Whose Faith Follow
There is a unique danger which stalks the path of a younger generation of believers. It is not the world with its allurements and prospects, although it is a formidable foe. It is not on this occasion Satan in either his angel of light or roaring lion form, although he must be reckoned with.
The danger is more subtle and sinister. In our enlightened educated age, and in our technologically sophisticated day, there is the danger of looking upon a previous generation of men and failing to appreciate their wisdom and godliness. Tenses, moods and voices were almost foreign words to some. Computers, E-mail and the Internet were not even in existence during the lives of many of them, and those who were alive found the new technology mind boggling. There were many things they "lacked" by our standards. They did not know Greek, but they knew God! They were strangers to the Internet, but they were familiar friends in the sanctuary!
The obituary of one such man whom many of us were privileged to know, is in this edition of the magazine. Mr. Charles Strom of the Pensauken, New Jersey assembly was a simple man by modem day standards. He was marked by a deep satisfaction and joy in his salvation. His contentment was real and palpable. A man of remarkable wisdom and discernment, his education was in the school of God. He never despised nor ridiculed the light and help which some one more educated could give to a Bible reading or discussion, yet his keen insight usually arrived at the same conclusion either ahead of the other or at least at the same point in time.
His interests were narrow: the assembly, the people of God, his family, and the welfare of the work of God. His conversation centered on these subjects in a sincere and unaffected manner. He lived for the saints. He labored in prayer as only a real shepherd does. He led by example and by the Scriptures.
My generation owes a deep, abiding and unmeasurable debt to the men of a former generation. We are in the good of not only the knowledge they have left, but the legacy of godliness and assembly stability. We not only are not superior to them, but we will never equal their spiritual character and intimacy with God. As men of this caliber are called home, we are the poorer. But even our brother Strom would have eschewed all suggestions of hopelessness or despair. He would have reminded us of a God who is able and willing to educate men and to raise up shepherds. God is able to raise up others of this caliber to shepherd His people. Let us pray for such men, for if they are not raised up and prepared by God, we are poor indeed. The great question is whether we who are left are willing to pay the price.