All Around Us

NEWS FROM TRANS WORLD RADIO 

Towards the end of last year Trans World Radio gave our Reformed Witness Hour a more favorable half hour of broadcasting time. Formerly our program was scheduled early in the morning—from 8:00 to 8:30 Now it is being aired from 11:00 to 11:30. The result has been an increase in the amount of mail response. Some of this mail we wish to share with our readers. 

There is first of all a letter which was received from the station itself. This letter reads in part:

I am enclosing some letters which reached us directly in Monte Carlo. The requests have been answered and the letters processed. 

We are having an excellent response to the Sunday morning programs, perhaps the best response we have had since beginning on the air October l6, 1960. Reception conditions are good, and there is an ever increasing number of listeners.
 

Your program is well produced, and well received in the target area, not only in Great Britain, but as you notice, by some of the enclosed mail, there are listeners on the Continent as well.
 

We thank the Lord for the opportunity we have of working together to present the message of Christ during these critical days.

The following letter is from Essex, England:

I have just been listening to some of your Programmes. I have enjoyed them very much. The Reception was not too good this morning and I would be glad to have the message given today by Rev. Schipper. The message is entitled "The Beast Out Of The Sea." The invitation was given at the end for any who would wish for a copy to write in. If you have any previous copies of this subject (re: the tribulation, etc.) I should be glad to have them if possible. 

Thank you very much. May God bless your ministry to Believers. I am seeking to introduce your programs to others. So many do not have the Short Wave Radio.
 

I do so look forward to next Lord's Day morning and to your further message on this subject.

From Bournemouth, England:

Another year is fast ending and I send most sincere thanks and appreciation for your faithfulness in sending me the monthly sermon copies. It is so helpful to study them more deeply and to recall their original broadcast. So I do not want to lose any of them. 

We have excellent reception at present, apart from occasional trouble through bad weather conditions. There has been very severe frost and fog with severe gales during the last 2 weeks—and reception has suffered at times—but both Sundays have given complete perfection—so your own program was brilliant clear.
 

On the cover of sermon copy received today is a list of pamphlets for free distribution. Would you please send me a selection of these? I am sure I can profitably use some.
 

Now may I wish you all the true joys and blessings of Christmas. Each year I feel that it may be our last before our beloved Lord returns.
 

As always, I pray God's constant guidance and direction for your fine radio program and all your varied service in proclaiming the gospel. May He grant full measure of His peace, His presence and His unfailing love.

From Lancaster, England:

I was very pleased to receive your "Reformed Witness Hour" Broadcast Textsheets. Please would you send me a schedule of your broadcasts through radio stations and also send me some more Broadcast sheets, and add my name to your mailing list for future issues.

From Cheshire, England:

Please find enclosed P.O. for 10/-, being small donation to help you financially in the one and only cause to spread the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

I was listening in to your broadcast yesterday on the 41 Metric band, and was joyed with the message. If you have a written copy of the message in Revelation, I would be very thankful.

From Middlesex, England:

During the last few weeks I have been blessed by your ministry over Trans World Radio. 

I would be pleased if you will send me a copy of the address on "The Beast Out of the Sea,"

Rev. 13,

which was a special blessing to me. I would be very grateful if you placed my name and address on your mailing list.

May the Lord continue to bless your efforts in your Radio Ministry.
 

Yours by SOVEREIGN GRACE,

From Worchestershire, England:

I wonder if you could possibly send me about six copies of the sermon that was broadcast last Sunday morning 11:00-11:30 A.M. Jan. 6th from Trans World Radio, 41 meters. 

I am not quite sure about the title, but it was about the call to separation.
 

I enclose 2 reply coupons to cover cost of postage.
 

How do you interpret the verse in Scripture which says, "A man born of God cannot sin." And what do you say or think of what Jesus said in reply to a question—If you would enter into life, keep the commandments. St.

Matt. 19:17?

(Note: Any questions such as the above are answered by a committee of the Mission Committee, while the requests for radio sermons are filled by the Radio Committee.) 

From London, England:

I was listening to your English Program from Monte Carlo on the 41 meter band and I heard your announcer mention that you had a free calendar for listeners who write in. (Note: this letter was sent directly to the station in Monte Carlo, and was forwarded to our Radio Committee by the station. HH) Therefore would you please send me one. My favorite Program is the one of the Reformed Church from 11:00 hrs. till 11:30 hrs. I wrote in about your station giving a reception report when you first started Trans World Radio Programs and were testing some time ago and you promised me a card which I have not yet received.

From North Ireland:

Could you please send me the sermon entitled "The Name of the Beast," offered by you on last Sunday morning broadcast. We listen regularly to this broadcast and reception is generally good here, although interference sometimes occurs in the form of a beat-note with an adjacent C.W. channel. Usually fading is negligible except on the earlier T.W.R. transmissions. 

Perhaps it may also be of help to you or T.W.R. to know that on last Sunday's Reformed Witness Hour there was a very distinct lack of treble and thus intelligibility.
 

Incidentally, if you have any copies of the first sermon on

Revelation 13,

could you send one of these as well.

From West Germany:

I would be extremely grateful if you could send me a copy of the New Testament in English. I have often heard the Reformed Witness Hour and other features on your Thursday morning program.

One of the striking features of the mail responses is that, while some correspondents speak with favor of all the radio broadcasts heard over Trans World Radio, others mention particularly the Reformed Witness Hour and the distinctive note in the preaching. Evidently there are those being reached who are not only able to distinguish between most of what goes over the air today and true Reformed preaching, but who also love this Reformed truth and appreciate it. 

When we receive this mail from England, Ireland, Scotland and the countries on the continent of Europe, we are impressed with the fact that surely our radio ministry is reaching into many foreign homes and bearing its fruit. There is no doubt that God causes His truth to be heard in the world and that this truth comes through our radio programs. For this we have abundant reason to be humbly grateful. 

MERGER TALKS 

Some time ago, and reported on previously in this column, four large denominations agreed to discuss the possibilities of merger. Eugene Carson Blake, Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A., suggested that the UPUSA and the Episcopal Church invite the Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ to join in talks of merger. Bishop James A. Pike, a bishop in the Episcopal Church, quickly seconded the suggestion. Since then these four bodies have all officially agreed to join in merger talks, and have already held preliminary investigations and discussions. 

Apparently this is not enough. There has been another recent development. The executive committee of these churches has accepted two other denominations into the merger talks. These two denominations are the Disciples Of Christ and the Evangelical United Brethren. Another Church—the Polish National Catholic Church—was also invited to join, but has not yet acted upon the invitation. They will do this sometime this month. 

These Churches were invited to join in the discussions because all of them were, prior to the proposal of Blake, carrying on merger talks with one of the original four bodies. 

The six Churches—excluding the Polish National Catholic Church—involve 51.5 million members in 76,000 local congregations. If these talks should eventually result in complete merger, that would be quite a denomination. 

It is interesting to note that the Polish National Catholic Church does not stand in the tradition of the Protestant Reformation at all. It split from the Roman Catholic Church about 75 years ago, and has recently been studying, with the Romish Church, the possibility of re-admission. It seems as if the possibility of this denomination returning to Rome does not daunt the passionate lovers of Church merger. Perhaps it can, in fact, serve as a future door to Rome. 

A FOILED ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE PERSECUTION 

Recently the news media reported concerning a group of evangelical Christians from Russia who tried to escape persecution behind the iron curtain by appealing for asylum to the American Embassy. They were refused and returned to the Russians. 

Thirty-two men, women and children traveled 2,400 miles from a mining town in Siberia to the American Embassy in Moscow. They made the trip in four days and arrived cold and hungry, carrying their children, some of whom were ill. They risked their lives traveling this far and surging past Soviet militiamen who guarded the embassy gates. They told of persecution for their faith. They were harassed in public worship, forbidden to commemorate the Christian holidays, and, in some instances, threatened with separation from their children so that they could no longer teach and care for them. 

Newsmen in the embassy were not permitted to speak with them. And, while they were being given coffee and a snack, Soviet officials from the foreign ministry were summoned by the Americans in the embassy. When the officials arrived with plainclothesmen, the six men, twelve women and fourteen children were herded out of the embassy into waiting buses that quickly transported them to the railroad station and a train headed for points north. The pleas of the refugees and their warnings that they would surely be killed if they were returned to the Russians made no difference. 

American officials attempted to justify their action by appealing to a ruling that prohibits embassies in foreign lands from serving as asylums to refugees—which, if true, pushes the responsibility on the government of our country. 

Two things are clear. On the one hand, this is further evidence of the fact that the Church behind the iron curtain must indeed bear the brunt of persecution these days. On the other hand, America, boasting loudly of her concern for religious freedom, is not prepared or willing to help the people of God who suffer persecution for their faith in other lands. 

This same thing could happen here in this country to those who love the truth and are determined to maintain it. 

—H. Hanko

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