Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry. 

Prepare!—As Seventh-day Ad­ventists move into the spotlight of world scru­tiny, their fundamental positions will become the object of increasingly pitiless investigation. Our positions—not simply Biblical, but par­ticularly those involving historical, scientific, and factual aspects—will be challenged and denied with all the intellectual prowess, coun­tering data, and apparent logic at the com­mand of the opposers of truth. Then will the work of sound, sure, and conclusive investiga­tion amongst us come sharply to the fore­front. Then will the toils, the prayers, yes, and the tears, of the real establishers and defenders of the faith stand forth in their true light and worth. Then will other things, now often in the forefront, find their relative values. Our supreme concern in the crisis hour will be the supremacy of truth. These are our golden days for preparing—preparing against the coming onslaught. As truly as we exist as God's appointed movement for the hour, we shall face the wrath of the dragon soon.

Whisperers!—There is always some whisperer somewhere talking about our leaders—questioning their orthodoxy, their loyalty to the Spirit of prophecy, their fidelity to this message, and their leadership of it. Those who have known these leaders inti­mately through the years, who have observed their words, their acts, their plans, their influ­ence, their prayers and tears of intercession, and know their fundamental integrity as high-minded Christians and sound Seventh-day Ad­ventists, do not take kindly to such slurring suggestions. God will assuredly hold such ac­countable for their hindering, scattering in­fluence. Those who indulge -in such covert slander of our chosen leaders should not go unrebuked. nor shall their charges pass un­challenged.

Brethren!—Rhetorical figures of speech are invitingly expressive—that is why they are instinctively employed. In con­sequence, experienced city evangelists, holding large efforts with a supporting corps of work­ers, are sometimes dubbed "ocean liners," while younger, less experienced men, in the smaller places, usually toiling away alone, are by comparison denominated "tugboats." Felic­itous comparisons and contrasts spring forth easily from the simile—and all, of course, without malice. But, really, brethren, is this a wise procedure? Is it good for a man to be labeled a mighty -ocean liner"? And is it fair to those relegated to the group of "tug­boats"—and there are always many more in proportion—to be so designated,? After all, does not the man working alone, who wins a goodly number of souls, deserve fully as much credit as the evangelist at the head of a com­pany whose prorata accessions, when you count the personnel of the group, are perhaps less than the total number of souls won by the individual who works alone? Flattery is not good for any man. Great "ocean liners" sometimes founder ; and the more such have been lauded, favored, and spotlighted, the more tragic the grounding becomes. Christ said, "All ye are brethren," and we cannot improve upon His classification. Let us refrain from placing men on pedestals of publicity and praise.

Jokers!—If some preachers could only sense how cheap their labored at­tempts to be continuously humorous appear to their thoughtful brethren, they would surely change their course and emphasis. Their sal­lies are often exceedingly silly, and their quips but stale, hackneyed jokes that are more appropriate to the vaudeville stage than to the sacred desk. The simple fact is that people do not place much confidence in the joking minister. They do not think he has a very high conception of his exalted calling. No, this does not imply that those spontaneous over­flowing-s which sometimes light the face with a smile and relieve the tension are taboo. But the sobering message of God in these sobering times calls for serious men.

Overdone!—If promoters of projects could only see how they frequently prejudice their own case—and sometimes make themselves almost obnoxious—by their inces­sant pressure upon the particular work for which they are responsible, they would surely shift to a more tactful method of enlisting interest and cooperation. They would not bring their propaganda into every meeting they ad­dress, every article they write, every council discussion in which they participate, every committee on which they serve—and at times even into their public prayers. One even won­ders how long funerals will be exempt. The part should never overshadow the whole, nor some good thing be projected as the cure for almost every ill. There is that capitalizeth every golden opportunity, and yet causeth revulsion if overdone.                                      

L. E. F.

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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry. 

June 1939

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