Threshing The Wheat From The Chaff

| March/April 1971

At the time of this writing, the Old Year of 1970 is about ready to hobble out of our lives on his wobbly walking pins - it being the 31st of December, the final gasp, so to say, of a year fraught with much unpleasant news and ominous forebodings. But, when this column will reach the homes of its readers, the world will be looking hopefully toward the season of Easter - the one historic event that is capable of lifting humanity from its morass of gloom and despair.

It oftens makes it difficult to know what to write about - the blessed gift of a Savior given to the world, to teach mankind how to live with his neighbor by the one consuming commandment of love, which we are still celebrating in our hearts, or the forthcoming occasion of His supreme sacrifice on a cross which became necessary because we wouldn't live as He taught us.

But all news was not bad, as the Old Man with the scythe limped his way off the 1970 calendar in place of the cherub of '71. In a recent interview with Billy Graham on the TV Today Show, moderator Hugh Downs asked his opinion of recent reports about a great movement back to Christianity by many people, both young and old.

Said Graham, in reply, 'There is a real movement of return to the true principles of the Christian faith - it is not the Puritan form, but the hard-core, disciplined Christianity among both the young and old, and I've especially noticed it on the campuses where I've held services. There has been no rioting or lack of discipline there.'

We have just returned from a sortie into the city of Dayton, Ohio, to do some last-minute shopping for post-Christmas bargains before the old year's demise. And as we drove through the parking ramp, we saw hundreds of out-of-state licenses on cars from Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois, even as far away as Wisconsin and Mississippi. Later, as we ate our lunch in Dayton's largest department store restaurant, we saw many young people wearing badges denoting august occasion. These were not hippies, but clean-shaven, neatly dressed young people - only a part of thousands who had converged on the city to attend a Wesleyan Christian Conference. The big Sheraton Hotel had even removed all ash trays and other bric-a-brac, usually cluttering the hotel corridors, in preparation to welcoming youth who no longer have to depend on such things in the lives they are living.

Just this morning - the last day of 1970 - as I listened to the Today Show on TV, I was heartened to observe two officials of a World Evangelism Movement being interviewed in New York. One was a Negro, the other a white man, and both were in complete accord as they explained the purpose and mission of the convention to the interviewer.


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