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[R4653 : page 237]

ATTENDING NOMINAL CHURCH SERVICES

WE INFER that our suggestion relative to attendance at nominal church services was not fully grasped by some of our readers. We had no thought to encourage membership in any human institution. We had no thought to encourage in any manner these institutions. We merely wished to suggest that some dear friends, in our judgment, incline to go to an extreme in that they fear to set foot inside nominal church edifices. Our thought is that these should be recognized as gathering places of those who profess some knowledge of and some love for our Savior—the world's Savior. While we cannot agree with all that they stipulate in their creeds, we can sympathize with them in the sense that we realize how they got into the darkness and bondage they are in, because we were once in the same ourselves. We have reason to believe that some of them are as honest as were we.

Our suggestion is that while the first duty of the Lord's people who are in the light is to "forget not the assembling of themselves together"; while it is their duty to "build one another up in the most holy faith" and to "grow in grace" themselves; while, therefore, it is their duty to attend to their own spiritual nourishment by Scripture study, etc., nevertheless there may be times when nothing more important or more pressing or more opportune would present than a visit to some prayer-meeting or other meeting of Christian friends of the nominal systems. Our suggestion was not so much that nominal churches should be attended, but rather that none of us should feel afraid to attend one if favorable opportunity offered, peradventure we might there find some truth-hungry, and some good might be accomplished. These remarks are specially applicable to such as have husbands or wives who would desire their company occasionally, and be willing in return to accompany them to International Bible Students Meetings.