Momentum!—Be not deceived by appearances. Continued motion is not necessarily proof that the power is still on. Sheer momentum will carry a machine forward for quite a distance on the level, and especially on the down grade, even if the power is off. It is the upgrade that brings the results of momentum to a standstill, and bares the need of power which is our supreme requisite today. Momentum motion constitutes one of our greatest perils, when void of power.
Fawning!—True leaders detest fawning on the part of associates, in an attempt to ingratiate themselves; "yes, yessing" to curry favor or to hold position; stifling of personal convictions, when their expression is expected, so as to synchronize with the viewpoint of a superior, and thus becoming an echo instead of a voice. Such an attitude weakens the leader's hands, for he is thereby deprived of desired and needed counsel. Strength is developed through frank interchange of views. Real leaders want candid expression, not the assent of a sycophant. And no forthright subordinate can be content with submergence of God-given individuality that is to be characteristic of this movement.
Evidence!—To quote a sentence or a paragraph in support of a proposition, when the immediate context, or the section as a whole, would give an entirely different emphasis, is at once unethical, unscholarly, and unchristian. This ma y, of course, have been done inadvertently. One may neglect to study the setting and sum total of the testimony cited, but carelessness under such circumstances is inexcusable. He who uses evidence must abide by the laws of evidence, or forfeit the respect of his fellows. This is no light matter. The handling of evidence is as sacred as the handling of funds.
Theology!—Some unwisely decry theology, because grossly perverted by other religionists. But this is as unsound as to decry Christianity itself because of its devastating perversions that have marked the centuries. No nobler, loftier, more profound or important study can engage the mind of man than the science of God,—His being, nature, relationship to the universe and our world, to fallen and unfallen intelligences, to man, sin, evil, suffering, disease, wrongs of every sort, the church, and the ultimate destiny of all. In its broader aspects it embraces and permeates all essential branches of knowledge, such as history, Biblical languages, science, et cetera. Instead of haphazard, fragmentary study, leading' to incomplete and unsound conclusions so often observable, we need more sound, thorough, complete, systematic theology. It would forestall fanaticism, extremism, bias, unsound conclusions, and wild speculations in doctrine or prophetic interpretation. It is the ally of truth, and is compatible with the highest practical and theoretical Christianity. The Bible is its basic text. Let us revere sound theology.
Refuge!—The terrific strain of modern life intensifies with each passing year. The pace grows faster, the stress greater, and the burdens heavier. As a puerile relief, the world offers the opiate of earthly pleasure and carnal indulgence, and labels it peace—the meanwhile lashing humanity on to greater involvements. But earthly opiates deaden only for the time. They do not meet man's need. Now as never before mankind needs a real refuge for the soul. The peace of God that passes understanding, the consciousness of sins forgiven, the advent expectancy, and the adjustment of life that this message brings—these constitute the haven of rest that we should present before men.
Adaptability!—In matters of method or policy, there is no virtue or advantage in change merely for the sake of change, if it does not provide for improvement. On the other hand, false veneration for ways of the past, merely because others fashioned and followed them before us, should not frustrate changes needed from time to time. Ultraconservatism here constitutes an unwholesome deterrent. For example; conference administration must, in the very nature of the case, be adapted to meet changing situations confronting the church, as produced by a world in upheaval. We live in an hour of foundational transition on the part of nations and of mankind; new civic and economic policies or alignments may necessitate operating plans commensurate with the needs of our world work under new orders of things. None should be perturbed over such accommodations as do not infringe upon principle.
Reflected!—The persistent thought and intent of the life makes its indelible impress upon the physiognomy. Not only do the lips speak forth, but the face portrays the abundance of the heart. It is not hard, therefore, to detect upon the countenance the grosser animal nature, when it is in the ascendancy. Similarly the marks of the cold, hard, harsh, debative, legal nature are clearly visible. So also with the one who walks and communes with his God, —there is an indefinable glow, an indescribable mellowness and light, that illuminates the countenance. What kind of portrait are we as workers painting on our faces?
L. E. F