Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

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

Protectionism!—The cause of truth reaches an hour of peril when its sponsors feel that it must be protected from searching scrutiny, and when criticism and discussion must be held in check. Given "a fair field and no favors," truth will meet and vanquish all antagonists with their arguments and sophisms. And it is the only sure way. The protectionist policy creates weaklings, and results in softening of the moral fiber. Nothing so develops ruggedness and de­cisiveness of character as the conflict of pioneer days, when discussion is the order of the hour, when the resultant discernment is clear, and its accompanying conviction sharp and strong. Fortunate the lot of those thrust into the turmoil of moral battle. Their reward is ruggedness of moral fiber.

Character!—Moral character is the very foundation of all true and successful ministry. A minister can neither effectually nor right­fully reason of righteousness, honesty, or purity of life unless these are predominating charac­teristics in his own life. He must be or have, by the grace of God, what he advocates for others. He cannot discourse without hypocrisy upon temperance, patience, or virtuous living if his own life is a pretense. Only as truth is witnessed to and exemplified in his own life can the Holy Spirit work with his words upon mind and conscience. This is the secret of the marked success or failure of men, though God does honor His own word even if spoken by a pretender. This also is why it is often easier to speak on certain theoretic doctrines and out­line prophecies. There the experimental ele­ment is not an obviously necessary ground­work.

Consolation!—In crisis hours of life it will steady us to cling steadfastly to the principle that we serve not man but God; that we are accountable directly to Him; and best of all, that our reward comes from Him, and not from our associates. Times seem inevitable when we are misunderstood, misjudged, or mistreated; when suffering comes, due to others' jealousies, suspicions, distorted conceptions, or manipula­tions. Thus we are placed in a wrong light, despite having faithfully, conscientiously, and creditably done our duty. Yet our lips must remain sealed because of loyalty, or to save others, while the heart is filled with desolation because of the crushing injustice of it all. What really matters it if He who reads the heart knows its purity of motive and its fidelity to duty. He will infallibly adjudge and award. Thus can men rise and go on.

Carelessness!—It is wrong for a herald of truth to be careless in his quotations, espe­cially in anything prepared for the press, which may bring sharp and justified repercussion. It is unsafe to quote from memory, and it is improper to copy an extract for use without verification. At best, mistakes to amazing number are made, as all editors and proof­readers will testify. Full and exact credit is indispensable if the citation is to carry weight with the discerning. Author, date, place, house of publication, page, edition, and the like,—these should never be omitted, however trivial they may appear to the writer who, on one hand, may have the original conveniently before him, and on the other hand, may be tempted to use some untrustworthy excerpt that in itself appeals because of its effective phraseology. Carelessness here is unethical professionally, and subjects the transgressor to legitimate attack from foe and censure from friend.

Inconsistency!—When we declare that good weather for camp meeting or some special evangelistic service—as when the Sabbath ques­tion is presented—is a mark of God's special favor in response to prayer, do we not thereby imply that if rainy or stormy weather comes on such occasion, under circumstances of peti­tion, it is a mark of divine disfavor? Let us be consistent. God has ordained the natural laws that customarily prevail. And though He does at times supersede them by direct acts of His will,—which of course is higher than the mere laws He has ordained,—the fact that the natural laws ordained ordinarily operate alike on the just and the unjust, should not be misconstrued. The same general principle may well be remembered in connection with special prayer for the healing of the sick, and in the case of flood, drouth, or other catastrophe. Let us not overreach in our declarations, and lay ourselves open to legitimate challenge. The element of God's all-wise will must ever remain the determining factor in all matters affecting His children.

Conservatism!—Despite the penchant of some ministers for gayer colors of wearing apparel, the darker and more conservative shades still remain the most appropriate for the clergyman with his solemn duties, such as the visitation of the sick, the conduct of funerals, and the lead­ing of the various services of the church. Tan shoes, brown or gray suits of modish cut, and light gray overcoats do not seem to fit properly into the picture, do they? May appropriate dignity and conservatism prevail.                     

L. E. F.


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

July 1935

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Obey God Rather Than Man No. 2

When a state or a government de­mands that its citizens recognize the state as supreme in matters of conscience, and that it be obeyed, regardless of the right or wrong of its demands, it usurps the place of God and be­comes an oppressive power.

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Presbyterian crisis over the Machen case—No. 2

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Language Befitting the Message

One's language, like his dress, should never be conspicuous for its uncouthness or its oddity, its splendor or its ornamentation

Final Analysis of the "Little Horn"(XIV)—No. 1

Before entering upon our analytical review of the rise and fall of the "little horn," it will be well to note again the necessity of close observation in the interpretation of prophecy.

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No higher privilege can come to any young woman than that of being the wife, com­panion, and fellow laborer of one ordained of God to herald this last message of warning to a perishing world.

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