Fiber is the tough substance that gives texture and body to plants and trees. From it cloth is spun or woven. And it is fiber that makes trees useful for lumber and other products.

In man, character is the fiber that determines behavior and reaction to the strains and stresses of life. It has been said that a man’s real character is shown by what he does when he is alone, but that is only part of the picture. Whenever temptations come, pressures rise, and decisions have to be made, character or its lack is very evident.

There is a form of good character that is not necessarily based on the Christian ethic. Until the Red take-over in China, there was evident (and there still is, in Chinese communities abroad) a praiseworthy character rooted in respect for family and a sense of family responsibility. No doubt this is why there is so little crime and delinquency in Chinese communities. Obedience to and honor for parents results in law-abiding character.

When the Communists took over China, one of their first objectives was to destroy the age-long sense of family loyalty, and the day came when children’s denunciation of parents was commonplace.

America, which was founded on the Christian ethic, has also experienced a marked decline in character. Now expediency often triumphs over right, and immediate gain is thought by many to justify almost any act. Even among some religious leaders, “situational ethics” has supplanted the absolute of God’s moral law. Never has there been greater need for Christian character than now.

We do not have to look far to find what has largely led to the moral and spiritual decline of American life (which is, of course, a reflection of individual lives). The biblical concept of good and evil has been dimmed ...

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