs, sermons, and so forth, we should keep in mind that we thereby lay ourselves open on an ever-widening front to the charge of commercial­izing gospel broadcasting. The theological enemies of "blood atonement" religion have shown their hand. We know the lines along which the cam­paign is to be waged. Will these things eventually force us off the air?

Mr. Crowe also comes forward with a substitute for gospel broadcasting. It is a devitalized, inof­fensive, bloodless religion, concocted and purveyed by the radio industry itself. Listen to his descrip­tion:

"The message of faith for our time should be presented in appealing programs under the direction of skilled radio technicians using professional radio talent, making use of such forms as dramatized stories of religious experience, dramatic readings from sacred literature, dram­atized sketches of the place of religion in the history and life of the nation, interviews with great laymen and re­ligious leaders, religious quiz programs and other such proved radio formulas. . . . Programs of this type should be produced by the networks or stations themselves, with the counsel of an advisory interfaith committee, rather than by any denominational or federated church group!"

Notice carefully this appeal by a mouthpiece for religion that religious programs be staged by "pro­fessional radio talent," not Heaven-called spokes­men for God. Strange partners !

In closing his article the writer gives us one statement with which we can heartily agree, "Re­ligion deserves a more favorable presentation to the radio public."

Let us bestir ourselves, discern with alertness the signs of times, and prepare to launch out for God in ways and means that will produce forceful, dynamic preaching of His Word.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By DONALD F. HAYNES, Announcer, Bible Auditorium of the Air, New York City

December 1944

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Use of the Spirit of Prophecy in Evangelism

Presentation at recent workers' meeting in the Brit­ish Union Conference, its object being to suggest ways of introducing the Spirit of prophecy to the public in con­servative countries.

To Convert or to Teach Doctrine?

Can it be that we have been seeking to make Seventh-day Adventists more than to make Christians?

Vital Place of the Evangelistic Choir

The role of careful planning helps ensure a vital place of the evangelistic choir

Protracted Public Prayers

Avoiding long prayers.

Our Service as an Investment

Our denominational workers who serve for a missionary wage sometimes are inclined to feel that they are making a great financial sacrifice in forgoing the higher wages offered by commer­cial organizations.

Editorial Keynotes

Not a Block to Be Moved Nor a Pin Stirred

Reaching Ministers of Other Denominations

A symposium at a Michigan Conference workers' meeting

Making Favorable Contacts

It has been my privilege to become personally acquainted with more than one hundred minis­ters of other denominations during my active con­nection with our organized work.

Contacts Through Temperance

The present interest in the problem of alcohol in the nation, with its attendant juvenile delin­quency evils, offers Adventists the grandest oppor­tunity of their history to build up a large group of friends among ministers of other faiths, leaders in temperance work, and high school principals.

Dome-Shaped Portable Tabernacle

Since the days when the sanctuary was erected at Mount Sinai, the idea of a movable place of worship has been existent. How can we make use of them in the 20th century?

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up

Recent issues

See All