Unfulfilled Prophecy - APPENDIX NOTE - Pacifism or Action

APPENDIX NOTE.

It is due to the "text-card" system of Bible study, and the resulting ignorance of "dispensational truth" (see page 40 ante), that so many Ohristians ignore, and some vehemently reject, "that blessed hope" of the Lord's Coming. For they are thus betrayed into confounding His Coming as Son of Man for the deliverance of His earthly people, after "the great tribulation," in a future age, with His Coming to call home His heavenly people, and to bring this Christian dispensation to an end. And this "text-card" system is harmful in a wholly different sphere. No pulpit utterance of recent years obtained a wider publicity than the "Love your enemies" sermon preached in St. Margaret's, Westminster, on the 25th March two years ago. The Lord's teaching for the guidance of His disciples in their "Gospel of the Kingdom" ministry was used to indicate what our attitude ought to be toward our enemies in this war, entirely ignoring His words to those same disciples on the eve of His leaving them (Luke 22:35, 36). And yet even a village Sunday school might be expected to notice that He then bade them to provide themselves with swords! Neither did the preacher notice the Lord's emphatic statement that His teaching was not to be taken as cancelling one jot or tittle of the law, i.e., the Mosaic Scriptures. And by those very Scriptures it is that our public affairs, whether national or international, should be regulated. This question, moreover, may become a burning one if, as we hope, our armies invade Germany and seize Berlin. Are our troops to fraternize with the Germans, and declare their love for them? Or is their bearing toward them to be akin to that of our police and magistrates toward our criminals at home? We may rest assured that there will be no reprisals in kind for the hideous atrocities inflicted by the enemy upon peaceful citizens in the lands they have invaded. But if the Governments of the Allies should see fit to inflict exemplary punishment upon Germany as a nation, by rifling and destroying all national property, let no British Christians bring discredit upon Holy Scripture by raising a protest based upon perversion of the teaching of our Divine Lord. And what is to be our attitude as Christians toward our German brethren after this war? If by condemning and deploring the crimes committed by their nation against humanity and law they give proof that they are indeed followers of Christ, our course is clear. But otherwise we may fitly act toward them in the spirit of the Lord's explicit words recorded in Matthew 18:15-17, and refuse definitely to acknowledge them as Christians.