CHRISTIANS NEED BACKBONE
“What my God saith, that will I speak” (2 Chron. ).
“We know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth” (Mark ).
One is tempted to ask, “How is backbone to be formed in the rising generation of Christians, if everything about the religious life is made so pleasant and easy? If sermons must be so light or short as hardly to involve any effort of attention on the part of the hearer, and the rest of the service is to be a bright little concert? And if the other hours of the day given us to be spent at the gates of Heaven are to be merely enlivened with ‘Sunday talk’?”
We are in great danger of degenerating into molluscous Christians. Christian preachers and writers ought, I think, to be continually reminding their people of the place of self-denial in the Christian life. If we let down the tone of the Church in this respect it may please God to give her a new chapter of discipline of persecution, for that has been the great means usually employed for teaching her that the Cross has to be borne in another sense than as an ornament on a lady’s bosom. “If any man will come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.”—Dr. W. G. Blaikie.
The Church needs replenishing with men and women who are prepared to disregard the opinions of men, and to estimate at their true worth the persons and influence of men. Such people are bound to make their mark in both worlds, they cannot eventually fail. They must succeed with a success that the grave will not cut short, and eternity will not lessen.
Most modern Christians are afraid to:
Face the frowns of their loved ones to say grace before meals.
Be considered old-fashioned and hold family worship in the home.
Approach their unsaved fellowman and talk to him about his soul.
Be seen on their knees or reading their Bibles.
Rebuke a wrong that is committed in their presence in the spirit of Christ.
How can we then expect to be among those “who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”?
John Bunyan has said: “I have determined—the Almighty God being my help and my shield—yet to suffer, if frail life might continue so long, even until the moss shall grow over my eyebrows, rather than violate my faith and my principles.”