Christian Revolution…When Man Listens

Christian Revolution…When Man Listens

This, then, is the quality of redemptive living to which Christ calls all who are willing to share in His work for men. It is a partnership which will drain us to the bottom, taking far more than we have. But it is in this work, which is utterly impossible to us, that we make the greatest discoveries of the sufficiency of God.

This work of life-changing is in the end the only contribution which we Christians have to make towards a new world. Anything less than loving men and women into personal relationship with God will fail.

CHAPTER 5
Christian Revolution

The most striking characteristic of the ordinary man to-day is his helplessness.

He is the bewildered spectator of events over which he has apparently no control, but which affect him profoundly. A troubled rumor spreads through the markets of the world, and he finds the value of his savings halved or his employment gone. He watches the drift of political policy that he knows may land him and his family into the unspeakable horrors of another war, and he sees nothing that he can do about it. When he does try to do something and goes to the poll to vote into office a new government, he reaps results that bear little relation to the promises of the election platform. He joins a Peace organization, but when the echoes of the speeches he hears at its demonstrations die away, he can hear louder than ever the noise of the forge and factory where the nations are making the weapons of new warfare.

He does not, of course, live with his helplessness all the time. He could not bear it. He must escape, and does so in different ways. It may be into forgetfulness–the forgetfulness either of self-centred pleasure or of self-centred piety. A man can shut out the world and its urgency at a cinema or a dance. He can leave it out of count while he seeks his individual salvation.

On the other hand, he may escape from the sense of helplessness into some form of practical social service. He may bestir himself to do something, without having any very clear sense of direction or any great confidence that what he is doing will prove effective. But it relieves him to be in action.

This is the simple truth about millions of ordinary men and women all over the world. Whether they are contriving to forget about it most of the time, or to reassure themselves by activity, the background of their life is the sense of frustration and impotence. If they are sustained by any hope, it is the vague hope–so near to despair– that something will happen somehow, or that someone else will do something about it. In any case, whatever is going to happen does not seem to have any real connection with anything that they as individuals can do.

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