WHAT is wrong? inquires the Rev. C. S. Bullock, in the March Christian Endeavorer, and proceeds to justify and answer the query as follows:—
“Every pulpit in the land guarded by law—nearly one hundred thousand men of learning and ability set for the bringing to the attention of other men the life and death message of God—and yet—
“Multiply the twelve apostles by eight thousand and how soon they would turn the word up-side-down! What is wrong?
“Think of England—the brightest part of Europe. Eighty thousand criminals; one hundred and sixty thousand drunkards; one hundred thousand prostitutes; nearly ten hundred thousand paupers, and a drink bill of one hundred and thirty-six million pounds sterling! Is that the best the gospel of Jesus Christ can do for England?
“Look upon our own land—over seventy-three million population and about twenty million enrolled members in all branches of the church! Seven million young men, of whom but five per cent. are enrolled as members of the church, these, as a fraction of one of the million, attend church somewhat regularly, another million attended occasionally, but five million never attend. Think of arresting over one and a half million of men and women annually—fifty millions in a generation! Crime increases four and a half times faster than the population. What is wrong?
“Here we stand upon the threshold of the twentieth century with the record of forty million people habitually absenting themselves from the house of God! We have perfect machinery and a seemingly large amount of zeal—we are doing everything that we can think of to reach the ungodly—we have tried spinning-wheels and grabbags, theatricals and tableaux, broom drills and donkey socials. We have fiddled to them and fed them with ice cream and cake, and tickled them with funny stories, yet ‘Ichabod’ seems to be written upon everything we do. What is wrong?
“Is there a power that can change these things? What is needed? Paul cries, ‘The gospel is the power of God.’ O, that is what is needed—power! POWER! Power in the Church and through the Church in politics to regenerate society. The only thing that can correct the things that need correction is the ‘gospel.’ Let us apply the gospel in liberal doses!”
Yes; it is power that is needed, and that power is needed in the church. But the needed power is not political power, but “the power of God.” The gospel is not political power. The gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16. The power comes only to those who believe, and this totally separates it from politics, for politics have nothing to do with faith.
If the Church does not have the power she needs, it is because there is a lack in believing—believing the Word of God. Jesus Christ said to his followers, as he was about to ascend after his resurrection, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth…. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Then why has the Church not power? Is it not because she has forsaken Christ and joined with Cesar, and is seeking for divine power to be exercised through politics, for the “regeneration of society”? God cannot lend himself to any such scheme. The Church will have to get out of politics before she will realize the power for which some in her communion long.