By Herbert W. Armstrong
A longtime reader of The Plain Truth recently wrote our editorial staff: Every article in your most recent issue posed significant problems and gave needed answers. I have read several scientific articles, but none so clear as yours in the April issue. Let me explain why to our readers.
I HAD BEEN CONNECTED with magazines and newspapers from 18 years of age. Beginning six months before conversion, I was discovering amazing new truths, vastly more interesting and important than anything I had ever known before. Having been a magazine writer, I began writing in article form some of these TRUTHS I was discovering in the Bible.
It was only natural that God led me, in that year of 1927, to conceive of a new magazine these marvelous TRUTHS I had been discovering in the Bible. I wanted to get across to a biblically illiterate public an UNDERSTANDING of God's Word.
I felt then - and I know, now - that God was leading me in this. My reading audience would be the general public - not those who considered themselves Bible students.
Most of my years in magazines and newspapers were devoted to writing advertising copy. And. I learned there a basic principle that applies also to writing articles. It is necessary to know how the reader thinks about a subject. You must approach the reader from his point of view.
In my advertising years I made numerous surveys to sample and determine consumer attitude toward the product, service or whatever was being advertised.
I knew that the reading public generally was not interested in the things of God. The world does not think spiritually, but carnally. The worldly mind fills itself with physical and material interests. The reading public is interested in games, sports, entertainment. The television program managers know this well. They fill a major amount of their time in these categories. They also know the public is interested in world happenings. So news is allotted important time slots on television.
But WHY did I want to publish a magazine called The Plain Truth? What was to be its PURPOSE?
I had come to understand, revealed in the Bible, the source and cause of today's world evils, the knowledge ,of the true values (whereas the world seeks the false), the PURPOSE of human life, and the WAY of life that brings peace, happiness, abundant well-being. The world - even in its higher education - knows none of these. I wanted a magazine that would deal with these things - discuss to some extent the way man IS, the way society is, the world evils, humanity's problems, WHY things in the world and in human life are as they are. I wanted to view these things from the viewpoint of GOD - see them as HE sees them - and give the reader UNDERSTANDING of the better and the TRUE way.
In other words, The Plain Truth was envisioned, and still is today, as a magazine dealing with human interests, human ways, the ways of society, world conditions and world events as they occur, family life, human and personal problems - all seen from GOD'S viewpoint - and giving readers UNDERSTANDING of the BETTER way of life which is GOD'S WAY - based on the principle of GOD'S LAW!
There was no such magazine on earth. There is none other today. Those magazines which deal with the same or similar subjects and conditions deal with them from the HUMAN point of view. They offer nothing but HUMAN thinking, human reasoning, and human, false ideas of solutions.
The Plain Truth was founded to teach GOD'S WAY OF LIFE!
But the PURPOSE of The Plain Truth is NOT to talk readers into being spiritually converted. This is NOT the time when God is calling all to Him and to repentance and to faith in Christ.
Remember, Jesus said, No man can come to me, except the Father draw him. Only those God chooses to CALL can be converted NOW! Nevertheless, God wants the Gospel of the Kingdom of God proclaimed to them!
So, since none but the Worldwide Church of God proclaims the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD today, The Plain Truth must be utterly different from all other publications! I did not - should not have - never could have started thinking of a magazine, back in 1927, in the following manner: I want to start a magazine, because I've had magazine experience in writing. What kind of magazine will I ENJOY writing and publishing? What kind of magazine and what style is best adapted to my talents and desires? Should it be a weekly NEWS magazine, a picture magazine, a human-interest magazine, or a more literary magazine? My mind never 'flowed down that channel.
I had come to have a basic UNDERSTANDING of the TRUTH! God's word is TRUTH! I felt the urge - the obligation - to get that TRUTH across to others. I wanted to make it PLAIN. I wanted them to UNDERSTAND it, as God had opened my mind to understand.
That is why it is called The Plain Truth - a magazine of understanding. Therefore, it had to be utterly unlike any other publication.
I knew, in 1927 when this magazine was first conceived, this world has its troubles, problems and evils, engendering suffering, agony, frustration. I had come to know the Bible reveals the causes and the cures. I knew it promises the world's ONLY HOPE - the WORLD TOMORROW!
I wanted to get the message of that hope over to the public.
I knew, in 1927, that if The Plain Truth contained mere biblically-oriented articles, written in religious-sounding King James language, it could not fulfill its goal - might even become a laughingstock. On the other hand, if I made it solely secular in tone and content it could not succeed in its purpose. Hence the editorial policy I have been' here outlining. I thank God for guiding me, inspiring me in this mass-circulation effort.