Signs of the Times

[P. Gavan Duffy, in The Century Magazine]

Signs of the times ... all point to the advent of the day when the potentialities of the glorious past are to be seen once more working out the world's salvation. We shall hasten that day when we have courage to look facts in the face and meet the question of the need, the crying need, for spiritual honesty, as we insist that the place of corporate religion is not that of just a moral policeman, or a watchman spying from high places on the faults of men merely to condemn them; as we recognize that, small as they may seem in themselves, the things that make for even an unconscious Pharisaism (has it ever been anything else than unconscious, and consequently blind to its greatest danger?) are indeed the most pronounced symptoms of deadly and destructive spiritual disease. Rarely has the church had such a day of opportunity as this, and it will go ill with her if she misses it. To reconstruct the world and leave corporate religion as it is, is to leave the germs of disease lingering and hidden. Now, when statesmen are looking to a future that will be free from war, and when international differences will be adjusted by international courts and agreements, must organized Christianity awaken to the fact that she, in the rediscovery of her true powers and lost spiritual secrets of achieving, alone can supply the spirit that can make agreement real and international treaties more than mere scraps of paper. [Charles F. Mirick in Detroit (Mich.) News]

Why did God allow the war? Why does evil appear to be so strong and confident? Christian ministers of Detroit say that questions like this are being asked of them with more and more increasing insistence. Here and there a minister accepts the challenge and tries to answer them. Almost invariably the reply has been that the Christian church has been powerless and messageless in this greatest crisis of the world's history because modern disciples of the Christ fell into the same error as the apostles of old, spending their time debating questions of priority instead of earnestly going about the Master's business of winning the world to his gospel of love.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

January 4, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.