CATASTROPHE OF CYPHERS
SOME time ago I sat in a workers' meeting where a six-month baptismal report was being discussed. Under each month and beside each name, the number of baptisms was listed. The sheet was literally lined with zeros. To be exact, out of 144 numbers, 104 were zeros. What was even more disconcerting was that 17 per cent of the field force did not have a single baptism for the entire half year.
Allowing for legitimate excuses, relevant questions loom large. Are we about our Father's business? Is the work of soulsaving of primary importance in our thinking? Are we permitting the mechanics of church organization to siphon our time and energy into areas of secondary importance? How long would any secular organization stand for such nullifying results?
Admitted that we are not all powerful evangelists, but the simple truth is that just going from door to door for six months seeking for lost sheep should result in a minimum of one soul! "The conversion of sinners and their sanctification through the truth is the strongest proof a minister can have that God has called him to the ministry."—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 328.
This catastrophe of cyphers will be changed into victory when a genuine burden for souls places a digit of value in front of the cypher!
"This generation shall not pass" is a text often preached and variously interpreted. Of course, I believe that it is this present generation. I cannot see that the next generation will improve on the work of its predecessors. In fact, there is evidence of a rapid deterioration in manners and morals in the generation to come. Not all young people are candidates for the "hippies," but I am disturbed with the restiveness against all constitutive authority that is evident in the next generation. This generation is bad enough. It must not pass. I fear to think of what would follow. A bit of the spirit of this age is contained in the following paragraph:
"Always we hear the plaintive cry of teenagers 'What can we do? Where can we go?' I can make some suggestions. Go home, hang storm windows, paint the woodwork, rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the walk, wash the car, learn to cook, scrub some floors, repair the sink, build a boat, get a job, help the minister, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, visit the sick, assist the poor, study your lessons, and when you are through and not too tired read a book. Your parents do not owe you entertainment, your village does not owe you recreational facilities, the world does not owe you a living. You owe the world something. In plain simple words, 'Grow up and quit being a cry baby.' Get out of your dream world, develop a backbone, start acting like a man or a woman. I am a parent. I am tired of nursing, protecting, helping, appealing, begging, excusing, tolerating, and denying myself comforts for your every whim and fancy just because your selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality and thinking and requests."
Our prayer should be "Lord, finish your work in this generation, for who wants to face the next,"
E. E. C.