In 1 Samuel 20, David and Jonathan met in the field, having used the arrows as a signal and message. In a touching scene, David and Jonathan are seen bidding farewell to each other, a farewell that each thought final. To the Western mind especially, David's actions seem so unusual. We read that David 'bowed himself three times" and that they "kissed one another and wept one with another until David exceeded."
In Western lands, boys are raised with constant reminders that "men" do not cry, kiss or bow down to anyone. As a result, an insensitive, hard, callous image is developed and esteemed. From the business world to the man on street, this "macho" image is prized.
But is this what God intends for believers? The principles of Christianity and the hallmarks of Christian character are so different from the values of society. Little wonder that one has deemed it "the Christian counterculture." Most or what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. We need to underline for another generation that separation from the world involves separation in character as well as in our activities.
The articles which fill the pages of our magazine as we begin the new year, 1997, remind us pointedly of the sharp contrast between spiritual and humanistic values. "Beat the Blahs" shows us that it is not a cruise, vacation or self indulgence which many need, but a commitment to serve selflessly. Our missionary report from Dr. Clark Logan of Botswana relates the results of hard work and time. There are no instant results and success stories in spiritual things.
The continuing series on "Hedges" underlines the principle of liberty through limits, growth through narrowing. Teaching such as this is most unpopular in virtually every circle in the world. An article touching on business principles (the beginning of a very practical series) and the excellent and helpful Question and Answer Forum, both remind us that God's ways are so different from contemporary society.
The article on "Philologus" points to the way in which we can have a knowledge of God and His ways through His word.
Yes, grown, spiritual men do weep. They weep over the tragedy and havoc of sin (Matt.5:4). Grown men do show honor to whom it is due (1 Peter 2:17). Grown men do show affection and softness. What is foreign to images created by society are inherent in the spiritual makeup. It is spiritual food which creates spiritual men and women. We are pleased to present some of that in the following pages.
The months which lie ahead will continue some of these articles as well as introduce several new series. We covet your prayerful support for Truth and Tidings.