Assets Or Liabilities?
The average Christian is a layman (and I use the term to include all church members other than the clergy). The ratio to the clergy is approximately 300 to 1, and while it is the latter which are usually quoted in the papers and who unquestionably exercise the greatest influence in ecclesiastical circles, so far as the world is concerned the Church is what the average Christian is.
We laymen therefore carry tremendous responsibility, for in the world at large the influence of the Church depends on the influence of its average member. It is the ordinary Christian who runs the home, does the shopping, teaches school, operates the businesses of our country and engages in the professions.
As one layman, writing to other laymen, let us consider just what Christ expects of us as his representatives. It is a sobering thought that people outside the Church judge Christ and Christianity, not by the Bible, not by church pronouncements, not even by the occasional fragmentary reports of sermons they may read in the paper. Rather, if they form any opinion at all, it usually is from the sudden impact or day-by-day influence of some man or woman who demonstrates in the contacts of daily living that there is a different quality of life and attitude in those in whom Christ is Lord and Saviour.
While the Apostle Paul affirms that it has pleased God to save men through the “foolishness of preaching,” he tells the same Corinthian Christians that they are letters written in the heart, letters which are known and read of all men.
Our Lord admonished his disciples to let their light shine before men for the express purpose of glorifying Him, and this admonition holds good today to all who bear the name Christian.
One of the difficulties ...1
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