As we enter upon another New Year in this troubled world we cannot but be profoundly thankful that, amid all the shifting sands, the Christian has a solid rock upon which he can rest with confidence. We have seen sufficient of the efforts of would-be prophets not to feel any inclination to imitate them, but whilst we refrain from prediction we are safe in saying that the world-wide position politically and religiously is certainly conforming ever more closely to the age-end pattern. Developments follow one another so rapidly that, perhaps, we have little opportunity of pondering the significance of one event before some fresh feature demands our attention. There are two aspects of the spiritual situation which, we are afraid, have not received anything like the attention they deserve.
On the one hand there are the efforts which are being made behind the scenes to secure a unification of Christendom, and even to embrace non-Christian cults. The professed objects of this movement are so skilfully presented under the plea of Christian charity that it is likely that many sincere people are attracted to the project without realizing its true nature. In this connection we draw attention to a significant message in this issue by Mr. A. E. Phillips, who has had the opportunity of observing this movement in various parts of the world.
On the other hand there are the increased and persistent activities of false teachers outside the recognized religious communities, who are ensnaring many people who have become impatient with ‘the churches.’
What the opening year holds for us we do not pretend to foresee, but there can be no excuse for the slackening of gospel effort. At the same time, the rapid spread of false doctrines underlines the necessity of providing young believers with a solid grounding in the truth. Indeed, we suggest, that it would be well to consider seriously whether the spread of error does not constitute a challenge of much wider implications to all who are concerned for the truth relating to the Person and Work of Christ.