Editorial Keynotes

The Meditations of a Preacher

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

Searching questions are sometimes good for us, even if they do prick 'the bubble of our self-complacency and sting our denominational or ministerial pride. Here are a few queries for a start that are worth pondering:

Why is it when you greet a fellow worker and ask, " How are things go­ing? " the almost invariable reply is, " We reached our sixty cents a week," or, " We went over the top in our Harvest Ingathering," or some similar response? Rarely does the response speak of the gain in souls, the con­quests of the cross, or the deepening of the spiritual life either in the church or in the worker's own life. I wonder if we need a new vision of values.

Why is it that we have time — hours and hours of time — to discuss every conceivable plan and problem and ques­tion in committees and on boards, but rarely 'have time to spend an hour in united prayer or in joint study of the deeps of the word of God or inten­sive study from the spiritual side of the great problem of reaching souls? Would we not get farther and accom­plish more by shifting our emphasis?

Why is it that we are still presenting our message in substantially the same form as we did forty years ago? Yet we live in a different world. The rise of evolution and the development of modernism have brought an entirely new attitude into the religious world, while the new psychology and the re­vival of atheism have wrecked the faith of multitudes. Ought we not to study most seriously our whole prob­lem, facing all the factors and seeking God nnitedly, to know how to meet most efficiently the new issues of this last hour?

Why is it that when modernism was making its malign inroads in all com­munities a few decades ago, with but feeble protests, that the Fundamental­ist movement, defective as it is but defending the Bible and loyal to the conservative position, arose among the denominations themselves instead of finding its center and motive power in this movement? Have we been timid and remiss?

Why is it that the greatest contend­ers against evolution and the outstand­ing exponents of at least certain fea­tures of health reform, have arisen out­side of our ranks, so that we now quote them as authorities,— men who prob­ably never heard of this movement? Have we kept our rightful place of leadership?

Why is it that emphasis upon the victorious life, which is so clearly, fully, and explicitly taught in the spirit of prophecy, has received its greatest emphasis from men ignorant of this matchless gift to our church? They have been quick to see the imperative need and the glorious provision of vic­tory over the power of sin through the indwelling Christ made operatively possible by the Holy Spirit. Why should we, who sense the impending close of probation when there will be no Intercessor to plead for us, trail belatedly along as a tardy second?

Why is it that so many churches do not show a net gain of a single mem­ber? — stagnation in the midst of the current of God's love and grace and the outpouring of His Spirit upon all flesh! Do we not need a mighty spiritual awakening and a universal revival of soul winning? Unless the home base keeps pace with the growth in other divisions, in increasing its membership, how can we supply the necessary men and means?

Why is it that we have checked against us year by year so many apos­tasies? Is not the reason either lack of a thorough conversion to Christ at the time of admission into the church, stopping short with an intellectual con­viction of our body of teaching; or, if converted, failure thoroughly to indoc­trinate in our distinctive truths, spirit of prophecy and all? Of course there are other contributing factors, but are not these the outstanding causes?

God designs for as to be the head, and not the tail. This is God's message and His movement. Limitless is God's love for us, and glorious are many of the achievements of the church. But there is nothing so deadening and perilous as smug complacency and a spirit of " We are the people." Higher, ever higher, should be our goal, not simply in dollars, nor even in souls won in­tellectually, but in personal, spiritual attainment; forward, ever forward, should be our aim; deeper, ever deeper, should be our passion. We must not settle upon our lees. Let us ask our­selves these and other equally heart-searching questions.                     

L. E. F.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

May 1929

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Trenchant Truths

A man may be earnest and sincere, but sincerely wrong.

Forward and Upward

Articles on inspiration, counsel, and caution.

Wesley's Twelve Rules for Preachers

Advice from a great preacher.

Uninterrupted Victories

A personal testimony.

The Association Forum

A round table discussion on true health reform.

The Gospel Message in the Book of Daniel — (Continued)

Our continued study considers some distinguishing features of the prophecy in the eighth chapter of Daniel.

Qualifications and Equipment

Instruction concerning the choice of men as Bible teachers.

Ministerial Institutes in the Aus­tralasian Division

Association news from around the world circle.

Problems in Conversion

I am perplexed by expressions from certain preachers to the effect that they were in the work for years before they were converted. Would any one give up the world and preach this message for years unless he were converted? Why then this suggestion about a late conversion? Is it not simply a deeper experience?

Evolution Founded on a Mist

The foundations of evolution are unsound.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - SermonView - Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All