Faithfulness!---We as ministers are under bond before God to declare His present truth to mankind. In these last days, this includes a faithful declaration of the times and their meaning. The world is asking insistently for an understanding of these unprecedented times and their, outcome. It has a right to turn to Seventh-day Adventists today for the clearest, soundest, and truest exposition to be found on earth—for this we profess to give. For decades we have proclaimed to the public the coming events that are now present actualities. To be silent regarding them now, in the time of crisis and fulfillment, to fail to sound the alarm and to point the way to safety for the soul today, is to be recreant to our duty. And what is true of the minister in the desk applies to the editor and the writer. Extraordinary precaution must, of course, be taken to avoid needless offense and conflict and that which might cause hardship, suffering, or disaster to our fellow believers in other lands. We must safeguard our words. Nevertheless, God's truth must be declared. Men of courage, vision, fidelity, of true statesmanship and tact, are needed today. This is the hour for clear, fearless, courageous voices for God among mankind. This is our day. We have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.
Aristocracy!--It is regrettable to see the persistence with which some musicians depreciate the evangelistic gospel song as being for the crude and untutored, properly used only in the stage of spiritual infancy, saying that the church hymn is for the spiritually advanced who have left behind the things of immaturity. Such an attitude fosters a sort of spiritual aristocracy that is unwholesome, and encourages a spirit of spiritual complacency that ill comports with an evangelistic church carrying an unceasing burden for the winning of souls. One is not to be outgrown by the other, but both are to go forward hand in hand, for the two distinct and vital purposes in the appointed lifework of the church.
Victory!—There is cause for genuine concern when a preacher or a group of preachers make light of the victorious life—a relationship described in the Testimonies and an experience imperative to all vital Christian life and service. Something serious must have happened to the thinking and evaluations of such. Activity and mechanical routine have dulled and supplanted the vision of spiritual fundamentals, formalism has superseded living realities, motion has eclipsed the dynamics that produces motion, and materialism has choked the inner springs of Christian experience. There is always the danger, of course, that the victorious life, having lost its reality and force, shall become merely a term, a shibboleth, a hollow rally call. But should this movement become primarily an ecclesiastical organization, centered on and concerned chiefly with material achievement and growth, with efficiently governed church machinery, then its future would be in gravest jeopardy. Fortunately, such attitudes are not general.
Vicissitudes!—When the ground seems cut from under you by some serious setback, when men you have trusted forfeit your confidence, when leaders make mistakes, or associates misunderstand or misjudge, smile and keep sweet! God still rules and overrules. The sun will shine tomorrow, and right will triumph in the end. When tempted to give a heated rejoinder, sleep over it—wait for twenty-four or forty-eight hours —or even a week. Get a perspective. Don't allow yourself to be swept from your moorings, or give way to hasty words or acts. Give yourself time to think your problem through objectively and dispassionately. Life's road has its valley depths as well as its mountain heights. We will be the stronger and the better for life's vicissitudes in the end. Character development is more important than having our own way. God and time will care for many a problem. Our right relationship to Him is the most important thing.
Prepare!—Closed doors do not disanntd the great commission. We must and will carry on until our task is done. True, the foreign missionary is temporarily shut out of vast sections of the Orient and other great division territories. Properties have been destroyed and transportation has broken down. Not since the beginning of the era of modern missions has there been such a missions upheaval. But ever in the past, the closing of one door has frequently meant the opening of another. So now, while some doors are closed, others are opened wider than ever before. For example, this is the golden time to press into Central and South America. Somehow, sometime, we shall get back and finish our task. We must talk courage and talk missions ! Now is the time to plan, pray, and prepare to re-enter° fields when the doors reopen.
L. E. F.