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The mission of the Christian church on earth (opening statement of Joe Hess, president of college division of patriotic American youth in a debate on WLBT youth speaks September 1965)<br />
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The church is not an organization but an organism. Therefore, it is not a social club, organized and supported solely for the benefit of its members. it is not a place of amusement to administer to the base or passions of the carnal nature of man. the church is not a reform bureau to save the bodies of men. Reformation of men is very commendable as are all forms of social service, but that is not the work of the mission of the church. The world was just as full if not more so of the evils that affect society today in the days of Christ, but he never, nor did the disciples organize any reform agencies. He knew that the source of all evils in the world is sin and the only way to eradicate sin is to rejuvenate the human heart and so he gave the world the gospel. And the mission of the church is to carry that gospel to the whole world. The gospel is not a system of ethics nor a code of morals; it is a proclamation of salvation. The purpose of the gospel is not to save society but to save the individual members that are to compose the body of Christ the church. The great mistake the church has made is appropriating to herself the promises of earthly conquest and glory. As soon as the church enters into an alliance with the world and seeks the help of parliaments, congresses, legislatures, federations, and reform societies, largely made up of ungodly men and women, she loses her spiritual power and becomes helpless as a redeeming power and force. The futile efforts of those who seek to make the earth a more comfortable habitation for men and bring about a Federation of all religious bodies are in actuality attempts to bring about a godless civilization. The tactics are to neutralize the efforts of the church, the method is to divert her efforts from the evangelization of the world to methods of better social betterment and does make the world a better place to live in, forgetting that as the natural man cannot be spiritually saved through culture neither can the world. Therefore all efforts to save the world by social betterment are futile. And when the church lens her aid to such methods, she confess that Christ’s method of saving the world is insufficient, and thus denounces the power of the gospel.<br />
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The common opinion is that all the evils of society are in man’s surroundings or environment; where they are in men themselves. Thus all human schemes for the betterment of society must begin in the man himself. Let the church save the individual, and by thus doing, save society. <br />
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This is a public service of patriotic American youth PO Box 363, Jackson, MS
Opening statement of Joe Hess, president of the college division of the Patriotic American Youth, in a debate on WLBT "Youth Speaks."
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