The Custodian's Responsibility

The Custodian's Responsibility

The sacred discharge of individual responsibility which accompanies all material or spiritual blessings de­mands most serious consideration.

By Ernst Kotz

The sacred discharge of individual responsibility which accompanies all material or spiritual blessings, de­mands most serious consideration. Education, learning, talent, or wealth involves personal responsibility in corresponding degree. The man or, woman who has accumulated wealth is held responsible by the One who gavel the power to get wealth, for the use made of it. Such a person may meas­ure up to the high privilege of the re sponsibility which is his to be a true steward of his Master's goods, using the means intrusted to him for the temporal and eternal benefit of man­kind; or he may decline the honor of Christian stewardship, and selfishly hoard or invest in a manner to cause the loss of all he has gained in this world and forfeit all hope of eternal riches.

To be the custodian of divine truth involves solemn responsibility. To see truth, to acknowledge truth, to accept truth, is not the end of one's respon­sibility. To stop there would be like placing a lighted candle " under a bushel " measure, where it not only fails to fulfill its purpose, but where it will eventually bring widespread disaster. The individual or the church that has received the light of divine truth cannot hide the light without endangering personal safety and jeop­ardizing the lives of others.

But knowing the truth, and recog­nizing the accompanying responsibility to make that truth clearly known, does not mean that every phase of truth is to be proclaimed at all times and under all circumstances. It is not always a wise thing to begin a series of lectures with a, plain statement regarding all our religious convictions. Beams of light radiating from Christ, the " cen­ter and circumference " of all truth, must penetrate the darkness and at­tract and draw by gradual degrees those who are groping their way in the darkness.

At the same time, however, there must not be any dimming of the light, any weakening of one's sense of re­sponsibility. Never should the recipi­ent of truth hide the light or weaken the force of its shining by shielding the true import of conviction and pro­fession. It is well to be on guard lest in coming in contact with those who do not know or respect truth, we clothe our words in a mantle of obscure mean­ing, and thus compromise truth in the endeavor to avoid giving offense or creating prejudice. If the prophet Ahijah were standing by and observ­ing the shrewd effort often made to refrain from revealing the straight truth for fear of personal embarrass­ment, he would very likely ask the question, " Why feignest thou thyself to be another? " 1 Kings 14: 6. Let us seek to be " wise as serpents and harm­less as doves," but never compromise truth or fail to measure up to our great responsibility in knowing the truth for this day and hour.

Washington, D. C.

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By Ernst Kotz

August 1928

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