Editorial Keynotes

Thoughts from the editor's desk.

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

Tact and Fidelity

Specific statements from the Spirit  of prophecy, as, for example, on health reform, should be presented to the world as substantiating witness to facts first disclosed from unassail­able scientific authorities, rather than as the primary basis for authoritative belief and acceptance. We must not create the impression that these prin­ciples are true simply because the Spirit of prophecy declares them so to be; but rather that the divinely indited Spirit of prophecy declares them to be, because they are intrinsically so. God, the Author of both the word and the principles of true science, never con­tradicts Himself. For us, an unscien­tific statement from such a source is consequently inconceivable. And for us, an excerpt from that source may be quite sufficient. But with the world, which does not understand, we must not reverse our approach. Such a procedure is unwise, illogical, and indefensible. Tact and fidelity are not at variance, but are true partners and collaborators. Let us take a course that is unassailable.                        

L. E. F.

A Case of Ethics

Many are acquainted with the pointed story of the veteran lawyer who with his younger partner had been engaged to defend a client. The opposition lawyer had made some telling points, and the prospects for successful defense were not very bright. Leaning over to his junior associate who was about to make the defense speech, the old, experienced lawyer said, "No case. Abuse the plaintiff's attorney."

Sometimes a similar course is fol­lowed by some religious propagandists who, with a weak case and collapsing evidence, are still determined to carry their point, and have recourse to ridi­cule and indulgence in personalities instead of fair discussion of the actual merits or demerits of the case. And often the ruse succeeds, and the atten­tion is cleverly diverted to matters beside the point. But such a course is unworthy and dishonorable in a Christian minister. Such a procedure may be legitimate(?) in the legal world, but it is positively wrong in Christian endeavor. We are not seek­ing to win a case, but to establish truth and equity and to find the light. He who invokes such a tricky plan is dis­honest with his auditors, and is unchristian in his tactics.                 

L. E. F.

Loyalty and Light

Stick to the movement and you will  go through all right, is the essence of an expression often made, or at least strongly inferred. Those who use it doubtless mean well, and the thought does have an aspect of truth. But it is not the whole truth. A man may nominally belong to the true church, and assent to or proclaim its doctrines, yet never be initially nor ultimately saved. Outward member­ship is not our passport to heaven. That idea smacks of Catholicism. It is the soul's inner relation to God that determines one's eternal destiny.

But that relation has, as a prime factor, one's relation to light. For one who has known truth to turn from the faith would surely be to turn from God and light to darkness eternal.

Yet withal we must never forget that one is not saved simply because of corporate union with, or conformity to, the external movement. Therefore let us not, in seeking to forestall de­fections or to correct heresy, take posi­tions that are unsound and unfortu­nate. The fact that this is God's truth and God's message is unassailable. It arose at the appointed time. It has manifested to the world the desig­nated truths foretold. It has followed its outlined course, and is destined to triumph gloriously. Of that there can be no reasonable doubt. Let us tri­umph with it, but ever in right rela­tionship to both loyalty and light.

L. E. F.

The Majesty of Truth

Truth never suppresses inquiry; rather, she courts the most merci­less scrutiny. Only error dreads ex­posure, and resorts to secretive force. Truth has nothing to fear, for eternal facts and unassailable principles are hers, else she would not be Truth. Therefore her foundations are unas­sailable. And, consequently, Truth but shines the brighter and stands the stronger because of the assaults of her enemies. She scorns every species of subterfuge. She disdains all shady arguments and shoddy supports. She stands out fearlessly in the open. She welcomes all honest examination, but is unwilling to be deflected from her appointed task by spending her time as carping critics may dictate.

No one with the spirit of an apostle of Truth can consistently refuse the searchlight of sincere investigation of her positions. He who would prevent proper investigation is unworthy the name of an adherent of Truth. Rather, he is but a champion of an espoused position from which he fears he may be dislodged. Furthermore, sound champions of Truth will always dis­tinguish between a basic truth and some argument that may have been sincerely but mistakenly used in its propagation or defense. And the ad­herent of Truth will never cling to a faulty argument when discovered; otherwise he could never have the re­spect of himself nor the support of his own conscience. Thank God for Truth and its sovereignty.

L. E. F.

Both Spirit and Letter

The eternal principles of steward­ship undergird all relations of crea­ture to Creator. And the practice of these principles is incumbent upon every one of us. Yet we can practice their technical letter and utterly vio­late and prostitute their spirit and in­tent. Thus did the Jews, who tithed even the tiny garden seeds, but who raped and prostituted every rightful relationship between God and man, —the weightier matters of the law, love, mercy, judgment, et cetera. We must beware against any repetition of their fatal course. Tithe paying becomes but a pious cant and a hypocritical self-deception when it is but an old covenant conscience easer, and is regarded as the full payment of a monetary debt that releases the payee from further responsibility and obligation.

God does not want our money apart from ourselves, nor in lieu of our­selves. Let these principles be made crystal clear in all our presentations and practices. Then will stewardship come into its rightful place. Then will it become the sign of God's own pos­session of the life. Such tithe money God can bless to its fullest capacity. Otherwise we live but an old covenant life of salvation by works.           

L. E. F.


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

February 1931

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More Articles In This Issue

The Call for a More Spiritual Ministry

Omaha Presidents' Council: Listening in on the First Day's Session, October 23, 1930.

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The greatest need of this movement today is a more spiritual ministry.

Personal Relationship Foundational

It appears to me that one of the first essentials in the consideration of this problem is to make absolutely sure, from the standpoint of leadership, that "greater spirituality, piety, and usefulness" are the objectives toward which we are leading.

The Basis of True Leadership

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The Power of a Godly Life

We all realize, and could truthfully testify to the solemn conviction resting upon our hearts, that we stand today in need of a great spiritual awakening, and that we must have more power from God.

The Spirit of a Missionary

There is a basic difference between a missionary spirit and the spirit of a missionary.

Vital Problems to Be Mastered

The present-day evolu­tionary philosophy is the great apos­tasy of the last days, and it is this philosophy which sets the stage for the final struggle between good and evil.

Power of the Living Christ

A personal testimony.

Practical Suggestions in Art

The suggestion that faint pencil outline be made on paper, which is invisible to the audience un­til traced with chalk or crayola, is a most excellent idea.

Ad'ventist, Not Adventist

On correct diction and speech.

The Call and Ministry of the Bible Worker

As Bible workers, we must keenly realize that we cannot establish others on the solid platform of faith and doc­trine unless we are ourselves standing there.

Crossing the Dead Line

One of our fundamental problems in conference administration is dealing with the class of workers who are considered unproductive.

Orion and Ouranos

Is there any root connection between the Greek word for heaven, ouranos, and the Orion of astronomy, which is so remarkably alluded to in the Spirit of prophecy?

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

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