F. G. Allen
Unless we have a distinctive plea we have no right to exist. The day we become like the denominations around us, that day ends our right to exist as a distinct religious people. If we have a distinctive plea, in that consists our strength. I believe that our distinctive principles are made less prominent in our pulpit now than formerly.
I do not mean that our preachers should be always on what is called ‘first principles.’ Very far from it. But I do mean that all our members should be deeply indoctrinated in the things that distinguish us from other religious peoples. The people should understand why they occupy the position they do. The better this is understood the more it will be appreciated, and the more firm and consistent will be the Christian life.
When people are led to believe that sectarianism is about as good as New Testament Christianity their influence for the cause we plead is positively hurtful. Whenever we begin to curry favor with the sects and fawn upon them for recognition, we are certain to say but little about a plea that lays the axe at the root of the whole denominational tree. Whenever we begin to curry favor with the world, we are certain to fall in with the world’s notions, and adjust ourselves to the world’s ways.
Hence much of that in which churches now indulge in the way of worldly amusements, carnal methods of raising money, the spirit of mere entertainment in the worship, etc., is due to the fact that they copy the sects, rather than the New Testament churches; and are filled with the spirit of the world, instead of the spirit of Christ.” (Written in 1926 and as timely in our day as it was then).