Why The Lack Of Men In Christian Work?
If ever God’s people needed a bombshell it is today. But Laodicea, without one false doctrine in her, knows not that she is “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Laodicea is not Modernism. Laodicea is sleepy Orthodoxy. Laodicean lukewarmness loves to be left peaceful, quiet, undisturbed.
Laodiceans can tolerate deadness, inertia, complacency, and a thousand forms of spiritual stupor, with no concern, no care, no alarm. But let some voice begin to rouse us from our sleep, then behold our excuse-making.
If some servant of God demands our repentance, then we plead that repentance is for the Jews. If he demands confession of sin, that is Oxford Groupism. If he calls for crucifixion with Christ, then that savors of the morbidity of the monastery.
Laodiceans have an alibi at every turn. So well fortified, how can God get at us? We are walled in, and walled off, and walled up to heaven against any and every attack of the Holy Ghost.
Are we indulging in pious imaginations? Are we only sounding wild alarms? There is not so much wrong with us after all, they say—no death in the spiritual pot, nor calling to high Heaven for a miraculous cure (2 Kings 4:38-41). Then continue to let the missionary leaders weep over the lack, almost to vanishing point, of virile young men to fill the gaps and wide-open doors.
Brethren, by our fruits we are known. (Matt. 7:15-20; Matt. 12:33).
These young men are not forthcoming. But where are they? Are they not in our halls of learning? These young people are following us! Our love of softness and salary and self-preservation has turned our followers away from the Cross!
Behold the Moravians! How high and holy were their standards of discipleship. With little missionary example and teaching to stimulate them, their zeal was so unquenchable that they regarded “any church destitute of the spirit of missions ... dead, and every disciple without service, an apostate.”
What a crucified lot of soldiers those early Moravians were!
Hammered out on anvils of fiery persecution they were cut off from our soft world. They understood the mystery of both the outer and inner Cross. Devoted to the Cross, their young men moved almost en masse to the regions beyond.
Today the Cross is not our sole inspiration. Our devotion is to an objective, to a cause, to an organization, to orthodoxy. We are promoters, diplomats, strategists.
How little we know of prevailing prayer! How little time we spend on our knees! Our very orthodoxy deceives us. The Cross for our salvation—how we contend for that! But the Cross for self-crucifixion—how we abhor that!
Do we realize that Paul says concerning such double-minded men as ourselves: “I tell you even weeping that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ.” (Phil. 3:17-19) Oh yes, we preach the Crucified, but we know how to keep off the Cross.
And beloved, the Cross has not had its place in our fundamentalism. Its principle does not reign.
The Communist says: “Christ died on His Cross, but you ministers live on it.” And until we consent to an inner crucifixion that will cut us away from self-infatuation and self-preservation, we shall never beget strong spiritual children.
Only when Zion travails does she bring forth her children. (Isaiah 66:8.) But we are living in the lap of a soft and lustful Laodiceanism. “...This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.” 2 Kings 19:3.
Our poor powers are so paralyzed that we can put forth no vigorous effort to produce masculine heroes of the Cross. We have fed the flesh, catered to the flesh, humored the flesh, trained and educated the flesh—all, presumably, to do the work of the Holy Spirit! What fleshly wisdom! What amazing folly!
We have done everything to the flesh, but take it where it belongs—to the Cross! Why this appalling failure, and stupidity, and blindness? The answer is simple. We are afraid to release the truth, afraid of the reactions, afraid of our reputations, afraid of the loss of prestige, afraid of a falling budget, afraid of being reckoned queer, eccentric, different. The fact is we have not sufficient spiritual life to beget an apostolic and masculine missionary offspring.
A few women go out to the regions beyond—God bless them—each to do a man's job. Why the lack of men? We are effeminate. Our obedience is crossless. Our blood is anemic. Our life is Laodicean—and our destiny? Spewed out!
Someone “calls for a thousand Christian workers to hurry the job”. Catholics respond with 1,120. Only 200 Protestant missionaries, perhaps most of them Modernists, respond. No, we are not dreaming or sounding wild alarms. This blame can be laid largely at our own door.
Here we sit in our effeminacy on the brink of an earth-shocking and atomic world crisis. The danger is so acute, and awful, and imminent that it is a wonder we are not prostrate on our faces before God!
Candidly, brethren, how long is it since we have had a protracted and drawn-out season of prayer with our church folks or our student bodies—a day of humiliation and fasting and prayer?
How long since we have seen old-fashioned conviction, and weeping, and confession of sin?
Believe it or not, if you have not experienced these things, you will be staggered at the torrent of confession that will pour forth from your people—once God the Holy Spirit begins to get control and function with His hands untied! Perhaps, all unconsciously, you have manipulated and argued the Holy Ghost out of the seat of supremacy in your ministry.
The missionary nerve is fast being severed. The ranks are thinning. In comparison to the need—the new recruits are negligible.
If one with God is still a majority, then whose fault is this fall-off?
Veteran and spiritual missionary leaders know where the fault lies. Their secret conviction is that we have gone with the modem wind, and have sold out to the softness of this generation.
They know our catering is killing missionary vision.