Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

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

Unifier!—The Spirit of prophecy is the su­preme unifier of the faith, the central, integrat­ing element in the remnant church. Take away belief in this gift, and the authority of its recorded messages. and the winds of conflicting doctrine would immediately blow from every direction. Divers interpretations would spring up lustily, and different schools of thought would at once contend for supremacy. Take this heritage from our midst, and we would soon be like the confused Protestant bodies all about us. The value of the gift can scarcely be over­estimated. It was given primarily to bring all to the unity of the faith. This has been its out­standing accomplishment. We shall lose that vital unity just to the degree that we withdraw our allegiance from this guiding voice.

Inaccurate!—To assert that the Reforma­ton restored the lost truths of the apostolic age is contrary to fact. In their break with Rome the Reformers went back only to the Nicene era in many essential truths. They retained many of the errors that had become general by that time—the Sunday Sabbath, inherent im­mortality sprinkling for baptism, and a score of other preversions such as obtain to this day in creedalized form in the churches spring­ing from the Reformation. Let us not mis­state facts in lauding the mighty break of the Reformers with Rome. It is their unrepudi­ated errors of the Reformation hour, to which they cling with tenacity today, that made in­evitable our separation from the nominal Protestant bodies in this last age. Let us state all such relationships with accuracy.

Jealousy!—Professional jealousy in the work of God is an unholy thing, a devastating ele­ment. It comes not from heaven above, but from the pit beneath. Whether manifest be­tween branches of the Lord's work, institutions, departments, groups. or individuals, it savors of the evil one himself, and thwarts the divine power that awaits our asking and reception. Such a spirit, were it to gain the ascendancy, would wreck any earthly army, where unity, coordination, and subordination of individual starring must give way to the one supreme ob­jective of united victory and achievement as a whole. This requirement is tenfold more im­perative in the army of the Lord where the spirit of unselfish love and sacrifice are as foun­dational as Christianity itself.

Stealers!—Humiliation and resentment sweep over the ministerial fraternity whenever it learns of an occasional "habitual offender" in its ranks who, in the performance of his evan­gelistic duties, leaves behind a string of unpaid bills. Solemnly incumbent upon every Chris­tian, the payment of just debts is tenfold more obligatory upon the ministry, for into its charge. is entrusted the fair name and reputation of this movement. He who persists in bringing discredit in this way upon the cause that nur­tures and grants his authorizing papers, de­serves after a second or third admonition dis­cipline commensurate with the offense.

Spiritual!—This movement is a spiritual en­terprise, not a business concern. It is there­fore to be conducted on spiritual not commer­cial lines, and for spiritual and not worldly ends. Its only true and genuine motive power is spiritual, not material, commercial, or simply intellectual. Its men of strength, who are to be trusted and followed, are its men of God, not those of mere worldly brilliance or earthly acumen. And its measure of success is its fidel­ity to and its harmony with these spiritual principles and imperatives. Power still "be­longeth unto God" and comes from Him, not from clever men. And heaven's promised light shines into minds crying out for the counsel of heaven, not those catering to the adroit devis­ings of human ingenuity. This we forget only at the price of disaster. When those earthly substitutes lift their unholy heads and seek admission to the church, we should expose and reject them.

Commonplaces! —Of what value or interest are insipid, spineless writings in our denomi­national journals? Or dry, lifeless repetitions that go on and on without saying anything vital? Unless an article has a message, it is worse than useless, for it is crowding out one that may have a message. This is no time for commonplaces. We have a life-and-death mes­sage—both for the world and for our member­ship. Woe unto us who write if we fail so to' write. Merely to fill space is a serious offense.

Creeded!—A church without a formally adopted declaration of belief can become as verily creedbound and static as those who have their formal statements. Most formal creeds are confined to leading points of faith, with generous latitude over an amazing range of secondary matters. But the tendency of creed-less communions is to encroach upon the precincts of detail that should remain open to  study and development of truth, and so to tres­pass upon the sacred territory of personal reli­gious conviction. Liberty of individual study and belief in some fields, particularly in aspects of prophecy, must be kept open, else reaction will triumph, and thus the unwritten creed will become the foe of advancing light and truth.                                                             

L. E. F.

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

November 1937

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