"THE world is prone to call every man who is possessed with a little earnestness or enthusiasm a fool, but it is an open question which is more foolish, the world or the man. And perhaps we shall learn someday that there was more sanity in our rhapsodies than in the shrewd calculations that verged toward meanness."—E. P. ROE.
I like Mr. Roe! Perhaps this trend toward realism is not confined to the world. Haven't we taken that count-the-cost philosophy too far? Sure, sit down and count the cost, then get up and build! No worth-while objective was ever accomplished without risking something. Had Peter kept his feet on the ground, he would never have walked on the water. If Paul had had "his head screwed on right," he would not have lost it to Nero, his blood providing seed for the church. The mule who hears "whoa" all the time will find it hard to "get up."
Lest by now the conservative reader adjudge me an advocate of government by impulse, I affirm my allegiance to and faith in sound management and planning. Between this and experimental research (scientific or spiritual) there is no natural conflict.
Mr. Roe objects to "binding rules and cautious methods" that stifle ingenuity and reduce ideals to the realm of practicality. This won't work in day-to-day business, let alone the King's business. "He knows where he is going" accepted as a compliment may in reality prove an epitaph. For it may signal the surrender of the individual to pattern thinking, thus consigning him forever to being a cog in the wheel.
E. E. C.
THE COMPUTER TEST
RECENTLY the Washington Sunday Star came out with an interesting note about the new Secretary of Defense, Clark N. Clifford. His new responsibilities have brought- with them the duty of making many speeches. What happened to one of them might be suggestive of what might happen to some of our sermons if given the same treatment.
Speaking before the graduating class of National War College, he said he had written a very formal address for them and fed it into the largest computer in the Pentagon basement for an unbiased opinion. The computer replied:
"Your formal address is both good and original. The trouble is that the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good." Clifford said that he destroyed the address and instructed the computer to classify its answers
Sensitive, Top Secret, No Distribution!
WE PROCLAIM the doctrine of reverence to our people. But how reverent are we as ministers? Some time ago one of my ministerial brethren, seated in the audience behind me, chattered, chittered, and snickered during a good part of the church service. It was a most embarrassing experience. Nearby were several non-Adventists who undoubtedly were negatively affected by this breach of etiquette. For a non-Christian to display such an irreverent attitude during a sermon would be most unacceptable. For a layman, it would be worthy of an open rebuke, but for a minister, such deportment could almost be considered blasphemy!
Reverence is a quality of spirit sorely needed by the church today. As ministers who are constantly dealing with solemn, eternal truths, we can easily slip into a state of careless irreverence. To maintain an attitude of respect and reverence in our disdainful, contemptuous age, requires constant vigilance.
Reverence is the primary element of religion. To sense God's presence on all occasions is one of the most rewarding aspects of true Christianity.
Satan's constant tug on our lives is always in the direction of irreverence. If he can succeed in developing an irreverent ministry and laity, he knows full well that this act will do much to uphold the claim that—"the Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?"—Testimonies, vol. 6, p.371.
J. R. S.
Missouri Synod District Endorses Church School Transportation Aid
Bus transportation should be provided pupils of private and parochial schools on the same basis as for public school students, the Minnesota South District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod said in St. Paul, Minnesota. In a resolution adopted at its annual meeting the district urged members of its congregations to study the issue and write to their State legislators. The Missouri Synod operates the largest system of parochial schools of any Protestant body.
R. N. S.