Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)
The sole authority of Jesus Christ in all respects must be maintained rigorously, but churches are very apt to be guided by something else. Some would have us guided by results.
We have heard a discussion upon the question whether or not we should continue missionary operations, since there are so few converted! How can the question ever be raised while the Master’s order runs thus— “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, KJV)?
Spoken by the mouth of Jesus our ruler, that command stands good, and the results of missions can have no effect upon loyal minds either one way or the other as to their prosecution.
If from this day for the next ten thousand years not a single soul should be converted to God by foreign missions, if there still remained a church of Christ, it would be her duty with increasing vigor to thrust her sons forward into the mission field because her duty is not measured by the result, but by the imperial authority of Christ.
But the discoveries of science, we are told, have materially affected belief, and therefore we should change our ways according as philosophy changes. We have the same King still, the same laws still, the same teaching of the Word still, and we are to deliver this teaching after the same sort and in the same spirit.
If we shall do this, if any church shall do this, namely, take its truth from Jesus’ lips, live according to Jesus’ Word, and go forward in his name, such a church cannot by any possibility fail, for in failure of such a church would be the failure of the Master’s own authority.1
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