Adjuncts! — We must be broad enough to see that God uses corollary agencies to prepare the way for and to collaborate with this movement in the last gospel work. Bible societies spread the word, while other missionary organizations pioneer in carrying the name of Christ. They prepare the heart soil and make the ground fallow for our special approach. A clear conception of this will clarify relationships without either yielding principle or sacrificing our distinctive place.
Labeled! —" A man of God " was the name given an ancient spokesman for Jehovah. 1 Kings 13: 1. How do others speak of you? Are you a shrewd politician, a clever manipulator, an entertaining speaker, a good business manager, a cheer leader, a time-server or, a man of God? Of course what God thinks is the fundamental point, but human verdicts are indicative. We cannot deceive the laity nor most of our ministering brethren. They usually read us aright. How do they describe you?
Inseparable! — It is so human to be one-sided. Our tendency is to separate revival and reformation. But a true spiritual revival will result in genuine reformation of life, a correction of wrongs, a confession of sin, and a restoration where indicated. Likewise, a true reformation can only be the inseparable outgrowth of revival. Otherwise it is but artificial, arbitrary, and external. True reformation works from within outward. It springs from the conviction of sin and is the outgrowth of a heart broken from sin. Therefore it is not produced by denunciations of outer conduct, but by searching the fountains of the inner life. Many are proceeding in attempted reformations from the wrong direction. What people need is not so much information as a transformation of nature. Then these old dead leaves will be crowded off the tree of conduct by the sap of the new life.
Peril! — The loyal passion for truth, leading to reverent search for historic facts in support or correction of the prophetico-historic assertions of the fathers of this movement, is neither apostasy, nor is it a peril. The pseudo-reverence for the past that would preclude research, and cast about the conclusions of the fathers a false sanctity which the pioneers themselves would repudiate, is a definite peril. It indicates a distorted view. Truth is expansive and cumulative. It was not all revealed in the past. All honor to those godly men who quarried the foundations. The great essentials are immovable. Details may need adjusting, as the founders themselves did scores of times during their lifetime. Truth courts the searchlight; it has nothing to fear. It is error that would suppress investigation. A thousandfold better to verify or correct our own positions than to be brought to embarrassment at the ruthless hands of enemies of this movement. The issue is intolerance versus reverent scholarship. Let tolerance prevail. Love and loyalty, faith and fact,— these are the corner stones of spiritual safety. Destroy these, and we stand on sinking sand.
L. E. F.