Silence Can Be Sinful, Winford Claiborne
As a former student of Winford Claiborne at Freed-Hardeman University, I was impressed by brother Claiborne’s reading habits. Twice a week he would come in with at least a half dozen books under his arm. Occasionally, he would refer to the books he was reading. I was noticed two things about his reading. First, the books were diverse in subject matter. Second, the reading was voluminous. He had a completely different stack of books each class period. One estimate I read was that he reads at least 125 book a year!
Brother Claiborne commented on the importance of reading in an outline entitled “Read Any Good Books Lately”:
How much time do you have—or rather—how much time do you make for reading—not studying your Bible or preparing your next Lord’s Day’s sermon—but reading? The single most common complaint I hear from preachers is: We do not have enough time for study. Reading time will not come easy—especially if you have a young family which needs and deserves your attention. You should have a book located wherever you are—in the bathroom, in your automobile, at your office, in the living room, in the bedroom. A few minutes here and there can make a difference.
Why should we spend so much time reading? To prevent a major American problem: ignorance. I know there are positive reasons for reading, but we should strive to keep from being ignorant. Many people in our communities will judge our effectiveness by our reading habits. People who come to hear us preach can tell if we read regularly and widely…
Through the years I have made a commitment to reading widely in a number of different fields—sociology, psychology, medicine, bioethics, law, criminology, politics, family studies, etc. When I begin to read in a given field, I buy a number of books in the field so I can have a pretty comprehensive view of what is involved. I have read dozens of books on abortion, on the Women’s Liberation Movement, on our legal system, etc. It is incumbent that we read both sides of every issue. I have read numbers of books by the feminists because I want to know what they actually teach—not what they are accused of teaching.
From reading brother Claiborne’s articles, hearing him teach class, attending his lectures at the FHU Bible Lectureship, listening to him on the International Gospel Hour, and attending gospel meetings in which he was preaching, I can tell you first hand that Winford Claiborne is a great source on a great many subjects threatening the morality of our nation today. That is what Silence Can Be Sinful is about—issues that we as Christians must speak out against in order to save our nation. This book is written to equip us with information we can use to speak out against such evils as homosexuality, abortion, hate groups, gambling, civil disobedience, assisted suicides, Planned Parenthood, prostitution, immoral government leaders, and a host of other related issues. The book contains background information about the issues, explanations of unfamiliar concepts, and teaching from the Bible relating to these subjects.
Our beloved country is in serious trouble. Read about the conditions of Israel before their downfalls and you will see a striking parallel to our day. Unless we speak out against evil in every medium available to us, a book may soon be written entitled the “Decline and Fall of the United States” with the same contributing factors which led to the collapse from the inside out of another great empire as recorded in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Winford Claiborne delivers a regular radio address on the International Gospel Hour. The International Gospel Hour also has a web site www.gospelhour.net that contain sermon texts and audio lessons. If you enjoy great “true to the Book” gospel preaching that is direct and plain, then you will not be disappointed. Tell your friends about the program.
Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 11, No. 6, June 2004, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.