Volume 6, Issue 2, October 1996


"Are you going to spend your whole life saying 'ought'?" George Bernard Shaw asks. "Turn your oughts into shalls."
The New Testament in the Letter to the Ephesians exhorts those with convictions to "Take your stand then with truth."
Hiding ones convictions under a bushel will extinquish them. Principles become realistic when they are interpreted and explained to others, defended, and propogated.
There are good reasons for taking ones stand when the principle and the time are right.
Such standing is never mere endurance; it is militant and positive; it adds courage to any situation; it is the beginning of another advance. Steadfastness has inner bulwarks which cannot be easily destroyed. It releases the resources of humanity.
Sometimes one stands to find the road again, or to wait for a clearer light, or to recover strength, or till help comes.
There are losses under which, for a while, one can do no more than keep steadfast in faith and hope. Sometimes that is all we can do, but it may be everything.
There are situations and times when it appears we can make no seeming headway, but in which the refusal to give up is the beginning of a new advance.
The poet James Russell Lowell declared:

"They are slaves who fear to speak
for the fallen and the weak;
They are slaves who will not choose
Hatred, scoffing and abuse
rather than in silence shrink
From the truth they needs must think;
They are slaves who dare not be
In the right with two or three."

We live in a world where enthusiasm and criticism go side by side. Where you get the enthusiast you usually get the critic and the cynic too.
But conviction is one of the inalienable features of religion, for faith cannot be neutral or tentative.
Then it is one must take ones stand with truth.

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"Religion NOW" is published in limited edition by the Rev. Ross E. Readhead, B.A., B.D., Certificate of Corrections, McMaster University, in the interest of furthering knowledge and participation in religion. Dialogue is invited and welcomed.