Trenchant Truths

There is danger lest we substitute church services for Christian service.

L. E. Froom

Our business is not merely to warn men; it is to win men.

Let us preach an affirmative message in this age of destructionism.

Some folks have a religious experi­ence; others have a religious vocabu­lary.

Domination is never to be confused with leadership. They are as far apart as the poles.

The hardest man on earth to reach is a backslidden preacher. God keep our feet from slipping.

Too much stress is often laid upon certain phrases, and too little upon the underlying experience requisite.

Let us not spend our lives exploring cellars and caves and gullies. There are Andes and Alps and Himalayas to scale. Let us lift up our eyes unto the heights whence cometh our help.

A Religious crank or extremist is one who has lost his sense of propor­tion. He lacks perspective. Moun­tains and mole hills appear almost alike to him. God give us the divine balance.

It is a poor economy of time to spend years in discussing and defend­ing questions upon which there is no vital or conclusive evidence — trying to, fathom the unfathomable, when five minutes in heaven will make it as clear as the noontide.

It is but axiomatic that we who are proclaiming the truth should be scru­pulously careful to tell it truthfully, never shading it by exaggerating or minimizing, and never consciously dis­torting a fact of history or science, nor violating sound basic principles of exe­gesis or logic.

In the essentials of belief there is " one faith, one Lord," et cetera. But in matters of method there is no one best way. Each must find what is most effective in the light of his own personality. But in all, let there be dignity, solemnity, and harmony with the spirit of this great message.

The supreme purpose of the church is the winning of souls, not the raising of goals. There is always grave dan­ger of losing sight of this under the financial pressure of raising a per cap­ita quota. There is with us an ever-present temptation to prune the church lists of " non-productive " names, and the possibility of merely following the letter of apostolic counsel in " labor­ing " for the discouraged, without the real spirit of intercession for reclaim­ing the backslidden. God will not hold those guiltless who are responsible for dropping names under such a pro­cedure.

There is a subtle fascination about certain subjects that present an inter­esting field for speculative study,—questions that can never be settled, upon which there is no finality, and which have no more to do with our salvation than the number of island in the St. Lawrence. Things that are essential to our salvation or knowledge, God has revealed in words that are clear and simple. Moreover, when they are vital, God repeats them again and again, until there can be no mis­understanding or variant application. Let us not consume time in speculative study that should be devoted to the great essentials.

There is danger lest we substitute church services for Christian service.

Some one has said that contempla­tion or study alone makes a mystic, while activity alone makes a legalist; but it takes both to make a Christian. Is there not a fundamental principle expressed here? Our very activities may be a cause of backsliding if they so fill the life as to leave no time to be alone with God. Leanness and starvation of soul come from over­working and underfeeding. Contrari­wise, if our research into the deeps of Christian experience leads us to a sub­jective Christianity instead of to an objective, it is manifestly defective. While we are not saved by serving, we are most assuredly saved to serve. May we be preserved from extremism, and truly have a faith that worketh by love.                                   

L. E. Froom

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L. E. Froom

February 1928

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