Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

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

Emphasis!—Deep, original Bible study is lagging among us. This is noticeable in our literature. We seek to bestow literary skill and erudition upon the analysis and discussion of world conditions; but searching Bible study and exposition lag.

Needed! —That largeness of soul and breadth of mind that will recognize and respect the conscientious convictions of men who differ with us, recognizing that God uses varying personalities and diverse methods to His glory in order to appeal to different types of the human mind. Infallibility of judgment belongs only to Him who dwelleth in the heavens. Narrow prejudices and spiritual bigotry are not fitting in God's remnant church.

Exposition!—We need to give a more prom­inent place in our preaching to the expository sermon. There is a tendency in topical presen­tations, to wander away from the word and its basic message, and consequently to inject a heavy proportion of man's theories and opin­ions. Thus truth is liable to be distorted or misinterpreted. Expositional preaching fos­ters a greater knowledge of Scripture, and con­veys more simple, Scripture truth.

Unseemly!—Wholesome humor undoubtedly has a proper place in human life, but that place is assuredly not in the sacred desk where solemn truth is being presented. Puns and witticisms injected into sober discourse are not only unsuitable, but unseemly. Cheap, humorous turns and flippant phrases brought in to provoke laughter are utterly incongruous in such time and place. They constitute a breach of ministerial etiquette, a reproach to the ministerial brotherhood, and an affront to the high-minded worshipers in the pew.

Agitate, Educate, Persuade!—Such is the program for every gospel worker in the current temperance issue. We must build up the moral force in the consciences of men. We are con­stantly to use "voice and pen," as well as "vote." Failure here is the cause of the present backset. Dependence upon the force of law instead of an educated conscience wrought the havoc, and herein is a lesson for us in gospel work. The same principle holds true in all matters involving restraint. Men must be led to keep the law of God from conviction and love rather than from a mere sense of compul­sion, or from fear of punishment for violation. All such observance is but formal, legal, and transient, because not founded upon character, and is therefore unacceptable to God. We must build solidly here.

Persuade!—Our business is not merely to arrest the attention of men, to attract them, to convict or warn them; it is to move them to an acceptance of the "everlasting gospel." This is our goal. We are to persuade, win, secure them for the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the purpose of our ministry, the object of the great gospel commission, the test of our stewardship of di­vine truth.

Stagnation!—Beware of the ministerial deadline—that point in many a preacher's life, visible to others rather than to himself, when he ceases to grow intellectually. From then on he either marks time or begins to retrograde. Such individuals are often perplexed over wan­ing power and frequent changes resorted to by conference leaders in an attempt still to use them to advantage. But unless their course is stayed, from that moment they are headed toward the ranks of the "unprofitable," who are the first to be released in times of eco­nomic pressure, and the last to be taken on when times are brighter. This stagnation point often comes in middle life, but need not come at all. A continuously studious ministry is de­manded in these undeniably strenuous and se­lective times. Read "Taking the Next Step," on page 15. It is not an advertisement, but an im­portant announcement written upon request of the editors in the belief that it will interest and profit many of our workers.

Absurd!—To contend, as some have done, that the taking of lower animal life is an in­fraction of the larger intent of the sixth com­mand of the decalogue, violates the law of logical reasoning and of sound sense, and is also contrary to the uniform testimony of Scripture. God never, either by oral permis­sion or written code, gave liberty to violate principles and precepts of the moral law. But early in the history of the race authorization was given to slay clean animals for sacrifice and for food, and to use their skins for clothing; and for four thousand years a definite command imposed upon the individual the slaying of the sacrificial victim. However, the culminating evidence is the precept and ex­ample of Jesus in the various fishing episodes recorded in the Gospels, and in the preparation for the final Passover. Let there be no confu­sion here. Truth must not be strained to sponsor a strong personal antipathy against the taking of animal life. Carried to its logical conclusion, such a position would preclude the killing of destructive insect and animal pests, and even vermin. Reduced to this absurdity, the contention is too preposterous to merit fur­ther consideration.

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

February 1933

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More Articles In This Issue

Our Relation to Christian Temperance

Temperance is more than a political concern. It is a moral issue.

Institutionalism Must Not Supplant Individualism*

It has been said that every religious movement has developed along the line of individualism or institutional­ism. When a movement gets large, its natural tendency is to lose the per­sonal intensity of its pioneers, to be­come formal.

Nonstop Evangelism for our Unfinished Task

How much of the time are our church doors open?

Marshaling the Laymen as Reserves

It is a solemn fact that we have never called upon nor utilized the vast man power resources of the church in discharging the great commission of teaching the everlasting gospel to all nations.

A New Advertising Approach

How to counter the charge that Adventists are "time setters."

The Book of Revelation in Public Efforts

An interesting experience has come to us in our English effort for the general public here in Colombo, through presenting a series of studies on the book of Revelation.

Three Great Objectives in Christ's Ministry

In His ministry for lost humanity and for His chosen apostles, Christ kept three great objectives uppermost.

Gibbon's July 27, 1299, Date Sustained

A few years ago a search was made at the Library of Congress for evidence support­ing Gibbon's date, July 27, 1299, for the first invasion of Othman into Nicomedia.

No Falling Stars in 1932

The astronomers have again been disap­pointed; for the predicted display of Leonid meteors again failed to appear, just as they failed to appear in 1899. And accordingly the great display of 1833 now stands out with all the more distinctness and all the more impor­tance.

Ellen G. White on Prohibition

Seventh-day Adventists have from the very beginning of the advent movement aligned themselves on the side of temperance, taking a strong stand against legalizing liquor.

Editorial Keynotes

Maintaining the Unity of the Faith

Periodic Changes are Advantageous

It is a serious thing for people to come to look upon a leader as indispensable to a church, an institution, or a conference. The Lord does not want us to lean on the arm of flesh, nor to trust too much in human wisdom.

Make Friends of Civic Leaders

Every minister, whether acting as local or engaged in a special evangelistic effort, should become acquainted with the municipal authorities of the city in which he labors.

Literature as an Evangelizing Agency

Literature has ever been a strong helper of the ministry.

Taking the Next Step

One of the secrets of growing success in the ministry lies in taking the next step.

Why Study the Greek?

The advantages of reading the New Testa­ment in the original are many, and the joys greatly exceed the pains.

Advantage of Reader's Notebook

Advice on bible study notes.

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