The human side of us all has a tendency to highlight what we are doing while (very tactfully) downplaying what others, with the same type of ministry, are doing, but may it never be said of VBP that we are in competition with, or critical of any other ministry. In fact, every printing ministry that I am aware of, whether it be tract printing, discipleship material, or Scripture printing, is worthy of our prayers and financial support.
When God wanted to reveal himself and His attributes to the entire world he gave us the Bible, therefore we should follow that principle and work toward getting the glorious gospel of Christ to every creature on planet earth in the form of the printed page, regardless of who prints it: It’s the only possible way to fulfill the great commission. However, a concern that I have is when VBP, or any other printing ministry ships Scriptures (or other types of literature) what happens to it after it reaches its destination. Does the literature always get into the hands of those who need it most? There are actually, proven reports of one crooked missionary burning the gospel tracts that was shipped to him, without charge, all because he disagreed with the biblical doctrine of repentance and a sample prayer for salvation included in the tracts.
In the past, before we learned to be more careful, some Scriptures were shipped or delivered to seemingly well-meaning missionaries and to some pastors, only years later to find those same Scriptures stacked up in a storage room with no indication that any of them had been used.
Another problem is entire containers of literature being lost at the port of entry in some foreign country because the missionary had not done the proper paperwork or prepared himself for some kind of duty fee that customs may charge. VBP has been fortunate to have never lost a container, probably because Brother Berg always fills out a very honest and accurate bill of lading, also, VBP pays all the shipping cost and custom fees and we use the same shipping adviser and company every time we ship to a foreign country.
These problems and many others stem from irresponsible missionaries that have a welfare mentality and obviously have no sense of accountability. Mission work to them is an easy way to make money without working an honest job, and they will take anything that is free, even if they don’t need it and may never use what they get.
It’s not unusual for me to get a call from someone asking for Bibles or John/Romans for their ministry. If they are not aware of how VBP operates the conversation will go something like this,
Caller: I have seen a John/Romans booklet with a patriotic cover printed by Victory Baptist Press. I would like to purchase some of those. How much do you charge for them?
Answer: How many do you need?
Caller: How much do they cost?
Answer: How many do you need?
Caller: That depends on how much they cost.
Answer: I am not asking how many you can afford, I only need to know how many you need.
Caller: I need about five hundred John/Romans.
Answer: Okay, send me a shipping address and we will get them to you.
Caller: How much will they cost?
Answer: We don’t charge for them. They won’t cost you anything! They’re free!
Caller: Could I get a thousand?
Answer: No. We will only send the five-hundred that you need.
The moral of this story is that when people, at home or abroad, request materials that they really don’t need, they just want it because it’s free. Then withhold that gospel message from the unsaved by storing the literature in a good dry place (maybe in a baptistry that they never use). They are fraudulent and have committed a crime that the late Dr. L.E. Maxwell called “murder by neglect” that will be dealt with at the Judgment Seat of Christ when each of us will be called in to give an account of our stewardship.
I am aware that when I write like this some will misunderstand, others will misrepresent and put a spin on my words and even criticize VBP to others, but that might be a good thing because it helps flush out the cold-hearted, dishonest rogue missionaries that are helping contaminate the mission program of some good mission-minded churches.
If some dead beat that is getting free literature that never gets used, happens to be reading this you need to understand that VBP has honest, dedicated field reps with a burden and a passion to fulfill the great commission who travel all across America raising funds that helps support your slothfulness. Also, the churches that support VBP financially, usually get their money from common every day working people, and the VBP staff that works faithfully, every day of the week putting all this together do so with the hope that many souls will come to know Christ and many who already know Him will come to know him better.
The biographies or autobiographies that we enjoy are those of great missionaries of the past with the exception of My Stories from Papua New Guinea by Lynn Mullins listed on page 6, (Lynn and her husband Ted are still living) and we believe the missionaries that we ship Scriptures to are the best of the best, neither do we expect any reports back telling us that every piece of literature was distributed immediately, we just believe that the seed should not be left in the barn, and sometime down the road, maybe six months, a year, two-years, who knows when—the missionary should exhaust his supply and need some more seed.