Do all to the Glory of God is the title of a booklet produced in recent years and containing “a short treatise on standards for Christadelphians”. We have adopted the theme of this booklet as our feature for the current copy of The Lampstand because the times in which we live are urgent and the issues which face our community and each individual brother and sister, parent and young person are truly perilous and life threatening— eternal life-threatening!

There is a need to cry aloud against the decline in standards and behaviour all around us in the world, and we need to ensure that these same patterns of conduct do not become commonplace and ‘acceptable’ within the brotherhood. The only antidote to worldly pressures is prayer and the comfort and instruction of the Word of God.

The first article, Destroy Not, sets out the Scriptural basis upon which our actions should be judged as they relate to the spiritual health of our fellow brethren and sisters. Cain’s imperious question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” demands a positive response. Our actions are accountable in the light of their effect upon our “weak” (conscience) brother and impressionable young people. This is no more so than in the case of parents whose good example is so vital as children approach the adolescent years.

In the World But Not Of It, together with the following article Transformed Not Conformed addresses in more specific terms the various practical aspects of our habits and behaviour that can be so detrimental in our walk before our God. The matters addressed include separateness, materialism, pleasures, television, family life, daily readings, prayer and holiness in general.

“Times have changed” is an oft-quoted excuse for changing with the times: but the Word of God has not changed and neither have the principles by which believers in every age should direct their lives. But have we become deaf to the warnings? Are we like Israel of old who loved to hear the Word spoken—they said, “Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from Yahweh. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them… And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not”. As in Ezekiel’s day, however, the day of reckoning is fast approaching. The reckless action, the defiant liberty or the thoughtless selfishness which we may ‘allow’ ourselves as being ‘harmless’ will then appear so obviously worthless and worse than vanity—a tantalising sweetness of the moment, providing no lasting satisfaction or contentment; for without godliness there is no satisfaction in any activity or possession.

In our rightly directed insistence on sound doctrine we should also seek to maintain right and godly behaviour based upon that doctrine. That the Lord Jesus Christ is at the door none would deny for every indication about us testifies to that fact. Let us then live as he lived, with heart and mind focused on our God and actions in conformity with our Lord who walked the way before us. The “longsuffering of God”, which “was holding forth a welcome” (Roth) even in the days of Noah, provides us with the time and opportunity to make the necessary preparation. Let each of us take stock and ‘put our house in order’ in view of the issues that may face us in that day—or perhaps even in this New Year about to begin—doing all to His Glory .