Christian Optimism -- By: R. J. Love

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 081:323 (Jul 1924)
Article: Christian Optimism
Author: R. J. Love

Christian Optimism

R. J. Love, Ph.D.

The present is a faith-testing age. We are passing through experiences unprecedented in the history of the race. Foundations are trembling, and many stout hearts fear their removal. Every species of dissatisfaction is rampant. Nations hate one another with a bitter hatred. Mutual suspicions and jealousies predominate. Much of the world is a vast training camp. Professing to abhor armed strife, the nations are at the same time putting forth their best energies in preparation for war. Science is directing its energies toward the creation of destructive forces. The world is burdened with the surviving victims of the colossal struggle of 1914–1918. Yet, despite the warnings of the past, and the appeals of the present, the cry of the world is for more blood. The pledges of the international council table have been thrown to the winds. Nations seem to have lost their honor. The strong are taking advantage of the weak. Human greed and selfishness are in the ascendancy, and often the wrong seems to triumph. Nor is our own nation guiltless. We have betrayed our trust. We have set our hearts upon gold. The only law which many obey is the law of commercialism. Carried away by their own inclinations, the hearts of many have turned aside from the truth of God. The very fundamentals of our holy religion are being attacked by those who have sworn to defend them. Lawlessness is rampant. Respect for authority is at a minimum. In some instances our very courts are under suspicion, and justice is outraged. Our public press is largely a chronicle of crime. It has been charged that our leading newspapers are subsidized in the interests of those who have not the public welfare at heart. Even in this “land of the free” there is much that cannot be rightly called freedom. In this “home of the brave” there is cowardly submission to authority that has been

unlawfully assumed. Present conditions forcibly remind us of Paul’s description of the perilous times to be experienced in the last days—”For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:2–5).

We admit that the picture is dark, that the conditions are heart-breaking and discouraging. But this is no time to yield to a destructive pessimism. We are Christian men, engaged in a high and holy calling. Let us walk worthily of it, keeping in mind the most sublime o...

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