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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, March 20, 1918, Image 2

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1918-03-20/ed-1/seq-2/

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Cbttortal j?otes anb Comment
A CHALLENGE was once presented to a
certain church. The pastor, in speak
ing to his people on the subject of propor
tionate giving, told them that if they would
all give him five per cent of their incomes he
would be willing to assume all the financial
responsibilities resting upon that church for
the year, as they had been placed by them
selves or by the Presbytery. He was criti
cized by one of the officers for making such a
statement, and was plainly told that he did not
at he was talking about. A careful
ion made later by this same officii
...owed that the people were not giving two
and a half per cent of their incomes for all
church work .Yet it is probable that this con
gregation was doing as well as most churches.
+ + +
SABBATH desecration is one of the hardest
sins to combat. It is constantly appear
ing in some new form at some new place.
One of the most aggravated forms in which it
has recently appeared is in the training camps.
For some weeks the people of this country
have been urged to buy "smileage books" to
provide the soldiers with admission to high
class entertainments provided by the Camp
Activities Commission. It is very certain that
many Christian people who bought these books
would never have done so if they had known
what was planned. We are reliably informed
that in more than one camp low class vande
ville shows have been given on Sunday nights.
The cities near which these camps are loca
would not permit such performances within
their limits. They are given in buildings
erected and controlled by the government,
under the management of a commission ap
pointed by the government. The claim is made
that the soldiers need recreation and entertain
ment. There are six days in the week with
out taking the day that belongs to the Lord.
Christian people have given large amounts for
the support of the Y. M. C. A. The govern
ment is using the people's money to pay for
chaplains. All this shows that the moratls of
the soldiers may be improved, for it is recog
nized that morals are a very valuable asset in
a soldier, as well as in any man. These agencies
and the churches near the camps are doing
all they can to provide religious services for
the soldiers. Now comes the Camp Activities
Commission with its vaudeville shows, run in
competition with the worship of God. On a
recent Sunday night four thousand soldiers at
tended one of these shows and thousands of
others failed to get in from lack of room.
Christian people all over the country should
enter their protest against this violation of
God's day.
+ + +
OPPORTUNITIES for service are never
wanting to those who are ready to serve.
But a special opportunity is presented to all
the churches of this country at this time. It
is generally understood that the government
will make its second call under the draft not
later than some time in April. Many of the
young men who are subject to that call are
not Christians. Many of them are thinking
more seriously than they ever did in all of their
lives. This gives Christian people a wonder
ful opportunity, as well as lays upon them
a great responsibility to make an earnest effort
to win them for Christ. They are waiting
for some one to lead them to the ? Saviour.
Who will go to themf
<
MINISTERIAL Relief is beginning to come
to its own. The churches are taking
hold of the matter in real earnest. Almost
every one of the larger churches has raised
or is raising an endowment fund for this
cause. Their plans call for the raising of
$65,000,000. Of this amount about $33,000,000
has been raised. The Methodist Church,
North, has raised $12,00,000; Protestant Epis
copal, $8,000,000; Northern Presbyterian, $6,
559,933; Northern Baptist, $2,000,000; Con
gregational, $1,900,000; Methodist, South, $1,
200,000; Southern Presb3rterian, $543,652. Our
Assembly has asked the Church to make this
fund at least $1,000,000. The need for this is
shown by the fact that the families aided by
this fund receive only an average of $200 a
year. This is far too little.
+ + +
PASTORS are not receiving the consideration
from their churches in many cases in these
days that they ought to have. A pastor prob
ably finds his work harder than it has ever
been for many reasons. There are more calls
upon his time and sympathy than ever be
fore. Present conditions are making many
new calls which he must answer. Instead of
being free to give his whole time and thought
and energy to these things, -he has to devot
much serious thought as to how to support
himself and family on the salary he is receiving.
Government experts are saying that the whole
sale cost of food products has increased 75
per cent since the war began, and it is certain
that the retail prices have not increased less
that amount. An expert business man said a
few days ago that taking into consideration
all the purchases of a household, $1,000 to-day
will only buy as much as $370 would have
bought twelve years ago. How many churches
have increased their pastor's salaries mater
ially since the war began? How many have
kept up with the increase in the cost of living
during the last twelve years? How about your
church ?
+ + +
PENNY wise and pound foolish is illustrated
in many ways. In one of our exchanges
a pastor was very highly commended for hav.
ing built a manse and a stable with his own
hands out of material furnished by the con
gregation at a cost of $900, and it was said
that he is now engaged in building a churcl
in the same way with a little volunteer help.
One of two things is true, either the church
made a mistake in calling a carpenter to be
its pastor, or it made a mistake in employing
its pastor as a carpenter. We doubt the wis
dom of a pastor's turning aside from his high
calling to do such work. It is worse than
"serving tables," which the apostles said they
could not afford to do. There is no doubt
that the church made a mistake in allowing
the pastor to do this work, when he ought to
have been attending to the things of the king
dom. His duty is to use the sword of the
Spirit and not the saw and hammer. Many
churches are forcing their pastors to give of
their time for work that ought to be done by
others. And many others are forcing their
pastors to spend time in doing work for him
self and his family, which he cannot pay some
one else to do, because of the smallness of
the salary paid him. The church ought to see
that its pastor is so provided for that he can
give his whole time and undivided attention
to the spiritual work of the church.
SABBATH desecration is appearing in some
new form almost every week. One of the lat- i
est forms to which our attention has been called
is the sale on Sunday of War Saving Stamps.
In one of our Southern cities we saw it stated
that the committee in charge of the sale of
War Saving Stamps was planning to have the
whole city canvassed on Sunday afternoon for
the purpose of selling these stamps. The sell
ing of War Saving Stamps is a commendable
and patriotic service to render the Government.
It is a matter of business with the Govern
ment. If it is right to sell these on Sunday,
why may it not be right for a business man
to sell life insurance! Life insurance is a good
thing. If this is right, why may not food,
fuel and clothing be sold on Sunday t They
are good things. If selling may be done on
Sunday, why may not men of other trades
and professions carry on their business on
Sunday? Then where would be the difference
between the day that God has set apart for
Himself and the other days of the week! A
Imsiness man said to us just a few days ago:
"I believe the great outstanding sin of today
is the violation of the Sabbath, and I do not
believe that God is going to bring this war
to a close until we get down on our knees
and confess our sins in this particular and
ask Ilis forgiveness." This is certainly wort
thinking about.
+ + +
DIVISIONS there are in the Church, as
there have been almost from the very
beginning, but that does not necessitate nor
does it imply any animosity the one to the
other. That this has been found is sadly
true. But it has been due to the emphasis
laid on non-essentials, where it should have
been upon essentials. Just as great a spirit
of Christian love can be shown between two
churches, while they remain separate, as can
be shown by the members when they are
united. One of the striking things about all
of God's work in this world is the lack of
uniformity. Plants are not all alike, trees dif
fer among themselves, the fruits of the earth
show a variety that is very pleasing to man
kind. No two human beings are exactly alike
in body,- mind or soul. Mankind presents
many divisions into races and nations. The
desire of the world now is not that all na
tions should be merged into one, but that all
shall live in peace together. The churches are
getting closer together all the time, and are
thus showing the spirit of Christ, and are
helping to answer his prayer, that they may
all be one, as he and the Father are one,
though they remain two persons. When unity
has been fully developed union may come.
Union will be unwise until unity is manife^.
+ + +
METHODISTS, through two representative
committees, are trying to find some plan
by which the Northern and Southern and pos
sibly all the Methodist churches of this coun
try may be brought together into one organi
zation. One question which is troubling them
very much is as to the status of the negro.
In the Northern Church there are about 350,
000 negro members. In the independent ne
gro churches there are about 1,500,000 mem
bers. The Southern Churqh wants the negroes
all to be included in a separate church. The
Northern Church, wants them all in one church
with the whites. We sympathize -with our
Southed brethren in their position.

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