Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1966
NUMBER 31, PAGE 4-5a

Who Has The Answer?


The world in general, and America in particular, is going through an agonizing experience which one articulate commentator has called "a crisis in values." There has developed a vast and unwelcome uncertainty in a great many areas of human life, in both personal, or individual, and public aspects. The values by which individuals have lived for hundreds of years, the sustaining influences of church, school, and government, are all being brought under a merciless and often senseless attack. Symptomatic of this unrest are the howling mobs roving the streets of our great cities, the dirty, unwashed, bearded beatniks infesting our college campuses, the professional ''protesters" (from preachers to dope addicts to prostitutes) proclaiming that one need not obey any law which he deems unfair or unjust, and the sophomoric savants who recently sought to startle the world by announcing the recent demise of Divinity. We do not recall that we have ever seen a group capable of compressing so little thought into so many words as this last named coterie.

It would seem from this seething unrest and boiling cauldron of discontent that we are living in a particularly precarious and disturbing age. But a more sophisticated look at history will reveal that every age has had its unsettling questions. Indeed, Christianity is peculiarly fitted for just such a time of chaos; and those periods in the last two thousand years when the gospel of Christ has been most certainly believed and most sacrificially supported have not been times of quiet prosperity, but, on the contrary, chaotic days like we are now experiencing.

Perhaps all of us are acquainted with Uncle Remus' story of "Brer Rabbit" and his mortal enemy "Brer Fox." One day Brer Fox caught Brer Rabbit and was trying to devise the most horrible kind of punishment possible to inflict. Brer Rabbit finally persuades his enemy to throw him into a briar-patch, having tricked Brer Fox into believing that a briar-patch was the most terrible thing that could befall him. Brer Rabbit then skips happily away, calling back over his shoulder, "I was bred en bawn in a briar-patch, Brer Fox --- bred en bawn in a briar-patch!"

Similarly Christianity, far from being weak and lost and ineffective in such a time as we now live in, was "bred and born" in such a briar-patch as this. It is fitted and fashioned for just such cu...iusion and tumult as has befallen our age. You may recall that Christianity began with an innocent man being brutally murdered on the perjured testimony of the religious leaders of his day! You may remember that those early disciples lived in constant jeopardy, hunted and hounded from house to house, and from city to city. Far from being an idealistic dream for people unwilling to face "harsh reality," Christianity from its very beginning came to grips with the most terrible and revolting aspects of human depravity. Open the New Testament to almost any page you wish and you will find not the soft, ethereal dreamer, but men and women who were, as the Epistle to the Hebrews says, stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword, going about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, of whom the world was not worthy.

There was a day when Jesus drew the outlines of his spiritual kingdom with such clarity that no one could misunderstand. John tells us that "Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away? Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (Jno.6:66-67.) It was this certainty, this unswerving, undeviating assurance, this boundless confidence in the truth and finality of Jesus Christ which gave the early Christians their power to overcome the world. Truly could the aged disciple write, "this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith."

Christ not only HAS the answer, he IS the answer---the only answer to that "crisis in values" and to that "vast uncertainty" which has plagued our day. Those who have found his way of life, who have yielded themselves to his teachings have moved out of the confused turbulence of a violent and often senseless world into a life rich with meaning and bright with promise. As the world outside grows ever more deranged and disorderly, the life of the Christian is serene and certain. He has found the answer! He knows whence he came, and whither he is going. And he is on his way. Fire and flood, earthquake and tornado are but incidents of the journey. Even death itself he takes in stride. He looks for that city whose builder and maker is God, And earth and all earthly things are but a means to gain that end.

-F. Y. T.