October 1971

Is God Really In?

Robert F. Turner

On a popular News program some one mentioned the exact time of the equinox, and another asked, Who determines such matters? The answer, with a half-laugh, God. On a TV variety show one actress complimented another and asked, How do you keep so slim? She answered, I pray a lot. And the radio keeps on playing, Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee. What does it mean? That the world has finally turned to God? I think not!!

And even as I write this I realize that the general rejection of traditional religion and the search for more genuine standards may — perhaps has — led some to examine anew the solution of revelation. Some who read the Bible will be convinced that here is TRUTH, and step by step they can be led to become genuine Christians. For every little move in the right direction I am thankful. I do not expect a complete change at once, nor do I ask that MY traditions be accepted or equated with Christianity. But it takes far more than religious fad to make Christianity.

I can hear it now! Who are you to say what is the right direction, or what is genuine Christianity?? Of course I did not say that; but we must excuse the outburst, for these new-corners to religion are a sensitive lot. They seem convinced that anything from the ante-hippy era is tradition bound and hypocritical. And far more detrimental to an acceptance of divine truth is the subjectivity that is almost universal in the new jet set. They regard man as his own ultimate authority, and look within themselves for the answers. We should expect this from our present godless society, and realize that the road back to a dependence upon the Bible as Gods revealed will is long and difficult. This argues for patience on our part, and giving more attention to evidences and reasons for accepting Gods Word; but it certainly doesnt justify an abandoning of long - established practices while the new gener- ation experiments with its soul-searching.

A certain type of religion is the in thing now. Rock festivals open with prayer; Jesus Saves has been lifted from the lowly status of highway defacement, to the noble position of banners in a parade for revolution; Jesus, Superstar is a dramatic success. The Christian who finds solace in such things is hard - up for comfort. An indul- gence in faddish practices in worship (and some churches have already made such concessions, especially in their youth fellowships) may actually indicate our own subjective approach to the service of God.

Change in customs is not a bad thing. When solidly based upon Gods revealed will it may simply reflect the inevitable changes of time and circumstances. A group of young people, recent converts to Christ, and untaught (not to say unbound) in the conventional practices of worship, may hit upon expedients for carrying out Gods commands that are very different from our methods. But it must be authorized worship, objectively determined. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord——— (Matt. 7:21)