From Gospel Guardian, October 5, 1961
Since there has been a great deal said recently about the Gospel Press organization accepting church contributions, I thought the word of one of the paid representatives of that group might be of interest generally. Brother William Bryson of Richmond, Virginia, is a paid agent of the Gospel Press. In his "sales pitch" soliciting money for his organization he leaves many under the impression that he does not believe it is right for churches to contribute to his project. Because of this impression, and knowing that his real convictions were otherwise, I took the trouble to question him at length in the presence of two other gospel preachers in the area; he stated that he believes it IS scripturally right for churches to make contributions to the Gospel Press "but is not expedient at this time because the churches are not yet ready for it."
His explanation for brother Paul Hunton's letter of last fall in which he openly solicited church contributions for Gospel Press was that Hunton "goofed." He has the telegram from Gospel Press officials saying that churches can only "buy space" for advertising in national magazines, but cannot make contributions to the organization itself. This silly subterfuge would have justified the ALMS of 1849 if only the churches had "bought services" of gospel preachers through the organization. Bryson is willing to go ahead and call this "buying space" gimmick what it is — church contributions — but will not do so because, as he says, "the brethren are not quite ready for that."
Brother Bryson believes that church support of institutional Orphan Homes, colleges, and Gospel Press stand together. (He is consistently wrong!) His reports through the Gospel Advocate imply that the church where he preaches is the only one in this area that is supporting "Herald of Truth, Orphan Homes, etc." The simple truth is that unless they have started it between the time this is written and the time it appears in print, that congregation does not contribute one dime to these organizations! And if it is necessary, as some contend, for a church to support some of these human institutions in order to "practice pure and undefiled religion,' then it must be stated that there is not a single church in Richmond (including the one where Bryson preaches) that is "practicing pure and undefiled religion. Only recently when a family opposing church support of such human projects wanted to place membership at the church where Bryson preaches, they were warmly and strongly assured that that congregation "does not contribute one dime to any of these projects which are disturbing the churches today?' They placed their membership there; and have assured me that they hear no teaching at all in favor of such support. So if you move to Richmond and want to go to a church that "believes in and encourages" Herald of Truth and the Orphan Homes and Gospel Press" then the church where Bryson preaches will quickly let you know that such is their attitude. But if, on the other hand, you are opposed to church support of these things, then you will be happy to know that the church where Bryson preaches "does not contribute one dime" to any of these human organizations!!
Probably most of the people connected with the Gospel Press feel just as brother Bryson does; but it is probable also that most of them will refrain from voicing their convictions with any degree of frankness. For they likely feel that the "time is not expedient" to solicit church contributions....or, maybe I should say the "time is not expedient to be honest in the statement of their convictions about church contributions."
Meanwhile, let those who are content to be guided by the simple teaching of the Scriptures continue to teach the all-sufficiency of the Lord's organization. And let us pray that more and more people will see the fruits of institutionalism as the months go by, and will turn aside from that human scheme and turn to the truth.