Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 26, 1969
NUMBER 9, PAGE 9b-10a

Where Is The Pioneer Spirit?

Thomas R. Shropshire

When this country was a wilderness inhabited only by uncivilized people, our forefathers landed on the eastern shores of this raw land and carved a civilization for themselves. It was the pioneer spirit which motivated them through many hardships and sacrifices — through blood, sweat and tears — to populate and civilize this nation.

Now, the vast majority of the people of this nation are content with that which has been provided by others. They are not only content to live in a "tailor-made" society, but to allow that society to deteriorate to a point of becoming almost uncivilized again. When we view today the political turmoil; the crime; the unrestrained lust for fleshly things (immorality); we ask ourselves where the change has taken place.

The only answer we can come up with is the lack of the pioneer spirit which motivated and dominated our forefathers. While history shows that many of our forefathers were motivated by avarice and greed, the majority were content only with happiness which came by the lofty ideals which were involved in their coming to this country in the first place. These lofty ideals and the self-sacrifice necessary to attain and maintain them, is what is missing today.

We see the same thing in the religious world today. Gone is the pioneer spirit which brought about a search for truth upon the basis of what the scriptures teach. Gone is the militant disposition on the part of religious people, which caused them to endure hardships and make sacrifices to attain and maintain a scriptural position with reference to their relationship with God.

The majority of religious people today — both in and out of the church of the Lord — are content with "tailor-made" religion and churches. They are largely content to simply find the "church of their choice," which someone else has sacrificed to build and maintain, and attend it's services — when they feel disposed to do so — making little or no sacrifice on their part to attain or maintain it's purity in doctrine or morals, not it's spiritual and numerical growth.

The pioneer spirit, which motivated and dominated our religious forefathers, was the thing which brought about the feeling in their hearts of happiness and contentment in service, through spiritual blood, sweat and tears, without which their service would have been empty and void of real gratification.

We cannot simply rest upon the laurels of our forefathers, which were won in their battles for truth. We cannot be satisfied by merely praising them for the sacrifices they made in the past. To enjoy the satisfaction they had, we too must don the Christian armor they wore; use the Sword of the Spirit they used; make the sacrifices they made; in order to maintain for ourselves the positions for which they fought. This fight is over something more than material advancement. It is a matter of a fight for ideals — spiritual ideals — which people with the pioneer spirit are willing to fight and die for.

— 1210 Elsa Jane, Boosier City, La.