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Editorial Keynotes

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Archives / 1932 / November



Editorial Keynotes

LeRoy E. Froom




The international character of our work becomes increasingly apparent to every careful observer. This fact should affect our emphasis and our conduct. Other divisions outside Amer­ica are becoming the bases of supplies and of men, and more and more we must submerge national backgrounds and enthusiasms.

It matters not whether it be the Stars and Stripes, the Union Jack, the Tricolor, or some other national em­blem that stirs our hearts as none other; or whether it be "America," "Britannia," or some other national air that sends the blood racing through its courses—we must remember as never before that we have a message for all men, that is to be given by heralds from all nations. The devel­opment and utilization of nationals in every country is to be encouraged. God loves the world. Our message is for the world. And more and more as our cause expands, there must be a blending of talent from all portions of the world field. We must therefore submerge national and racial con­sciousness and pride. Here at head-Quarters we have British, American, German, and other nationals, Jew and Gentile, white and colored, all working together as one united band. Such is surely God's ideal for us.

We cannot afford to exhibit or to harbor any feeling of superiority or exclusiveness. The operation of this principle is basic in foreign mission enterprise. Though the advent message had its rise in America, it is now the property of God's people throughout the whole world. No one has pat­ent rights upon it. It is neither Amer­ican, British, nor German. When the missionary goes to foreign soil, let him keep his homeland flag in the bottom of his trunk, He goes not as an Occi­dental to foreignize the Oriental, the African, or the islander, but to pro­claim the eternal good news in its uni­versal application. God's ideal is that His gospel message shall become in­digenous, adapted to the distinctive characteristics of the people to whom it is proclaimed.

As missionaries we must never for­get the distinction between evangeliz­ing and Europeanizing, Christianizing and civilizing. Knives and forks in­stead of chopsticks, European clothes instead of the native garb, have naught to do with the great commission, ex­cept as moral standards are involved. Let us stick to our text and task.


Let us shun extremes. There is al­ways danger that one who has been a cold doctrinarian, an exacting legal­ist, or an apathetic formalist, and who has experienced a very definite spir­itual awakening, may swing to the op­posite extreme and neglect the distinct teachings which we as a people have been raised up to love and proclaim. The spirit and the letter are never in lawful conflict, though the letter may be very much in evidence without the spirit. Surely we should pray for such divine balance, such harmony of life, belief, and effort as will blend all these essential factors in their right relationship.                                  
L. E. F.
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