Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry

Fidelity!—In our preaching and our -writing are we influenced and modified by the consciousness of our auditors or our readers? Or do we truly declare the convictions of our hearts, irrespective of the "galleries"? It is so easy to play to them, or to be influenced by them. "We must express the simple, straightforward convictions that are born of the Holy Spirit.

Influence!—No worker in this movement should ever forget the influence that he automatically exerts as a public teacher, and for which he is rigidly accountable. The higher his position, the greater the care he should exercise. This care should be reflected in every act and utterance. What a layman may say or do with little thought as to influence, the worker should weigh twice and ofttimes must refrain from.

Action!—How human it is to think that if this or that condition were only different, or such and such a person were not in a dominating position, how ideal conditions would be and how much we could accomplish. How prone we are to wait anticipatively for the ideal opportunity. Wait not, but grip the possibilities of the moment. Ideals are achieved by consecrated, prayer-clothed effort. They do not come simply through a favorable concurrence of conditions.

Breadth!—It is a most wholesome thing to listen thoughtfully to the "con" speeches in a forum of our brother workers as well as to the "pros." Sometimes we need to have our own understanding and our vision enlarged or modified. At least we can afford to understand why they differ as to method or objective. It will contribute to our breadth and learning. He who is unwilling to listen attentively to another is sadly narrow and egotistical. Let there be freedom of expression without ostracism for difference.

Demotion!—Some workers consider a change in labor from some official position in executive or departmental realms to direct ministry in evangelistic or pastoral lines, to be a demotion. This ought not to be so considered. It may be a promotion. We have no episcopacy in our ranks. All we are brethren, and in God's sight it is often the humble, obscure teacher of righteousness, winning many to God, who has the pre-eminence, for His recognition is for service, not for position. All honor to the direct winner of souls.

Depravation!—He who thrusts a turn upon an expression in Scripture, so that it becomes a pun that leaps into the mind whenever the text is alluded to, commits a most grave breach in ministerial ethics.

He insults God, the Author of the word, and he puts a stone of stumbling before man. The devil is anxious to help any one—and especially a minister—to make such a clever twist, for then he can bring it back to memory in the midst of the solemn communion of prayer or the hearing of the exposition of the word. Thus the message of God is deflected in life's most serious moments, and the soul retarded from advance. Every such indulgence should be rebuked.

L. E. F.


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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry

February 1931

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