INFORMATION!—Most Of our misunderstandings and indifferences arise from lack of information, which, if available, would change and harmonize the concepts of men. If, for example, the rank and file of our workers had the same full information and grasp of the situation as concerns our foreign mission enterprise, and the principles, problems, and price of its advance, as do the members of our foreign missions board and our treasury, a much more intelligent, willing, and even ardent spirit would characterize their relationship in financing the world work. It would be lifted out of the realm of a duty to a privilege. It would cease to be a burden and become a joy. Or, if our workers generally had access to more of the less-known counsels of the Spirit of prophecy on the many inescapable problems that they face, they would have, from the only really authoritative writings in our midst, a clearer, more balanced, and sounder understanding of the attitude to assume or the course to pursue. Intelligent understanding is the basis of the best service. More light on our darker problems is needed. Workers are willing when they really understand. They refrain from misstatement and misconception when they have the facts. Let us seek more light, more information, more facts.
ARTIFICIALITIES!—The concert hall soloist has an honored place in the world of music. Intriguing smiles, artful poses, and characteristic expressions are deemed appropriate to the secular song, which is designed to bring enjoyment and entertainment to the hearer. But the arts and tricks of the concert hall are conspicuously out of place in the choir loft of the house of worship. The gospel solo is an ascription of praise to God, and is part of the worship of God. It is not religious entertainment, and is not primarily for the edification of the congregation. It is directed to God, not to the congregation, and is designed to give expression to the heart attitudes and aspirations of the entire congregation. Therefore it should be divested of the showmanship, synthetic smiles, and facial expressions that attach to the concert platform. An effective church solo is marred and may be ruined by the artificialities of the world.
CAPITALIZE!—Numberless openings present themselves before us these days for teaching a meatless dietary. Ration memories, high prices, black markets, and sheer scarcity afford impressive texts for constructive help. Demonstrations of meatless meals, sheets of tasty recipes, and the fostering of our health foods locally by some central dealer—all provide us with clear challenges. Ours is a full-rounded message, and we are to foster its every phase. Victory gardens gave us a talking point. Better health and greater efficiency makes an appealing slogan. Every meal with those not of our faith affords an opportunity to drop a tactful and effective word, and to start a train of reformatory thought. These are our days of golden opportunity. Let us capitalize them.
RESEARCH!—The spirit of research is by some being substituted for the Spirit of prophecy—the one being set over against and excluding the other. Such an unwarranted contrast, or conflict, is fraught with gravest peril. One is not a substitute or alternative for the other. Reverent research is right, proper, necessary. We must have the facts that form the foundations of our faith. Truth has nothing to fear or to hide. It courts, yes, demands, light. We must also have the clues and the guidance that spur us on to find, for example, the hidden evidences of history that scholars sometimes say do not exist, but which persistent search has uncovered, vindicating the suggestions of more than human origin projected by the Spirit of prophecy. And we must have the determinative weight and word of the Spirit of prophecy counsel to hold us together on right conclusions when equally plausible, logical, and appealing views projected by equally scholarly men, vie for acceptance. Nominal Protestant churches lack that seat of authority claimed by the Catholic Church, but which is a spurious substitute for God's provision in the Spirit of prophecy for the remnant church. Thank God for both research and the Spirit of prophecy in rightful reciprocal relationship.
TEAMWORK!—There is strength in the team-up of workers of varying talents, laboring in unity for a common purpose. In such relationships the special talents of one compensate for the lacks of another. In such joint service there are possibilities not inherent in any one individual, no matter how versatile he may be. Like the combined effectiveness of a strong quartet or perchance an orchestra, each instrument has its own distinct part. Each has its own special notes and contribution. Together they make harmony and produce effective music from the diversified score. Nor does this mean loss of individuality and personal conviction. But it does exclude solo playing. By agreeing as to the selections to be played, and then playing in balance and in time, there is blend and beauty. Teamwork affords the highest form of service. We as workers need to foster and follow it.
L. E. F.