King's Business - 1922-11

T HE K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S There never was such an epoch. We must step in and rebuild the nations according to the principles of Jesus Christ.” These are fine thoughts. They appeal to noble and heroic instincts. They touch chords in the hearts of the very finest of our young people. And so from our universities and colleges men and women are being led into God’s service for what are really humanita­ rian reasons. It is the love of man rather than the love of Christ that con­ strains them. And some are going forth into our large cities and into foreign lands with a Gospel which is not the Gospel of the New Testament. All I can say to the men and women who go to the world with such a Gospel is thi^: If your aim is to reform character, and build up “ an holy priesthood in the Lord,” in a few years you will write this one word across their past—FAIL­ URE. If such men and women have gone to the mission field, one' of two things will happen. Either they will develop into mere routinists, doing their work in the fond hope that they are doing some good, but without seeing genuine re­ sults; or they will return home, as many have done, sadder but wiser men. The simple fact is that a Gospel which leaves out the Atonement as it is presented to us in the New Testament, or which makes concessions and adjustments for philosophical reasons, does not work. A missionary may hedge in his converts with social and monetary considerations, making them feel it to be to their ad­ vantage to live better outward lives, but the moment these restraining bar­ riers are removed, the same old heart re-appears. Nothing in the world can make a clean heart but the. blood of Jesus. The Cross of Christ is the one dis­ tinctive feature about Christianity. It is the one thing in our religion that is absolutely new to the world. The doc­ trine of the Fatherhood of God, al-


though enriched and purified most won­ derfully by Jesus Christ, is not peculiar to Christianity. In some form or other it has been accepted by all civilized nations. The Greeks and Romans wor­ shiped father Jupiter and the Chinese all worship the Heavenly Grandfather. Likewise the idea of Incarnation is no­ toriously common to almost every reli­ gion, although it is true that in none is there found the beautiful and holy story of Bethlehem. The belief in an indwell­ ing Spirit, good or evil, is accepted with­ out difficulty by heathen people all the world over. The elements of all the great Christian doctrines are found in other religions, except the doctrine of the Cross. The Christian doctrine of the Cross separates Christianity from everything else. It was because of the Cross that Christ had to found a new religion instead of merely reforming the old ones. The Cross makes Christian­ ity. To preach anything less than “ Christ Crucified” is to preach some­ thing that comes short of being Chris­ tianity. In China, where my work is, every missionary knows full well that in these days nothing is easier than to get con­ verts if we leave the Cross out of our teaching. We'can talk to the Chinese of the Fatherhood of God, of sin and punishment for sin, of God becoming man, of Heaven, brotherly love, and a hundred other truths and doctrines, and they will accept them all gladly. They will say that our beliefs are just like their own, only clarified and enriched. But the Cross puzzles them. A thought­ ful Chinaman said to me once: “ What we cannot understand is, Why did Christ die?” It was a perfectly reasonable question. His point was that if Christ came to reveal to us God’s truth, surely He could have done that by living a perfect life among us, and telling us all we needed to know. He could have given us all the light we needed without the necessity of djdng. And my friend was

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