Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 18, 1949

My Alarmed Soul

Art Way

Who, me? Alarmed? Sarcastic? Egotistic? Pessimistic? Seeing things? If so, why? Perhaps some skilled Doctor of divinity among us can diagnose my condition and prescribe a remedy for my sad plight. To help all I can I will give him a lead. I pick up my newspaper and read of wars and rumors of wars, crime waves, communism, corrupt politics and politicians; in fact, all sorts of corruption and confusion, while most of the important news is either crowded out entirely or is hidden behind the advertisements. Disgusted, I lay my newspaper down and turn the radio on, hoping for something to soothe my aching heart. No luck. I hear the same bewildering, frightening stories blaring over the airwaves.

Perplexed, if not exasperated, I turn off my radio and reach for my religious periodicals. As I scan their pages I find many things about which the Lord never even had a good or bad dream. For instance, college reports, reports from "sponsor's representative for the missions program of Churches of Christ," pictures of elaborate and expensive buildings, with bragging descriptions telling of all the latest wrinkles in new features, etc. I run to my dear brethren in person, hoping to gain from them comfort and consolation for my dismal soul! But, alas! I find many of them (not all, thank God) bitterly nagging, stabbing each other in the back, bickering about practically everything under the sun. I find myself wondering, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Do people really believe the Lord made a "mess" of things? Is this a faithless generation?

They tell me that the Lord and His word do not meet the requirements of this modern age, and thus men must start out in search of a better and more adequate remedy for the ills of society. One would get the impression that such people would love to believe in a Supreme Being, but they seem to be trying to adjust the Supreme Being to suit the people instead of trying to adjust the people to suit the Supreme Being. And, if so, there is only one thing to do. That is, we must manage some way to bring the Son of man down from heaven and send him to school where he can be taught and trained by some of our Doctors.

Of course, it is likely going to be hard to find a boarding place for Him while He is here. Not many will want him in their homes—they never have. Very likely he will get rather lonesome down here, as he will be definitely out of step with many of the brethren. He is likely also to be humiliated and feel out of place in the class-rooms of some of our Doctors, when he hears them lecture in such brilliant style of the philosophy of Doctor Zig or the concepts of Professor Zag. Obviously He cannot have a chance to talk to the class, since he would keep them too long. If, perchance, some Sunday he may be invited to "fill a pulpit" somewhere, his modest apparel will probably embarrass the sisters, who want their preacher to be more in keeping with the Hollywood idea of what is fashionable in male attire.

Dark picture? Maybe, but is it overdrawn? Frankly, dear souls, I am not nearly so pessimistic as these lines may lead you to believe. On the contrary, I am optimistic about the Lord, his purpose, and the power of his word. I sincerely believe the Lord will do what he says he will do. I still believe with all my heart that if the word of God can get a chance at the human heart, it will accomplish its purpose. It is within the heart that the word does its work. It has the power to crush those stony hearts and to drive away sin; but it must have a chance. Give the blessed word a chance, and it will always do one of two things: it will either cause those who hear it to submit to His will, or, it will drive them out of the way of righteous efforts. It has never failed.

What this restless, shaky, turbulent world needs most is, not a string of degrees attached to the names of its would-be saviors, but the regular, divinely prescribed dosage of a pure and unadulterated gospel of the Son of God. Let that gospel be preached by sin-hating, soul-loving men and the results will be certain. Let us have the faith that will move us to do what is required, even though it may seem foolish, silly, and unreasonable!

Now, have we given the Doctors a good lead?