The Christian who is awake repeatedly hears the boastful claims of modern man who, bloated with pride, proclaims himself to be sovereign, self-sufficient and not in need of the Saviour. Arrogant twentieth century man constantly brags about his might and power to create wealth and influence. He vainly worships the creature rather than the Creator, and changes the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1:25). With almost utter indifference he shrugs his shoulders and scorns the Biblical warning, “And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 8:19). He openly defies the words of Proverbs 3:7 which command, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” And he recklessly continues on the way which leads to death.
This haughty attitude finds concrete expression in the secular way politicians and union leaders go about their daily task. Almost without exception they view their important office from a perspective which betrays the life-destroying influence of the humanistic faith. They feverishly labour to build a kingdom in which man will have all authority and power and from which God and the Christian religion must be banished. Some even try to outlaw Christian action by accusing it of discrimination! As a matter of fact, the world would gladly see the Christians go into exile. Modern society fervently hopes that we forget about our God-given calling to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13, 14). To be sure, our opponents are not demanding that the Christians leave the country. No, they are not that intolerant! Not yet! We are only requested to adjust the Biblical message to the supposedly tolerant views held by the majority which firmly believes that man, and not God, should be the absolute ruler of the universe. We are pressed to abandon the Christian conviction that human thought and action should be Scripturally directed. Certainly, we may continue to have faith in Jesus Christ, so long as we do not insist on obeying Him in our daily walk and talk, and so long as we quietly fall in line with the secular practice of the community which arbitrarily sets its own human standards instead of walking in the law of the Lord (Psalm 119:1).
Christians may never give in to this devilish invitation to follow the crowds which are out of step with the pattern set by Jesus Christ. They must reject without hesitation every suggestion that the Christian community has the liberty to adopt a way of life which refuses to take its starting-point in Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Instead, we should joyfully urge all men to “walk in His ways” (Psalm 119:3) and to run the way of God’s commandments (Psalm 119:32), for His Word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light upon our path ( Psalm 119:105). For all men are called to acknowledge and confess the word of I Chronicles 29:11–13, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, 0 Lord, and Thou act exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious Name.”
Christians should not be surprised when our sophisticated world angrily rejects this witness about the all-inclusive authority of our Lord. It will certainly not swallow anything that is basically at odds with its proud faith in the humanistic idea of man’s inalienable right of self-determination. After all, the slightest admission on the part of modern man that he is dependent on his Maker strikes at the very root of humanism which boldly imagines that man is autonomous, sovereign and self-sufficient. This would indeed mean the beginning of the end of man’s supposedly unlimited freedom and power. It would shake the foundation of man’s imagination and independence and spell disaster for his earthly kingdom.
No, Christians had better be prepared to face the violent reaction and ridicule of conceited creatures who brazenly glory in self-worship. The secular world will not sit idly by while we seek to confront men with the obligation to live out of the power of the Word of God. No, many fellowmen will immediately react to our invitation to obey the command to love God and the neighbor with an all-out attack motivated by enmity and hatred. The reactionary forces will swiftly swing into action. They will viciously battle, seeking to destroy the life-giving power of the Word of God.
But what shall the Christian community do, now that it is confronted with modern man’s ugly attitude and bitter opposition to the Christian faith? Shall Christians hastily withdraw? Shall we fearfully retreat in the face of this blunt hostility? Shall we compromise and cowardly leave the direction of life to men who are obviously committed to unbelief? Or shall we take courage and trust in the Lord “Who giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength” (Isaiah 40:29)? If we trust in human strength and wisdom we shall surely perish, “but,” in the words of Isaiah 4:31, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Few Christians would dare to suggest that we yield to the world’s persistent demand to forsake Jesus Christ. We know that we are called Christians, because we are members of Christ by faith, and thus partakers of His anointing, that we may confess His Name, present ourselves living sacrifices of thankfulness to Him, and with a free and good conscience fight against sin and the devil in this life, and hereafter reign with Him eternally over all creatures (L.D. 12, Q. & A. 32). Scripture plainly teaches: “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever” (Romans 11:36). The apostle Paul beseeches us: “therefore…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2).
Even though Christians may claim to be in agreement in regard to man’s duty to serve his Lord always and everywhere, unfortunately, all do not agree that this service should be expressed unitedly. Supposedly we have no fundamental difference of opinion concerning the Biblical command to deny Christ never and nowhere, but we disagree often about our obligation to form organizations for the purpose of presenting the Christian view of politics and labour.
This deplorable division in our ranks concerning the need for Christian organization and action demands careful attention. Time and again the enemies of the Christian faith exploit our apparent Jack of agreement on this important point to undermine the vigor of the Christian witness. Whenever and wherever possible they seek to apply the old but still very harmful tactic of “divide and conquer,” with the sad result that the Christian witness of some men suffers severe setbacks, because fellow Christians erroneously argue that they can effectively fulfill their God-given calling within and through organizations firmly committed to the secular way of life. Some Christians even claim that the distinctively Christian organization is a luxury we can ill afford. This grave misconception must be removed. It can possibly best be done by setting forth once again why Christians must form power organizations.
The Bible teaches plainly that God made man in His image, created him in fellowship with other men, endowed him with gifts and goods, gave him a place in the diversity of men and relationships to serve his Creator with those gifts and in those relationships. The almighty and everywhere present power of God creates, preserves and governs life. His fatherly hand upholds and rules the entire creation. Nothing happens by chance, “since all creatures are so in His hand that without His will they cannot so much as move” (L.D. 10, Q & A. 28). This all-controlling principle of the divine institution and order of life is significant for our discussion.
God demands that man acknowledges this divine institution and power by ordering all of life in accordance with the harmonious diversity of created reality. The mandate to develop and control the creation must be carried out in humble obedience to the Lord and His Word, so that in the course of history His greatness, His power and His wisdom will be honoured. This alone gives human life true perspective and real meaning. Man is called to serve his Maker. He has been appointed to carry out a specific mandate. He received the authority and the responsibility to act sovereignly as servant of the most High. Men’s life must be single-hearted service of God in the whole of the creation. Consequently, he is obliged to give Scriptural form to life. He must organize life in the Christian way. He is commanded to order, rule and preserve life in total surrender and obedience to its Lord. God placed man in His creation to live before Him in covenant fellowship, to show love and obedience, to render whole-hearted service, to proclaim and practice the faith-obedience which characterizes a child of the Father. Man is to be a steward who has been commissioned to execute the Will of God within the length and breadth of the creation. God ordered man to fulfill his office of servant. God gave man the responsibility, the authority and the necessary power to rule and develop the creation in the Name of Him Who made it all. For “God created man good, and after His own image; that is, in true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness to praise and glorify Him” (L.D. 3, Q & A. 6). The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that man was created to serve his Maker everywhere and always. Man was not to exclude a single part of his life from the service of love to God. “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.”
But man fell into sin. Satan seduced him into believing that man could become like God by acting contrary to the divine Law. He recklessly accepted the deceptive advice of the serpent who slyly predicted that man would not die if he ignored the commandment of the Creator, but that his eyes would be opened and that he would know good and evil (Genesis 3:4, 5). And man, desiring to be wise, succumbed to the subtle, pious talk of the devil. Indeed, his eyes were opened! He discovered that he had sinned, that he had rebelled against God, the Giver of life, by listening to the devil, the father of lies. Man chose foolishly to go his own way, the way of death, rather than obediently following the way of his Lord, the way of life.
Modern man makes the same deadly mistake. He is also committed to the false illusion that man can be like God. He pretends to be able to walk independently, without the light and power of the Word of God. He rejects the Law. He openly refuses to live in love-communion with the Law-Giver. He willfully chooses an apostate direction, a way of life apart from the living God. Consequently, he invites death to enter his life. Man no longer serves the one true God but worships an idol. He is a rebel, a revolutionary, a reactionary who desperately agitates against the divine Law. He struggles constantly. to overthrow the authority of God. He daily revolts against the divine world order. He defiantly slaves to establish a dictatorial rule and routine which is antithetically opposed to the freedom and justice of the Kingdom of God. In short, modern, unbelieving man simply affirms and articulates the sinful desire of the first man, to be wise and to act as if he, and not God, is the Maker and Master of life.
After man’s fall into sin God did not let Satan have dominion over His creation. Rather than leaving the world to itself and surrendering it to the prince of the kingdom of darkness, He walked the way of reconciliation and sent His only begotten Son into the world to be the Mediator between God and man, between God and the world. Jesus Christ came, suffered, died, but conquered! For “through Him God chose to reconcile the whole universe to Himself, making peace through the shedding of His blood upon the cross—to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, through Him alone” (Colossians 1:20). “He rescued us from the domain of darkness and brought us away into the Kingdom of His dear Son, in Whom our release is secured and our sins forgiven. He is the image of the invisible God; His is the primacy over all created things. In Him everything in heaven and on earth was created, not only things visible but also the invisible orders of thrones, sovereignties, authorities, and powers: the whole universe has been created through Him and for Him. And He exists before everything, and all things are held together in Him” (Colossians 1:13–17).
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was all-inclusive. The redemption was complete. Christ was obedient in all things. He declared, “It is meat and drink for Me to do the Will of Him Who sent Me until I have finished His work” (John 4:34) and only those who do the Will of My heavenly Father will enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21). Jesus Christ renewed all things. He restored man and enables him to fulfill his calling, namely, to be the servant of his Maker, to be the ruler of the creation. Paul commands Christians to lead a radically different life “now that you have discarded the old nature with its deeds and have put on the new nature, which is being constantly renewed in the image of its Creator and brought to know God” (Colossians 3:10). We may no longer adapt ourselves to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2), but we must delight in doing the Will of God (Psalm 40:8).
Paul also comforts the Christians and reminds them that “this doctrine of the cross is sheer folly to those on their way to ruin, but to us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18). He then continues by stating that “divine folly is wiser than. the wisdom of man, and divine weakness stronger than man’s strength: My brothers, think what sort of people you are, whom God has called. Few of you are men of wisdom, by any human standard; few are powerful or highly born. Yet, to shame the wise, God has chosen what the world counts folly, and to shame what is strong, God has chosen what the world counts weakness. He has chosen things low and contemptible, mere nothings, to overthrow the existing order. And so there is no place for human pride in the presence of God. You are in Christ Jesus by God’s act, for God has made Him our wisdom; He is am righteousness; in Him we are consecrated and set free. And so (in the words of Scripture), ‘If a man is proud, let him be proud of the Lord’” (I Corinthians 1:25–31).
The redemption by Jesus Christ in its radical Biblical sense means the rebirth of our heart and must reveal itself in the whole of our temporal life. Man must concentrate his entire life and the whole world upon the service of love to God. “And since the love for God implies the love for His image in man, the whole diversity of temporal ordinances of God is related to the central religious commandment of love, namely, ‘thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, soul and mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.’ This is the radical Biblical sense of the creation of man in the image of God. It leaves no room for any neutral sphere in life, which could be withdrawn from the central commandment in the kingdom of God” (In the Twilight of Western Thought, Herman Dooyeweerd, p. 190).
Christians should always remember that they belong together, that they are a covenant people, a communion of saints, a fellowship of believers. Christians are not just a loose-knit collection of individuals who happen to share the same tradition. The significance of the Christian religion is much richer. The meaningful unity which Christians experience is the fruit of the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ “Who sacrificed Himself for us, to set us free from all wickedness and to make us a pure people marked out for His own, eager to do good” (Titus 2;14). Christians are a community of men established by the Lord Himself and called to serve Him. We are not our own for we, with body and soul, both in life and death, belong unto our Saviour Who makes us heartily willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him (L.D. 1, Q. & A. 1). “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us” (Ephesians 2:10).
Peter urges the Christian community to walk in obedience before the Lord and declares, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, and a people claimed by God for His own, to proclaim the triumphs of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. You are now the people of God, who once were not His people; outside His mercy once, you have now received His mercy” (I Peter 2:9, 10). Christians, says Peter, “must therefore be like men stripped for action, perfectly self-controlled,” for “the One Who called you is holy; like Him, be holy in all your behaviour, because Scripture says, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (I Peter 1:13, 15, 16). Paul, in bis letter to the Philippians, uses strong language when urging the Christians to “count everything sheer loss” and to “press towards the goal to win the prize which is God’s can to the life above, in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3). He then continues his moving letter and explicitly implores his friends to act uniformly, to behave and think alike, “…let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Philippians 3:16). Paul does not tell the Philippians to do as they please, neither does he suggest that his friends individualistically decide for themselves what to think and how to walk. On the contrary, Paul in effect urges his readers to obey the same principle, to observe the same standard, to follow the same direction, to employ the same method. He actually insists that they together give concrete expression to their common Christian faith and live like Paul, “All I care for is to know Christ, to experience the power of His resurrection, and to share His sufferings, in growing conformity with His death, if only I may finally arrive at the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10, 11).
With tears in his eyes he repeats his solemn warning, which is also a warning intensely relevant to human life in 1966, “there are many whose way of life makes them enemies of the cross of Christ. They are heading for destruction, appetite is their god, and they glory in their shame. Their minds are set on earthly things.” However, Paul also rejoices in the fact that Christians, “by contrast, are citizens of heaven” who expect the return of Jesus Christ and who trust in “the very power which enables Him (Christ) to make all things subject to Himself” (Philippians 3:21). In conclusion he commands the Christians to “have no anxiety” but to fill their thoughts with “all that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure, all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and admirable…The lessons I taught you, the tradition I have passed on, all that you heard me say or saw me do, put into practices; and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 3:8,9).
Many other passages could easily be used to demonstrate that Scripture plainly commands Christians to live as a community called to praise the Creator and Redeemer of the universe. We have no choice in the matter. For “the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). The Christian community is called to live out of the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and out of the reconciliation which He brought about through His blood. Christians are instruments in the hand of the Author and Finisher of our faith Who is the Ruler of the kings of the earth. We must relinquish all human pride, sovereignty and independence and strive to be humble servants of the Prince of Life. Christians may not bow down before the modern idols of our age, but we must obey Him Who alone is worthy to receive glory and honour and power, because He created all things for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11). Therefore, we “became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18) who are under orders to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:32). Like the potter has power over the clay, so God forms our lives to reveal the power and authority of Jesus Christ Who authoritatively declared, “all power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18), and Who told his disciples, also those living in the twentieth century, “go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” ( Matthew 28:19, 20).
Christ proclaimed, “all power is given unto Me…Go ye therefore…” In other words, because Christ has full authority His followers are obliged to live in faith-obedience to and out of that power. Christians have been given the power and authority to act in the Name of the King, “for God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). We may not proclaim ourselves, but we must speak and live out of the powerful Word of our Lord (II Corinthians 4:7).
Christians must not only talk among themselves about the might and power of their Lord. We have the God-given duty to confront men everywhere with the alI-inclusive authority of God and His Word. We may not be satisfied with paying lip-service to the sovereignty of God, but we must daily render whole-hearted life-service to the Son of the Lord of lords Who gave His life, so that we may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). In His strength we must cross swords with ow’ secular environment which is in the clutches of the kingdom of darkness and tell them about Jesus Who said, “I am the Light of the world. No follower of Mine shall wander in the dark; he shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). We must continue in His Word and be His disciples, for we know the Truth, and the Truth has made us free (John 8:31, 32) and drives us to proclaim and practice the liberating power of Jesus Christ. Christians are called “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). They “know all things” (I John 2:20). Therefore, we are commanded to tell the whole world that God is light and that in Him there is no darkness at all (I John 1:5). However, “if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another” (I John 1:6, 7). Christ Himself gave us the beautiful task of letting our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
In short, God demands that His children “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). Through His Word and Spirit He gathers and builds a community, a fellowship, a people called to be saints. Through His Truth He unites men whose task it is to bring life into conformity with His Law. Since God by nature loves righteousness and justice. His servants are mobilized, are recruited with the purpose of ruling the creation, of subjecting aU things, of governing all of life in obedience to His Word. The Law of the Kingdom must be observed everywhere. No area of life and no activity may be excluded from the authority and reign of the King. His redeemed people must walk together, must war together, must labour together, must live together, so that the unity which they experience in Jesus Christ may be given can· crete, visible and distinct expression, and configuration (gestalte) in human life everywhere. The peculiar style of the Kingdom of God must become evident always.
Consequently, Christian power formation is inevitable, for it is but the natural result of the binding, unifying, consolidating power of the Word of God which grips the hearts of men and directs their thought and action, so that they will exercise their office of servant of Jesus Christ and concentrate their God-given authority and power in a close fellowship, in a faith-community, in an organization which humbly desires to act in total obedience to the powerful Word of God.
Thus, truly Scriptural power organizations are born. Let it be well understood, the real strength of the Christian organization does not depend on the number of people who support it, nor on the amount of money in its treasury, nor on the measure of recognition and respect it receives from the secular world. The genuine power of the Christian labour organization and the Christian political party is from Jesus Christ Himself to Whom all power belongs and Who, therefore, sends His anointed servants into the world to demand that human life in its entirety be obedient to the divine Law-Order. Christian (power) organizations are the concretization, the actualization of the wholehearted faith-commitment of men and women who earnestly strive to carry out the Lord’s command to be His obedient servants in close communion with all who are rooted in Jesus Christ.
Prof. K. J. Popma apparently spied out the secret dynamic of the Christian faith, for he said, “Christ makes of His own a second division in His army of which He is Himself the Commander and first division He goes forth, conquering, and carries His own along with Him in His victory…links His own to the formation of His power. Therefore it is always worth every effort, therefore it is worth our very life, to establish Christian schools, to strive for Christian politics and a Christian social order, to insist upon Christian scientific pursuits and Christian philosophy. This is worth everything : for sharing in Christ’s formation of power makes all human endeavors radiant and glorious amid the poverty of our efforts, the weakness of our attempts and the shortsightedness of our judgment” (Quoted by H. E. Runner in Christian Perspectives 1960, p. 158).
It will become obvious to the believing student of the Bible that the formation of Christian organizations is entirely in keeping with the Word of God. As a matter of fact, the establishment of such organizations is the direct, wholesome consequence of the Christian faith. God commands His children to live and labour as a body, as a covenant people, and Christian organizations are nothing more or less than the concretization, the embodiment, the incarnation of that command. The idea of Christian organization, namely, the communal walk of Christians before the face of their Lord in obedience to His Word, is inherent to the demands of the Christian religion and consequently, they should certainly not be classified as a luxury we can ill afford, nor as a pressure group, nor as a necessary evil.
Christian organization is the normal, effective means to give concrete expression to the Christian responsibility to be of blessing to the world in joyful obedience to the norm of the Law of God. Thus, Christians will be able to exercise their common office responsibly and meaningfully, for they will be able to exert positive, Biblical influence on the historical forming of human life in all its ramifications. Thus, Christians will be able to make public the radical difference between the Christian world-and-life view, with its own distinctive principle and practice, and the secular concept of life, with its apostate life-principle of the sovereignty of man, “for the Word of God is alive and active. It cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the place where life and spirit, joints and marrow, divide. It sifts the purposes and thoughts of the heart. There is nothing in creation that can hide from Him; everything lies naked and exposed to the eyes of the One with Whom we have to reckon” (Hebrews 4:12, 13). Thus, Christians will be able to preserve and use their strength and talents in obedience to Christ for the salvation of the world. The Kingdom of Jesus Christ comes with power in the irreconcilable battle against the kingdom of darkness, exactly because the Christian principle has its own distinctive view about the real character of historical forming-power, without which a Christian world-and-life view becomes a dead theory for the isolation of the study.
Exactly because we are Christians we must, for Christ’s sake, devote our entire life and all we own to exert the proper influence and power necessary to disclose the Christian principle and its life-ordering power.
As Thou, O Lord, hast made me strong To overcome my mighty foe, So now to fight against the wrong And conquer in Thy Name I go. (Psalm 18)
Exactly because we may not isolate the Christian principle we are caned by God to witness in faith, to stand unitedly in the midst of the world and there to proclaim the sovereign, saving power of Jesus Christ and His Word. If Christians do the very opposite and withdraw themselves from the market place and/or fearfully join the world’s secular organizations, they fail to live as “children of light,” but actually “light a candle and put it under a bushel” (Matthew 5:15). Thus, they fail to publish the Christian principle and in effect hide it from the world. They and not the proponents of Christian organization are guilty of separatism! If some Christians refuse to act covenantally, communally, and even advocate the opposite, namely, individualism, they are violating the Word of God, they are separating themselves from its unifying power, they are isolating themselves from fellow believers, and they are following a way of life which is completely foreign to the Bible, for they are embracing a principle, a world-and-life view, which is not rooted in the redemption and lordship of Jesus Christ, but which takes its starting point in the wisdom and power of sovereign and self-sufficient man who likes to believe that he can save himself and the world.
We should not hesitate to reject the un-Biblical reasoning of those who encourage Christians to act individually within and through organizations which refuse to recognize the supremacy of God and His Word. The followers of Christ simply cannot and may not join or support organizations in which the Law of the Lord does not occupy the central place it demands, in which the healing power of the Christian faith is lacking, and in which the selfish wishes of the majority instead of the Will of the Ruler of life are obeyed. Organizations and institutions which reject the sovereign rule of the Saviour of the world are never worthy of our support, for their secular principles and programs are at bottom designed to destroy the constructive influence of the Christian faith. Christians are called to oppose rebels and their revolutionary organizations and objectives with might and main. Christians, if they are true to their Lord, will not even be tolerated in their midst, for “bad men all hate the light and avoid it, for fear their practices should be shown up” (John 4:20).
The world hates Christians, because it first hated our Lord, the Saviour of the world (John 15:18). But Jesus says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and they shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven…” (Luke 6:22,23). It is grievous that even some Christian leaders urge their fellow-men not to seek the company of “the children of light” (I Thessalonians 5:5) but to seek the fellowship of men walking in darkness who, according to the Word of Christ, shall hate Christians and who shall separate those who are commanded to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) from their evil company. May all of us obey Paul’s advice to Timothy to turn away from and to keep clear of men “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof’ (“men who preserve the outward form of religion, but are a standing denial of its reality” –II Timothy 3:5).
The Bible teaches clearly that the apostate world is going to make things tough for the Christians. The Christian community will experience economic hardship. grieving ridicule, and intense suffering. It will even have to face death! That is, if Christians are prepared to practice the communion of the saints, if they are determined to walk as a redeemed people, if they are resolved to obey God rather than man, and if they are committed to live as men associated with and organized in Jesus Christ. “For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (I Corinthians 4:20).
The forces of unbelief are slowly but surely closing in on the Christians. Everywhere we witness decay and delinquency. With so much to be said and so little time in which to say it, the Christian community better get on with the program of its Lord. It must be plain to the world that we strive to be “a letter that has come from Christ…a letter written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God…” (II Corinthians 3:3).
And when the enemies of the cross ridicule and scorn the Christian community for seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, we should in faith remind the rebels, “The God of heaven, He will prosper us, therefore we His servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:20).
“For Thou art my lamp, 0 Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. For by Thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all that trust in Him. For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and He maketh my way perfect.” (ll Samuel 22:29–33)
From time to time this magazine has called attention to the heroic struggle which is being waged by the Christian Labor Association. of Canada for the rights of the Christ-committed laborer against the bitter opposition and intolerance of the entrenched “neutral” labor organizations. With them we praise God for the gains which have been made. Mr. Vandezande, editor of the Associations official organ THE GUIDE, urges the Christian community to give concrete expression to its responsibility to be a blessing to the world by joyfully obeying the law of its Lord.