Editorial Keynotes

Advance--The Autumn Council Watchword

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

What may doubtless be considered one of the most important and clear-visioned Autumn Councils in our history is now past. Noteworthy unity and constructive work characterized its sessions. The full body of actions, together with the official report, will appear in the Review; but there are certain aspects and items directly affecting or espe­cially interesting to the ministerial- body of the movement, to which attention may appropri­ately be called here.

On page 3 of this issue of the Ministry one of our president's addresses at the Council appears, with a second to follow in March. Elder Evans's Council sermon likewise appears in sections, beginning on page 1 of this issue. Gem portions from other vital addresses will be presented in later issues. Thus the very words and spirit of the Council will be carried to all. These daily devotional periods were in­deed blessed hours, and gave the mold to this decidedly spiritual Council. There was a re­markably full attendance of delegates through­out this worship hour, all committees and sub­committees studiously refraining from making any conflicting appointments.

The insistent note of leader after leader—Elders Watson, Evans, Christian, Daniells, Montgomery, Prescott, Andross, and others—in the most important meetings of the Council, was that the spiritual is foundational to every­thing else. It transcends money, material and mental equipment, organization, activity, and favoring circumstance. Without the Holy Spirit all else is futile, and our world task utterly hopeless in the face of increasingly baffling conditions; but with His blessed pres­ence, possession, and power, triumph both per­sonal and as a movement is as certain as the very word of God itself. This emphasis was in itself one of the most significant and encour­aging features of the Council.

The watchword of the Council, compressed to a phrase, was "Advance in spite of difficulties." Provision was made in faith for strong advance both in home base evangelism and in exten­sion of our mission lines, despite forbidding circumstances. Never will our divinely com­missioned task be finished by simply "holding our lines intact," or by merely "keeping our missionaries at their posts." We must advance, depression and difficulty notwithstanding, for we have no assurance of materially or perma­nently better times. Spirit-filled men will carry the work forward to completion under most forbidding circumstances. This was the spirit and emphasis throughout the Council. In the application, the following, for example, was passed on evangelism:

"'Whereas, It is evident that the movement toward greater evangelism which received renewed impetus at the 1930 Autumn Council, and which has since spread to all divisions of our world-wide work, has resulted in unprecedented gains in our membership, and has brought new hope and courage to our believers in all lands; be it—

"Resolved, 1. That during 1935 we redouble our efforts in public evangelism, throwing our entire forces into a mighty endeavor to reach the unsaved and to work those portions of our territory where as yet the message has not been proclaimed, and where millions are still un­warned.

"2. That due emphasis be placed upon the work in the great cities.

"3. That every institution and church organ­ization be urged to give special study during the months of December, 1934, and January, 1935, to the question of how to make 1935 the greatest soul-winning year in our history,

"a. By holding special meetings for counsel and prayer for the purpose of soul winning.

"b. By special organization of institutional staffs, student bodies, Missionary Volunteer societies, and church memberships.

"c. By compiling prayer lists of the unsaved among them.

"d. By planning for public evangelistic efforts to be conducted by the members of the staffs, student bodies, or church members.

"e. By the systematic distribution of our literature, Bible studies, cottage meetings, and other kindred activities.

"4. That all our departmental leaders be urged to give special study to their plans of work with a view to making soul winning the dominant purpose of all their activities.

"5. That where feasible and without expense to the conference, we encourage those who are consecrated and qualified, to represent our cause before public school, college, and univer­sity assemblies, service clubs, and civic organ­izations, thus making contacts for future Bible study."

Another conspicuous feature was Elder Wat­son's heart burden and appeal to shepherd adequately the ingathered sheep, lest they slip away from the fold, and induce laxity in the flock during the time of their sojourn. This sound and imperative counsel, initiated by the officers and fully approved by the Council, is being transmitted by Elder Watson to all our workers with an appropriate accompanying letter.

Provision was made not only for the con­tinuance, but for wholesome expansion of the Advanced Bible School, in harmony with its auspicious beginning. The authorizing action reads thus:

"Whereas, The initial session of the Ad­vanced Bible School held last summer under provision of the 1933 Autumn Council has proved gratifyingly successful as the first in a designated three-year plan; therefore,

"Resolved, That we herewith register our hearty approval of this first year's endeavor, and pledge our active support for its continu­ance in harmony with the authorizing action. And further,

"We recommend, 1. That additional courses in history and education be offered by the Advanced Bible School, suited to the needs of our history teachers, academy and intermediate school principals, and that they also be urged to attend.

"2. That editors and ministers who desire ad­ditional work in theology, history, and educa­tion, be likewise heartily invited to take work in the Advanced Bible School."

The general policy of all conference organ­izations in supplying the Ministry to all work­ers in their employ, with certain extensions to provide for institutional workers, theological students, and native workers, was voted unani­mously as follows:

"Whereas, The Ministry, now in its eighth year of service to the workers of the advent movement, has firmly established itself in the life and affections of those for whom it was projected, and has demonstrated its value to the cause at large through increasing the power and efficiency of the individual laborer; there­fore,

"Resolved, That the policy of providing the Ministry for all our English-reading evangelical workers by the employing organization, is hereby endorsed as an approved general policy by the Biennial Council of 1934, in ses­sion assembled.

"We recommend, 1. That all educational in­stitutions be hereby urged to provide the Ministry for those members of their faculties having part in the training of theological students, and that our medical institutions, " whose objective is the training of medico-gospel workers, be encouraged to make similar provision for the leading members of their staffs.

"2. That all mature theological students be urged to subscribe for the Ministry because of its distinct personal value to them during the period of ministerial or Bible worker training, and also to make possible class assignment to its pages by the Bible instructor.

"3. That reading of the Ministry by all lay evangelists serving the various conferences, be urged, the journal to be obtained either through personal subscription or provision by the conference, as the individual conference committee may determine; and,

"4. That the translation and circulation of selections from the most vital sections of the Ministry into the leading languages of the various foreign divisions be encouraged, these to be made available, through appropriate channels, for the benefit of workers who can­not read the Ministry in English, which plan is already operative in some of the divisions."

The full support of Biennial Council action was likewise placed behind the 1935 Ministerial Reading Course:

"Whereas, The Ministerial Reading Course plan, now in its twenty-second year of service to the workers of the advent movement, offers for 1935 a group of study volumes of excep­tional value in the respective fields of the sanc­tuary question, church history, scientific con­firmation of faith, and the Spirit of prophecy; therefore,

"Resolved, That we hereby approve the Min­isterial Reading Course selections for 1935 as of exceptionally practical value to our gospel workers, and herewith urge the registration of all English-reading evangelical laborers and theological students, with similar support by our non-English-speaking laborers for foreign-language reading courses, as provided through the several divisions, with expansion of suit­able courses for native workers where these are deemed advisable."

Elder Watson's book, "The Atoning Work of Christ,"—the leader in the 1935 set,—should be painstakingly studied by every worker of the movement, whether in active service or still in training. The sanctuary question, the key truth of this remnant message, and the one distinctive contribution that we as a movement have made to the Christian faith, is destined to be more and more the focal point of challenge and attack. And we must be individ­ually prepared to stand and withstand, on the basis of a definite personal knowledge and conviction.

Elder Watson and his associates in leader­ship both have and merit the love, confidence, and support of their brethren. Insight, un­derstanding and integrity mark his work, to­gether with high-minded abhorrence of any form of compromise or manipulation. We as associate workers may well face the future with hope and courage in God, our invisible Leader, in His guiding hand through the form­ative and expanding periods of the message, and in its sure triumph. To these clear prin­ciples and objectives stressed, this journal of the Association stands pledged.                   

L. E. F.


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

January 1935

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