His advent movement is infinitely more than a new sect or denomination up-springing in the nineteenth century. It is a new Reformation, as verily as was that of the sixteenth century. It is a recovery and restoration of the primitive gospel. It is the final proclamation of that gospel among men. Every truth of apostolic origin and of last-day application is to be proclaimed. This is its glorious, positive, teaching side. But it has a reformatory, separative aspect as well. It is to separate the remnant people of God from the customs, practices, philosophies, and entanglements of the world, and, from the apostate churches of the world. It touches and reforms life in all its phases.
For example, modern thinking is largely premised on the evolutionary philosophy, with all that implies. The educational system of the world is saturated with it. It runs through the entire range of textbooks, from the grades to the universities and seminaries. Tied to this evolutionary philosophy are ofttimes the false and contradictory theories of world betterment, of the abolition or nonexistence of divine law, of low moral standards, and a perverted concept of God, truth, the universe, and man.
To meet these sophistries, and to maintain our separateness and our loyalty to truth and to this distinctive movement, we have been compelled to initiate and to maintain our own educational system, with its distinctive principles. The operation of this plan is imperative to the saving and holding of our youth. This is recognized generally by our workers and our people. It therefore follows as an inescapable corollary that our ministers and Bible workers, in public and personal evangelism, are bound before God to teach their new converts the principles of Christian education, and to lead them to place their children in our own church schools, academies, and colleges.
Similarly with our health message. The practices of the world and of the popular churches about us, with their tea, coffee, tobacco, beer, meat, condiments, and other unwholesome food, habits, and practices, makes it incumbent upon our workers in their public and personal evangelism to teach healthful living and to help new recruits to our faith to adopt a balanced and wholesome dietary. This calls for a training and a competence not at present possessed by all. But the need and the obligation stands as a challenge that should be most seriously considered and remedied. Our evangelistic work should be well-rounded, positive, constructive, and highly competent.
Then, too, the dreadful liquor octopus, with tentacles seeking a stranglehold upon life in every phase, needs to be attacked and exposed. Passiveness here is inexcusable. We are not living up to our opportunities and responsibilities in public evangelism unless we bring temperance rally nights into our evangelistic efforts. Strong, clear exposure of the iniquity of drink, scientific exposure of its harmfulness, a host of signatures to the temperance pledge, and the casting of our influence behind the ballot to curtail and prohibit, are all within our possibilities and obligations. We should be the world's foremost champions of temperance.
There are, of course, many other vital principles, such as religious liberty, that we should never fail to present in an evangelistic series. But such themes usually have their accepted place. The truths here stressed have too often been neglected. Now, as never before, they are needed.
L. E. F.