Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 10, 1969
NUMBER 48, PAGE 3b,5b

Reflections From The Moon

Dale Smelser

Astronauts Borman, Lovell and Anders viewing the earth from the moon were moved to observe something that has become a vivid realization to thoughtful men, a thought intensified by those pictures of the bright round earth suspended in the blackness of space, the white of its cloudy atmosphere, the blue of its seas, and born of its lands contrasting with the stark dead grayness of the moon's surface.

Their thoughts were of the oneness of man, united as riders of that awesomely beautiful vivified orb. The hope for a realization of mortal hostilities was expressed now that man had seen himself as one, sharing the destiny of this small planet.

But the ideal of unity ought to extend beyond the realm of political detente motivated by mutual global habitation, for there is a better reason for recognizing the brotherhood of man; the one God who made and is the Father of us all. All being his creatures, we ought also to serve him as one. But man cannot, or has not, grasped this concept in his imagination, not to mention actual experience. Oh, I know that some are mouthing the little platitude that regardless of what God is called or under whatever forms he is served, men the world over are actually worshipping the one God.

This just is not so. God cannot be served by that which does not accord with his determination. Cain's unacceptable sacrifice forever established that. Could Marx be served by capitalism or Hitler by free speech? Then why suppose Jehovah God can be served by conflicting religions, morals, and forms. Service is that which accords with the will of the one being served. Either God has a will or he does not. If he does, it must be observed. If he does not, anything goes. Cain learned that he has a will and jealously slew his brother who performed it.

But the fact is that all of this service is not even directed to the same God, not even in what is called Christendom. The Mormons believe in a physical god. The Jehovah's Witnesses, rather than believing in the unity of the godhead, have a pantheon of graduated gods; Jehovah the eternal, Christ the created and faithful, and Satan the created and rebellious. The Holy Spirit by them is deprived of personality and is only an active force. The god of religious liberals is non-personal, non-creative, non-sovereign, and non-providential. Substantively speaking, "non" describes their god pretty well. They reject the personal omnipotence by which the universe was brought into existence, and by which God intervened miraculously to lead to and establish the gospel in the world, which was then of such a nature and of sufficient merit to stand without further miracles, just as no further creation miracles were needed once the cosmos was complete. Many "pentecostal" groups believe in a Santa Claus god that responds with a miracle to all their emotional and physical needs, their being unable to see how God can providentially work through the laws he has established without miracles. The god of the popular denominationalist will accept just about any religious form or behavior just as long as we believe in him, more or less. He would prefer to be at the behest of our inclinations than for someone to insist that we really ought to follow the scriptures, which he didn't mean for us to take so seriously, and thus upset him by the ensuing controversy; a god of peace at any price. All worshipping the same God? Indeed not.

Not merely because we are fellow earthlings should man strive for peace, but because we all owe allegiance to the One Universal Sovereign. Loyalty to Him is the beginning of solving all that plagues us. Without this there never have been and never will be any lasting solutions to man's problems on earth, no matter how gallant the effort.

How do we serve him once we know who he is, in the denominations? Denominations are simply human machinery, which dominates the minds of men with human ordinances, whereas we are "to live according to scriptures" (I Cor. 4:6 RSV). You can follow the scriptures, live as God has prescribed, and worship God with others who do likewise without belonging to any of the denominations. We know, for it was so in the New Testament, and we are doing it now. May this simple concept spread and overwhelm the things that divide us.

— P.O. Box 95, Zion, Ill. 60099