Chapter 45: More Opposition—More Growth
I had gone on woai sooner than we were financially ready. But when it became definite we could not continue on who after August 23 of that year, I felt it imperative that we become established on another station of such wide coverage so that our listeners would know where to find the program.
I thought we would, at last, be free from this kind of persecution and opposition. But we were not—have never been since—never will be, in this world, as long as we remain faithful in proclaiming Christ’s own true gospel in its purity and in power! “All who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” says the sure Word of God.
And from what source does persecution usually come? Jesus Christ was our example. He was persecuted. And from what source? Mostly from the source of organized religion! His true message from God was different from the doctrines and ways of the organized religion controlled by Pharisees, Sadducees and their ilk. They had strayed from, and perverted, the doctrines and ways God had given them. But their false teachings and customs were well established in the religious tradition of the time. They accused Jesus of being a false prophet, a deceiver, a heretic and subversive of Caesar’s government.
It is hard to realize, but it is true—there are the modern Pharisees today, and they are organized. They too, incredible though it may seem to some, maintain a well-established religious tradition which has, long before the living generation, departed far from the true gospel and the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ, the original apostles and the original true Church of God! Human nature has not changed. The same hostility seizes them, toward Christ’s truth, that inspired religious leaders to accuse, persecute and crucify Jesus Christ!
But, did you ever notice that God’s ministers who faithfully proclaim His truth in the power of His Holy Spirit do not resort to personalities, do not impute motives or attempt to discredit specific persons, do not belittle or ridicule? Nor do we, either on the air, or in print, knowingly or intentionally say anything derogatory about any person, organization or group. True, Jesus Himself did tell the Pharisees in presence of others that they were hypocrites, liars, false leaders—He told His listeners what they were, and warned against following their false ways. But He was always straightforward and sincere, never using the psychological trickery of implication, designed to falsely discredit or belittle.
Anyway, the insidious forces of persecution followed us to woai. But the station liked the program—the leading businessmen of San Antonio liked it, and made me an honorary life member of the Businessmen’s Bible Class (not denominational, though men of many denominations belonged)—and the program remained on woai until after we obtained the earlier and prime time of 8 p.m. on the 100,000-watt clear-channel xelo. We had started on xelo in 1944, and continued on woai until sometime during 1945.
Meanwhile, God had been moving to increase the radio power in the Pacific Northwest.
Portland Power Increase
During 1941, 1942 and 1943, I had been holding evangelistic services in the chamber of commerce auditorium in downtown Seattle, and also a few services in Everett, Washington. A small church had been formed there. Several local members in Seattle and Everett made it possible to release The World Tomorrow over the more powerful kvi, with studios then in Tacoma. This was a 5,000-watt station, but with its dial spot at 570, and its transmitter on an island in Puget Sound, kvi had a signal about equal to 25,000 watts at a higher frequency and average transmitter location. We did not drop krsc, but used both stations by means of our Liberty Network wire at 8:30, Sunday mornings.
It must have been early winter, 1942–1943, that I had taken a trip to Des Moines to put the program on who “live.” It was necessary to do this frequently, on so important a station. Returning I stopped off briefly in Denver. We were not ready to expand on additional stations as yet, but I was then beginning to lay the groundwork for future expansion by making contacts with managements of stations we might desire to add later.
I called at the offices of the abc network station, kvod, 5,000-watts. I believe the executive I contacted was the vice president. In any event, he was having a busy day with conferences, and was very abrupt in telling me bluntly they would clear no time for religious programming.
I never had been in the habit of taking a flat turndown, without a hearing, as the saying is, “sitting down.” I came back at him with all the force and salesmanship I had ever had in my former advertising days.
I explained how different The World Tomorrow is from any other “religious” program, and demanded that he audition a program. Reluctantly, he consented, but offered no hope.
I had to return to my hotel room to obtain transcription discs, telling him I would return in 10 minutes. I walked rapidly—almost ran—to the hotel. On the way I realized, belatedly, why I had met with such a negative reception. I had failed to take this call on kvod up with the One I was working for. It had long before become custom to pray before any call or conference of any import, asking God’s direction, wisdom and to give me favor in the eyes of the man with whom I had to deal.
Christ’s commission is “Go ye into all the world” with His message. To go to the world with the gospel necessitates dealing with the world, and with some of its business organizations. Therefore God’s servant ought to seek not only divine guidance in such dealing—but also, since God is able to make even our enemies at peace with us, to ask for favor with such people as we must deal. In all my years of experience, God has never failed to grant this request!
But this time, in my eagerness, I had gotten ahead of God. I had gone “on my own,” without asking for either guidance, or favor.
And right here perhaps I may give the reader an example of what God’s Word means by the admonition “Pray without ceasing” or, as Jesus said, to “pray always.” He means we must be continually in a spirit of prayer. And He means to pray, constantly, over even little things that arise.
As I half walked—half ran—I prayed. There was no opportunity to kneel—nor was there, now, time. I prayed as I walked. I asked God to forgive me for negligence in not asking Him before I called. Then I asked Him, now, to change this man’s attitude to one of favor toward me and toward the program. And I believed, and expected to receive it!
Returning to the kvod offices, I found this official smiling. He introduced me to a couple other men. We went into an audition room. The discs were given to a technician who took them into an adjoining control room. Ordinarily, with a religious program, radio station men would listen to perhaps five or six minutes, then signal to cut it off. In those days of “electrical transcription” our half-hour program was put on two large discs, with 15 minutes on each disc. In airing, the second disc was started so smoothly the listening audience never knew there was a change of records. I hardly dared hope that, after reaching the end of the first 15-minute disc, they would ask to hear the other. But the program was gripping their interest. The operator did not expect to play the second disc, but they signaled him to put it on. No one said a word. They just listened, intently.
When the half-hour program was ended, the only word spoken was, “We can clear the time 8 to 8:30 Sunday mornings for you.”
By now I was not timid—I was confident!
“No, 8 a.m. is too early on Sunday mornings,” I said, “We have found 8:30 is OK, but 8 o’clock is too early.”
“But we air our star news program at 8:30,” was the reply. “We couldn’t move that.”
By now I was superconfident.
“No,” I came back, “I won’t accept 8 a.m. on Sundays. It has to be 8:30 or nothing.”
He weakened and agreed. Then it was that I learned that one of the men in the room was not a local Denver man, but a station representative who had just bought an interest in station kxl in Portland.
Now it happened that, after we had gone off kxl—and the reader will remember it had been a small 100-watt station on which we first started in Portland, going later on 500-watt kwjj—that kxl, under new ownership, had gone to the increased power of 10,000 watts, at the splendid low dial spot of 750 kilocycles. I had tried to get on that station, but had been unable. Desperately I wanted on kxl.
This man was on his way out to Portland. At once I told him of our desire to go on kxl. But now I was in the driver’s seat, and knew it—for these men had been really impressed—so I demanded 8:30 a.m. or nothing. He agreed. I was to contact him in Portland about three days later. We could not afford to go up to the more expensive kxl in Portland and go on kvod too—so I had to postpone kvod.
The sequel is that actually we did go on kvod, many years later.