–September of 1996
Today’s Students—Tomorrow’s Gatekeepers
Fearful of invading armies, early inhabitants of China erected a 1,500-mile-long wall along their northern border. However, this massive barricade did not bring perfect security; hostile forces continued to make their way into ancient China from time to time. No, these intruders did not batter through the 35 foot-high structure. Rather, enemies simply gained entrance through the watchtower gates by bribing the gatekeepers. You see, in their quest for national security, the ancient Orientals forgot that the wall around their country was only as strong as the character of the people who were guarding it.
In many ways, the “gatekeepers” of our nation today appear to be in the throws of a character crisis of their own. This assessment appears to be beyond dispute. But the church cannot piously look down upon the moral chaos of the day and claim total exemption from charges of impropriety. Too often her own story has simply been a replay of the very themes that mark the world around her. Sadly, even our beloved holiness movement has not been altogether without those who would barter the message of heart purity and its far-reaching ethical implications on the auction-block of compromise and secularism.
Just as national survival depends not upon missiles and bombs, but upon the character of those who are entrusted with those weapons, so the future of the church-at-large, and the holiness movement in particular, depends not simply upon creeds and codes—the “walls,” if you will—but upon the personal integrity of those who recite them. This is not a call to abandon the time-honored statements of faith and practice which have served as “walls of protection” to incubate and nourish the message of entire sanctification. Rather, it is simply an observation that these walls alone will not insure the faithful perpetuation of the holiness message. Walls are only as secure as the integrity of the gatekeepers.
Here at God’s Bible School we are in the business of training tomorrow’s “gatekeepers.” Those who fill our classrooms today will fill our pulpits tomorrow. To them will be entrusted a particular heritage which we believe has marked us as people of God. Will our students be men and women if integrity? Will they prove worthy of their spiritual inheritance? We certainly hope so. But more than merely hoping, we are taking definite steps to address the character question in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders who are currently enrolled as students here at GBS. We hope to share some of these specific plans with you through the pages of the Revivalist in the near future. Until then, we remain fully committed to academic excellence at God’s Bible School. Furthermore, we intend to continue the faithful transmission of Scriptural doctrines and practices to the next generation. But as another school year begins, we solemnly recognize that fine scholarship and an impeccable grasp of doctrine are sheer vanity unless they are rooted in the soil of a good heart. Pray for us as we do our best to nurture the integrity and godliness of tomorrow’s gatekeepers.