Beware of substituting quantity for quality, or motion for motive.
Many ministers are fast becoming business managers instead of soul winners.
A jocular minister is a contradiction of terms. Genial, pleasant, of course; but joking or light, avaunt!
The danger now as ever is that we shall present Christianity as a system instead of setting forth Christ as a Saviour.
Orthodoxy will never save anybody, though every saved person will be orthodox according to his best light. It is a specified relationship to Jesus which brings salvation.
A " conviction " that is formed after it discerns the popular trend, is a travesty upon the name. Fawning sycophants are not admired by any one, not even by a dominator.
The great peril in our preaching is that we shall convince the intellect without converting the soul. The first is necessary; the second is imperative. They are never to be separated.
Jesus said, " Feed My lambs." Shepherd, are you doing it? Is there in your discourses something that lambs can " eat,"— perhaps a children's corner in the sermon? Here is where many of us need to reform, for while looking after the adult, wool-bearing sheep, many of the lambs are escaping from the fold because there is no food to satisfy them.
An open sinner is bad enough, but a ministerial hypocrite is infinitely worse.
In the matter of apostasy, let us foster prevention rather than wait and resort to cure,
It is not newness but trueness that we need, for truth is timeless. It is changeless, save in application. It never becomes antiquated. Ours is the " everlasting gospel."
Failure to grip a situation is frequently sheer cowardice, though it is often euphoniously called " expediency." Leaders are responsible for failure to check drifts. Among ministers it is imperative that a man be found faithful.
This movement is the logical and inevitable culmination of human history and divine purpose. Let this guide in all our historic and prophetic studies, and shape all our actions. Each presentation of truth should fit into this setting.
" Frenzied finance " used to be a favorite expression for an unhealthy financial situation. I wonder if there is such a thing as frenzied religion,—bustle, hustle, action, with little time or emphasis on prayer, communion, meditation, fellowship — the heart of all Christianity.
The testimony of the ages is that majorities are frequently in the wrong. It is no disgrace to be in the minority. One with God is a majority, we are told. Men of conviction are wanted,—men of vision, of courage, and of fidelity. And remember, no question is ever settled until it is settled right.
One may violate the spirit of the decalogue while observing the letter. Even workers can do that.
There is a growing commonness creeping into the ministry,— commonness in speech, in action, in dress. The average minister can now go anywhere without being recognized as such. The desire to meet folks on their own ground has led some to deadly mergence with the crowd. Here is a trend that we need to watch. There is no virtue in oddity; but there is peril in secularization of the ministry.
The only real cure for erroneous beliefs and practices is the teaching of the full, pure gospel.
The essentials of salvation are comparatively few and simple. A child, an illiterate, or a weakened invalid can grasp them, while at the same time the profoundest intellect cannot exhaust them. In our elaborations, let us distinguish sharply between primaries and secondaries, fundamentals and nonessentials, verities and speculations. God give us clearness of vision and courage of conviction.
L. E. F.