Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 12, No. 6 Straight and Narrow June 2003
India and help us!
By Howard Williams
(The following report by Brother Howard Williams gives an account of the recent trip to India by himself and Brother Lynnford Beachy. Brother Beachy also wrote a detailed account that was published last month in the May 2003 issue of Present Truth. Due to the hostile nature of some Hindus against Christians, the names of the contacts in this article have either been left out or changed. Editor)
Our Travel to India
On March 18th Lynnford Beachy and I left West Virginia to travel to Southern India in answer to invitation we had received from some correspondents there requesting us to come and teach the true Gospel about God and his Son.
The schedule was for us to have four sets of meetings in the southern region of India. The first two sets of meetings would be in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the districts of Dindigul and Tiruppattur, and the other two in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in the districts of Guntur and Rajahmundry.
We left West Virginia at 6:30 a.m. and after eighteen hours of flying time coupled with about seven hours of layover, we landed in India at midnight, March 19th, at the Chennai (formerly Madras) airport. My first impression of India was that it was hot. The monitor inside the plane recorded that the temperature outside was 84° F (29° C) at midnight, and indeed it was hot and humid.
We went through customs with no problem, but we had to wait a long time to get our luggage. Arrangements were made before we arrived for someone to pick us up from the airport, and for transporting us to our destinations, and so as we exited the airport we found our party waiting with our names written in bold letters on a piece of paper.
We spent the remainder of the night at the home of a relative to Pastor Kal Russell whopicked us up from the airport. At this home we discovered that Indians mostly sleep upon mats spread on the floor, so we slept upon mats on the floor with our sleeping bags we had brought with us.
The area of India we arrived in is 10½ hours ahead of our local time zones so our bodies needed to adjust to this change, and the few hours of darkness went by very fast.
In the morning we got to meet the entire family: Frank the father, Betty the mother, Ann, Jennifer, and Samson the children, a really wonderful family, as I will explain later.
We then had the privilege of eating a real Indian breakfast, and so we got idly (a native dish made from rice flour and black gram bean flour), along with dhal. We both tried to adjust to the taste and, for me, it was not too hard, since I am half Indian.
The Meetings in Dindigul
On Thursday morning, March 20th, we spent some time visiting with Frank’s family, after which we left for Dindigul, the district where the first meeting was scheduled and where Pastor Russell and the driver who came to meet us are from. The drive took about seven hours to get to the home of the pastor who came to meet us. We would be staying in his home for the next five days, which would be the duration of the time we would be in Dindigul. We had just enough time to freshen up before heading off to the evening meeting. There were about twenty people present for this meeting. I spoke on the importance of the truth about God, and how this truth will transform us.
The next day, Friday, March 21st, the meetings got started around 9:30 a.m. I took the first meeting, and the subject was, “The God of the Bible.” The first question I asked was, “How many Gods do Christians worship?” To this question we got two answers. Some said one God, and others said three. Surprisingly though, when I asked, “Who is this God?” they all said, “Jesus.”
I told them to remember the answer they gave because after the study I would be asking the same question again. So we went into a scriptural study of what the Bible says about God. At the end of the study, I asked the question again, “Who is this God?” and they all said, “the Father alone is God.”
Lynnford took the next session dealing with the sonship of Jesus. He showed from the scriptures Jesus’ position as the Son of God and in what manner He is a son. The brethren gladly received the truth of this study. They all could see from the Bible that there is one God, the Father, who begot one Son, Jesus. The next day, Sabbath, we looked at the death of Christ, that He died a complete, total death for our sins. This was a revelation to most of the people. We then examined the subject of the Holy Spirit, and that too opened up much light to the brethren.
We had an afternoon break, as our host took us up on some mountains, and we visited a field and saw some crops and fruits. Surprisingly most of the fruits were similar or identical to the fruits we have in Jamaica but, for Lynnford, he was seeing some for the first time.
We had meetings on Sunday, which began around 9:30 a.m. We studied the formulation of the trinity doctrine and the different variations of it. We examined the history of the ecumenical church councils and how they played a pivotal role in bringing this false doctrine to the Christian world.
We ended our meetings on Monday, after some encouraging messages on faith in the Word of God.
A consecration service was then conducted for some of the ministers and Bible workers at this meeting, followed by prayer for the sick and suffering who brought their requests before God. That marked an end to the meetings in Dindigul.
The Meetings in Tiruppattur
Our next mission field would be another district in Tamil Nadu, at a place called Tiruppattur.
We left on Tuesday morning, about 8:30 a.m. for a six-hour drive to our next destination. We arrived safely at about 4:00 p.m. and were greeted by a pastor, his wife and another pastor who would be our translator. We afterwards met the host of the meeting in Tiruppattur, who informed us of the evening meeting which would be around 6:30 p.m.
After freshening up and resting a while we left for the meeting place, which was a large rented meeting room.
There were about fifty people in attendance for the first evening meeting, and we followed the same meeting format as we did in Dindigul, where I opened up the meetings with an introduction message. Most of the people present at this meeting were Pentecostals, and a few of their ministers were there also.
It amazed me how honest these people were. As in Dindigul, we asked a few questions at the meetings before we actually presented the subject of, “The God of the Bible.” Again, our first question was, “How many Gods do Christians worship?” The answer was somewhat divided, the majority said “one” and a few said “three,” but eventually they would agree with “one.”
We then asked, “Who is this one God?” and they answered with one accord, “Jesus.” We then encouraged them to remember what they had answered, because we let them know that we were going to ask the same question again after the study.
When the study was over and the question, “Who is this one God?” was asked again, they all said the one God of Christians is “the Father only.”
However, by the time the next session came and the question was asked again, “Who is the God of the Bible?” they all answered, “Jesus.” Happily, after a few reviews and reinforcements, the truth came home that, indeed, the Father is “the only true God.” (John 17:3)
We had some wonderful studies, and I was delighted in the fact that at the end of every message I preached, the translator would ask for my sermon notes, which I was always happy to give.
In Tiruppattur we covered the truth about God in less time than we had expected, so we were able to share some studies on the issues of Law and Grace and the Sabbath, and the people were really blessed by these, especially the message on the Sabbath. Some were seeing for the first time, from the Bible, that Saturday is the seventh-day Sabbath.
A few of the ministers attending asked questions about the first day of the week. Bible explanations of texts that speak of the first day were given and, by the grace of God, most were led to see the truth from God’s Word.
We had a real wonderful time in Tiruppattur, fellowshipping with the people.
Back to Chennai
We left Tiruppattur on Sunday morning, March 30th, to go to Chennai to sleep overnight. This was the only day we did not have any meetings scheduled. The drive was about five hours and we reached Chennai in the afternoon at about 3:00 p.m.. We came back to the Frank’s house where we had stayed the first night we were in India.
As stated before, this family made us feel at home, so we always enjoyed spending time there.
The Meetings in Guntur
Our next mission field would be Guntur, a district in the state north of Tamil Nadu, called Andhra Pradesh, so we decided that since our next journey would be at least 10 hours from Chennai, we would have to leave early enough to get to our next mission field in time to rest a while and be ready for the evening meeting.
As the night fell, we had a visit from a family member that lived in the upper level of the house in the same yard where we were staying. This man works for a taxi company. He told us of a co-worker who took some tourists up north and on his way back was stopped at a road block by some Muslims who asked for passports or identity papers. The driver asked the reason for the roadblock, and was told they were looking for Americans to kill them, because the Americans are making war against their people.
When we heard this we were troubled as to what would happen on our way north, so we decided that as we went off to sleep we would make it a subject of much prayer.
Remembering the words of Jesus, “be ye therefore wise as serpents…” (Matthew 10:16) we thought it prudent to call the American embassy and get some counsel from them. However, the embassy would not be opened until much later than we had planned to leave, so we had to wait. When we inquired of them about the situation, they had not heard any reports, so they told us to wait and they would make some checks and get back to us. At the return call they told us we could go, but to be cautious as we traveled.
We left close to mid-day and we knew then that it would be impossible to reach Guntur in time for the evening meeting. We eventually reached Guntur around 10:00 p.m., so we called our host for this place and he met us on the outskirts of the city and brought us to a hotel, which was already reserved for us.
The heat in this place was the most oppressive we had experienced in India. We had a ceiling fan going at high speed and we were still perspiring. Even after a so-called shower, we were still hot.
After such a night we welcomed the sight of morning and were even happier to be able to meet the brethren who had been waiting for us the evening before.
The morning began with a wonderful Indian breakfast. We then went to a school auditorium in which the meetings were scheduled to be held. We arrived early and the only people present were the host of the meetings, our party, and two young ladies who were preparing booklets for notes.
This was the most publicized of all the meetings; they had fliers all over town, a newspaper advertisement, and radio announcement as well. The title was “Spiritual Enrichment Seminar.”
We were off to a late start and eventually the folks started to come in one by one. The advertisement drew several people from diverse backgrounds. We had an attorney of law and a medical laboratory technician among the first to be at the meetings. We visited with the early comers and got a little familiar with the language, which was different from the one we used in the other two locations. The language used in Andhra Pradesh is called Telegu.
Our host would be our translator for this language because Pastor Russell who had been with us since we were picked up at the airport, does not speak the Telegu language.
We got started eventually, around 11 a.m., so we had time for just one morning meeting, in which we would have to introduce the message and deal with the subject of “The God of the Bible.”
I had the privilege of doing the first message and, as we had been doing in the other places, we started off with two questions, and the answers were the same as in other places, that there is “one God” and His name is “Jesus.” I then made an open appeal that if I read something from the Scripture, and I seemed to put a wrong meaning to it, then they could stop me and point it out to me.
Soon after we started, a television news crew came and started doing some video taping of the meeting. The crew’s news reporter came and started taking notes. We were told afterwards that there were other people on the outside who never came into the meeting room, asking questions as to who we were and why we were there.
After I used the Bible to show that there is “one God,” the next question that I had to deal with was, “Who is this One God?” We continued by looking at the verses that tell us clearly who this one God is, and I made sure not to read the verses. I asked someone from the audience to read, and then I re-emphasized what we had read from the Bible. One such verse was 1Corinthians 8:6, which says, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
I pointed out that this verse was talking about two distinct Beings, one called the Father and the other Jesus Christ. There was silence! Then I said, “the one God is not the one Lord, neither is the one Lord, the one God.”
I saw a hand go up and I acknowledged the person. The question was, “What is the difference between God and Lord?” I thought this to be a genuine question, so I explained the difference; God meaning the supreme ruler who is above and beyond every other being, and Lord meaning someone set in authority to do a specific job.
There were hands going up all over with various questions about texts that I had not used nor mentioned. I reminded them of the appeal I had made to ask questions about the texts I’ve read, and if I took time to try to explain every text they asked about, I would not be able to finish the subject we had started. Just then the translator asked us to take a break, which I thought was strange since we were almost at the end of the study. I read the last part of 1Corinthians 8:7, “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge.”
During the break I asked the host why he stopped the meeting, and he said that I might be in trouble if I said, “Jesus is not God.” I told him that all I did was read the Bible, and I repeated what the Bible said, but that I never said that Jesus was not God. We fully believe that Jesus is divine, but He is not “the only true God.” We wished to be careful not to confuse the personality of the Father with the Son. The host asked if it was possible to change the subject. I told him that the truth about God was the message the Lord wanted us to bring to India so we could not change it.
We resumed after 10-15 minutes with interest running very high. I just quickly recapped what we looked at before the break, and then I ask that they wait for the second session when we would deal with the subject, “Who is Jesus?”
I was then asked by the lawyer present to give an answer now or the meetings would not continue. He said, “Tell me now, is Jesus God or not?” I told him we have a series to cover and that I will not allow him to lead me away from the order of the study. It really got intense as we argued back and forth, but I told him that it was unfair that he had not used one Bible verse to support his point when I had used only the Bible to support the position I was presenting. The lawyer was the only one that was insisting on this issue, while others were begging him to hear us out and be quiet, but he would not. I told them that the next meeting would be after lunch and they would have the opportunity to hear the Bible speak in regards to Jesus Christ.
We ended shortly after, and many people could be heard talking. The lawyer went to Lynnford for dialogue on the subject of Christ, but would not yield to reasoning. He told Lynnford that he could not believe that we came half way around the world to tell them that Jesus is not God. A few people came to where I was sitting and tried to tell me that they were convinced that we were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and nothing I could say could help them to believe to the contrary.
We left for lunch at the hotel where we were staying and, to my surprise the host told us that he was informed by reputable sources that there were people at the meetings from the “RSS,” an extremist organ of the Hindu religion, who were inquiring about us and that even the cameraman from the television station was himself an RSS member.
We learned of the RSS when we were in Dindigul. A pastor, who was present, told us of his experience. He had been knocked off his motorcycle on his way home from a Christian meeting he was conducting, and the cycle he was riding flew up in the air and fell on his hip. Thinking he was dead, the RSS left him. However, the extent of his injuries was great. Even today, the bone of his left leg is patched together with screws and wires holding metal plates.
We then asked our host what he thought we should do in the light of this and he, along with Pastor Russell, and the driver, advised us that we should leave immediately because our names and pictures would be on television that evening and they would know our names and faces.
back in Chennai
We were scheduled to conduct meetings at Rajahmundry, about four hours distant or so from Guntur. We asked whether we should continue to Rajahmundry. We were told that we should leave the state of Andhra Pradesh as soon as possible because word would spread far and wide quickly about our visit.
Sadly, with this counsel, we left immediately and headed back to Chennai. We drove for about three hours, miraculously passing a police roadblock without being stopped, and then we found a hotel to stay in for the night. In the morning after breakfast, we headed back to Chennai, which took us an additional seven hours.
Frank’s family, whom we had stayed with in Chennai, had heard about our troubles in Guntur and was praying for our safe return. When we arrived they were overjoyed, and we all knelt down and gave thanks to the Lord for His protection, grace and mercy upon us.
It is said that when one door is shut a window is opened. This was especially true about our experience during our last week in India. While we were unable to finish the other meetings that were planned, we had the most wonderful experience in witnessing to Frank and his family who attend the Catholic Church! We had studies every day and most nights, sometimes till after 1:00 a.m. There were many questions about various subjects. They found that the Bible had answers to all their questions. The two young ladies of the house expressed that, before the studies, the Bible had not been an enjoyable book for them to read. They simply read the Bible out of duty. But as we were able to show them the love that God has for them in sending His Son, they started to find joy in reading the Word of God. From this we could safely say, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
While we were in Chennai we had the privilege of meeting with an Adventist minister, hoping that we could have some studies with his church, but he had previous plans and was only able to hear the message for himself. He met with us in our room one morning and Brother Lynnford shared with him an overview of the message. He was able to understand truly the love that God has for us. This pastor had received a Ph.D. in Theology from Andrews University. By God’s grace, he could understand the message even though he only had an hour to spend with us. We shared with him some of our literature and asked that he would honestly assess what it presented and give us some feedback.
During our stay in Chennai, we had the opportunity of visiting some historical sites. Tradition states that Christianity entered India through the work of the Apostle Thomas in 52 A.D. We were able to visit three historic locations: Thomas’ dwelling place, the place of his death, and his burial site. Surprisingly all three places have a Catholic shrine built above them.
I had never in my life entered a Catholic church building until my first experience in India. I was overwhelmed by the sight of people bowing down to, kissing, and praying to these images and relics that were lifeless and, to me, meaningless. I also saw that these people were very sincere and honest in the acts of homage they were performing. The children were being taught at an early age to follow in the same path of what is plainly idol worship.
I was told that eighty-one percent of the Indian population are Hindus, twelve percent are Muslims and only two percent are Christians, with about ninety percent of that two percent being Catholic.
“Hindus are being converted to Christianity,” they say but, when I examine the facts, I recognize that the majority of the Hindus that are claiming conversion to Christianity are becoming Catholics. I wondered about that but, when I went into these shrines and saw what takes place, I was better able to understand the reason why Hindus are becoming Catholics.
As we traveled around India, and drove on the roads, every few miles we would see a Hindu shrine by the side of the road, and people would be bowing down to, kissing, and praying to these images, which were images of anything from animals, to birds, to some male and female gods.
I then recognized that it is easier for a Hindu to become a Catholic because all that changes, in their worship, is the images and, in some cases, the images remain the same. For example, we saw on a Hindu shrine images of peacocks and in one Catholic shrine, we saw the same peacocks being worshiped.
My experience in India brought home forcefully to me the truth of this text, “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” (Isaiah 60:2) I could understand why, when God pours out His Spirit upon His people, that the light and glory of the Lord will fill the whole world, and the Gentiles (Hindus included) shall come to the light.
As we came to the end of our trip to India I had to reflect on the work and the workers that are left to spread the Word. I realize that we have many pastors and Bible workers at the meetings, and we hope that they will be able to trust in the Lord for the power of His Spirit to teach their congregation this truth, and that people will be led into the fellowship of God and His Son.
Poverty exists in India, and I am aware that there are many who exploit the gospel for financial gains. We tried to teach these ministers to trust in the Lord for everything, and we all need to learn this truth of having faith in God and trusting Him to provide for our needs.
So often we receive letters from ministers who claim that they want to work for God, but they are having financial difficulties and, instead of asking help from God for whom they want to work, they make requests of others to do God’s work.
While we are jealous for the truth to spread far and wide, we should never feel that we are independent of God, thus we should always seek the Lord’s council in every decision we make.
The work in India is young, and there are many things to be done. Books need to be translated and printed, meetings need to be held and a host of other things. There is a great need for the work to be handled carefully and wisely. The greatest need is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Already, there are lots of volunteers who say they want to work but, in the same breath, they need financial support and pledges from us before they can start to work. As God gives us the ability, we will help and encourage all we can. Yet, this I take seriously and the point I have made, and will continue to make, is, how have you been surviving all these years? The same God, who has provided for you before, will continue to provide for you, if you trust Him.
We can only pray that the seed that the Lord has sown in India will fall on good ground and that it will bring forth fruits a hundredfold, sixtyfold and thirtyfold.
The experience we had was a blessed one. I will never forget it! Howard Williams
As noted last month, we have been offered some free television time later this summer. The plan is to use some edited tapes from the “Good News About God” series.
We believe that this is an excellent opportunity to open up the message on a wide scale. I know that Satan is not desirous of this message being given for he has attempted to set many road blocks in our way as we have been trying to get the tapes ready. Pray that we may have the materials ready so as to advance through this golden door of opportunity.
Due to the work involved in preparing these tapes, we must allow other projects to be put on hold till we have these materials for the summer televison series ready. Please excuse the delays in getting out further tapes in “The Good News About God” series as well as some of our out-of-print materials, knowing that the delay is for the benefit of unreached souls.Editor
By Ellen G. White
“No man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:24 Christ does not say that man will not or shall not serve two masters, but that he cannot. The interests of God and the interests of mammon have no union or sympathy. Just where the conscience of the Christian warns him to forbear, to deny himself, to stop, just there the worldling steps over the line, to indulge his selfish propensities. On one side of the line is the self-denying follower of Christ; on the other side is the self-indulgent world lover, pandering to fashion, engaging in frivolity, and pampering himself in forbidden pleasure. On that side of the line the Christian cannot go.
No one can occupy a neutral position; there is no middle class, who neither love God nor serve the enemy of righteousness. Christ is to live in His human agents and work through their faculties and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to His will; they must act with His Spirit. Then it is no more they that live, but Christ that lives in them. He who does not give himself wholly to God is under the control of another power, listening to another voice, whose suggestions are of an entirely different character. Half-and-half service places the human agent on the side of the enemy as a successful ally of the hosts of darkness. When men who claim to be soldiers of Christ engage with the confederacy of Satan, and help along his side, they prove themselves enemies of Christ. They betray sacred trusts. They form a link between Satan and the true soldiers, so that through these agencies the enemy is constantly working to steal away the hearts of Christ’s soldiers
The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honorable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation, trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, such an example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. He who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth and honor, does yet willfully transgress one precept of God’s holy law, has perverted His noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may become decoys of Satan to entice other souls over the precipice of ruin for this life and the life to come.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15, 16. (Taken from, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 93-95)
Keepers of the Springs
By Peter Marshall
(The following is a slightly-edited sermon of Peter Marshall, who served as Chaplain of the United States Senate from 1947 to 1948. It can be found in the book, Mr. Jones, Meet The Master, a collection of sermons and prayers. Editor)
ONCE UPON A TIME, a certain town grew up at the foot of a mountain range. It was sheltered in the lee of the protecting heights, so that the wind that shuddered at the doors and flung handfuls of sleet against the window panes was a wind whose fury was spent.
High up in the hills, a strange and quiet forest dweller took it upon himself to be the Keeper of the Springs.
He patrolled the hills and wherever he found a spring, he cleaned its brown pool of silt and fallen leaves, of mud and mold and took away from the spring all foreign matter, so that the water which bubbled up through the sand ran down clean and cold and pure.
It leaped sparkling over rocks and dropped joyously in crystal cascades until, swollen by other streams, it became a river of life to the busy town.
Millwheels were whirled by its rush. Gardens were refreshed by its waters. Fountains threw it like diamonds into the air. Swans sailed on its limpid surface and children laughed as they played on its banks in the sunshine.
But the City Council was a group of hard-headed, hard-boiled business men. They scanned the civic budget and found in it the salary of a Keeper of the Springs.
Said the Keeper of the Purse: “Why should we pay this romance ranger? We never see him; he is not necessary to our town’s work life. If we build a reservoir just above the town, we can dispense with his services and save his salary.”
Therefore, the City Council voted to dispense with the unnecessary cost of a Keeper of the Springs, and to build a cement reservoir.
So the Keeper of the Springs no longer visited the brown pools but watched from the heights while they built the reservoir.
When it was finished, it soon filled up with water, to be sure, but the water did not seem to be the same. It did not seem to be as clean, and a green scum soon befouled its stagnant surface.
There were constant troubles with the delicate machinery of the mills, for it was often clogged with slime, and the swans found another home above the town.
At last, an epidemic raged, and the clammy, yellow fingers of sickness reached into every home in every street and lane.
The City Council met again. Sorrowfully, it faced the city’s plight, and frankly it acknowledged the mistake of the dismissal of the Keeper of the Springs.
They sought him out in his hermit hut high in the hills, and begged him to return to his former joyous labor. Gladly he agreed, and began once more to make his rounds.
It was not long until pure water came lilting down under tunnels of ferns and mosses and to sparkle in the cleansed reservoir.
Millwheels turned again as of old. Stenches disappeared. Sickness waned and convalescent children playing in the sun laughed again because the swans had come back.
Do not think me fanciful too imaginative or too extravagant in my language when I say that I think of women, and particularly of our mothers, as Keepers of the Springs. The phrase, while poetic, is true and descriptive.
We feel its warmth … its softening influence and however forgetful we have been however much we have taken for granted life’s precious gifts we are conscious of wistful memories that surge out of the past— the sweet, tender, poignant fragrances of love.
Nothing that has been said, nothing that could be said, or that ever will be said, would be eloquent enough, expressive enough, or adequate to make articulate that peculiar emotion we feel to our mothers.
So I shall make my tribute a plea for Keepers of the Springs, who will be faithful to their tasks.
There never has been a time when there was a greater need for Keepers of the Springs, or when there were more polluted springs to be cleansed. If the home fails, the country is doomed. The breakdown of home life and influence will mark the breakdown of the nation.
If the Keepers of the Springs desert their posts or are unfaithful to their responsibilities the future outlook of this country is black indeed.
This generation needs Keepers of the Springs who will be courageous enough to cleanse the springs that have been polluted.
It is not an easy task—nor is it a popular one, but it must be done for the sake of the children, and the young women of today must do it.
The emancipation of womanhood began with Christianity, and it ends with Christianity. It had its beginning one night nineteen hundred years ago when there came to a woman named Mary a vision and a message from Heaven.
She saw the rifted clouds of glory, and the hidden battlements of heaven.
She heard an angelic annunciation of the almost incredible news that she of all the women on earth … of all the Marys in history … was to be the only one who should ever wear entwined the red rose of maternity and the white rose of virginity.
It was told her—and all Keepers of the Springs know how such messages come—that she should be the mother of the Saviour of the world.
It was nineteen hundred years ago “when Jesus Himself a baby deigned to be and bathed in baby tears His deity” … and on that night, when that tiny Child lay in the straw of Bethlehem, began the emancipation of womanhood.
When He grew up and began to teach the way of life, He ushered woman into a new place in human relations. He accorded her a new dignity and crowned her with a new glory, so that wherever the Christian evangel has gone for nineteen centuries, the daughters of Mary have been respected, revered, remembered, and loved, for men have recognized that womanhood is a sacred and a noble thing, that women are of finer clay … are more in touch with the angels of God and have the noblest function that life affords.
Wherever Christianity has spread, for nineteen hundred years men have bowed and adored.
It remained for the twentieth century, in the name of progress, in the name of tolerance, in the name of broadmindedness, in the name of freedom, to pull her down from her throne and try to make her like a man.
She wanted equality. For nineteen hundred years she had not been equal—she had been superior. But now, they said, she wanted equality, and in order to obtain it, she had to step down.
And so it is, that in the name of broadminded tolerance a man’s vices have now become a woman’s.
Twentieth century tolerance has won for woman the right to become intoxicated, the right to have an alcoholic breath, the right to smoke, to work like a man, to act like a man— for is she not man’s equal?
Today they call it “progress” … but tomorrow—oh, you Keepers of the Springs, they must be made to see that it is not progress.
No nation has ever made any progress in a downward direction. No people ever became great by lowering their standards. No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality.
It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was. It is not progress when purity is not as sweet. It is not progress when womanhood has lost its fragrance. Whatever else it is, it is not progress!
We need Keepers of the Springs who will realize that what is socially correct may not be morally right.
Our country needs today women who will lead us back to an old-fashioned morality, to old-fashioned decency, to old-fashioned purity, and sweetness for the sake of the next generation, if for no other reason.
This generation has seen an entirely new type of womanhood emerge from the bewildering confusion of our time. We have in the United States today a higher standard of living than in any other country, or at any other time in the world’s history.
We have more automobiles, more picture shows, more telephones, more money, more swing bands, more radios, more television sets, more night clubs, more crime, and more divorce than any other nation in the world.
Modern mothers want their children to enjoy the advantages of this new day. They want them, if possible, to have a college diploma to hang on their bedroom wall, and what many of them regard as equally important—a bid to a fraternity or a sorority.
They are desperately anxious that their daughters will be popular, although the price of this popularity may not be considered until it is too late.
In short, they want their children to succeed, but the usual definition of success, in keeping with the trend of our day, is largely materialistic.
The result of all this is that the modern child is brought up in a decent, cultured, comfortable, but thoroughly irreligious home.
All around us, living in the very shadow of our large churches and beautiful cathedrals, children are growing up without a particle of religious training or influence.
The parents of such children have usually completely given up the search for religious moorings. At first, they probably had some sort of vague idealism as to what their children should be taught.
They recall something of the religious instruction received when they were children, and they feel that something like that ought to be passed on to the children of today, but they can’t do it, because the simple truth is that they have nothing to give.
Our modern way of living and our modern irreligion have taken it out of the homes.
There remains only one place where it may be obtained, and that is in the Sunday [Sabbath] School, but it is no longer fashionable to attend Sunday [Sabbath] School.
The result is that there is very little religious education, and parents who lack it themselves are not able to give it to their children—so it is a case of “the blind leading the blind,” and both children and parents will almost invariably end up in the ditch of uncertainty and irreligion.
As you think of your own mother, remembering her with love and gratitude—in wishful yearning or lonely longing … I am quite sure that the memories that warm and soften your heart are not at all like the memories the children of today will have …
For you are, no doubt, remembering the smell of the starch in your mother’s apron, or the smell of a newly ironed blouse, the smell of newly baked bread, the fragrance of the violets she had pinned on her breast.
It would be such a pity if all that one could remember would be the aroma of toasted tobacco, or nicotine, and the offensive odor of beer on the breath!
The challenge to twentieth century motherhood is as old as motherhood itself. Although the average American mother has advantages that pioneer women never knew—material advantages: education, culture, advances made by science and medicine, although the modern mother knows a great deal more about sterilization, diets, health, calories, germs, drugs, medicines, and vitamins, than her mother did, there is one subject about which she does not know as much—and that is God.
The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge— that of being godly women. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now.
We hear about every other kind of women— beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women, but so seldom do we hear of a godly woman—or of a godly man either, for that matter.
I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else.
It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America.
It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth.
It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern.
The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails; who have lost all their illusions and their faith.
The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple.
The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave.
The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure.
We need women, and men too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.
Let us not fool ourselves—without Christianity without Christian education, without the principles of Christ, inculcated into young life, we are simply rearing pagans.
Physically, they will be perfect. Intellectually, they will be brilliant. But spiritually, they will be pagan. Let us not fool ourselves.
The school is making no attempt to teach the principles of Christ. The Church alone cannot do it. They can never be taught to a child unless the mother herself knows them and practices them every day.
If you have no prayer life yourself it is rather a useless gesture to make your child say his prayers every night.
If you never enter a church it is rather futile to send your child to Sunday [Sabbath] School.
If you make a practice of telling social lies it will be difficult to teach your child to be truthful.
If you say cutting things about your neighbors and about fellow members in the church it will be hard for your child to learn the meaning of kindness.
The twentieth century challenge to motherhood—when it is all boiled down—is that mothers will have an experience of God … a reality which they can pass on to their children. For the newest of the sciences is beginning to realize, after a study of the teachings of Christ from the standpoint of psychology, that only as human beings discover and follow these inexorable spiritual laws will they find the happiness and contentment which we all seek.
A minister tells of going to a hospital to visit a mother whose first child had been born. She was distinctly a modern girl. Her home was about average for young married people.
“When I came into the room she was propped up in bed writing. ‘Come in,’ she said, smiling. ‘I’m in the midst of house-cleaning and I want your help.’
“I had never heard of a woman house-cleaning while in a hospital bed. Her smile was contagious—she seemed to have found a new and jolly idea.
“‘I’ve had a wonderful chance to think here,’ she began, ‘and it may help me to get things straightened out in my mind if I can talk to you.’
She put down her pencil and pad, and folded her hands. Then she took a long breath and started:
“‘Ever since I was a little girl, I hated any sort of restraint. I always wanted to be free. When I finished high school, I took a business course and got a job—not because I needed the money—but because I wanted to be on my own.
“‘Before Joe and I were married, we used to say that we would not be slaves to each other. And after we married our apartment became headquarters for a crowd just like us. We weren’t really bad—but we did just what we pleased.’
“She stopped for a minute and smiled ruefully.
‘God didn’t mean much to us—we ignored Him. None of us wanted children—or we thought we didn’t. And when I knew I was going to have a baby I was afraid.’
“She stopped again and looked puzzled. ‘Isn’t it funny, the things you used to think?’
She had almost forgotten I was there—she was speaking to the old girl she had been before her great adventure.
“Then remembering me suddenly—she went on: ‘Where was I? Oh, yes, well, things are different now. I’m not free any more and I don’t want to be. And the first thing I must do is to clean house.’
“Here she picked up the sheet of paper lying on the counterpane. ‘That’s my house-cleaning list. You see, when I take Betty home from the hospital with me—our apartment will be her home—not just mine and Joe’s.
“‘And it isn’t fit for her now. Certain things will have to go—for Betty’s sake. And I’ve got to house-clean my heart and mind. I’m not just myself—I’m Betty’s mother. And that means I need God. I can’t do my job without Him. Won’t you pray for Betty and me and Joe, and for our new home?’
“And I saw in her all the mothers of today—mothers in tiny apartments and on lonely farms …
Mothers in great houses and in suburban cottages who are meeting the age-old challenge—‘that of bringing their children to the love and knowledge of God.’
“And I seemed to see our Saviour—with His arms full of children of far-away Judea—saying to that mother and to all mothers—the old invitation so much needed in these times: ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.’”
I believe that this generation of young people has courage enough to face the challenging future.
I believe that their idealism is not dead. I believe that they have the same bravery and the same devotion to the things worth while that their grandmothers had.
I have every confidence that they are anxious to preserve the best of our heritage, and God knows if we lose it here in this country it is forever gone.
I believe that the women of today will not be unmindful of their responsibilities; that is why I have dared to speak so honestly.
Keepers of the Springs, we salute you!
WV Camp Meeting
This is the last call of invitation to attend the 2003 WV camp meeting June 17-21, at the Smyrna Sabbath Chapel in West Virginia. We believe this is going to be one of the best camp meetings the movement has ever had, so plan now to bring your Bibles and a cheerful receptive heart.
The theme of this camp meeting will be “Fellowship.” The Apostle John writes: “… truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. … But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1John 1:3, 7) As we walk in the light, and fellowship with the Father and the Son, we have fellowship with each other.
While acknowledging that meetings are the main focus of camp meeting, we realize that it is, at times, difficult to find the time personally for God and for others, when a camp meeting schedule is very full. To help provide time for personal time with the Father and the Son, as well as time for fellowship with each other, we have scheduled no afternoon meetings.
This is a camp meeting. You need to bring a tent or make other arrangements. We do not have cabins or rooms available. Interest is running very high and, while we hope to have enough space for all, we will be much more tightly packed than last year.
We hope to have four showers with hot and cold water available. Don’t forget items such as tents, bedding, flashlights, food, toiletries, insect repellent, and modest casual and Sabbath clothes.
As we noted in last month’s Old Paths, this last spring our road was heavily damaged by flood waters. We are now very pleased to report that the road has been repaired and is better than before and can handle small to medium-sized RV’s.While there is room for RV’s, we do not have hook-ups. RV’s will need to be self-contained. For those who wish, there are motels in the area. (Please see last month’s issue for a listing with phone numbers.)
All campers will need to be responsible for their own food. We are planning to have a vegan haystack Sabbath afternoon fellowship meal for those interested.
Parents will need to be responsible for their children, including “youth,” at all times. For further information contact us by using the contact information on page twelve of this newsletter.
Youth’s Corner — “Look Up”
Several years ago, while journeying from Christiania, Norway, to Goteborg, Sweden, I was favored with a sight of the most glorious sunset it was ever my privilege to behold. Language is inadequate to picture its beauty. The last beams of the setting sun, silver and gold, purple, amber, and crimson, shed their glories athwart the sky, growing brighter and brighter, rising higher and higher in the heavens, until it seemed that the gates of the city of God had been left ajar, and gleams of the inner glory were flashing through. For two hours the wondrous splendor continued to light up the cold northern sky,—a picture painted by the great Master Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens. Like the smile of God it seemed, above all earthly homes, above the rock-bound plains, the rugged mountains, the lonely forests, through which our journey lay.
Angels of mercy seemed whispering: “Look up! This glory is but a gleam of the light which flows from the throne of God. Live not for earth alone. Look up, and behold by faith the mansions of the heavenly home.” This scene was to me as the bow of promise to Noah, enabling me to grasp the assurance of God’s unfailing care, and to look forward to the haven of rest awaiting the faithful worker. Ever since that time I have felt that God granted us this token of his love for our encouragement. Never while memory lingers, can I forget that vision of beauty, and the comfort and peace it brought.
As God’s children, it is our privilege ever to look up, keeping the eye of faith fixed on Christ. As we constantly keep him in view, the sunshine of his presence floods the chambers of the mind. The light of Christ in the soul-temple brings peace. The soul is stayed on God. All perplexities and anxieties are committed to Jesus. As we continue to behold him, his image becomes engraved on the heart, and is revealed in the daily life.
But if, after conversion, we allow worldliness to creep into the heart, if we cherish it as a welcome guest, there is an entire change. The view of Jesus is eclipsed. The vision of his purity, his goodness, his matchless love, is dimmed. Peace is gone. No longer is the soul committed to him in simple, perfect trust. The whole Christian life seems uncertain.
My dear young friends, ever keep Christ in view. Thus only can you keep the eye single to God’s glory. Jesus is your light and life and peace and assurance forever. By beholding him you are changed from glory to glory—from character to character.
“If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” In Him is no darkness at all.
When the soul is illumined by God’s Spirit, the whole character is elevated, the mental conceptions are enlarged, and the affections, no longer centered upon self, shine forth in good works to others, attracting them to the beauty and brightness of Christ’s glory. (Mrs. E.G. White, Youth’s Instructor, October 23, 1902)
We are very saddened to announce the death of Brother Andres Morales of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Brother Andres rested from his life’s labors on May 16, 2003. He was forty-eight.
Experiencing chest pains, Andres drove himself to a nearby hospital emergency room, only to collapse after arriving never to regain consciousness.
Brother Andres showed in his spirit that, truly, neither New Jersey, nor his native Puerto Rico were his home; but “he looked for a city … whose builder and maker was God.” Andres trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the reflection of Christ’s love through Andres’ life was a very beautiful and genuine thing to behold.
I have met few people in my life who were filled with joy and peace like Andres. He will truly be missed by all who really knew him. Andres is survived by his wife Marisol, three sons, Robert, Andres V., and Andre N., seven brothers, three sisters, and one grandson, Nicolas Andre Morales. He also had several nieces and nephews.
Andres always showed support for the Lord’s work with his time and resources. His heart was in the work of the Lord, to see the good news of God’s love reach the world. He helped to support missionaries in Africa and did missionary work of his own to share his faith with those around him. He had truly found the only One who can bring the joy of salvation into the heart, and had committed his life to serving Him all the way to the end. Editor
Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. U.S.A. It is sent free upon request. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our web sites. The urls are: http://www.smyrna.org and http://www.presenttruth.info. Phone: (304) 732-9204. Fax: (304) 732-7322.
Editor: Allen Stump -
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail email@example.com
Please also visit our Present Truth Website!
This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013