OLD PEOPLE AND SHUT-INS
We hear a lot about special training in counseling and in the care of children and youth in our churches. Do we ever think of the need for special help for the aged and the shut-ins? There is an increasing number of old people in every church and community. Do we know how to visit them so that we leave them inspired? Do we have the kind of heart that will understand their problems? Do we burst in upon them with a special appeal for activities and gifts that are either no longer a part of their world or are beyond their capacities to undertake? It requires a tender heart and skill to minister efficiently to the stranded, lonely, aged people and shut-ins. Not long ago a well-known minister wrote that he was quite persuaded that perhaps the greatest sin of omission among ministers of the church of Christ today was a neglect of the aged and the shut-ins. He said, "They long for the notice of someone who cares and for someone who understands; they are lonely and they long for a tender shepherd." It may well be that by neglecting this segment of a congregation, a minister may be losing a great blessing for his own soul.
H. W. L.
A HEALTH MENACE
Readers of this journal will be interested in the campaigns now embarked upon to discourage smoking as a health menace by the governments of Great Britain, France, Sweden, Holland, and Denmark. Opinions are growing that the use of tobacco has some definite relationship to the incidence of cancer. However that may be, it is encouraging to know that campaigns against the use of tobacco on the ground that it is a general health menace are making rapid strides in many countries. When we consider the viselike habit of the use of tobacco and its possible effects on the mind and the body, then as has been stated by Ellen G. White in Testimonies, volume 2, page 425, "Total abstinence is the only sure remedy."
H. W. L.
Deep theological, psychological, and philosophical themes, their ponderous nature notwithstanding, have their proper place in the divine plan of publishing the gospel. But in the appeal to the hearts of lost men, these should not be the minister's primary undertaking. Nothing is so distressing as to hear a message that probes the depths, spans the heights, and encompasses the seven seas, yet fails in practicality—hence does not meet the heart's crying need. What gain is there if the people say, "Verily in him [the minister] is the wisdom of God manifested," while comprehending little of his pulpit pronouncements?
No man has preached until he has moved men to repentance! But how can men repent if the message is beyond their comprehension? There is a dire need for preaching that points out the way of salvation, for a clear light directing man's faltering footsteps heavenward.
Practical godliness is the needed leaven. This does not outlaw profundity, nor condone surface thinking or shallow preparation. Perhaps Billy Sunday, in his own way, captured something of the spirit of this when he said, " 'I don't know any more about theology than a jack-rabbit does about ping-pong, but I'm on the way to glory.' ... It isn't theology that saves, but Christ."—William T. Ellis, "Billy" Sunday, p. 147.
The paradoxical fact is that there are men who cannot fathom the incarnation, explain the atonement, probe the wonders of archeology, or even name the twelve apostles, to whom Christ has revealed Himself in His saving grace. Then let not this essential be missing from future discourses, that preaching may again bring refreshing water to the parched desert places of human hearts.
E. E. C.
CHILD TRAINING AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
The articles appearing from time to time from the pen of Archa O. Dart are based on the helpful "Christian Home Series C" leaflets produced by the Educational Department of the General Conference. This excellent series of leaflets is listed on page 20. We feel that ministers may like to use some of the facts in Professor Dart's articles as sermon material. They might then direct parents' attention to the twelve "Christian Home Series C" leaflets. Correct child training is vital to the well-being of the family, community, and church. Its neglect is a major cause of the tragic juvenile delinquency situation throughout the nation. We commend the articles and the leaflets to the serious attention of our church leaders, and hope that thereby this good material may contribute something constructive to the happiness and well-being of our people in every land.
H. W. L.