Christians, Awake!
By J. STEEL.
Mr. Steel is a Christian Layman; President of South Coast Branch of
What have the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth to say to the Communist challenge? Is their "Kingdom of God" of the Gospels something "above the bright blue sky" or something they can start here and now? We as Christians are compelled to ask this question when, we see what is being accomplished in Russia to-day; for with all the criticism and condemnation that has been flung at her from all points of the compass we are forced to admit that what the Communist seeks to accomplish is largely what the Christian Fellowship should have done long ago.
It would seem that the Communists have taken over our function and rejected us. They propose to establish the Universal Brotherhood of man in freedom, equality and justice without our help. And we find that the part of the world that doesn't want
this done welcomes us as allies to prevent it. We cannot stand with them against the Communist purpose, because, mainly, it is the Christian purpose. And we cannot wholly join up with the Communists because they have rejected Christianity.
Can we, or dare we, accept the Communist purpose while insisting that the Communists do not know how to accomplish it? We must maintain that we have something essential to contribute to the achievement, which Communism lacks because of its rejection of religion. That being so, the Communist will quickly ask us, and with justification too, "How do you propose to do it; and when are you going to make a start?" Have we an answer?
Yes, we have an answer; that is, when we can take the Master of Life seriously, when he said, "And I, if I
be lifted up, will draw all men unto me"."
And when we commence to lift Christ before men it means saying ',No" to ourselves. 'Whosoever would come after Me must deny himself, to be My disciple."
And this means not only the surrender of a few things a man enjoys, or a few goods which he possesses; it is the surrender not of what a man has, but of what a man is.
It's Up to Us!
It would appear to-day that as Christians we have come far short of this appeal of the Master, when we think of the gap between Sunday with its sermons on brotherhood, co-operation and seeking of others' good, and Monday with its competitive rivalries, its veiled warfare and selfishness. Here again we must accept the comparison between the competitive system we live under, with every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost, and the experiment which is being worked out on a sixth of the earth's surface—a new organisation of economic life based on clearly defined principles which are thoroughly understood and gladly accepted.
Is the Kingdom being taken away from us, and given to a nation that bringeth forth the fruits thereof? It is foolish to blind our eyes to, the fact that we are moving towards a new reformation, which is cutting right across our so-called Christian democracy. Nothing, we are persuaded, can for long postpone the decision, and there are only two alternatives: the revolution of violence, or the revolution of love. Can we lift Christ up to be the leaven, and answer Communism with a revolution of love?