Approaches! — Two opposite approaches to ministerial problems are current. One consumes the time in study of the difficulties of the problem itself; the other is directed largely to discovering God's solution for the problem. And then the problem melts away before the divine solution. Thus it was at Pentecost, and thus it is to be in this time of the latter rain. Indeed, we ourselves often constitute our own greatest problem. But when God has entire possession of us, the perplexity is solved. What we need individually is a personal Pentecost.
Disturbed! — It is the man who is saying or writing something vital that challenges attention at the hands of critics, both friendly and unfriendly. Purveyors of bland, innocuous bread pills and soothing sirups pass unnoticed into merited obscurity. Critics are agitated because their positions are jeopardized and their stock in trade menaced. The best answer to the critic's thrust is to ignore him, unfalteringly declaring one's message. This disturbs him most of all. We are to hew to the line, letting the proverbial chips fall where they may.
Disgusted!— Our thoughtful, spiritual-minded youth are distressed and disgusted by attempts on the part of some visiting ministers at our colleges. They try to be brilliant and witty because they are before a group of college students. But these youth desire wisdom, not wit;they want help, not humor. Our young people are keen judges of character, and they easily detect motives. A college chapel is a poor place in which to show off. And it is poor ethics for a preacher to exalt any other than his Lord at any time or place.
Assumption! — There is a growing tendency on the part of some to ape the popular religious bodies about us, and to assume not only the forms of Babylon, but the very titles of her priests, ostensibly to lessen the gap between us in the public mind, and thus to gain favorable access. Most of her leading men are "doctors" of theology; and so some of our evangelists are gratuitously assuming that appellation, wholly without academic justification. It is a wrong trend that needs to be frowned upon. Its counterpart peril and caution in the time of Christ is found in Matthew 23:1-12. Read it.
Numbers! — We wonder if numbers are to be our criterion, — if we do not have a distorted sense of their values as indicators of success and divine blessing. Christian Scientists have numbers; Mormons have numbers; Russellitos have numbers. So also do many Protestant bodies, and primarily the Catholic Church. Even Mohammedanism, Buddhism, and other ethnic religions have appalling numbers. There is no room for comparison and competition here. Has not truth ever been, and will it not always remain, in the minority? We must save all we can, but isn't one soul saved for eternity worth more than a thousand merely attached to the church on nominal profession? Lower the bars, and the church can be filled.