The First General Pastor of the Full Salvation Union was E.A. Andrews. He served from 1934 until his death in 1944.
Knowledge of the Truth
There are two qualifications a theologian should possess. First, he should be free from fear. Second, he should be fully submitted to God.
Fear is a great hindrance in apprehending sound doctrine. Men are afraid to make public what they actually believe. Not a few during past years have confidentially expressed ideas to me that they would not want to be generally known. When a preacher fails to be sincere in public discourse and when he does not speak out freely what he thinks, he confuses and deadens his comprehension and a proper knowledge of the truth becomes impossible.
In submitting to God, one must yield his opinions. Very few are willing to do this. In fact this is about the last thing a man will do. He wants to believe some things. In other words prejudice controls him. Also, propaganda nearly always connects with creed. Men naturally want to “put over” their opinions. Then, many “line up” without really considering the doctrines with which they become identified. For these and similar reasons the value of any given views cannot be determined by the number of persons holding them. Again, the evil one is surely doing all he can to pervert proper teaching. The only way to avoid error resulting from this cause is to be free from satanic influence. This freedom is rare.
John Fletcher wrote words strongly endorsing the ideals of mysticism. In fact every Christian who goes in for the deep things of God, will, in a true sense, become a mystic. Man is a spirit and while yet in the body, he may develop his spiritual powers to a remarkable degree. Increased spirituality always connects with giving attention to spiritual matters.
By Christian mysticism we mean that particular brand set forth in the
Acts of the Apostles. We learn from this book that Christians were directed in organization, disciplinary requirements, selecting workers, teaching, prayer, methods, and evangelistic work.
How different the labored grind of present-day church machinery. A “Holy Ghost line of things” is almost entirely unknown. We have organizations, plans, methods, suggestions, round-table discussions, expert advice, pamphlets, committees, boards, reports, inquiries, surveys, practice, programs, conventions, collecting, apportioning, backbiting, strife, politics, evil surmising, hypocritical smiles, threats, and pleas for cooperation. It is too sad to be funny and too rank to be ignored—this carnal maneuvering minus the Holy Ghost. Those who know and love Jesus should unite their prayers, asking Him to pluck up the plants that have not been divinely planted; to smash everything that exalts itself against God; and to deliver his little ones from their connection with folly and formalism.
Men ought always to pray. If the custom had always prevailed in religious assemblies, to wait on God in prayer until his presence was felt and his power manifested, a vastly different condition would now obtain in the churches.
Men desire God’s help in carrying out their own plans. They are scarcely ever willing to fully follow the divine plan. Much prayer opens the channel for communion, guidance, and ever-increasing certainty. Bible truth has an inner spiritual meaning and richness known only to those who wait on God with passive minds and thus absorb God’s thought as well as his love.