A flash-back in mind the other day staggered me with the realization that two and three hundred years ago there were spiritual giants in the earth. Men, mature at twenty-one years, had left college and university and were established as men with a message. See James Chalmers, the missionary-martyr of New Guinea, a full-blown preacher at nineteen. Consider Robert Murray McCheyne. At twenty-nine years of age he thrilled to say, "Farewell mortality; welcome eternity." A Dundee newspaper, paying tribute to his passing, said that in Robert McCheyne, Christ "had walked those Scottish streets." A host of other giants-in-their-youth could be cited. But in this hour it is the hoary head that commands the pulpit.
Easy-going preachers produce easy-going believers. We have more star preachers than scarred preachers, more expositors than exposers, more who are concerned to "get it over" than to "pray it through." We have more religious educators than soul emancipators. The pulpiteer of our times is expected to enlighten the mind rather than to enliven the conscience. To many, the width of his head matters more than the depth of his heart. So, even with a steel ring of communism around the world, and the sewers of moral filth pouring over it, we find the Church more interested in pie than piety, and the Lord's Weakened army "by schism rent asunder" and by conflicting interpretations oppressed.
On the contrary, let the Church become a recruiting booth. Youth likes a challenge. Where is there more need or greater opportunity for courage than in this battle of the Lord? This is a perpetual warfare. Let there be no truce with this enemy, much less a parley. The fight is on.
Copyright (C)1994 by Leonard Ravenhill, Lindale, Texas. Used with permission.