Church of Christ
Mission USA

Whither we goest, thou goest: by your prayers and financial support

Greetings from Custer, SD.  Since we’ve been here we’ve had sunshine, sleet, snow, hail, rain and much wind.  We are glad to be here even with the diversity of weather.  It is a very pretty location with Ponderosa pines and jagged rock formations dotting the landscape.  Even though the weather has not been suitable for many days of door knocking (we have passed out 105 packets in May), it has given me more time to catch up on some past due things that I wanted to do such as write letters to some who are in serious error: a  preacher/elder who teaches error on marriage divorce and remarriage; when visiting a congregation while traveling, one preacher gave us a book he had written.  Upon reading it I found many errors in it. For example he says we can partake of the Lord’s Supper on any day.  I feel compelled to write to him and his elders, but haven’t had time or taken the time yet.  One false brother, Joel Blanding, who teaches that one does not have to make restitution, has agreed to a written debate.  I doubt he will go through with it, but we will see.  He holds to this unrighteous position in order to try to justify his error on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

We need to oppose error in the church and do what we can to correct it (Eph. 5:11; Gal. 6:1), but it is not easy to do!  You make many enemies (Gal. 4:16) by trying to correct error.  It seems to make no difference how gentle you try to handle it.  Some brethren have told us of congregations they have been to that are much worse than what we have found so far.  One brother told me that while traveling he and his wife visited with a congregation but because of the liberal atmosphere and unscriptural goings on, he and his wife left and had their own services in their car.  It is a disgrace that there is so much error going on and those involved need to be marked (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:6).
We try to find out about places before we visit by looking them up on the internet if they have a website.   While we were at Albuquerque waiting to get the motorhome worked on, Sandy looked up some of the churches in the area to find one for us to visit on Wednesday evening.  One of the websites she went to looked pretty good until she read further and it seems they are advocating grace only
salvation.  After considerable research we did find a good sound congregation to visit. It grieves us (as it should every Christian) that there is so much error and looseness in so many congregations.  Such is what compelled me to write the article I did last month and I appreciate the several good comments about that article.  One elder wrote: “Perry, every gospel preacher should preach your article "What is wrong with the Church of Christ," and preach it word for word as you have written it….”  It is encouraging to know that others are of the same mind of like precious faith and have concern for the Lord’s church everywhere. 
On top of trying to carefully write letters to gently try to correct some problems (Jude 3), I teach a lesson on Sunday and one on  Wednesday (I give handouts for each) and do two sermons on Sunday (at least half are Power Points).  And of course we have the door knocking to do and many other things pertaining to the work such as planning future work.  So, sometimes I am thankful for the bad weather so I can catch up some.  With this work load, we are not going to be able to pass out as many packets this summer as we did last summer, plus the towns around here are small and hard to cover.
The church here had a Gospel Meeting planned but the brother recently cancelled because of “gas prices.”  I must say “gas prices” should not hinder good works (unless one absolutely cannot buy it—money could have been raised, perhaps), but then again, such attitudes are just another problem in the church as to why we do not get more done.  It seems we allow almost anything to hinder us from good works.  I am not tooting my own horn (I don’t have much to toot anyway), but sometimes some things need to be said to help encourage others, so here it is (please take it in the right spirit):

On the way to this work, we went 301 miles out of the way to hand out material and hold a 4 day Gospel Meeting for just a few people.  This made a total of 1,544 miles to get to this work (Custer) at about 7 to 8 mpg and cost about $4.05 to $4.26 per gallon.  It cost us $878.69 in diesel alone to get here not counting extra for camping.  This comes out of a set figure for my salary and expenses which both combined, I am very certain, is lower than what the preacher who cancelled (because of “gas prices”) gets for salary alone not counting other benefits and then expenses. The very small congregation where I held the meeting (Reserve, NM) was very generous in their donation, but not one dime went to me for extra help in my expense.  Well, take it for what it is worth to you; I only want to encourage us all to do more in the kingdom.  And by the way, we need encouragement also and we greatly appreciate those who do encourage us from time to time.

We appreciate you all who pray for this work and those who contribute financially and those who are physically involved in some way in the work.  You have a very real part in this evangelistic effort and the good that is being done.
We rejoice that one (from the congregation here) has responded to the invitation confessing the sin of forsaking the assembling. Please remember her in your prayers and please continue to pray for us and for all whom we contact.

In His Service,    

Perry & Sandy