‘Let the Church be faithful to its calling and its message, and the Holy Spirit will accomplish things for the glory of God.…’
A person who is losing strength, or who is experiencing pain or shortness of breath, will consult his doctor to find out the cause. The various manifestations of a disease are symptoms; they are not the disease itself. A conscientious doctor will through examinations, tests, and other diagnostic measures endeavor to determine what is producing the symptoms.
Any one who seriously considers the Church today and its impact on the world will inevitably conclude that all is not right. Here in America, and throughout the rest of the world, the Church does not have the influence it once had. The world’s biological birth rate far exceeds the spiritual birth rate, and a new generation is arising outside the influence of organized religion.
These facts are symptoms of a deep-seated disease, and, as is often true in the medical world, there is within the Church a divergence of diagnosis and therefore of recommended treatment.
Basic to these differences is the conflict in concepts of the nature and mission of the Church.
It is my earnest conviction that the Church is a spiritual organism with certain ecclesiastical functions. It has the duty to teach and preach the Christian faith as revealed in the Scriptures, and to do so not in the wisdom of man but through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is also my conviction that out of such Spirit-directed preaching and teaching, men are brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. They then become “salt” in a decaying society, “light” in a dark world.
On the other hand, there are many—and they largely control the philosophy and activities of the major ...1
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