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FOR A CONCEPT OF LIVING IN 1971 READ:
to Become a Millionaire"
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THE
PRODIGAL
FEAST
A squandered age which wants for love,
While love for wants is rife,
Feasts full upon its prodigal husks
And calls its feasting life.
The more it eats the more it wants
And more of hunger knows—
A cancerous age that lives upon
The very life it grows.
For feeding wants just multiplies
The selfishness of self;
It's feeding scuts that satisfies
With love's eternal wealth.
D. J. SILVER.
HOW?
by Lorna McCallum
I BELL EVE in love at first sight—that uncanny sense which tells you that this
stranger is a kindred spirit. It's a great beginning for a lifetime of association.
You can fall in love with Christ that way, too, or you may do so much more
slowly, but the problem is not so much in the beginning, or the end. It's always
easy to dream of the "happy ever after," but NOW is the problem. How to
develop the friendship and keep it alive NOW.
It seemed to me that the quickest way to get the right answers was to observe
somebody whose life showed that he had the secret. There are not as many of
these around as the world needs, and even less who have written or preached about
the answers. So, at the risk of reducing faith to a formula, here are my notes
to confirm or complement your own observations.
1. Trust that inner emptiness that tells you He is what you're really looking for
—whether the realization came as a blinding light or through a slow reasoning
process.
2. Spend some time with Him every day. Talk with Him, whether you feel
like it or not. If it just doesn't work out, and a thousand things come in to stop
you, don't be surprised. Set a time and ask Him to help you stick to it.
3. Be honest with Him. Tell Him if you don't feel in a devotional mood today,
but spend the time with Him just the same. Ask Him to give you faith stronger
than your feelings.
4. Give way to Him. This is easy for the one you love above everybody else,
but chances are you don't love Him that way yet—most of us love "me" more than
anybody or anything else. In this case it's hard—but easy. Tell Him you're
"willing to be made willing"; you want to put Him first but you can't quite make
it; and ask Him to do the rest.
5. Study with a purpose—to know His will and to do it. When He reveals
something to you, do it, and if you can't, go back to Number 4.
6. Commit your whole life to Him. Recognize that He has the best plan for
your life, and fit into it as He reveals it to you. How does He reveal it? That's
another subject.
Sounds easy, doesn't it—or hard—depending how you look at it. But it
works. Point could be added to point, but I'm a raw recruit myself yet, so I'll
stop at what I know.
If you want it simplified further, it's all tied up in Number 2. Even if you
don't have much to start with, if you stay with this one you can't help but "fall
in love" with Him. I've seen many different people who have only these two
things in common: they are unmistakably radiant Christians, and they spend a
great deal of time with Christ—which, after all, makes simple sense, doesn't it?
We can try to get by without it, but it just doesn't work. Spend time with Him
and it does work. The question is whether you think the prize is worth the price.
If in doubt go back to Number 1.
COVER PICTURE: Just a quarter of a century ago, Japan was
the hated enemy. Time, however, heals all wounds, and when the
Japanese held Expo 70 in Osaka, thousands of Australians flocked
to the land of the cherry blossom to take in its sights and delights.
One of those who went was Ivan Goldsmith, and he happened to
have his camera about him one night when this sight of the Tokyo
Tower just made his shutter finger itch so much that he had to take
the picture. We're glad he did.
Every man wants to pray the day before he
dies. As he does not know when his time has
come, he must pray every day in order to be
safe.
—Jewish Proverb.
TABLE OF CONTENTS, page 31.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 1
THE ULTIMATE TEST of a marriage comes when
the children have grown up, the last one has married
and gone off to set up a new home, and the bride and
bridegroom of thirty-odd years ago, now white-haired or
bald, are left alone. Now comes the moment of crisis.
Has the marriage held together only for the sake of the
children, or can husband and wife, as they should be
able to do, look forward to the joy of the freedom of
love and companionship which has been necessarily circumscribed by family responsibilities? If the marriage
has been formed and developed according to God's plan,
then Browning's words are gloriously real:
The last article of a seven-part series
"Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be."
But to enjoy such an experience requires some purposeful thought and some hard work.
Indeed this phase of married life demands what we
are so often told today is necessary to a successful retirement. One must plan for it. And the time for
planning is well ahead of the actual event. There are
some pitfalls along the way to trap us into a discordance which may simmer the more intensely because it
is not consciously recognized. It is an unhappy fact
that most marriages settle down into a monotony of routine that kills love far more successfully than active
cruelty or even impulsive adultery.
Basically this series of articles has been written primarily for youth. This last one is written for those
whose youth is long gone and who may well be suddenly frightened by the realization that the prospect of
life for just two, who remain essentially two because
they have never achieved unity, is a very daunting prospect. It is nothing less than tragedy if the dilemma is
solved by each going a separate way on paths that increasingly diverge. How can one plan to avoid such unhappiness?
BASIC PRINCIPLES
Much of the problem lies in the relationship of the
pair with their children. Nothing poses such difficulties
as creating a home in which father, mother, and children
form an intimate and integrated group and yet each
individual preserves his own personal identity. To do
this requires obedience to some very basic principles
which vary with the people concerned. Let us start with
mother.
It is all too easy for the young mother to become so
wrapped up in her child that she forgets that she has to
be a wife as well as a mother. In too many cases the
way is paved for an indifferent husband by a wife's
failure in this respect. She treats her husband almost
as superfluous, and then tearfully wonders why he loses
interest in her.
She then aggravates the situation by trying to create
a new security for herself by forming a circle of herself
and her children. She may, and often does, try to ensure
their devotion by giving the children their own way
and teaching them to deceive the father. "Yes, you can
do it, but don't tell Dad." Such a course has two inevitable results. In time the children will despise her and
they will be alienated from the father. A high price to
pay for the illusion of security.
Mothers, you must learn to keep your priorities right,
and your husb.and must take first place! That does not
Page 2 :: Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
DARBY
AND
JOAN
by A. L. Hefren
mean that you neglect your children, but it does mean
that you do not neglect your husband. It is all very
well to see that his washing is done, his suits pressed,
and his meals cooked, but a housekeeper can do that.
A man needs a wife who never fails to let him know
that she is in love with him still.
That does not leave it all to the woman. In all probability men are more to blame than their wives for the
decline of a marriage into a rut. We husbands too
often believe that we have done our part when we earn
a good living, give our wives a reasonably generous
housekeeping allowance, and feel we can complain about
the cooking with a clear conscience. Let me ask you,
Mr. Husband in your late forties, this frank question :
How long is it since you paid your wife a spontaneous
compliment? Perhaps it is so long ago that you would
feel a fool now if you tried it. You may astonish your
wife, but you may depend on it that you will delight
her.
Mr. Fair-Fat-and-Forty is often charm itself when he
compliments his hostess on her appearance, her home,
and her table, while his wife sits there and thinks,
"Outside angel, inside—no, not devil !—merely bore."
The wife does not live who will not bloom and thrive
under her husband's honest praise; but there is many
a woman who starves for it. She then turns to the
children, and the vicious circle is complete.
To you men who pride yourselves on your efficiency,
do you need a secretary to prod your memory about the
anniversaries dear to your wife's heart, her birthday,
her wedding day, and the birthdays of the children?
You may be great successes as executives, but as husbands you deserve, not dismissal, but contempt as
moronic failures.
DOING THINGS TOGETHER
Nothing is more important than doing things together. It does not matter what they are, but the more
creative the better. For some it will be time spent in
a garden. For others it may be wandering through the
bush, and for others again it may be water-skiing. What
is important is the word "together." Togetherness is
the secret of family success, and children who grow up
in such an atmosphere are receiving an invaluable and
unconscious lesson that will help them make successful
marriages in the years to come.
One essential feature of this experience is that of
praying together. Family crises and griefs, and the
smaller problems can confer a very blessed nearness on
a husband and wife who seek counsel from the Lord
together. The Catholic motto, "The family that prays
together stays together," has much more to commend it
than a catchy phrase.
Money can either divide or unite, according to the
way it is considered. Husbands should never be guilty
of making decisions on family finances without consulting their wives. It is even possible that their business
sense is better than yours, for it is honed by the constant
battle in the supermarket.
If your wife cannot handle finances successfully, do
not growl at her. You must have had a fair inkling of
the fact when you married her, so you have no one to
blame but yourself. Set yourself now to help her and
to give her the training she will need if you predecease
her. Teach her how to budget, but make sure that you
practise what you preach. Don't deliver a lengthy
homily on economy and then land home the next week
with an expensive fishing rod that you can't afford.
Do you make your wife an allowance of her own?
Do you plan with her your budgeting for church offerings? Is she dependent on an erratic generosity for her
dressing? All these are questions which help you assess
if you are treating your wife as a wife or as a servant.
RETIREMENT
One very real problem for the later years of marriage
comes with the husband's retirement. If he has neither
plans for that time nor profitable occupations, then
trouble lies ahead. A man faces at retirement something
of the same problem that a wife does at marriage—or,
at least, at the time when she gives up her employment
to make the home her full time occupation. There is a
sharp and often disconcerting break in the pattern of
life. But the woman faces it when she is young and
adaptable.
The man comes to it when it is hard to teach him new
tricks. If all he can do is sit around in the sun all day
long or putter around the house, then on goes the red
light. Within six months he will be frustratingly
waiting to die, and his wife will be so irritable that she
will feel like helping him on his way.
Woman's place is the home, but it most emphatically
is not man's. Any husband worth his salt gives a hand
in the home. Any man who makes it a full time occupation will be more likely to find pepper than salt in
his wife's reactions to his criticisms. Learn, therefore,
to plan for those later years and to plan profitably—
not in the sense of money but of satisfaction.
And wives: Beware of urging your husbands into
premature retirement! Robert Frost, the American poet
with a homespun philosophy, muses:
"A man's vocation should be his avocation."
If that is the fortunate state of your husband, do not
strive to separate him from it. He will know when to
quit and he will be happier working on at a pace to suit
himself than he will be hanging round the house. A
woman learns to adapt herself to household routine and
takes a pride in it, but a husband in a long-service
apron is a subject not for mirth but for pity.
Both of you can learn a new lesson and develop a new
discipline. As your children go off and set up new
homes, make it a firm rule that you will not interfere
in their homes. They will make mistakes even as you
did but let them find their own way without your help—
spelt i-n-t-e-r-f-e-r-e-n-c-e.
When the grandchildren come along, remember they
are not your toys. Wonderful fun they are, of course,
as you re-live in them the early days of your marriage,
but neither indulge nor discipline them. In short, mind
your own business—z-no easy thing to do. If you have
been blessed financially, do not spoil your grandchildren
by giving them too much. Love is not best expressed
in dollars and cents.
COMMUNICATE!
Although the most essential element of these later
years is communication, that is not an art easily learned
then. Since it is best developed much earlier, frequently
assess now its quality. In a successful marriage, communication is not dependent on words, though of course
they have their place. The habits you establish now
are making sharing of thought and mood easy and natural or they are setting up barriers just as effective as
any curtain—iron or otherwise.
Really to communicate is impossible without harmony
of spirit. The greatest aid obviously lies in a shared
experience in Christ. It is tragic to see people become
increasingly sour as they grow older, for the inevitable
result is isolation of spirit. "It is not good for man to
be alone" is true not merely of the man-woman relationship. If God is omitted or carelessly and indifferently
(Concluded on page 24)
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 3
hemp,
hippies,
and
happiness
"WE WANT PICCADI LLY to become a real people's
forum—the focus for the underground as a resistance
movement against all institutions like the family, school
and detention centres."
That's how one newspaper reported the leader of 800
hairy hippies shortly after they had moved into a mansion near Buckingham Palace in September, 1969. The
Minister of State for Health and Social Security was
reported as describing them as "squatting exhibitionists,
anti-social rebels-without-a-cause who have no claim
on the compassion of the community."
The novelist, George Orwell, in his book "1984," describes a society controlled by drugs—the wonder drugs
that affect human personality so obviously, or even so
subtly. These are the drugs that influence human behaviour patterns. This author depicts a society that has
developed an almost complete control of human behaviour by means of drugs. It is in every way a dreadful
place, and a dreadful way of life. Man himself has
become a pitiful pawn. He is manipulated into being
a chemically impelled robot!
Such ideas are no longer the extravaganza of novelists and intellectuals. Scientists are seriously proposing
such concepts. It is being suggested that:
"You may control all the people some of the time;
You can even control some of the people all of the
time . . . "
As to whether you can "control all the people all the
time," there are reservations.
by Austen G. Fletcher
PSYCHEDELIRIUM
TREMENS..
Jane Goodsell
Remember when HIPPIE meant big in the hips,
And a TRIP involved travel in cars, planes, and ships?
When POT was a vessel for cooking things in,
And HOOKED was what Grandmother's rug might have been?
When FIX was a verb that meant mend or repair,
And BE-IN meant simply existing somewhere?
When NEAT meant well organized, tidy, and clean,
And GRASS was a ground-cover, normally green?
When lights and not people were SWITCHED ON and OFF,
And The PILL might have been what you took for a cough?
When CAMP meant to quarter outdoors in a tent,
And POP was what the weasel went?
When GROOVY meant furrowed with channels and hollows,
And BIRDS were winged creatures, like robins and swallows?
When FUZZ was a substance that's fluffy like lint,
And BREAD came from bakeries, net from the mint?
When SQUARE meant a 90-degree angled form,
And COOL was a temperature not quite warm?
When ROLL meant a bun, and ROCK was a stone,
And HANG-UP was something you did to a phone?
When CHICKEN meant poultry, and BAG meant a sack,
And JUNK trashy castoffs and old bric-a-brac?
Drugs never have been the monopoly of the interest
of youth alone. Aldous Huxley was an old man almost
dying when he was extolling the use of drugs and experimenting in their use.
Drugs have excited the interest of the men who make
war. Said Major-General Marshall Stubbs, Chief of
the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, to a House Committee
on Science and Astronautics: "The characteristics we
are looking for [in drugs] . . . are the undesirable side
effects." Which makes us wonder what would happen
if one pound of LSD were dropped into the city water
supply of New York, Moscow, London, Paris or Sydney.
The military potency of such drugs is not underestimated by men who have discovered science to be the
most effective military weapon of this era.
THE DRUG RANGE
An amazing range of behavioural drugs has emerged
in recent years, some of them taking the popular market
by storm, and enjoying widespread interest and acclaim.
HALLUCINOGENS are probably the best known
drugs. Under their influence, the subject becomes
over-stimulated in hallucinations.
EUPHORI ANTS are the "funny drugs." They render the victim incapacitated by making him witlessly optimistic. People become disposed to
think better than the best of everything, to the
point where they become good for nothing. For
example, the worst food tastes delicious to them.
These drugs seriously pervert the abilities for
accurate judgment.
DEPRESSANTS are more familiar to us, yet under
their influence people can be rendered ineffective
because they are so depressed and discouraged as
to become useless.
CATALEXOGENICS are drugs that permit the victim to remain conscious, but they deprive him of
muscular control. His muscles become rigid, or
go limp, yet he cannot control them, though his
mind and thinking are not impaired.
When JAM was preserves that you spread on your bread,
And CRAZY meant barmy, not right in the head?
When CAT was a feline, a kitten grown up,
And TEA was a liquid you drank from a cup?
When SWINGER was someone who swung in a swing,
And a PAD was a soft sort of cushiony thing?
When WAY OUT meant distant and far, far away,
And a man couldn't sue you for calling him GAY?
When DIG meant to shovel and spade in the dirt,
And PUT-ON was what you would do with a shirt?
When TOUGH described meat too unyielding to chew,
And MAKING A SCENE was a rude thing to do?
Words once so sensible, sober, and serious
Are making the FREAK SCENE like PSYCHEDELIRIOUS.
It's GROOVY, MAN, GROOVY, but English it's not;
Methinks that the language has gone straight to POT.
DI SINN I BITOR are the drugs which weaken control
and co-ordination, at the same time causing people
to behave in a pattern of excess. The best known
of these drugs is alcohol. Disinhibitors lead people to talk too much, their imagination runs wild,
their emotions run riot and their actions become
grossly exaggerated.
CONFUSAN I S cause people to lose track of all relationships and to become uncertain and contradictory. Everything is so out-of-joint as to be
overwhelmingly strange and perplexing.
CH RONOLEPTOGEN ICS are peculiar drugs depriving the subject of all ability to recognize time
factors. He cannot distinguish between one second and one hour and is rendered ineffectual.
Generally speaking, we do not hear much about the
wide range of varying effects of drugs, for such information is well within the pale of military secrecy. But
we do hear a lot about youth and drugs, and we are all
interested in youth. Youth attract attention. People
love youth and see youth as the hope of the world.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 5
THE ATTRACTION OF DRUGS
Why are drugs exciting such attention today?
"Because they are there" and because we know more
about them today. Hemp, for instance, grows in almost all temperate regions of the world, and LSD can
be produced by any high-school student or back-yard
chemist. The aura of being forbidden seems to impel
wayward man in this direction, too. As the sign
"DON'T WALK ON THE GRASS" suggests to our
wayward natures that we go and walk on the grass, so
society's suspicions against drugs serve to excite many
into the fields of drug usage. On the other hand, we
are not persuaded that the situation would be improved
were drugs legalized, thus facilitating things for those
who want to throw parties and serve marijuana fudge.
People are at times attracted to drugs because eminent men portray their use attractively. Aldous Huxley
serves as an example here. Under the influence of mescaline he seemed to have had an almost religious experience. (How hypocritical for such a rabid atheist!) In
a small vase of flowers, he saw "what Adam had seen
on the morning of his creation—the miracle . . . of
naked existence . . . the divine sourc of all existence.
. . . Words like 'grace' and 'transfiguration' came to my
mind . . . "
People take drugs for kicks, for thrill's sake. And
people take drugs because they are desperate. Two of
the most beautiful women of our age died under the influence of drugs—Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland.
They died of over-doses. Did they die happy? Were
they transported with joy or were they utterly depressed? Almost the last words Marilyn Monroe wrote
were, "I always knew fame was fickle." And Judy
Garland?—"I've had a lousy life!"
DRUGS, CRIME AND THE GOSPEL
Drug use is associated with crime. It has been suggested that 80 per cent of all crime is rightly associated
with drugs and their side-effects. Of this figure, only
15 per cent of the crime was related to drugs other
than alcohol. This pattern seems to be world-wide. A
leading Soviet jurist, Dr. G. Anashkin of the Soviet
Supreme Court, revealed that 80 per cent of all juvenile
law-breakers in Moscow commit their crimes in a
drunken state.
Among those who have worked for the rehabilitation
of former drug addicts it has been observed that the
only permanent rehabilitation was gained by means of
Christian conversion. Evidently, people have found
that Christ and His gospel supply in reality, what drugs
have supplied in that phantom, de-facto experience of
addiction.
Within the gospel. man is provided with everything
that really satisfies him. All the basic human needs are
met—fully, adequately, happily and in reality.
The gospel is so satisfying simply because Jesus Himself is so wonderful. This is what impressed those
simple fishermen whom He called. He "dwelt among
us," John said, "and we beheld His glory . . . full of
grace and truth." John 1:14. Jesus loved men. He
was pure and uncorrupted by money, power or possessions. He was strong in the right. The perfection of
His character lends a strange, persuasive power to His
words. He is unique. None can rival Him, nor excel
Him. It is to descend from the sublime to the ridiculous
to equate Marx, Huxley or Russell with Him. He
Page 6 : : Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
stands head and shoulders above them all, excelling
them all in the magnificence of His virtue. Jesus is
wonderful.
"I have never felt the presence of God to be so real,"
a young man happily told me recently. Yes, within
the gospel there is the satisfying reality of the very
presence of Christ. "I am with you alway," the Saviour promised. The human heart longs most of all for
a constant companionship, which Christ happily provides. "My Father will love Him, and We will come
unto him, and make Our abode with him." John 14:23.
This is why Christ is so satisfying—He establishes a
communion, a companionship with the child of God.
No other love is so satisfying as is the love of Jesus.
What is more, in following Jesus there is guidance
given to our lives. Being the One who never stooped
to anything mean, miserable or nasty, Jesus is well able
to give us guidance in life. He gives us moral guidance,
keeping us from the many evils that are in the world.
It is all there in His simple statement, "If ye love Me,
keep My commandments." John 14:15.
"HAPPINESS IS . . . "
If we wish, we can steal and defraud; we can cheat
and lie; we can commit adultery or make a god out of
money, or power or fame. We can, if we wish, flout
all of God's commandments. But that will not bring
us happiness. Happiness is loving Jesus, being guided
by His holy law. The happy people are those who keep
the Ten Commandments the way Christ wants them
kept.
Being a true Christian means that "ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."
Romans 12:1. Christ wants us to be physically unspoiled, our minds alert and unfuddled. He wants us
to be clean, sweet, beautiful and strong. We are to be
balanced people as He was Himself. The record says
He grew "in wisdom and stature, and in favour with
God and man." Luke 2:52. Thai means Christ was alert
mentally and of active and sound mind. It means He
developed physically and appreciated all that goes for
good health and a sound body. Such as enjoyed the
favour of man, He was well adjusted socially and loved
people. To Him people were wonderful and precious.
And He enjoyed favour with God—He was spiritually
active and mature.
A life so beautifully balanced was a life radiantly
happy and satisfying.
- Jesus Christ does something wonderful to love and to
life. Recent study has revealed that in 95 per cent of
all divorces, one or both partners did not attend church
regularly. Among those families where there was regular church attendance, only one marriage in fifty-seven
failed. However, in those families where the family
actively worshipped together—prayed together, sang
together, read the Bible together—in those families only
one marriage in 500 breaks up.
What do these facts suggest?
They tell us there is happiness in knowing Jesus!
That is what Christ told us. "Come to Me, all of you
who are weary and overburdened, and I will give you
rest! Put on My yoke and learn from Me. For I am
gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for
your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is
light." Matthew 11:28-30, Phillips.
. „
Oh, set your sail to the heavenly gale
And then, no matter what winds prevail,
No reef shall wreck you, no calm delay,
No mist shall hinder, no storm shall stay.
Though far you wander and long you roam
Through salt sea-spray o'er white sea foam,
No wind that can blow but shall blow you home.
—Acv,-oymotTs (Mrs. M. O'Hara).
the until/co yeala
Midnight strikes, and the old year's gone—
We close the tablets we've written on,
And torn twixt hope and doubt and fear,
We open the book of an unlived year!
An unlived year!—Ah, stained with tears
Are the well-thumbed volumes of other years!
Soiled by blunders and black regret
Are the pages we read with our eyelids wet.
Close in our hearts, as the leaves are turned,
Is the record of passions that flared and burned;
And panics and sorrows, and ghosts that leer,
Look out from the page of the dying year.
But, fresh in o
A clean, new
Unmarred. are -t = .pde
Twelve new chapters, fre
It is ours to write the daily tale
Of how we conquer or how we fail;
Of Struggle and effort and hope that wakes
Like a song in the heart when a bright day breaks.
Once a year, when the glad bells ring,
And the Old Year nods to a Baby King,
Fresh in our hands, with the title clear,
And the leaves uncut, is an unlived year!
._---SEtEcTEn 1.Mrs. M. E. White).
d the sighing, groaning
efore a storm,.
1-Ieare
e scraping of the branches
bending of its form?
Have you seen it sway and straighten,
be swayed again, again,
Seen the leaves like tiny banners, whipp
dripping in the rain?
it in its strength and beauty st
defiant in the blast,
Seen it proud and undefeated when 01
mighty winds have passed,
Have you seen a fellow mortal ve
down with many cares,
Hertrd him sigh . when dread disas
upon` tim unawares?
Have'Stig,r,seeli.. him bear it bravely, overcortirhi'all his fears,
Seen him turn his face to heaven, gazing
upward through his tears?
Seen his countenance of sorrow change and
wear the victor's smile,
Seen him stand complete in triumph o'er'
the bitterness of trial?
Winds have ne'er uprooted timber growing
deep beneath the sod—
Strife has never conquered mortals who are
rooted deep in
d.
-----13vRoN E. De Bat,
Bracidon)-
Each month a selection is made
from readers' favourite quotations.
No original matter please. Indicate
source, author, and your own name.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 7
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casting Se'arch
THE ASTRONAUTS rendered mankind a conspicuous service when they let us see our world as it looks
from afar. No one who saw that spectacular sight on
TV could ever forget it. Glowing in the sunshine, resplendent in colour, the earth was the one beautiful
object in all the vast blackness of space.
After seeing the moon close up—and landing on it—
the astronauts could not get back fast enough to the
earth and home.
What a pity that a planet so naturally attractive,
so evidently made for human habitation, should be so
torn with strife, so riddled with crime and violence,
so utterly devoid of unity on social, religious and international affairs! If God made it perfect, as the Bible
says He did, it must be an awful disappointment to Him
today.
For this world is in a mess, a terrible mess, and has
been for thousands of years. Available history tells the
sad story of almost continuous warfare from the earliest
times to the present day. Crippling wounds, painful
diseases, death in many hideous forms—who can begin
to measure the sufferings of the human race since life
began on earth?
Page 8 : : Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
Part Two of Arthur Maxwell's Stirring Series—
"MAN THE WORLD NEEDS MOST"
People of every generation have groaned and wept
under their miseries, ever longing for deliverance, ever
yearning for a way out, ever looking for a man who
could lead them into a happier day. As far back as history goes, groups, communities, nations, were always on
the aleart for such a person, willing to follow him with
total devotion if they could find him. And so the
search, the everlasting search, began.
Alas, in most cases, a chosen leader's vision was almost invariably limited to the interests of his own
group or nation. He thought only how that group, or
nation, could be advantaged at the expense of others.
From this limited outlook rose conflict, and out of
conflict came conquest and subjugation. The strong
crushed the weak, leaders became tyrants and the tears
of the conquered flowed on down the years.
Egypt and Nineveh
Among the greatest leaders of ancient times were the
Pharaohs of Egypt, notably Necho, whose pyramids remain to this day, and Rameses, builder of huge statues
and temples. They were great men in their time, spreading their dominion far into Africa and northward to
Syria and beyond. But all they did was for Egypt,
not for mankind.
Out of turmoil in Mesopotamia came the first of the
Assyrian leaders, who chose Nineveh as his capital.
Sennacherib, Sargon, Asshur-bani-pal are some of the
men who swayed the world from that once-great city.
But world leaders they were not. Strong, cruel, ruthless, they spent their days crushing weaker communities
within their reach, blindly thinking this would enhance
the prestige of their own government.
It didn't. Instead it contributed to the rise of a brilliant youth named Nebuchadnezzar, who established
himself in Babylon, which he made into what he thought
would be an impregnable fortress from which he could
rule the world. He had great capabilities and, as the
Bible reveals, he was given a vision of the need for
world leadership. But he didn't understand it. All he
could think of was his own aggrandizement. See Daniel
2 and 3.
He was no world leader, and a few years after his
death God said to his successor Belshazzar, "Thou art
weighed in the balances and art found wanting. . . . Thy
kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." Daniel 5:27, 28.
Medo-Persia and Greece
So the Medo-Persian empire replaced Babylon, producing leaders like Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes and Artaxerxes. All were great men in their day, but with no care
for any country save their own, except for occasional
sympathetic interest in the Jews. Countries outside
their realm were just people to be enslaved, not uplifted,
educated. and ennobled.
As the years passed, the great search continued and a
young man of Macedonia came to the fore. Because
of his many gifts he was chosen to lead the armies of
Greece, and he led them to victory after victory. Defeating the forces of Medo-Persia at the battle of Arbela
in 331 B.C., he swept on in triumph to the borders of
India. Then he wept, so the story goes, because "there
were no more worlds to conquer."
That was his trouble. He looked on people other
than his own as potential slaves—people to be conquered, crushed, humbled. The idea never occurred to
him that he could be a deliverer who would ease people's sufferings, lighten their burdens, and spread healing and happiness wherever he went.
History books make him out to be a great person,
and in a way he was, but only as a general and a conqueror. He never came near being the man the world
needed at that time.
And so he, too, passed away, and his empire, which
was overthrown by the legions of Rome.
About 200 B.C., Carthage, on the north coast of Africa, was still a city of great influence, despite conflicts
with its rising competitor on the Tiber. One of its rulers was Hannibal, a general of outstanding genius and
generally recognized as one of the greatest warriors of
all time. He was also a man of great personal integrity
and is remembered as "one of the noblest of the great
men of antiquity."
People of many races gladly served in his armies, and
he once led fifty thousand soldiers, with many elephants
—the "tanks", of those days—from Spain, across southern France and over the Alps into northern Italy, an
astonishing achievement.
Rome Triumphant
Time and again he defeated armies sent against him
by the Romans, but he failed to take Rome. Had he
done so all subsequent history would have been different, especially if he had set up the same type of honest
government there that he had established in his own
capital.
But he didn't. Something went wrong with his plans
and at last, to avoid capture, he committed suicide in
183 B.C.
Carthage was destroyed by Rome, which then took
her place as queen of the Mediterranean and went on
to become the dominant power in Europe for the next
half millennium.
Out of Rome came many famous men, such as Julius
Caesar and his successor Augustus Caesar, both famous for their skill in battle. Indeed a Roman's fitness
for the office of emperor was measured largely by his
conquests and the number of slaves and other booty
he brought back from foreign ventures.
The chief duty of an emperor was to keep the empire
intact, which was accomplished by harsh, repressive
measures designed to keep the restless, subject peoples
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 9
from open rebellion. There was no plan to help these
poor people, or alleviate their hardships. All good
things, such as free food and free entertainment, "bread
and circuses," were for Roman citizens. The rest could
toil to pay taxes to the Roman treasury.
Power went to the leaders' heads. They considered
themselves gods and insisted on worship by their subjects. But there was nothing godlike about them. Great
and famous though many of the Caesars were, not one
of them came within a million miles of being the true
leader of men that, with such unlimited authority, he
might have been.
Absolute power at last brought total corruption in
both court and country, until moral and political weakness left the empire a prey to the people it had persecuted. These now swarmed across Rome's borders, led
by men whom they thought were deliverers. However,
these spoilers of Rome were soldiers rather than statesmen and today their names are known only to historians.
During all those tumultuous years the search for a
great leader went on. Always the hope persisted that
someone would arise devoted to ideals of justice, kindness, unselfishness and sympathy, yet with power
enough to make such noble principles a basis of lasting
government.
Charlemagne
One man challenged attention. His name was
Charlemagne—Charles the Great—who lived from A.D.
742-814. He was king of the Franks but was so greatly
respected that he was crowned by the pope as head of
the "Holy Roman Empire," a position he held till his
death.
An imposing figure, "towering and powerful," he was
held in veneration by half of Europe. Not only was
he an invincible warrior, but also a dispenser of justice
and a patron of the arts. He provided centres of culture
and education throughout his empire and was known as
"a man of many enthusiasms."
Sometimes his enthusiasms would go a bit too far,
as when, in his eagerness to extend the kingdom of
God, he would drive conquered people into a river to
speed up the process of their baptism.
He linked all conquered lands with the church, dividing them into bishoprics, and it was but natural that
men should speak of him as the champion of Christendom. Hopes were raised that he might bring in a better
day everywhere, but when he died, his reforming zeal
died with him. As one historian wrote, "His sceptre was
as the bow of Ulysses, which could not be drawn by any
weaker hand."
The Crusades
About two centuries later the era of the crusades
began, when thousands of people were persuaded by
church leaders that if only Palestine were to be liberated from the Mohammedan Turks, and Jerusalem made
into a Christian city, there might well come a millennium of peace and happiness on earth. The idea fired
the imagination of high and low, rich and poor, who
rushed to join the first such expedition (1097) under the
mistaken belief that it was specially blessed of heaven.
It wasn't.
In the second crusade Jerusalem was captured and,
after a shocking bloodbath of the inhabitants, a "Kingdom of Jerusalem" was set up. It didn't work. Following
Page 10 : : Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
the eighth crusade (1289) the last of the Crusaders'
conquests in Palestine was abandoned.
One of the best remembered leaders of those days
was Richard the Lionhearted, King of England, who
was largely responsible for the third crusade, 1189-1192.
Greatly beloved by his countrymen, he was one of those
charismatic leaders whom men gladly follow to battle
and death.
However, as every schoolboy knows, on his way
back from Palestine he was captured by a wily foe,
who held him prisoner for years until his subjects
paid a fantastic ransom.
As history moved into the Middle Ages, other great
leaders arose, but all had serious limitations. There was
Charles V of Germany, for instance, who spread his
dominion over most of Europe. He was one of the few
men who almost fused the broken parts of the old
Roman Empire together.
It was said of him that "no monarch until Napoleon
was so widely seen in Europe and in Africa. He had
more influence, prestige and power than anyone else in
his day—wonderful equipment for great leadership.
Yet in 1555, because of failing health, he was compelled
to abdicate his throne and sign away his vast possessions to others.
Those were the days of the great explorers, Columbus,
Magellan, Drake and others. These men were brave,
skilful, imaginative—but they were not the type to give
the world the leadership it needed. They changed the
course of history by their discoveries, but they could
not bring the day for which human hearts were for
ever longing.
France in the Ascendency
In the seventeenth century, Louis XIV became the
dominant figure in Europe. He reached out in all
directions for more and more authority, overrunning the
Netherlands, laying waste the Palatinate, and exclaiming, "There are no longer any Pyrenees." How much
good such energy might have accomplished if it had
been used to better purpose! But Louis thought of
little else than his own glorification. Finally a combination of opposing forces brought his grandiose schemes
tumbling about him like a house of cards. By the
treaty of Utrecht in 1713, his dominions were "pared
away on every side."
As the eighteenth century faded, there strutted onto
the world stage a dynamic little man whose first ambition was to save France after her great revolution. This
accomplished, he set out to save the world—for France.
He, too, had the ability to inspire others to believe in
him and follow him. He raised a great army of devoted
soldiers and for eight fearful years swept over nation
after nation. He placed his brother Louis on the throne
of Holland, his brother Jerome on the throne of the
new kingdom of Westphalia, which he created, made his
brother-in-law Murat sovereign of the newly-established
Grand Duchy of Berg, and gave his brother Joseph the
throne of Spain.
No other conqueror ever made such thorough preparation for the establishment and perpetuation of a
united Europe as did Napoleon. It was his plan first
to dominate the European continent, then the world.
Yet it was but a figment of his imagination, soon to
dissolve like a dream at dawn. Even before his plans
were completed, rumblings of coming disintegration
could be heard.
In 1805 the French fleet was defeated at Trafalgar.
Seven years later came Napoleon's Russian expedition,
his retreat from Moscow, his subsequent defeat at
Leipzig in October, 1813, followed by his final overthrow
at Waterloo in 1815.
The First World Ruler
In the nineteenth century the dominant figure was undoubtedly Queen Victoria. In a sense she was the first
world ruler, for she reigned over an empire on which
the sun never set. For sixty years she presided over the
•-
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:
41,
Sport & General
'
Pax Brittanica, one of the most peaceful periods of
world history. To help keep the peace she encouraged the
marriage of her relatives to other royal houses and,
for a while, it worked. As long as Grandma Victoria
was around there was no danger of strife in the household. Scarcely was her funeral over, however, than
old rivalries were resurrected, leading at last, in 1914,
to the start of World War I, a war so costly in manpower
and material that her empire never recovered from it.
The nineteenth century also saw many great figures
arise on the American side of the Atlantic, men like
Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt.
Thoughts of world leadership did not enter their minds
because they were too busy cementing the diverse states
into one harmonious whole and solving the problems of
a growing nation en route to greatness.
After World War 1, people everywhere began to
think more definitely in world terms. Had not tens of
thousands from almost every country died in all parts
of the globe? Were not the ocean depths crowded with
the wrecks of sunken ships of every nationality? Surely
it was high time to work toward world government. So
the League of Nations was formed and many treaties
signed. There was even one which sought to outlaw
war for all time.
Hitler's Plans
Then came Hitler. Many of his own people thought
he was the man of destiny. Millions followed him,
shouting "Heil Hitler!" and believing he could make his
dream of a master race—German, of course—and world
rule from Berlin come true.
For a time it all looked good—to Germans—until
word leaked out about concentration camps and human
incinerators. They then discovered that Hitler wasn't
a great man at all, but instead a very little man, proud,
selfish, cruel and sometimes demented. What a providence he did not become a world leader!
He didn't because the whole world rose in wrath
against him, ultimately destroying both him and everything to which he had set his hand.
Also in the twentieth century came the beginnings
of a new and powerful movement supposedly to promote
the interests of the poor at the expense of the rich. It
was an effort to establish the kingdom of God on earth
without God, indeed without religion, which was termed
the "opiate of the people." Among its early leaders
were Karl Marx and Vladimir I lyich Lenin. Millions of
the downtrodden looked hopefully toward them for
deliverance. They are still looking, though the leaders
themselves are long since dead.
When half the century was past there arose an eager
young man by the name of John Kennedy, who possessed most of the essentials for world leadership. Above
all he had charisma—lots of it. For a while he had
everybody and everything going for him. He conceived plans to help the poor of his own country and
of the world. Indeed he was on his way to real greatness when he was assassinated.
And so the search for a man has gone on down the
ages, with hope and disappointment for ever intermingled. This brief glance back across the centuries
reminds us how some men have emerged from the
crowd into positions of leadership and great opportunity—some of them men of high purpose and great
ability—only to fade into obscurity, their dreams shattered, their hopes and plans laid low.
Today the question still faces us, Where is the man
who can save us? To whom shall we turn for deliverance?
Meanwhile the problems of the world become more
and more complex and the odds against staving off a
third world war are greater than ever. Most people
have a presentiment of approaching disaster on a prodigious scale. If anyone is going to help, and has the
ability and know-how to accomplish this Herculean task,
he must appear on the scene soon. There's not much
time left.
lc*
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 11
EDITORIALS
New Year Resolution
THE NEW YEAR, as we all know, is a first-class time
to turn over a new leaf, to start afresh, to give up the
old, bad habits and to take on new and better ones. And
there is something very satisfying about telling yourself
that, as from January 1, you shall no more be rude to
your mother-in-law, or that, as of New Year's Day, you
will not swear loudly and earnestly when, on taking the
milk bottles down to the gate, you step on one of Junior's
roller skates and finish up on the flat of your back.
As satisfying as making the resolution—or even more
so—is the feeling of achievement which comes when you
have actually carried out your resolution. If, by, say,
January 4, you have NOT been rude to your wife's
mother, or if, by January 6, you have stepped on that
roller skate three times yet without profanity, you will
experience a sense of well-being and achievement that
few people will be able to match.
There is, perhaps, one resolution that is made more
than any other, whose fractured fragments litter the
days of January. It is simply that hoary old evergreen:
"I resolve that, in the New Year, I shall give up smoking."
Looked at in the cold light of print, that is an apparently innocuous sentence. There seems nothing to it,
really. You simply take the weed and throw it away.
You just pick up the packet of tailor-mades, and toss it
in the rubbish bin. You merely stuff that malodorous
pipe into the incinerator, and that is that. No trouble at
all. UNTIL THE CRAVING STARTS, that is.
No one but those who have determined to give up
smoking can tell what tortures of the damned can be endured from the simple enunciation of such a resolution.
And after all, that is what you should do, if you're serious
about giving up the habit. Tell everybody. Then, perhaps, you will feel some kind of moral obligation to keep
on with it—even if it is merely the motivation of the
desire to save your own face.
Now this matter of giving up smoking is not as simple
as you might think. Some people give it up for half
an hour (or half a day or half a week) every New Year's
Day, and several times in between. They are deadly
serious about it, because they hate themselves, they despise themselves, they abominate themselves for sucking
on a stupid tube of shredded weed. They chew gum,
they suck sweets, they even walk about (as we saw one
man actually doing) with a length of string, tying knots
in it—to keep the hands busy!
Then there was the group of people a couple of months
ago who were the first starters on a Caribbean cruise
(paying from $700 to $1,700 for the thirteen-day voyage)
for the single hoped-for accomplishment of getting rid
of that dreadful craving for a cigarette.
The response so quickly filled the quota of 180 that
there was a bank-up of would-be non-smokers, which made
the promoters rub their hands together in anticipation,
and announce that this would be a monthly service from
now on.
The cruise is being planned to make non-smoking the
IN thing, the organizer, Mr. Joseph Blasco, said. "Passengers will have so much fun, they won't yearn for
Page 12 :: Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
cigarettes." And just in case that all that fun, fun, fun
is NOT the answer, there will be ten psychiatrists and
psychologists on hand to talk addicts out of reaching
for their cigarettes and lighters. And if all else fails,
there will be hypnotists on board to hypnotize the longing
for one long, deep drag out of the customers who are
seriously hoping for a miracle in the thirteen days on
board.
To create the atmosphere of fun and hi-j inks, there
will be several professional entertainers along as part
of the therapy. Phyllis Diller, the comedienne, will be
there spoofing the cigarette habit, and lampooning the
nicotine addict.
Perhaps all this will be successful, but there is, we
believe, a better way. But first, let us look at this antisocial habit. We use the word "anti-social" advisedly.
Only a non-smoker can tell you how offensive tobacco
smoke is to him. Only a non-smoker can tell you how he
hates the reek of stale cigarette smoke in his clothes when
he has been cooped up with a smoker in, for instance, a
car or a lift. And only a non-smoker would believe how
many otherwise good, sound, sensible, well-mannered
citizens will calmly and casually blow smoke over their
friends and acquaintances as if conferring upon them
something roughly equivalent to an apostolic blessing.
The world recently mourned the passing of General Charles de
Gaulle, last surviving member of the "Big Four" of World War II.
He will be remembered as the leader of the Free French and as
first President of the Fifth Republic.
Why not give up such a thing as will destroy your
manners, put a brown taste in your mouth permanently,
burn holes in your clothes, turn your home into a smokehouse, and generally foul up the atmosphere and your
taste buds as you puff and gag and cough your way
through packet after packet? Why not give up this habit
which has been proved to be heart disease's best ally,
and lung cancer's firmest friend? And if all else fails to
convince you, there is, if you will pardon us for mentioning it, a text, a simple text, which ought to convince
you that smoking is not for anyone who professes to be
a Christian. Here is the text: "What? know ye not that
your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in
you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1
Corinthians 6:19, 20.
How can any man, realizing that his body is, indeed,
the temple of God, knowingly pour poisons into it day
after day? How can we glorify God in our bodies if we
suck foul pollutants into our lungs without a thought for
our own health? And how can we say, "It's my life; I
can do what I want with it" in the light of this reminder
that we are not our own, for we are "bought with a
price"?
"If any man defile the temple of God," Paul says in
another place in the same letter, "him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1
Corinthians 3:17. Could it be that God is fulfilling this
promise when lung cancer is on the upsurge, thanks to
this innocent-looking cigarette? Could it be that the increased rate of coronary trouble is simply the outworking
of this text? If men so lightly regard their bodies, described by the apostle as "the temple of God," how can
they expect any other result?
But back to that New Year resolution. Don't, please,
determine that YOU will give up the habit. Put your
hand in the hand of God, and together tackle the problem.
It is His temple that you are destroying when you smoke
that evil weed; He will therefore come to the aid of every
Christian who reaches out a hand of faith, and cries to
the Almighty to give him the strength he needs to break
the bands of a lifetime habit. This is the only safe way to
carry out that New Year's resolution to a successful
conclusion.
gdeia H .
P440
Vale, Arthur Maxwell
IN MID-NOVEMBER, Arthur S. Maxwell, contributing
editor of this magazine, passed away. Mr. Maxwell was
an Englishman, British to the marrow of his bones, yet
whose work took him to live in the United States for something more than thirty years.
Mr. Maxwell was an editor for more than fifty years,
a record term, surely. He commenced his editorial work
in England, moved to the United States to edit the American "Signs of the Times" and retired from that post only
four and a half months before he died.
Top-line editor and commentator though he was, it is
not, however, for this that Arthur S. Maxwell will be
remembered, we believe, but for his wonderful stories
for children. "Uncle Arthur," as he has been to two
generations, has written a whole series of books of "Bedtime Stories" which have run into literally dozens of edi-
ions and have been translated into several languages.
More than forty million of them have been sold.
And "Bedtime Stories," it seemed, begot bedtime stories.
There was no danger of the supply ever running ou+
for, so very often, the reading of a story by some chil
(or its parents) prompted them to write to the author a
similar exciting tale from their own experiences, and so
"Uncle Arthur's" files bulged more and more as the years
went on. "Bedtime Stories" would have gone on and on
for ever, it seemed, for every new generation of youngsters enjoyed the stories just as much. Only the death
of the author, who took each story and remodelled it with
his own deft expertise, could bring such a wonderful
series to an end.
But advancing years were to bring Arthur Maxwell's
greatest idea to him, and he cherished the dream for a
decade or more that a whole big series of books would
one clay come from his hand, telling the whole of the
Bible story in a readable and yet authentic way. "The
Bible Story," product of some seven years' work, ten
volumes of it, was the result of this dream. It has sold
its millions, too, and is still selling. And it readily finds
entrance to homes, schools, colleges and convents. Protestant and Catholic leaders have endorsed it wholeheartedly. There is nothing sectarian about this work, for it
is the simple retelling of the great stories of the Scriptures.
This magnificent set will be Arthur Maxwell's memorial
for many years to come. Children yet unborn will delight
in the fresh and lively approach he has given to the old,
old story.
We mourn-the passing of this good man, one who could
--and did—"walk with kings, nor lose the common touch."
We salute his genius, but most, we miss him as a friend,
a genial correspondent, a man of God. He sleeps until
the trumpet shall sound, "and the dead in Christ shall
rise first.'
Roka H. PM,.
NEM MONTH:
)4.. From Sin to Salvation. By Linda Driscoll.
)4.. Irene—the story of an underprivileged, under-nourished little girl--who does not realize
)4..
that she lacks what you and I consider the necessities of life. By Carol D. Smith.
This Topsy-Turvy World, by W. R. L. Scragg.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
Page 13
ON JANUARY 13, 1963, I celebrated my forty-first
birthday by walking to the end of a pier and throwing
five bottles of pills into the ocean. On a chaotic day
eight months prior to that occasion, I experienced a compulsion to take a much different kind of walk on the
same pier. My intended mission then was selfdestruction.
This frantic decision wasn't brought about in a day,
a week, a month, or even a year. It started some three
years before when the officers of my company gave me
a promotion along with the announcement that they
were preparing me for an executive position.
The inducement of improved status, prestige, and
material gains generated a drive within me of which I
was unaware. Earnest devotion to regular hours was
not enough. Nights and week-ends were occupied with
company paper work in the privacy of my home. My
family, of course, was neglected.
All went well, I thought, until a continued shortage
of sleep rendered me sluggish during working hours.
Worried, I consulted my doctor, who prescribed some
pills containing a mild stimulant that would counteract
drowsiness. For six months they worked well. But
there came a time when my system had apparently
reached saturation point, and unless I doubled the dosage, my daily "lift" let me down.
I tried to compensate for this by getting more sleep.
However, there were times when the pressure of my selfpropelled ascension left me so emotionally stimulated
that sleep became elusive.
Another trip to my doctor produced a different
prescription—this one for sleeping pills. The doctor
admonished me to slow down and start taking better
care of myself. But the ever-present knowledge that
I had a pill to fall back on steered good intentions
astray.
Several more months elapsed, and I was awaiting another promotion. It didn't come. Feeling that I had
not lived up to expectations, I foolishly augmented my
work load. Shortly thereafter a disturbing pattern
took place as I discovered that a combination of stimulation and sedation was playing havoc with my nervous
system.
Extreme Nervous Tension
Once more the inevitable return to my doctor. Being
quite concerned about my condition, which he diagnosed
as extreme nervous tension, he again cautioned me to
slow down. This time tranquillizers were added to my
pillbox collection.
Then one morning I overheard my secretary jokingly
tell a co-worker, "My boss is taking pills so fast that he
reminds me of a juggler." Obviously my "diet" was
showing. And why not? I was using five different kinds
of pills which were designed either to put me to sleep,
keep me awake, quiet my nerves, relieve my indigestion,
or lower my blood pressure. Without a continual twentyfour-hour reserve on hand I was as insecure as a deepsea diver with a fouled air line.
Something had to give—and finally did. The president of the company called me into his office and without any preliminaries got right to the point.
"Bartlett," he began, "something grave has been
troubling you for months. You are not the same man
Page 14 : : Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
HEALTH FEATURE
PEACE
WITHOUT
PILLS
John Bartlett—as told to Allan Clark
we started training for an executive capacity. I have
seen you so jumpy that you should have been sent home.
"Furthermore, you often appear to be in a trance.
Perhaps you have been pushing too hard. The company has considerable time and money invested in your
career and wants everyone to be protected. . . . I am
asking you to take a month off and get yourself straightened out. The rest will do you good. You may draw
two weeks' pay from the cashier."
My first reaction was one of shocked resentment. The
rug had been pulled out just when I thought the company needed me. But what bothered me most was the
blow to my pride and the worry of how I was going
to save face.
Somehow I had to get into shape for a return to the
job. And like everything else it would have to be done
in a hurry. During the first week of my leave, I tried
the pill ration system, but the plan didn't work. I was
hooked much worse than I realized.
Then one morning fear took complete command, and
I went to pieces. My wife called the doctor and he
confined me to bed with a round-the-clock male nurse
in attendance. Three years of progressive addiction to
barbiturates, accompanied by the pressure of pace of
my mode of living, had rewarded me with a violent
crack-up.
The Road Back
Every negative thought, from getting out of town
to committing suicide, entered my mind during my
violent stage. On the eighth day of the ordeal I was
lying in bed, my nerves in a jangled state, when I cried
out, "Oh God, when was I last free? Please restore
me to the peaceful days of my life."
With the realization that this was the first time I had
come close to voicing a prayer for many years, I prayed
as I never had before. How deplorable that a man has
to wait for disaster to strike before he communes with
-God!
On the following day, with my doctor's enthusiastic
approval, I went to the Y.M.C.A. and enrolled in the
adult division. Upon being introduced to the gym
instructor, I told him with complete honesty I was to
take light work-outs three evenings a week. He also
recommended calisthenics, half-mile walks, and deepbreathing exercises in the mornings.
While my newly-found diversion left me physically
tired the first month, my mental attitude was much improved. I was able to return to the job and, with sensible scheduling, I conformed to a regular eight-hour
day.
Sleep came more naturally now. My eating habits
were regular and my energy had returned. The insanity
of my addiction was on the wane, but the roots still had
to be removed. However, I had made progress, and I
continued my programme toward a positive frame of
mind.
I have since endeavoured to give thanks to God
every day for coming to my aid. With my family I
attend church services regularly—not that I feel it
compulsory, but because I want to. Now that my
problem has been conquered, I know that it is far
more constructive to try a prayer than a pill. And it's
available without a prescription.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 15
How to g
IVIillionai
by John F. Knight
Page 16
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
I WENT TO a funeral last night. Strange to say, it
wasn't really a sad occasion. There was no mournful
music, and there weren't any flowers.
In fact it was more like a party. It really was a
party! A groovy, gay swinger. You see, it happened
to be the death knell for another year. Somehow or
other, a whole twelve-months' segment of time had died.
It was rolled up and tossed into eternal oblivion.
In its place came a sparkling new baby. Innocent
and warm, and full of vibrant life and vitality. It
simply leapt into existence, quite unlike the usual human ones that come with much groaning and anguished
expressions. Baby 1971 was vital from the instant the
church bells tolled.
I t came in, supercharged, grappling with a great huge
calendar that proudly asserted in glaring bold letters:
"JANUARY 1, 1971."
"I'm the new era," he started shrieking the moment
he put in an appearance. "I'm the `with-if boy.
Come my way, friend, and we'll swing along."
At that very moment, my human computer system
(although a little harrowed and care-worn from the
previous twelve-months' span—it wasn't quite so new
as Baby 1971) started to click over.
1971? 1971? So what?
Here was Baby 71 defiantly screeching, "Success!
Achievement! Problems Solved!" when he was barely
sixty seconds old. Hold it, master, you have another
364.9 days to go yet!
But my computer system kept clicking on. I wonder if Baby 71 had something that I lacked? Was it
courage, or vision, or some new, unscathed, dynamically
positive approach to life that had been strangely absent in my life of late?
"The Positive Approach !" That must be it. "Goals
in Life!" "Achievements!"
Click, clack, click, clack! The computer wheels keep
on turning. Those wee cogs spin round with stunning
rapidity. The system which men copied but which we
received for nothing (its real name is "the human
ecome a
e
brain") is invariably correct. Give it a chance and it
will mathematically regurgitate information that is
frighteningly accurate.
Suddenly the answer seems to loom up.
It doesn't come out in the form of punch tape, nor
typewritten on endless sheets of paper with those inevitable holes down each side. But loud and clear the
answer comes through. In words, or word pictures, it
goes something like this.
"Goals . . . get motivated . . . think positive . . . work
hard . . . get moving . . . don't sit there thinking how
lucky the other fellow happens to be . . . forget the
green grass on yonder distant hill . . . worry about the
bare patches in your own backyard first!"
Maybe you're in business. You're in a state of complete penury. You've a run-down outfit to pull out of
the red, a bunch of useless employees and a heap of
equally difficult debtors and customers.
Or maybe-you're one of the employees. Your boss is
hard as nails. Promotion? Promised three years ago
along with a reasonable salary increment. It is still
as far distant as ever. You've slaved your fingers to
the bone for this merciless, overbearing, financial giant
who gets bigger and greedier whilst you get worn
through the concrete and further in debt. Utterly hopeless! Despair. Resentment.
Oh, so you're a college student? With problems? A
stack a mile high. Hard work. Competition. Hours
of ceaseless study. Getting absolutely nowhere fast. Or
so it seems. Years of unending grind and mental exhaustion before you even start to earn a subsistence
wage. And by then the profession will probably be
nationalized, and you'll be fighting to earn bread and
water. Unhappy, disillusioning thoughts of despair.
Mother of four? Well, you certainly have your hands
full. What, the kids are an ungrateful bunch of nogooders? Take your money, your love and affection?
Greedily grasp every morsel of life from you? And
give you absolutely nothing in return but a king-sized
headache. Not even a jot of respect for the unending
years of toil and grind you've devoted to their eternal
welfare.
Aha! You're a doctor? Plenty of loose change
made the easy way? You don't say. A doctor with
problems? Can't imagine it. What was that? Money
isn't everything? You would like to see a bit of reciprocal humanity in this hard old world? Mmmmm!
School-teacher, factory worker, university professor,
old lady in a convalescent hospital. Nurse in a huge,
faceless hospital; cook, entrepreneur, professional pianist, chemist, estate agent, hairdresser. The unending
sad stories go on and on and on. Problems are unending, as well as of a tremendous magnitude.
So what? Baby 71 happens to have problems, too.
Only he's in for a lot, lot more, and events much worse
than you could ever envisage. And so has every other
millionaire around town. Don't forget, nobody had a
cent the day he was born.
I've a horrible (but inwardly pleasant) feeling my
computer is right. So is Baby 71.
COUNT YOUR CHALLENGES
Don't count your troubles this January 1. Rather,
count the challenges that are already stacking up higher
than a pyramid before you.
As your inbuilt computer system will tell you, give
it half a chance. Whether you want to make a million
this 1971 or not, it is entirely up to you. It is in your
hands completely.
And by a million, I don't necessarily mean dollars.
I mean all the other things besides. Like friends,
kindly acts, gestures of goodwill to those who need
them most.
A prospective millionaire is about the luckiest person in the world. (Forget the dollar magnate—he's terribly unhappy, as well as unlucky. He's already arrived, so there isn't any further stimulus for him. How
sad.)
Set your sights high. Make a goal, and thereupon
work at it with frenzied non-stop effort. Aim at becoming a "Goal-achievement Millionaire." That means in
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 17
twelve months hence you'll have reached your goals,
solved your problems, secured inner peace of mind,
mental refreshment.
You'll have made more friends than ever before.
And, in turn, you'll find you're on the friendship list
of a greater-than-ever range of people, too. This is a
wonderful start.
Oh, yes, you've probably made a few more dollars as
well. But suddenly you find this is not so important.
Your new concept of living, working out simple solutions to your vexing problems, finding that negative
thoughts have no place in your mental environment,
solving problems on a day-by-day basis with a strong,
forthright, positive approach-these have suddenly converted you into a mental millionaire.
Intimately associated with all this, come important
facets in your spiritual life. This is a basic key to help
solve all problems.
Ever tried browsing through the Scriptures on a
regular daily basis? Remember, you used to until a
year or two ago. What happened in the interim?
Bowed down by the cares of the world? Couldn't be
bothered? Too tired?
Taking Christ into your life as a working Partner is
a top way to achieve your goal. He'll help keep your
computer working steadily and accurately. He'll keep it
oiled with the balm of enthusiasm, a sweet nature, a
sober spirit and Christ-like temperament.
There will be no more need to go mad at your offensive contemporaries. The well-adjusted computer is
programmed to cope with such difficulties as they rear
their ugly heads. But it is essential you walk hand-inhand with the Master-mind at all times. With His aid,
success is never more assured, never more gratifying and
overwhelming in volume.
The time to set your goal for 1971 was two or three
months back. But Baby 71 wasn't around then, so he
didn't. More than likely, neither did you. So what
about taking stock this very instant?
Set that goal! Apply it to paper in the written form
for greater clarity. Think about it well. Make additional notes and comments as they flash through the
computer system.
Once the list is complete, it's then a case of motivation. "At precisely 12 noon my working Partner and
I shall start together," you thereupon stoically tell yourself in tones loud and clear.
And from that point on, with Baby 71 still shouting
in your ears, hand-in-hand with your new-found Partner, with your computer clacking in the background,
with your imagination fired, your renewed, re-energized,
supercharged, power-driven system will leap ahead.
Wowee! I can hardly wait. I think I've almost
reached Goal Number One already.
Think positive right through 1971 and, without doubt,
with Christ in your life your goals will spin into reality
with frightening rapidity. Try it this coming 365-day
span and see!
**
Page 18 :: Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
BY R D. EDWARDS
"Prayer is the most powerful force of energy one can
generate; it's a force as real as terrestrial gravity. When we
pray we link ourselves with the inexhaustible power that
swings the universe."-Dr. Alexis Carell.
1. ITS NATURE
a. Supplication-Calling on God. Psalm 116:4; Acts 22:16.
Pouring out heart to God. Psalm 62:8; 1
Samuel 1:15.
Drawing near to God. Hebrews 10:22.
b. Praise. Psalm 66:17.
c. Intercession. James 5:14, 16; (1 Timothy 2:1).
"Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a
friend."-E. G. White.
2. ITS CERTAINTY
a. God hears. Psalm 10:17; 65:2 (Psalm 17:1).
b. God answers. Psalm 99:6; Isaiah 58:9 (Psalm 143:1).
Therefore boldness is invited. Hebrews 4:16.
"Prayer does not need proof; it needs practice."
3. ITS CONDITIONS
a. Faith. Matthew 21:22.
b. Submission. Luke 22:42; 1 John 5:14, 15, T.E.V.
c. Obedience. Proverbs 28:9; John 9:31; 1 John 3:22.
d. In Christ's name. John 14:13.
"No good thing will He withhold from them that walk
uprightly." Psalm 84:11.
4. ITS HINDRANCES
a. Wrong motives. James 4:3.
b. Doubt. James 1:6.
c. Sinfulness. Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2.
d. Repetition. Matthew 6:7.
5. ITS PLACE
Private. Matthew 6:6 (Jesus' example-Matthew 14:23).
Public. Psalm 95:6; Matthew 18:20.
Family. Jeremiah 10:25.
6. ITS POSTURE
a. Kneeling. 2 Chronicles 6:13; Luke 22:41; Acts 20:36.
b. Standing. Mark 11:25.
c. Bowing. Psalm 95:6.
"Kneeling in prayer keeps you in good standing with
God."
7. ITS TIME
a. Night and day. 1 Timothy 5:5; Psalm 88:1.
b. Constancy. 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Chronicles 16:11;
Luke 18:1.
c. Everywhere and in everything. 1 Timothy 2:8; Philippians 4:6.
"No man is safe for a day or an hour without prayer."E. G. White.
"More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of.
Wherefore, let thy voice rise like
A fountain for me night and day."-Tennyson.
The Virgin: A Trilogy—Part 2
by Meryl Totenhofer
104010.10100-01110-Noor-
A PALL OF DARKNESS h e v
Darkness, suffocating in its intensity, so oppressive
it could almost be felt. Huddled in the strangeness of
an unfamiliar room, Mary might have been terrified
had she the strength to feel emotion; instead, her mind
sought refuge in the memory of happier days.
The return from Egypt had brought such joy. even
though they could not settle in Bethlehem, "the city of
David," but must retreat to peaceful little Nazareth.
Baby Jesus must be protected from the malice of kings.
He had been such a lovely little babe, so blithe, so
good; His childhood all that a mother could wish, well
almost all. Willing and obedient, His bright, sunny
nature had endeared Him to all. The young village
boys could not resist Him, frustrated though they were
by His steadfast refusal to join in their mischief or
teasing. They liked Him in spite of themselves, she
had often thought. Clearly to her mind came the
memory of His first visit to the temple. How impressed
were the doctors of the law with 1-lis knowledge and intelligence! She had expected that now He would ee,f-i
sent to go to the schools of the rabbis, but lie ha
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 19
had firmly but respectfully dis-'
s
Joseph, remaining, nevertheless,
claimed kinship ,,
an Obedient . hard orking son- for another eighteen
years, even after the death of His supposed father.
When word came that Elisabeth's son, John, had become a prophet by the river Jordan, preaching and
baptizing, Jesus had put away His tools and left home.
Then followed three puzzling, anxious years. The mother, hearing of the miracles He had wrought, the hours
spent in teac g, healing and prayer, the long journeys
1ee and Judea, worried lest He break
throughout
Tales of His disputes with the scribes
under the
perturbed her. Why wasn't He more
and Phar
conciliand why wouldn't He let the people form
to make Him King? Hadn't the angel,
a ITIOV
id He would occupy the throne of His anGalati
d? Only last Sunday there had been a sponcest
emonstration for that purpose. When He ap,
tame
pJerusalem riding an ass in the manner of her
Icings, the people responded with a tumult of
an
enthusiasm. Shouting praises they threw their garments
on the road or cut down palm branches, making a carpet for Him to ride over; but instead of capitalizing on
His popularity He stopped to weep over the city. He
had exercised kingly authority in driving out the merchants from the temple, accepted the adoring praise of
children, but permitted nothing more spectacular.
IN PILATE'S PALACE
It had been an uneasy week; one could sense the
mounting tension. Mary hated leaving the peaceful
Galilean hills to visit Jerusalem; it had always been a
city of bloodshed and strife. Maybe a widow wasn't
bound to attend. the Passover Feast, but she wanted to
be near her son. She had heard of His disputes with
the leaders, and a sense of doom possessed her—hadn't
He told His disciples He would be put to death? It
had been no surprise, then, to find John at the door in
the early morning light of this Friday, the preparation
day. The mother was shocked by the expression on his
face—drawn, haggard, he was almost too overcome to
speak.
"They are going to crucify Him. Today! Now! I
don't think you should come, but I thought you should
know."
"Of course I must come. Where do we go?"
"To Pilate's palace."
As they hastened along the lanes of the awakening
city, the news seemed to be disseminated by the very
air. They had just reached the gateway to the courtyard of the palace when a group of soldiers emerged
To Mary's horror she saw Him in the centre, her son,
His face bruised and bloody, the drops still welling from
wounds in His brow. He had been scourged, she realized, for He could scarcely walk; blood still flowing
from the stripes which stained His garments.
Three crosses were brought, one placed on the
shoulders of each prisoner. Jesus took a few steps then
fell, His tortured body too weak to bear the load. Shouts
of abuse and ridicule filled the air. Desperately the
mother looked about her. From whence had this mob
come? Some were hardened criminals, some the fringe
element who joined every protest, but some were scribes
and Pharisees, usually too fastidious and dignified to
join forces with the "lower classes." She saw Him
cruelly goaded to His feet; unprotesting, He again took
a few steps, only to fall prostrate once more.
Cursing angrily, the soldiers considered the matter,
then noticing a stranger who had paused to express pity,
they compelled him to carry the cross. Freed from His
burden, Jesus looked round upon the women who had
broken into bitter lamentation for His suffering.
"Daughters of Jerusalem," He said, "weep not for
Me, but for yourselves." Why? What did He mean?
In the midst of His own torment how could He spare
thought for the sorrows of others?
BETWEEN TWO THIEVES
But there could be no delay. Forced on by the
soldiers, the procession stumbled painfully over the uneven pavements until it reached the place of crucifixion,
a short distance from the city. Struggling violently, the
two thieves were bound to their instruments of torture.
Christ was to occupy the central position, an indication
that He was the greatest criminal, and He was to be
nailed to His cross. The mother shuddered. Surely
He would not permit this—He was the Messiah, of that
she was convinced; how could He submit to death in
Page 20 :: Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
such a horrible form—this would be the end of their
hopes for the redemption of Israel! Her anguished,
silent protestations went unheeded.
A pain-killing drug was given to each, but having
tasted it, Jesus refused to drink. From that moment
the scenes became blurred to the mother. She remembered hearing Him say, "Father, forgive them; for
they know not what they do"; "she saw His arms
stretched upon the cross, the hammer and nails were
brought and as the spikes were driven through the tender flesh, the heart-stricken disciples bore away from the
cruel scene the fainting form of the mother of Jesus."
But to be away was more painful than to be there, so
she prevailed upon John to take her back. It was then
that she noticed the inscription, "This Is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Was this His only crime?
There were so many people, most abusing, ridiculing or
cursing Him, but some would have come from curiosity,
pity or despair. She noticed His few blood-stained garments lying in a heap, the soldiers quarrelling over them
until eventually lots were cast for the best. Was this
to be the disposition of His only property?
One event comforted the mother. One of the thieves
who had long ago stopped cursing her son suddenly
called to the other, who had continued his tirade of
abuse, "Don't you fear God? We are all under the
same sentence and ours is right, but He has done nothing wrong." They had nothing more to fear from
man, but was there a further judgment to face? The
woman trembled as she heard the hope mingled with
anguish in the pleading voice, "Lord, remember me
when you come as King."
Quickly came the answer; soft and melodious the
tone, full of love, compassion and power, the words:
"It shall be so! I tell you today, you will be with Me
in Paradise."
Today! That He could make such a claim when He
was dying the most shameful of deaths was incomprehensible, yet it eased her pain. Even so, she wondered
how much longer she could bear the agony; at any
moment she might faint again. Then the mother realized
that her son was looking directly at her as she stood,
supported by John, at the foot of the cross. His
beautiful eyes clouded with pain, but full of love
and tenderness: "Woman, behold thy son," He said,
and to John, "Behold thy mother."
"IT IS FINISHED"
At once John had brought her to his place in Jerusalem, but having seen her settled, returned to Golgotha.
Now there was nothing to do but wait. The hours
dragged by. About midday, a fitful gloom had descended, frightening the little servant-girl who, with
trembling fingers, lighted a lamp. Was it the Sabbath
lamp? Mary wondered. The little circle of light seemed
to intensify the gloom which lasted for hours. Suddenly
the building shuddered, caught in the convulsions of an
earthquake, and the pall of blackness fell upon the city.
"It's all over," Mary thought numbly.
Slowly the darkness lifted and daylight returned,
bringing with it the confused commotion of awestruck
crowds. A shame-faced Peter slunk into the house, but
where was John? And his mother? Before long the
sun would set, ushering in the Sabbath. Where were
they?
It was then the disciple returned, exhausted, distraught, no longer a fresh-faced youth, but suddenly a
mature adult.
Wearily he came to Mary's side. "He is at rest
now," he muttered.
"What happened?" she pleaded. "Tell me."
Laboriously he collected his thoughts. "It was wonderful, right at the end—though not what we had been
expecting. While the darkness was around the cross
He cried 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken
Me?' but then the gloom lifted and He called 'I thirst.'
The priests mocked Him, but one of the soldiers held a
sponge of vinegar to His lips. Then in clear, trumpet
tones that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus
cried, It is finished. Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.' A light encircled the cross and His
face shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed
His head upon His breast and died. It is no wonder the
centurion exclaimed in awe, 'Truly this was the Son of
God.' "
"WHERE IS HE NOW?"
Silence fell. Then Peter spoke up: "They say at that
moment the heavy temple curtain separating the holy
place from the most holy was torn in two from top to
bottom. Somehow the one at the entrance must have
been brushed aside, for people could see right into the
most holy place." He paused. "Not that there's anything to see there now. They say, too, that the high
priest was just going to kill the lamb for the evening
sacrifice, but he was so horrified he dropped the knife
and the lamb escaped."
If our society continues to become less livable as it becomes more affluent, we shall
end up in sumptuous misery.
—John W. Gardner in "Executives' Digest."
"Caiaphas had already slain the Lamb." Had John
really muttered that, or was it just the echo of her own
thoughts? puzzled Mary. John had repeated to her the
remark of the prophet at her son's baptism.
Silence fell once more, to be broken by the mother's
beseeching voice: "Where is He now? What happened
to Him?"
"We could hardly believe that He really was dead.
Until the last we expected Him to come down from the
cross and take vengeance on His persecutors. The soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves to hasten their
death, but when they came to the Master He was already dead. To make sure, one of them pierced His
side with a sword and from the wound there flowed blood
and water." A sob escaped Mary's lips. That sword
had pierced her own heart also. John gulped and hastily continued.
"We didn't want to see His body thrown out with
the criminals—but there was nothing we could do. Then
two important men came to help us; Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. We knew that Joseph was one of
us but had kept it secret because being a member of the
council he could use his influence to protect Jesus; as indeed he did. But Nicodemus! That was a surprise.
We had seen nothing of him since the time months ago
when he had come to the Master by night. He came now
bringing a linen cloth and spices, for Joseph had approached Pilate and received permission to bury the
body."
IN JOSEPH'S TOMB
The disciple's voice faltered. Mary's body trembled
in sympathy. She pictured the wounded, lacerated form
taken from the cross, lovingly but hastily wrapped in
the aromatic linen and taken away.
"Where, where?" her voice refused to frame the question.
"To Joseph's new tomb—in the garden not far away.
The three of us laid Him to rest there."
"The three of you ?" Amazement sharpened her voice.
"Yes, and the women were there, too, not far away.
My mother, your sister, Cleophas' wife, Mary Magdalene and others. They stayed to the very end; until
we had rolled the stone across the entrance to the tomb.
They were just leaving as I hurried away because it
was nearly the Sabbath."
"I should have been there, too. I shouldn't have left
others—" the pitiful voice faded away.
"You couldn't have borne it. Neither could He. He
gave you to my care."
It was true, but as the Sabbath lamp flickered in the
darkness she wondered, as mothers do, if this, in some
obscure way, were her fault. Should she have acted
differently? In His childhood? In His youth? In
His adult life? But hadn't Simeon warned her? The
sword had pierced her heart. He was at rest now,
sleeping in Joseph's tomb, but would she ever sleep
peacefully again until she was laid in her final restingplace?
And unless Christ is to us a living, abiding reality we
will never have peace.
After air and water, the power of a kind
and pleasant word is the best and cheapest
thing God gives us, His children.
—Canon Sheehan in "My New Curate."
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 21
by Roy Allan Anderson
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What's Happening to the Reformation?
IT WAS A BRIGHT, sunny afternoon in October
when a brilliant young university professor seemed to
be acting strangely. Those who watched him could
not understand what was going on, for the words on
the paper he was nailing to the church door were all in
Latin. Scholars, however, understood, for this was
Martin Luther's challenge to the leaders of Christendom. The year was 1517.
The world has moved a long way since then. But
the spirit of the revolution is just as real in our day.
The generation he represented could well have been
called "The Now Generation." The blows of his hammer were soon heard in every country of Europe, for
what he nailed there was not merely a list of academic
questions. These theses represented the deepest convictions of his heart.
He had been stirred by the selling of indulgences. "It
is a travesty on the gospel," he said, "to claim that for
a price a sinner could be assured of forgiveness not only
temporarily but eternally, and that an indulgence was
effective even in purgatory." "This," declared Luther,
"is corruption of the highest sort." Forgiveness of sins,
he said, "could not be bartered about, bought and sold"
like a loaf of bread.
Luther handed a few copies of his document to his
academic friends, and one fell into the hands of a
printer, who forthwith published a German translation.
Soon the whole country was aware of his challenge, for
it was read in castles, cloisters, universities, everywhere.
Page 22 :: Signs of tile Times, January 1, 1971
Erasmus and Reuchlin, as well as other scholars, applauded Luther for his courage in attacking established
religion and exposing abuses in the church.
WAS IT A MISTAKE?
The Reformation was real. But was it just an event
in history, or does it have significance for us today?
Was it needed, or was it, as some say, a big mistake?
Not long ago, a group of Protestant ministers were
discussing the question of mergers among different
churches—a popular topic these days. Many spoke of
the advantages of the ecumenical movement, which aims
at getting all the churches together to make one worldwide church. This naturally led to the question of disunity, which most declared was really sin. Soon some
were wondering if the Reformation was also a sin.
Some hesitated to call it a sin, but the majority decided
it was at least a grave misfortune. This, of course, is
exactly the position Rome has taken for over four
hundred years.
But was the sixteenth-century Reformation a misfortune or mistake? Perhaps we should ask what caused
this great upheaval in the church. Was it just a desire
to be different? No. It resulted from the rediscovery
of great truths. Clear-thinking, consecrated men and
women rediscovered the gospel of grace. They found it
to be "the power of God unto salvation." "The Bible
and the Bible only" became their watchword. Philip
Schaff, the distinguished church historian, declares
that the Protestant Reformation was the greatest event
in history, next to the birth of Christianity itself.
In many countries of Europe earnest students
gathered around God's Word, comparing scripture
with scripture; and the light of truth broke in upon
their souls. Not all saw the same light at the same
time. As time went by, others discovered increased
light on certain beliefs. It was this that led to the
many different denominations of Protestantism. But
the guidelines for each group were the Old and New
Testaments. Every Reformer recognized the authority
of God's Word. Luther's constant appeal was, "Show
me from the Scriptures that I am wrong."
Today Protestantism is facing a new crisis. In
one sense it is not really new, for the Reformation
sprang from one basic question: How does a sinner
make peace with God? The Scriptures answered, "The
just shall live by faith"—faith in Christ's atoning
sacrifice, faith in the Word of God. The great apostle's
message, "By grace are ye saved through faith," rang
out above the clang and clamour of opposing voices.
Rome had taught that men are saved through faith
and works, but Luther wrote in the margin of his big
Latin Bible, sole gracia, "grace alone." His message
was clear: We are saved without the addition of any
works or human merit.
A SOCIAL GOSPEL
Many leaders in so-called Protestant circles today
have ceased to preach individual and personal salvation.
They insist that the work of the church is to bring
about socio-economic reform rather than to bring
sinners to Christ. Man does not need to be saved, they
say, but society needs to be reformed.
Social questions are being equated with the gospel.
Some insist that social reform is the gospel. True, the
gospel has social implications. James in his classic
epistle on "true religion" stressed the importance of
supplying the needs of those in want, for "faith divorced from deeds is lifeless as a corpse." James 2 :26,
N.E.B. But he emphasized the basic truth of the
gospel when he said that "He [the Father of lights]
gave us birth by the word of truth, so we might be a
kind of first fruits of His creatures." James 1:18,
Berkeley.
Like all the writers of Scripture, James recognized
the absolute authority of God's Word. The Apostle
Paul spoke of some "which corrupt [margin, "deal
deceitfully with"] the Word of God." 2 Corinthians
2:17. He also wrote that some "profess that they know
God; but in works they deny Him." Titus 1:16.
This points up the basic problem in many Protestant
pulpits today. It is not just a different interpretation
of certain passages of Scripture, but a denial of the
very authority of the Scripture itself. In many circles
the Bible is a fallen oracle. This is the fruitage of the
instruction in many seminaries whose teachers regard
the Bible, not as the work of God, but as the work
of man.
THE NEW GENERATION
A new generation of preachers has arisen shorn
of the authority of a "Thus saith the Lord." The
Belgic or Netherlands Confession of Faith sets forth
the doctrine of the Word of God clearer than perhaps
any other confession or church creed. Under the heading
Of the Written Word of God, Article III declares, "We
confess that this Word of God was not sent nor delivered by the will of man, but that holy men of God
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, as the
Apostle Peter saith. And that afterwards God, from
a special care which He has for us and our salvation,
commanded His servants, the prophets and apostles,
to commit His revealed Word to writing; and He
-Himself wrote with His own finger the two tables of
the Law. Therefore we call such writings holy and
divine Scriptures."
Again, under the heading Whence Do the Holy
Scriptures Derive Their Dignity and Authority? Article
V says: "We receive all these books [the sixty-six
canonical books] . . . for the regulation, foundation,
and confirmation of our faith; believing, without any
doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the church receives and approves them as such,
but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnesseth
in our hearts that they are from God whereof they carry
the evidence in themselves."
It is the witness of the Holy Spirit in a man's heart
that convinces him that the Bible is indeed the Word
of the living God. Unless that witness is set in a man's
soul, then no arguments, however sound, will convince him. The real issue then is: Can we believe the
Bible today? If so, how much of it? Are the Scriptures
authoritative in this Space Age?
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 23
SCRIPTURES A MUSEUM?
Liberal theologians speak of the Bible as an earthen
vessel which contains some treasure. They suggest that
somewhere in the Scriptures the true Word of God can
be found, but that it is intermingled with so much folklore and legend that it cannot be taken at face value.
But the figure of the "earthen vessel" is taken from the
writings of the Apostle Paul, who said, "We have this
treasure in earthen vessels." He applied this figure
not to the Bible but to the preacher.
It has been well said that to regard the Scriptures
as a kind of museum, a collection of ancient legends
and folklore, is to reduce Bible study to a kind of
mining operation. Iron ore to be useful must be
crushed, screened, and smelted; it must be purged
of all impurity. Only what remains is of value. And
that is how liberal theology treats the Bible. But if
the Bible is to be treated that way, then, we ask,
who is to determine what is truth and what is legend,
what is to be retained and what is to be discarded?
If the Bible cannot be relied upon, if it is not
absolutely trustworthy, then in what can a sinner believe for salvation? All we know of our Lord—His
deity, His incarnation, His atoning death, His resurrection, His ascension, His ministry at the throne of grace,
His imminent return in power and glory, the judgment,
the millennium, our eternal reign with Him—all these
and a hundred other vital truths we get from the Bible.
Historic Protestantism accepted "the Bible and the
Bible only" as its textbook of belief.
To the sixteenth-century Christians the Bible was the
authoritative revelation of God. Bible-believing Christians today rejoice in the same truth that God is their
Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and coming King. But
many others look upon God as "a kind of trickster who
intervenes in human affairs in a quite arbitrary way,"
to quote Dr. Edmund Leach of King's College, Cambridge, England. This scholar, in his article in The
Saturday Evening Post of November 16, 1968, declares that "the scientist must be the source of his
own morality." "We ourselves have to decide what
is sin and what is virtue, and we must do so on the
basis of our modern knowledge and not on the basis
of traditional categories."
RELEVANT TODAY?
While this man speaks as a scientist and not as a
theologian, yet this kind of thinking has led many
ministers as well as laymen to regard the Word of God
as the product of a bygone age with no relevance for
this generation. But we ask, Has man become his own
god, making his own laws, deciding his own destiny?
These questions lead to the very heart of the issue
today.
Time was when universalism taught that all men are
or will be saved. But the universalist of today claims
that man does not need a saviour at all, for he was
The difference between listening to a radio
sermon and going to church, someone has
said, is almost the difference between calling
your girl on the telephone and spending an
evening with her.
—Moody Monthly.
Page 24 :: Signs
of the Times, January 1, 1971
never lost; his long evolutionary struggle has been but
an "outreach to fulfil his potential."
Thus the great teachings that brought about the
founding of the Protestant churches are being eroded.
The words of Jesus have particular relevance today. Speaking of Moses, He said, "If ye believe not
his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" John
5:47. And again, "If they hear not Moses and the
prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one
rose from the dead." Luke 16:31.
The greatest Teacher of all time had no question
about the veracity and authority of Scripture. "It is
written" was His weapon against the devil. And the
Apostle Paul declared that we shall be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil if we "take the helmet
of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
Word of God." Ephesians 6:17. That was the doctrine
and the defense of the early Christians. It was the unequivocal position of the sixteenth-century Reformers.
Nothing short of this can meet our need today. **
DARBY AND JOAN (Concluded from page 3.)
ignored the later years of life are very prone to bitterness of spirit. You may need then to find a new start
in the Lord together, and in doing so recapture the happiness of earlier days.
For every marriage there looms in the senior years
the realization that death will break the tie that nothing
else has had the power to sever. One will be left to walk
on alone, and the loneliness can be very insistent. This
inevitably raises the question of re-marriage. Some
will want to have mated once and for all, and some
will find in a new marriage a solace for lonely hours.
Nothing so marks the utter egocentricity, the possessiveness of a jealous love as an endeavour to bind the
survivor to a pledge not to re-marry. Leave that to
the one who is left and to God. It is probably true that
if a man marries again after his wife's death, it is a
tribute to her character. Surely only one who has been
happily married would want to try a second time. So,
too, with the disposition of one's estate. It is a poor compliment to your wife's ability and to your training if
you must tie her actions up so completely in your will
that she has no power of discretion.
Perhaps the recipe runs thus: First find a mate whom
the Lord approves for you. Continue to show unfaltering love throughout the years. When your times comes,
thank God for the blessing He has given you and look
forward to reunion in the kingdom of God. In short,
for as long as you live, keep your wedding vows both
in the letter and in the spirit. Great will be your
reward.
**
The land is under water, the ocean is under
oil, and the campuses are under siege. I got
so discouraged I called Dial-a-prayer--and
they hung up on me.
—Governor Ronald Reagan of California, joking with
a group of automobile industry workers.
A Children's Story
PAPUAN
30-MINFY
by Myrtle O'Hara
AN OLD PAPUAN cannibal lay alone in a tiny grass hut
in the steaming New Guinea jungle. He had been there
for four days without food or water. He was unable to move
and soon his sufferings would be over. Four days before, the
people of his village had carried him to this lonely spot,
built a rough shelter over him, and left him there to die.
He was too old and sick and feeble for them to be bothered
with him any longer, so they followed their age-old custom
and removed him from among them. He accepted this treatment without any ill feeling. It was the way of his people.
In times past a missionary, Pastor White, had now and
then visited his village. The old man had listened to the
gospel story and learned about the God in heaven. He had
felt that perhaps this God was better than the spirits whom
he worshipped, but had never done anything about changing
his ways. Now as he lay helpless and forsaken, during the
terribly long, lonely, painful hours, he wished to see the
missionary once more. The spirits he worshipped gave him
no comfort and he was afraid to die. He wanted to belong
to the missionary's God and tried to pray to Him as he had
heard Pastor White pray.
He asked God to send the missionary to help him. He
did not worry over the fact that Pastor White knew nothing
of his plight and that he could be anywhere on a walkabout,
or that it would take days to reach him if he did know. In
his simple faith he believed he would come, and he lay there
and waited.
About the time the man was carried from his village, in
another village many miles away Pastor White made up his
mind to go on a walkabout and visit the natives scattered
throughout the area. He prepared for his journey, engaged
some carriers, and took with him a young man called Bill
who had recently come to the mission station. For six or
eight hours each day they stumbled along a track of sorts
which led up and down the rough, steep mountains till
they were 6,000 feet above sea level. Still other mountains
towered above them for another 3,000 feet.
The travelling was exceedingly hard. They had to wade
through hundreds of streams and cross raging torrents. They
tripped over roots and boulders in the tangle of undergrowth. They slipped and fell in the thick, sticky mud.
Sometimes they fell down almost vertical slopes and then
painfully dragged themselves up the opposite hillsides by
clinging to whatever support they could find. They were
soaked by tropical rainstorms and shivered in the gloom of
the valleys where the sun never shone. Then they roasted on
the hilltops and their clothes were plastered to their bodies
with perspiration. They were bruised, scratched and bleeding and Bill's feet were covered with blisters. They were
so weary that at times they could scarcely keep going. But
a few miles further on they hoped to reach a village (the
sick man's village) and rest.
Presently the track divided. The three carriers who were
ahead turned to the left, but when Bill reached the fork, he
turned to the right. He didn't know why. He had never
been there before and did not know the way to the village.
It seemed to him as if some power compelled him to turn to
the right. The surprised natives called to him to come back.
Then Pastor White called: "Hey, where are you going?
Come back. That path doesn't lead anywhere. You will
get lost if you keep going. We have to turn to the left."
But Bill hurried on. He had to go on. Something was urging him forward. He simply couldn't turn back. His companion became alarmed. "Don't be silly. Come back," he
called, then, as he began to run after Bill, "Are you crazy?
That is NOT the way. Come back, I say."
Just then, by the side of the track, Bill saw a small leaf
hut almost hidden by the undergrowth. He went over to it
and parted the leaves on the roof. He peered through the
hole and saw an old, wrinkled, filthy Papuan who looked like
a skeleton, lying on the ground inside. The man raised his
dull, red-rimmed eyes to the patch of light and tried to smile
at the person looking in. By this time Pastor White had
arrived. He took one look through the hole, then quickly
crawled into the wretched, stinking little hut and bent over
the dying man who tried to speak a few sentences.
"I have been waiting for you. I want to belong to your
God—to—our—Father," he said as he remembered what the
missionary had taught him long ago. The men made him
a hot drink. Then in a few simple words they told him of
God's love for him and of his wonderful heavenly Father
who would receive him as His son. They comforted him and
prayed with him. Soon his fears left him and he was
filled with happiness. After about a quarter of an hour the
poor old man, with a smile on his face, died in the arms of
the missionary.
Then Bill and Pastor White looked at each other. Now
they understood why Bill had taken the right-hand track and
why he couldn't turn back. They understood why Pastor
White had decided to make the trip when he did. They felt
that the days of toiling up and down the mountains had
been well worth while and they thanked God that He had
led them in time to the place where they were so urgently
needed.
God is just as interested in each one of us as if there was
not another person to claim His attention. It does not matter where we live or what is the colour of our skin. If we
are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, it makes no difference. Our Father in heaven knows all about us, and when
we ask Him for help we know that He will answer our
prayers just as readily as He answered those of the poor old
man in New Guinea.
**
CO-OPERATION CORNER
P.H.C.
Foreign Missions ;10.00
L.P., Vic.
Tithe
2.00
A.H., N.S.W.
Tithe
40.00
A.H., N.S.W.
Foreign Missions
10.00
Anon.
Foreign Missions
2.00
Tithe
17.00
Anon.
British and Foreign Bible Society
2.00
P.H.C.
Foreign Missions
10.00
Anon., N.S.W.
Foreign Missions
20.00
Mrs. V. Bernardi
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 ::
Page 25
strcIgrI
from the SnOU
ARE YOU A GRASSHOPPER?
NO! I AM NOT talking about the habit aimless
people have of flitting erratically from place to place
and never settling anywhere for long. My concern is
with the grasshopper mentality which first finds inspired
notice in the last verse of the thirteenth chapter of
Numbers.
"And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which
come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as
grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
The tribe of Anak is certainly not extinct, and
even more surely are the grasshoppers still alive in our
land. Anak's sons do not matter. Goliath was of their
stature, wearing an armour that weighed the best part
of a ton, and carrying a spear that looked like a piece
of four by three; but a small stone hurled by a slight
teenager gave the giant fatal concussion. One moment
Goliath was sneering at the shepherd lad then—one can
almost hear the cry, "Tim—b—e—r!" as the giant
toppled and the go went out of Goliath.
David, you see, may have looked like an insect in
Goliath's sight, but he refused to consider himself in
those terms. He saw God, and Goliath seemed so contemptible that the stripling could not demean himself.
That is really the key to the problem. How do you
see yourself? It was because the Israelite spies saw
themselves as 'hoppers that the sons of Anak saw
them thus. The text makes that very clear.
So it is still. You are out with a group of young
people who have made no decision as to who rules
their lives. His satanic majesty is always ready to
oblige, of course. Suddenly someone suggests some
illegal activity. You know that you have neither
such a desire nor purpose, but you fear to say No!
in unmistakable terms of rejection. You play the
grasshopper, and your companions take you at your
own valuation. If you had the courage to stand out,
many of the mockers would cease their sneering and
follow you as the leader.
You are urged to experiment with drugs. The consequences are uncertain and the ultimate bill is likely'
to be heavy; but you wobble. "Come on. . . . Try anything once." Strangely enough I have never found any
of the apostles of that philosophy who were prepared to
try arsenic. The results are grimly permanent! Your
response measures whether you are a man or an insect.
The tobacco companies would be seriously impoverished if every boy and girl, urged to try the first cigarette, responded by a refusal to be a grasshopper. The
cigarette habit would largely disappear within a generation. Remember, the assessment lies not in what the
urgers think you are, but in the estimate you place
upon yourself.
Page 26 :: Signs of the Times. January 1, 1971
d
r
How many times have I heard young people say,
"What a fool I was to do that! I knew it was wrong,
but I just went along for the ride." What they really
mean is, "Because I was small in my own sight, the
others ignored my feeble protests."
What is the solution if one is afflicted with a 'hopper
disposition? The answer is absurdly simple. Follow the
leader, but make sure he has proved himself worth
following. There is only one leader who fits the bill.
His name—Jesus Christ! See Him standing before
Pilate, the Roman of brutal instincts, who doubted if
Jewry could produce a man—a real man. He cannot
browbeat Christ and he cannot seduce Him, though
he tries both tactics. In a moment compounded of
frustration and admiration he voices a judgment that
is more than ever pertinent today. Ecce Homo! Behold
a man! A man's man who has been able to take without complaint everything inflicted upon Him. A Roman
flogging with the thongs tipped alternately with whalebone and lead; the bone to cut and the lead to bruise,
wielded by a past-master in the art of torture. But
there is no moan. No grasshopper here, but a man
standing TALL!
The cynical centurion watching the events of the
crucifixion has to admit, "Truly this man was the Son
of God." Mark 15:39. Christ proved His right to claim
pre-eminence in our manhood. Neither torture nor taunt
could move Him; nor pain nor the gates of hell could
shake Him. And He invites you to follow Him. But you
say, I cannot; He was superhuman but I am desperately, merely human. His answer rings out clearly,
"If any man will open unto Me I will come in."
No one who accepts that dare ever again behaves like
a grasshopper. Men and women achieve a new dignity
which rests not upon the shaky foundation of human
pride but upon the immovable rock—Christ, the Man
superlative—the man who enshrined God.
Here is
a man who could throw out the challenge, "Which
of you convinceth Me of sin?" and the carping critics
who would so gladly have hurled an accusation are
silent. This is the man who gives you strength so that
looking within, you see not a grasshopper but a giant
whose strength is such that the powers of hell cease their
raving and fall back muttering.
The tragedy of the defeatism of the craven spies,
"We were in our own sight as grasshoppers," was not
their humanity but their dependence upon it. The other
two, finding the same leader as David would later,
could say, "We are well able to possess it." To which
party do you belong? Find the answer in the question,
"Whom do you follow?"
HOW CAN WE KNOW? We are all
brought up from childhood to believe in
something—Christianity, atheism, for
instance—that life is meant to be lived
in a certain way. From childhood some
kind of belief is fed into us. How then
can we know that our particular belief
is the right one? Because our thinking
is influenced by concepts gained in
earlier life, we cannot think in an unbiased or unprejudiced way. How can
we solve this problem?
• Yes, we are all prejudiced, but we
don't have to stay that way, entirely.
The solution to the problem may be
handled thus:
1. Recognize that your background
does bias your outlook. (You've done
that? Hooray!)
2. Listen to people with different
points of view—try to find out why they
think as they do.
3. Weigh up the facts that you glean.
4. Form your beliefs on the basis of
good reasons.
Here's a "for instance": If you do not
believe there is a God, what are your
reasons for this conclusion?
If you reject Christian behaviour, on
what basis do you reject it?
On the other hand, if you accept the
claims of Jesus Christ, or anyone else,
what are the reasons for accepting these
claims?
Jesus urged men to accept Him on
this basis—see John 14:10, 11.
A word of warning. Do not confuse
"I will do this because I like it," with
having a reason. This is doing something because of a feeling, not because
of a reason. Having a reason frequently
keeps us from doing things because of
a feeling.
THE BIG DECISION. There are so
many religions, both Christian and nonChristian, that it is almost impossible to
know who is right. How can an honest
young person decide?
• To be sure, there is quite a cafeteria
of beliefs. If you begin with Christianity
and decide in favour of it, you won't
have to go into non-Christian beliefs
in great detail. Why? Because Christ
said: "I am the way, the truth and the
life, no man cometh unto the Father
but by Me!" John 14:6. That's pretty
unbending isn't it? He made numerous
other statements just as uncompromising. So if you say "Yes" to Christ, you
have to say "No" to the rest. If you
say "No" to Christ, you'll need all your
life to go through the maze of other beliefs.
To gain an insight into the influence
of a religion, the best way is to consider
the life of a person who really practises the principles taught by the system. What is the fruit of a particular
belief? How does it tell people to live?
What value is placed on human life?
Unfortunately, it isn't always safe to
take others' word for these questions.
You need to know for yourself, and you
need to know whether a person is a
good representative or not.
QUESTION
Box
Young People's Questions
Answered
by GORDON BOX
ARE WE FOOLS? I cannot accept the
idea of believing things by faith. This
it seems is too close to being nonrational. If God gave man a mind, will
He condemn him for using it? or are
we expected to ignore what it says or
even act contrary to what it clearly indicates? If the gospel is said to be foolishness, does this mean we have to be
fools in order to be Christians?
• No doubt there are fools both inside
and outside of the Christian church, but
the teachings of Christ won't make a
man a fool—not in the long run anyway.
It could be said that a man is a fool to
give up a good medical practice and go
into the jungle to help his fellow men
in need. That kind of foolishness you
will find among Christians. The minds
of some others are far too keen to do
such a silly thing. Real faith is belief
because of reason, not in spite of it.
Clark Pinnock in his book "Set Forth
Your Case" makes this very clear: "The
heart cannot delight in what the mind
rejects. . . . Christian faith does not
take place in a vacuum. . . . Faith is not
the opposite of knowledge. . . . The gospel makes sense, not nonsense. Its offence lies in its moral unmasking of the
sinner, not in its supposed uncertain
truthfulness. . . . The 'foolishness' of
the gospel (1 Cor. 1:21) is not the offence it renders to the ratio (reason) of
man, but to his hubris (over-weening
pride). The gospel dissolves all his
sand castles, and bursts all his balloons.
. . . In salvation the Spirit creates the
capacity for receiving God's truth, but
truth it is. . . . The facts backing the
Christian claim are not a special kind of
religious fact. They are the cognitive,
informational facts upon which all historical, legal, and ordinary decisions are
based."—Chapter 1.
If by faith you have understood those
things which are contradictory to fact
and empirical truth, it is little wonder
you can't accept it. From the preceding
paragraphs you can see that faith can
mean something entirely different.
IS THIS WEAKNESS? Do you think
it is a sign of weakness to go and ask
for help and advice from someone older
than yourself? A friend of mine says
she longs to do this but won't, because
she wants to be strong enough to handle
her problems by herself. Does it weaken your character to take advice?
• That would depend on the advice,
wouldn't it? By and large everyone
takes advice some time or other for the
simple reason that no one knows everything. It's a funny thing, you know,
people are not embarrassed about asking advice on how to fix a lawn-mower
or how to grow artichokes, or how to
cure bunions, or how to make beef
taste like chicken, or where you can buy
$2 worth for 50 cents or anything else
under the blue sky (grey if you live in
some places), but when it comes to how
to live, how to do right, how to know
right, everyone is supposed to know all
the answers. In the area of religion,
most people seem to think they are
born with "a fully-indexed, 'simple
guide to all problonious problems" yet
this subject has taxed the minds of the
greatest intellects.
If your friend wants to learn everything the hard way she's entitled to play
the game to those rules. To say it's
a sign of weakness to seek help, however, is a sign of weakness above the
collar line. The only way to really be
self-sufficient is to live in solitary confinement. The human personality is
dependent on other personalities from
the moment of birth unless it is going
to develop into a weird distortion of
what man is supposed to be.
The longing your friend feels is quite
normal and ought to be satisfied. This
is not saying people should seek help
every time a problem comes along, but
it is saying that everyone needs a
friend. No man is an island, or should
we say in this space age of 1971, a
sputnik.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
Page 27
Roy Naden's series THE CONTEMPORARIES
a
This Month:
tn
courcgcous
"AT AGE EIGHT, strapped in a hospital bed with a
pelvis disease similar to polio, my ambition was to play
football like my famous father," said the well-known
footballer Haydn Bunton. " 'Never,' said the doctor. At
eleven, I discarded crutches and body splint and started
out. At sixteen, I played my first league game, with
the North Adelaide club. I was on the way and nothing
would stop me. Three years in bed with a bone disease
hadn't. Nothing could.
"I told myself this again and again, as they pulled
me from the wreckage of my car . . . and as they
wheeled me into surgery at Hobart Hospital that Easter
Sunday morning in 1959 . . . and as the doctor said:
`We've removed fragmented bone from the knee joint
and replaced it with grafted thigh facia—it's the very
best we can do, but it means you'll never play football
again . . . '
"I began painful weight-lifting leg exercises—eight
hours a day, day in and day out . . .
"In six months, I was back on the football field. My
bad leg was much weaker than the other one; I couldn't
kick with it or bend it fully. But it was getting me
around. At Portsea . . . I spent torturous months running along the bush tracks and sandhills until I was
satisfied that the leg that had wasted to half its normal
size, was once again ready to take part in the game it
had been bred for.
"Today, after 280 league matches, I can only say—
you can generally do what you want to do if you will it.
Many times I've sat there in the change room before a
match and wondered how I was going to see it through,
because of injuries that had not healed in time.
"The point is—you can overcome hardship and handicap if you're of a mind to."—Reader's Digest, June,
1969.
Everyone needs courage. The slum dweller needs
courage to cope with monotonous food, overcrowded
rooms, and the claustrophobic horizon of bricks, asphalt and concrete. The white-collar worker needs
courage to keep up with ever-present time payments,
and the spiralling costs of clothes, food, and the occasional holiday away from the relentless tedium of inescapable routine. The sick need courage to be patient.
The bereaved need courage to face life with a diminished
circle of companionship. The rich need courage to cope
with the risks of investments and the demands of the
Page 28 : : Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
tax man. Soldiers need courage to risk everything in
a supreme act that may or may not affect the course of
history. We all need courage. But how to find it,
that's the question!
Most of us lack confidence. We act a little like a
frightened youngster on his first day at school. We are
somewhat awed with the scene. It seems too big for
us. We are strangers. We are far from capable. Hardly
cut out for the struggle. We doubt we are equal to the
demand. So we retreat into a shell and say, "The quicker this is over, the better." We paint a mini-picture of
ourselves, hang it in the front window of our minds
and say, "That's my limit. So far—no farther."
It is all so wrong! You have tremendous abilities.
You have outstanding capabilities. You have limitless
opportunities. You have enormous potential. And
there is a formula that can revolutionize the rest of your
life. A lack of courage causes most of your difficulties,
so a formula that shows how to regain courage will
resolve most of your problems.
The word courage comes from the word "coeur,"
which means "heart." The great English king "Richard
Coeur de Lion," was in reality Richard with the heart
of a lion. He entertained only big concepts. He never
allowed his thinking to become small. He looked beyond
the problems to the potential solutions.
During the last war, Winston Churchill wrote these
words of Queen Victoria on a piece of cardboard, and
placed them in his underground cabinet room, "Please
understand there is no pessimism in the house, and we
are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They
do not exist." With that attitude, small wonder England rallied behind Churchill.
Seneca wrote, "Courage leads starward. Fear towards death." You need courage for a positive, satisfying and fulfilling life. Richter said, "Courage consists
not in blindly overlooking danger, but in seeing and
conquering it." What then is the key to courage in life?
It is based on a changed way of thinking, because as a
"man thinketh in his heart so is he." Proverbs 23:7.
The way we think, determines the way we act. The
way we act determines how we get on in life. Most
people fail to make great progress because they don't
dare to do so! Their restricted thinking cripples progress. They don't expand in business, because they
think in terms of a small business. They don't excel
in sports because they think of themselves as being
mediocre. They don't get promotion at work because
they think of themselves as being one of the lesser
workers. They don't get top marks at school because
they think of their mental capacity as ordinary. But
in this life it is not I.Q., or being born with "an aggressive attitude," or being a "born leader" that counts.
IT IS HOW YOU THINK that determines where you
will go, how fast you will go, and what rewards you
will get as you go. Change your thinking and you
change everything.
"It sounds too simple," you say. "I'm just an
ordinary sort of person. It might work for someone else,
but it would never work for me." If you think that
way, it will be that way! The limits of your thinking
are the limits of your development.
You might say, "I never get any breaks." But that
is just not true. Everyone has similar opportunities, only
some recognize them, others don't. Opportunity knocks
at every door. But you have to be awake to hear the
knocks. Opportunities come more by being aware
than by waiting.
When you dismiss negative, defeatist thoughts,
thoughts of imagined or real fears, and think positively,
it will do three things for you:
First, you will accept each new situation as a challenge not a burden. Face the problem. Say, "I'm
going to find a way through this." This attitude will
take you halfway to the answer. Remember, "Problems
are only solutions in disguise."
Pierre and Marie Curie had to use a ton of pitchblende, fifty tons of water and five tons of chemicals to
produce just six grams of radium. Edison said, "I speak
without exaggeration when I say I have constructed
three thousand different theories in connection with the
electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently likely to be true. Yet in two cases only did my
experiments prove the truth of my theory." The positive attitude which says "I will succeed" is the one that
gives you courage to tackle each new situation as a
challenge.
Second, a positive attitude promotes good physical
health which makes it easier to tackle life as it comes.
Doctor Kline once said, "More human suffering has
resulted from depression [that is, negativism] than
from any other single cause." When a person loses the
WILL to live, then medical science is greatly handicapped. If a man is sick, thinking can be as important
as medicine.
Len Barnard is a pilot. He is one of that strange breed
of men called missionaries. He has been happy to exchange the comforts and conveniences of modern life
for a small mission station in the highlands of New
Guinea. In November, 1966, while testing the compression in the cylinders of his little plane prior to takeoff, by a million to one chance some heated carbon
caused the engine momentarily to spring to life.
The spinning propellor virtually severed one of his
legs above the knee. Miraculously the surgeons at
Goroka successfully stitched it back on and today he is
back in the cockpit of his plane. Medically speaking
he should not have that leg. But through faith in God
and a firm will, he regained its use. And, incidentally,
while lying in bed, weights dragging on his foot to
stop the injured leg shrinking, he turned author and
wrote a captivating best-seller called "Banish the
Darkness."
Which brings us to the third aspect, a positive mental
attitude. That is, allowing the mind to act as God
originally made it. Resources are available that can
change your way of thinking. The Bible says, "God
hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and
of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy I :7. We are
born with a negative nature. Modern psychiatry has
tried to devise means of making it a positive nature—
with varying degrees of success. But God has a plan
where you can quit this nature, so to speak. Get rid of
it because it's negative. He says, "Start again"—be
"born again" is the Biblical phrase—and in this new
life, here and now, you will automatically have a positive, progressive, expansive, successful way of thinking,
and then life will automatically follow the same vein.
The Christian life, the Christian philosophy, is the
only realistic answer to today's problems. It gets right
to the root of the problem—wrong thinking. By allowing
God to take over the controls you will receive a positive
attitude, and a dynamic in your life that nothing can
stop. And a limitless world with all its fascinating possibilities is yours for the taking.
Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971 :: Page 29
BIB
BIBIB
QUESTIONS]
ANSWERED
Readers' Questions answered by DESMOND FORD, M.A., Ph.D.
The Ark of the Testament
Revelation 11:19 mentions the Ark of God's testament. Is
this the same ark as contained the Ten Commandments on earth?
Why is this ark in heaven?
M.K.
Three terms are applied to the Ten Commandments in Scripture. They are called "the Commaridments," "the Covenant," and
"the Testimony." Note the following passage which uses all three
terms:
"And He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came
down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses'
hand, . . . that Moses wist not that the skin on his face shone."
Exodus 34:28, 29.
The first two of these expressions can at times include more
than just the commandments written on the two tables of stone, but
the third expression "the testimony" always means the Sinaitic ten
when the context employs allusions to the sanctuary such as the
ark. The word "testament" in Revelation 11:19 is a translation
of "covenant" and the reference to the ark makes it certain that
the Ten Commandments are in focus in this passage. The purpose
of this revelation given to John is not to tell us that the lost ark
has been taken to heaven but rather that the moral requirements
spoken by God's voice, and written by His finger, are still the
basis of His government. Because of God's immutable law, sin
is an ever-present possibility with us and therefore we need the
Saviour of Calvary. Had there been no law, there could have
been no sin and no Saviour. Calvary was necessary because even
God could not abolish His law. Revelation 11:19 is a reminder
to all men that in the Judgment our lives are to be compared with
this divine standard, and that therefore our only hope is to be
found in Christ who is "our righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6, 7.
A literal Number?
Are we to understand the number 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-4) as a
W.J.N.
literal number?
There have always been some who have so understood this
reference, but the evidence seems against this possibility. The
number is found in a symbolic context in a symbolic book. Revelation describes Christ as a Rider on a white horse and as having
a sharp sword proceeding from His mouth. The church is pictured as an expectant mother clothed in the sun, and the moon
under her feet. Satan is represented as a great red dragon. See
chapters 19, 12, 13. In the context of Revelation 7:1-4 we read of
a symbolic angel, symbolic winds, a symbolic mark, and symbolic
Israel. None believe the mark to be literal and there is no evidence
that the number descriptive of the company receiving the mark is
literal.
On the other hand the Book of Revelation and the rest of
Scripture provides abundant evidence that the number twelve has
to do with the kingdom of God. The Old Testament presents the
Page 30 :: Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
twelve patriarchs as the progenitors of the kingdom people, and
in the New Testament the twelve apostles take a parallel place.
The kingdom city described in Revelation 21 is also stamped with
the number twelve. Therefore the symbol of 144,000 is a way of
alluding to the kingdom people who, in the last days, will live
to see the visible rule of God established. Revelation 14:1-4 describes them as a company victorious in the last conflict between
the law of God and the traditions of men. They overcome "the
beast, his image, and his mark." See the last verses of Revelation
13. They will stand through the seven last plagues (see Revelation chapters 15 and 16) without an intercessor, clothed in the
righteousness of Christ and filled with His Spirit.
The most significant point about the company is their absolute
dedication to Christ. They are described as "following the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth." Revelation 14:4. Because they do this
even while they can see Him only by faith, their eternal reward
will include a closeness to Christ beyond that of any other group
of the saved.
Are Do-Gooders Good?
Is a do-gooder just as good as a Christian?
S.L.F.
"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23. All socalled "good" actions have in them the element of sin because
they are performed by sinful beings and therefore are imperfect.
But those "good" actions performed by individuals who have not
surrendered to their Creator and Redeemer are not only imperfect but guilt-creating. "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already." "He
that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God
abideth on him." John 3:18, 36. What King would accept the
so-called good offices of a rebel?
Such a summing up seems contrary to our natural inclinations
of judgment, but we need to keep in mind that God does not see
as we do. To us a beautiful crystal might be more appealing than
a worm, but God beholds life in the latter but not in the former.
The roughest or youngest Christian has life, but the most refined,
educated, meticulous unbeliever is "dead in trespasses and sins."
Ephesians 2:1.
An Erroneous Interpretation?
Seventh-day Adventists say that the prophecies of the 2,300
days and the seventy weeks begin with the date 457 B.C. and they
use Ezra 6:14 to support this position. However, there is a significant difference between the K.I.V. and N.E.B. translations of this
verse. The New English Bible describes the commandment as
having been given by Cyrus and Darius alone—not by Artaxerxes
as well. This is reasonable because Ezra 6:14 describes only the
decree to rebuild and restore the Temple—not the whole of
Jerusalem. Artaxerxes gave no such decree. Therefore is it not
a human and erroneous interpretation to say that the "command.
ment to restore and build Jerusalem" of Daniel 9:25 refers to the
date when Artaxerxes gave Ezra permission to go to Judea, i.e.,
J.W.C.
457 B.C.?
The case of 457 B.C. as the starting point of the prophecies in
Daniel eight and nine does not rest on Ezra 6:14, though it should
be noted that the R.S.V. retains Artaxerxes in the verse and with
good reason, that the Aramaic is supported by Ezra 7's accounts
of the beautifying of the temple made possible by Artaxerxes—
the beautifying does not refer merely to the work of building.
There are four decrees in connection with the Jewish restoration from which interpretation must choose. One from Cyrus, one
from Darius, then there are two from Artaxerxes. Of these four,
only two are principal decrees: those of Cyrus and Artaxerxes
Longimanus in his seventh year. The permission granted in Artaxerxes' twentieth year is but an enlargement and renewal of his
first decree. Similarly, that of Darius merely confirmed that of
Cyrus. While the decrees of Cyrus and Darius relate to the
rebuilding of the temple, those of Artaxerxes had to do with the
condition of Judah and Jerusalem.
The temple was already built when Artaxerxes issued his
decree. He gave a special commission to Ezra to investigate
Judah and Jerusalem and to establish magistrates and judges. These
civic rulers appointed by Ezra had power of life and death, banishment, confiscation, and imprisonment conferred upon them. It
looks as though the people were in a state of disorganization and
Ezra had full powers to organize in ecclesiastical and civil matters. The little colony which he took with him of 1,683 males
(with women and children, some 8,400 souls) was itself a considerable addition to those who had previously returned, and
involved a rebuilding of Jerusalem. This rebuilding of the city and
reorganization of the polity, begun by Ezra and carried on and
perfected by Nehemiah, corresponds with the words in Daniel,
"From the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem." (See Pusey's "Lectures on Daniel the Prophet," page
170 f. for additional matter on this subject.)
It is true that there is no express mention of rebuilding the
city of Jerusalem in the commission of Artaxerxes, but Ezra
himself seems to refer to this passage of Daniel 9, and to affirm
that he fulfilled it. He says in 9:9 of his book, "Our God hath not
forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in
the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up
the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and
to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem." This also explains
the surprise of Nehemiah thirteen years afterwards when he heard
that the gates and wall of Jerusalem were not yet rebuilt. See
Nehemiah 1:3, 4; 2:8-15. Nehemiah received no special decree
but merely permission to complete that for which the decree to
Ezra had provided.
SIGNS
VOLUME 86
NUMBER 1
JANUARY
1971
A family rnagaaine dedicated to promoting evangelical Christianity,
upholding Jesus Christ as man's only Saviour and soon-returning
King, and presenting the Bible as the inspired Word of God and our
only rule of faith.
EDITOR - - - CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
CIRCULATION MANAGER
LAYOUT
Robert H. Parr
Arthur S. Maxwell
Jean Bedford
Allan Maberly
Alan Holman
Contents
Poems with Power
7
The Everlasting Search
A. S. Maxwell
8
12
Editorials
Peace Without Pills
How to Become a Millionaire
14
John F. Knight
16
Rex Edwards 18
Seven Facts About Prayer
The Sword
What's Happening to the Reformation?
Papuan Journey
John Bartlett
M. Totenhofer
19
Roy Allan Anderson
22
M. O'Hara 25
Arch Hefren
26
Gordon Box
27
The Courageous
Roy C. Naden
28
Bible Questions Answered
Desmond Ford 30
The Power of Patience
Arthur Hedley
Straight from the Shoulder
Question Box
32
Believe Anything?
Can a person believe everything he reads in the Bible?
S.F.
The Bible is entirely trustworthy, but the usual literary rules
must be employed in its study. For example, when one reads,
"Curse God, and die," or "There is no God," it is important to
notice the context. In the first instance, a faithless woman is
talking and admonishing her more consecrated husband, and in
the second case it is the fool who is characterized as denying the
existence of God. See Job 2:9 and Psalm 14:1.
Similarly the line, "Command that these stones be made
bread," Matthew 4:3, is not a challenge for us to attempt a conjuring trick. It merely tells us how Satan tempted Christ to use
His divine powers. Thus time and place factors must be taken into
account in the study of Scripture. Many of the laws given to
Israel were local and temporary and not obligatory upon us,
whereas others by their very nature are eternal in obligation. It
is possible to "rightly divide the word of truth" as we study the
Word diligently, wholly, and prayerfully. 2 Timothy 2:15.
• A publication of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the SIGNS
OF THE TIMES is printed and published monthly by the SIGNS
PUBLISHING COMPANY (Australasian Conference Association
Limited, Proprietors), Warburton, Victoria, Australia, and is
registered as a periodical in Victoria.
• All subscriptions should be accompanied by cash, such remittances
being made payable to the Signs Publishing Company. All New
Zealand remittances should be made by Money Order, as N.Z.
Postal Notes or Stamps are not negotiable in Australia. Please
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Siens of the Times,
January 1, 1971 :: Page 31
The
Power
of
Patience
by Arthur Hedley
WE ARE APT to regard patience as a passive virtue—the exercise of meek endurance when sorely tried
by others or when we suffer some grave misfortune.
From the same Greek root for "patience" also comes
"endureth" in Matthew 10:22 and I Corinthians 13:7.
But patience is also a victorious quality. The Apostle
James says: "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye
may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." We are
to allow it full scope, doing nothing to hinder its
beneficent work in our lives. It leads to spiritual
maturity.
It is the work of patience to make us "perfect in
every good work to do His will, working in you that
which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus
Christ." Hebrews 13:21.
It is the work of "patience" to keep us trustful and
tranquil in time of storm, to wait God's moment of
deliverance. See Acts 27:20-25.
It is the work of patience to keep us self-controlled
under suffering, to enable us to continue in well doing
despite obstacles and discouragements.
The Apostle Paul's prayer for the believers in Thessalonica was that the Lord would direct their hearts
"into the love of God, and into the patient waiting
for Christ." 2 Thessalonians 3:5.
Daily we have need to exercise patience with ourselves, with others, and with God in respect to prayer
and the fulfilment of His promises.
We are exhorted to "be patient toward all men." 1
Thessalonians 5:14. As our heavenly Father bears
patiently with us and with all men, so we are to be
Page 32 :: Signs of the Times, January 1, 1971
patient with our fellows. He is "long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.
There are some who try our temper and patience to
the uttermost. At home or at work there may be
those who make heavy demands on our small stock
of patience, and we shall need that special grace which
is promised to us in time of need. See 2 Corinthians
12:9, 10; Hebrews 2:18; 4:16.
Some try us sorely by the slights and wrongs they
inflict on us, by their want of consideration, their
selfishness, their hasty speeches, their discourtesies,
harsh judgments, sarcasm, neglect.
We are apt to be discouraged and lose our patience,
and thus our influence for good, because all our efforts
to win others for Christ seem vain. Yet if we try to sit
where they sit (Ezekiel 3:15), and by an effort of
sympathetic imagination put ourselves in their place
and consider their disadvantages, we will be able to
maintain a true Christian attitude toward them and be
in a position to help them. If only we knew the history
of some, the secret battles fought with self and sin,
the seasons of remorse witnessed by God alone, we
would be far more lenient and sympathetic than we are.
Chrysostom called patience "the king of virtues." It
certainly brings many a blessing to those who practise
it. It is the work of patience to keep us quiet, trustful,
and unprovoked under the pressure of suffering, hostility, and injustice. We are reminded of the patience of
Christ "who, when He was reviled, reviled not again;
when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed
Himself to Him that judgeth righteously." 1 Peter 2:23.
There is a special need to exercise patience in respect
to prayer. We pray for divine guidance as to our future,
for the conversion of a loved one, a friend, a fellow
worker, for the recovery of one stricken with some
disabling weakness, but too often we lose heart and
patience and give up praying. The psalmist said, "I
waited patiently for the Lord"; and his patience was
rewarded, for he added, "He inclined unto me, and
heard my cry. He . . . set my feet upon a rock
. . . He hath put a new song in my mouth." Psalm
40 :1-3.
When all is against us and we are tempted to be
impatient, to lose heart and hope, remember how
patiently, tenderly God has dealt with us. Truly He
is the "God of patience." Romans 15:5. We have
"grieved Him by a thousand falls," but He has never
cast us off. Truly "it is of the Lord's mercies that we
are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22, 23.
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