32526 Are the churches getting the hungry
Take your scientific consolation into a room where a mother has lost her child. Try your doctrine of the survival of the fittest with that broken-hearted woman. Tell her that the child that died was not as fit to live as the one left alive. Where does that scientific junk lift the burden from her heart? Go to some dying man and tell him to pluck up courage for the future. Try your philosophy on him; tell him to be confident in the great to be and the everlasting what is it. Go to that widow and tell her it was a geological necessity for her husband to croak. Tell her that in fifty milion years we will all be scientific mummies on a shelf - petrified specimens of an extinct race. What does all this stuff get her? After you have gotten through with your science, philosophy, psychology, eugenics, social service, sociology, evolution, protoplasms, and fortuitous concurrence of atoms, if she isn't bug-house, I will take the Bible and read God's promise, and pray - and her tears will be dried and her soul flooded with calmness like a California sunset.
Is the church drawing the hungry world to its tables? There is no dodging or blinking or pussy-footing the fact that in drawing the hungry world to her tables, the church is facing a crisis. That there is a chasm between the church and the masses no one denies. If the gain of the church on the population is represented by eighty during the past thirty years, during the last twenty years it is represented by four, and during the past ten years it is represented by zero. The birth rate is going on a limited express while the "new birth" rate is going by way of freight.
Need the world turn to other tables than those of the church for spiritual food? Jesus said, "They need not depart; give ye them to eat." The church has the power and the food with which to feed the hungry Iworld. It can feed the spiritual hunger of the world by doing what Jesus did when he fed the five thousand.
By a wise use of what it has on hand with the blessing of God upon it,...
What has the church on hand with which to feed the hungry world!
It has two things:
A set of principles which if put into practice in the life of the individual and society and business and politics will solve every difficulty and problem of city, state, nation, and the world. There is no safer or saner method to settle all the world's problems than by the Sermon on the Mount. These principles are truth, justice, and purity. It has a person who has the power to create and make powerful these principles in the lives of men and women and that person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Many skeptics have said, "Bill, if you will only preach the principles of Christianity instead of the Person, we will find no fault with you." Nothing doing, old top! Wherever a preacher or a church preaches a set of principles without the person Jesus Christ, that ministry, that church becomes sterile and powerless.
Truth is never powerful unless wrapped up in a person. I take truth and wrap it up in Christ and say, "Take it!" You say, "Give me truth but no Christ." Then you will be lost. You are not saved by truth but by the person Jesus Christ. Why take truth and reject Christ when it's Christ that inspires truth?
I take justice and wrap Christ up with it and say, "Here, take it." You say, "I will take justice. I deal squarely in business, pay my debts, give labor a square deal; I take justice but not your Christ." You are lost. Why take justice and cast Christ away when it is Christ that inspires justice.
I take purity and wrap it up with Jesus and say, "Here, take this." You say, "I will take the principle purity but not the person Jesus Christ." Then you are lost, for it is Christ that saves, not the principle of purity. "One thing thou lackest," the person Jesus.
Other religions have preached good things, but they have no Savior who can take these things and implant them in the human heart and make them grow. All other religions are built around principles, but the Christian religion is built around a person Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior. Every other religion on earth is a religion you must keep, but the Christian religion saves you, keeps you, and presents you faultless before his throne.
Oh, Christians! Have you any scars to show that you have fought in this conflict with the devil? When a war is over, heroes have scars to show; one rolls back his sleeve and shows a gunshot wound; another pulls down his collar and shows a wound on the neck; another says, "I never had use of that leg since Gettysburg"; another says, "I was wounded and gassed at the Marne in France." Christ has scars to show - scars on his brow, on his hands, on his feet, and when he pulls aside his robes of royalty, there will be seen the scar on his side.
When the Scottish chieftains wanted to raise an army, they would make a wooden cross, set it on fire and carry it through the mountains and the highlands among the people and wave the cross of flame and the people would gather beneath the standard and fight for Scotland. I come out with the cross of the son of God - it is a flaming cross, flaming with suffering, flaming with triumph, flaming with victory, flaming with glory, flaming with salvation for a lost world!
I have often tried to imagine how different the early history might have been had there been in Jerusalem at that time a great Jewish daily, a string of popular newspapers down through Asia Minor--a Hebrew Chicago Tribune, or a Pulitzer or a Hearst. Just imagine what a hard time those high priests would have had, had there been a syndicate of newspapers playing upon the front page a three-column display headline about the villainy of that little crowd of religious bigots and crooked politicians who were intent on murdering Jesus Christ, the One who stood for the common people as no other man in history had stood and no other man in history ever will stand.