Editorial Keynotes

The Specifications of Revelation 13

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

The Specifications of Revelation 13

Students of the latter half of Reve­lation 13 are watching with intense interest affairs of state that might have a bearing upon its fulfillment. Tremendous, culminating events in human history are there foretold, as­sociated with the last things of proba­tionary time. And our message is inextricably bound up with them. But we should be most careful not to draw unsound or unwarranted conclusions from present activities and pres­sures. It is manifestly fallacious to confuse a temporary and purely civil measure, obviously and actually created to aid business recovery, with that final and fixed enactment foretold, which, when it comes, will be based openly and primarily upon the evil principle of coercion of a religious minority that persists in loyal obe­dience to the commandments of God even unto death, and in which the boycott and ultimate penalty predicted will be employed.

Let none indulge therefore in oral or printed statements that would involve not only them­selves but, which is far more important, the denomination of which they are commissioned as representatives. Sharp distinction should be made in any discussion of Revelation 13 be­tween present purely civil provisions, having to do with economic recovery, and that religious legislation which will invade the domain God has reserved for Himself, and over which the basic principle of allegiance or disloyalty to the Almighty Himself is at stake. We will surely recognize these movements foretold when they come to pass. So long as governments do not ask that we violate the primal relationships to God which take precedence over all, and which are comprehended in the first table of the deca­logue, all good citizens will aid in their na­tion's heroic struggle for economic recovery. But our time for untrammeled witness is short.

Great changes impend.                                  

L. E. F.

New Perils Create New Obligations

The rising tide of popular evils has created  a situation for our youth more intense and acute than heretofore known. To the ever-present and persistent movie menace, the plague of sordid fiction gaudily displayed on every news stand, the flaming billboard post­ers on the highways, and the catchy ads. in the secular press depicting young women smoking, is now added the portrayal of young women drinking beer, and we witness but the beginning of that sinister campaign of public­ity. Beer signs monopolize the windows of the restaurants and even the grocery stores.

Unquestionably we have entered a new era calling for new defenses, new tactics, new coun­teracting moves. The vices of the past are at last clothed with respectability through this relentless commercial publicity campaign. The acknowledged evils of yesterday now have sanc­tions unknown in the past. This has created a new issue. It has produced a new peril, and likewise a new responsibility on the part of the church. The situation demands a counter cam­paign of education for our own youth and oth­ers, to enunciate unmistakably the moral prin­ciples at stake, to develop the moral stamina needed to resist the subtle sophistries of this propaganda and its devastating acceptance as seen on every hand. The scornful smile di­rected toward those who still hold to "the old-fashioned notions and Victorian standards that are vanishing," is a reality with which we must reckon. Social ostracism for these causes is no mere figure of speech. The pressure of the times is intense. We as shepherds are account­able for an adequate defense of our flock when in peril, and for the shielding of the lambs in this time of their trial.                                   

L. E. F.

While every worker should be a direct soul winner, it is a mistaken notion to think that all are endowed by their Maker with the gift of public evangelism. Some do not have the speaking ability, the personal magnetism, the voice, or the personal presence. Many can best work quietly in the environs of the home or the classroom, but all can and should win souls and still more souls.

There are distinct gifts that God bestows, and the pastoral gift is one of them. It is unfor­tunate that unwarranted slights are sometimes cast upon the pastor and his divinely allotted responsibility. The work of God is so varied and so far-reaching that it encompasses a vast variety of gifts. Only a narrowed misconcep­tion of its breadth would seek to run all through a common mold, or to judge effective­ness by a constricted criterion. Remember, "God hath set" some to be pastors and teachers, just as truly as some to be evangelists.

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

October 1933

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