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Newspaper Page Text
UNDER THE ACID TEST
BV LIYY S. RICHARD
On the church that I attend (some
times) is a sign, in big letters:
Does the church mean it?
This particular church, so far as I
know, haSkneypr .been tested. The
folks who attend it are comfortable,
well dressed, well mannered people.
They are welcome; -very They are
so welcome that the pastor keeps a
list of newcomers into the commun
ity of that comfortable, well-to-do
class and is quick to call at their
homes and invite them to worship in
v "The first time he called on me he
assured. t me, impressively, that I
should find the "social 'features of the
church quite satisfactory his par
ishioners were the kind of people I
and my wife and our children wpuld
like to know.
Whether, if 200 ragged and hungry
down-and-outers, on the verge, of
despahvfrom poverty and unemploy
ment, full of- the poison of misery,
should come, m a bunch, suddenly,
out of the stormy night, into this po
lite sanctuary of the elect, asking
food 'and shelter; not only asking as
the beggar solicits alms, but demand
ing them as a right, a human right
based on the church's teaching of
brotherhood, they would be welcome
is more than I can say for the ex
periment has never been tried.
It is clear, however, that there are
churches? in New York in which the
conventional invitation of welcome
does not extend thus far. For there
the, words of the Master have been
amended to read: "V
"Come unto me, all ye that are
weary and heavy laden and I will
call the police."
"You were not asked to enter this'
church. You were distinctly forbid
den to enter it," the magistrate told
a "hobo" before him on a charge of
unlawful entry; and sentenced ha
poor aevn to ju aays in the work
house. Yet I can think of nobody more in
need of the softening, redeenihjg gos
pel of Jesus than these same dere
licts from the bread line, the counter
parts of those In ancient Galilee to
wnom He loved to minister.
Frankly I don't envy the plight of
those New York ministers or elders
who, confronted by this -acid test of
the genuineness of their preaching
and teaching, showed the white sign
of fear and of insincerity.
God pity them. And forgive them.
And some day open their eyes and
Donvt overlook, though, that if a
few churches fell down under this"
test, a riumber came through. Every
cloud has a silver lining.
MUCH MISERY AVOIDED
The Ontimist You shouldn't nail
down curses on the. head 'of the man
who threw that banana peel there.
Look on thfe bright side.
The Victim 4low can there be anv
The Optimist Why think of the
stomach ache If the peel had been
eaten instead of thrown away.
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