Trenchant Truths

Christianity is neither a creed nor an assent to a system of truth un­codified in creedal form. Its essence is a living relationship with the living Christ.

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry

The world of fact and the world of truth are not two worlds, but one.

Postive instruction, not negative condemnation, of our youth is needed.

Ministers of Christ, let us take our calling more seriously, and ourselves less seriously.

If the sacred flame does not burn within, the minister's privileges and responsibilities become the routine duties of a profession which secures him a livelihood.

How much time do we spend read­ing the frothy, flashy, hectic news of the moment in the daily press? Shall we not rather slight it, and add more to the serious study of the eternal word of God?

"Know thyself " is the message of philosophy. Know Jesus, " whom to know . . . is life eternal," is the mes­sage of Christianity. They are as dis­similar as black and white. Beware of the mouthings of vain philosophy.

It is not the " message " that trans­forms lives, forgives sins, and regener­ates men; it is the living Christ of the message. Let us hold the two in the right relation. Nor is this in the slightest degree a disparagement of the message. It is merely the exalta­tion of Christ to His rightful place in the message. It gives irresistible potency and magnetic appeal to the message, and stops the mouths of critics of the movement.

"Occupy the hour! " The tragedy of a messenger without a message! No minister of the gospel has the moral right to occupy the time of a congrega­tion unless he has a message from God. The people would better pray, or read the naked, living word of God, and praise Him. Better not speak, than attempt it devoid of a message.

Oun only hope for finishing our great commission lies in that divine potency which enabled a few unlearned men to initiate it successfully,— the power of Pentecost. In the light of this stu­pendous fact, shall not every plan, program, and provision be studied, molded, and wrought out in relation thereto?

Christianity is neither a creed nor an assent to a system of truth un­codified in creedal form. Its essence is a living relationship with the living Christ. Springing forth from this are faith, obedience, righteousness, loyalty, truth. These are inseparable with the soul in such relationship with its Lord.

Thrilling reports of missionary ac­tivity or achievement have their proper place, but they can never take the place of the required spiritual food for the soul. Such a diet is unbalanced, and results in a case of malnutrition. After a time statistics and records cease to nourish.

Wanted: Teaching priests. The story teller and the trick orator will usually pull the crowd away from the solid, substantial teacher and builder. His offerings appeal to this shallow age. But let us not be inveigled into such a vulgar practice. It is not religious spellbinders, but spiritual, teaching priests that are needed to-day. Forget not the pitiable condition of God's people when " for a long time Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law." 2 Chron. 15: 3.

What do the members of your con­gregation carry home with them? Are they charmed by your rounded periods, your startling quotations, your mastery of words, your impressive peroration? Is the fancy tickled, but the inner need not met? Shepherd, feed thy sheep.

The heathen are often willing to add Jesus as a " teacher " to their galaxy of gods. But in that sense Christianity is intolerant. Jesus will not share the throne with pagan teachers. We must present Him as the one and only Sav­iour, able and willing to rescue men. No compromise is tolerable here.

How strange, how tragic, that so many sermons, prayers, and revival calls go no farther and penetrate no deeper into the sin problem than for­giveness for past transgressions. They touch the guilt of sin, but have naught to offer as relates to the power of sin. Yet the emancipation power of the gos­pel that can free a drunkard from the clutches of the drink passion can break the grip of less conspicuous sins. Let us bring to the people a full gospel. Never should we proclaim a half salva­tion. Probation's close and the cessa­tion of divine intercession impends. We cannot presume to make provision for sinning on until the gate is shut.

Modern churches are foisting upon the world religion without redemption.

Without the perspective of the sec­ond advent, everything a man sees is out of focus.

Buddhism's message is the extinc­tion of life. Christianity's message is the more abundant life.

Missionaries— with the language of the country, but without the language of salvation! Let it not be once named among us.

Define your terms. It forestalls loose thought and careless utterance. And it prevents wrong conceptions and conclusions on the part of the hearers. Let us think closely, clearly, accu­rately, logically, reverently, and think to conclusions.

God has prepared the way for our last message through the magnificent work of the Bible societies and the pioneering of other denominations. We must give credit to whom credit is due. Yet we can never withdraw from specific territories and agree to restricted allotments, for God holds us accountable for the faithful and universal deliverance of His message (ac­cepted by us and rejected by others). We must be faithful to our trust.

Heresy hunters are most likely to conceal an ungodly streak of hypocrisy within, being themselves heterodox on other points. Curiously enough, many a " heretic " simply has the moral cour­age and honesty to express convictions that many of the reputedly orthodox carry concealed in their minds. Some of course are stolid verbalists who glibly recite their sweeping fidelity without having made a profound study of the foundations of belief. God give us an intelligent faith in the message and in the men who have forsaken the world to proclaim it.

L.E. Froom

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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry

September 1928

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Editorial Postscripts

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