Persecution! —When entreaty, warning, and appeals fail, and God's people are still unmoved, unyielded, unresponsive, then He permits persecution, which sifts, purifies, and arouses from lethargy. Let us not pray for persecution, but pray for a denomination-wide spiritual awakening.
Tests! —No man has the right to impose tests of fellowship upon candidates for admission to church membership that are but personal convictions and differ from the generally recognized fundamentals. Especially is this true in questions prohibited as tests by the Spirit of prophecy, among which are meat eating, the " daily," and the Spirit of prophecy itself. Our personal views must not be arbitrarily made the barriers to entrance into the church of God.
Inconsistent!—How sad that some well-meaning, hard-working, conscientious workers become so worked up over some particular point in externals which they believe to be vital, that they trample upon the very foundations of Christian life and spirit in conflict with those who do not see as they do. The old covenant approach did not perish with the Jews. It is persistently insinuating and ever present. The new covenant relationship is our only hope.
"Reform! "—If we preachers had been faithful in recognizing the spiritual drift in the church, and in rebuking sin and lifting the people to a higher spiritual plane, we might have avoided many fanatical reform movements. Too much of their criticism of our indifference and smug complacency is true. Yet their methods and spirit and results are wrong. Let us not, however, while censuring their deplorable methods, repudiate the fact of the church's lukewarmness, saying, "All is well," and steel ourselves against true reform from within. A true revival and reformation has long been demanded and is overdue.
Reactionary!—How unworthy the argument that because certain plausible arguments have been used through the past to bring people to a decision, present attempts at greater historical or Biblical accuracy are inimical to truth. Until after the resurrection, the disciples believed and taught the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Christ used them despite their error, not because of it, because they were sincere enough to correct their position later. God blessed the bearers of the first angel's message, though their eyes were holden so that they did not understand the true nature of the event that they were heralding. But their honesty was disclosed in their correction of positions upon receiving fuller light. Let us as their spiritual posterity be as honest. Never should an argument be used that will not stand the test of personal conscience; never should a quotation be used that has been demonstrated as undependable; and never should a Scriptural interpretation be continued that is faulty. He who knowingly continues to use an unworthy argument is not honest.
L. E. F.