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What's Your Responsibility?
Good News Magazine
January 1974
Volume: Vol XXIII, No. 1
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What's Your Responsibility?
Brian Knowles

   "THE buck stops here," stated a small sign on the desk of the late Harry S. Truman, former President of the United States. Mr. Truman had a sense of responsibility. He knew there was no point in shifting responsibility to others. He was the President. He had to make the final decisions. He had authority, power, knowledge and above all, responsibility.
   Not everyone seems capable of it. It's so much easier to "cop out" and pass the buck to someone else. It's simpler to shift blame to someone else's shoulders. It's common to develop the approach of "let George do it."
   "I don't want to get involved" is the statement of many regarding religion, politics, urban problems, sickness, war, and many other problems that plague mankind. People have become very proficient at describing the problems in livid verbal technicolor.
   Turn on the news on radio or television and what do you hear? Problems. Pick up the newspaper. More problems. Watergate is a problem. Overpopulation is a problem. Political and ideological conflicts are problems. Graft, corruption and dishonesty in government are all very real problems.
   Poverty, disease, organized and disorganized crime are problems of the first magnitude. Venereal disease is a worldwide problem of epidemic proportions. War is a constant life-threatening problem. Tribalism, racism and nationalism are all problems of far-reaching consequence. The steady deterioration in environment is a problem which concerns millions of human beings. Economic difficulties plague nations, states, provinces, cities and individuals.
   Problems, problems, problems!
   But no solutions. No answers. Don't be so sure! There are answers. There are ways and means of solving the difficulties which hound mankind. And not only do such solutions exist — they will be effected! And you can have a part in bringing about solutions to the heartrending problems of humanity.

Cause and Effect

   If you really want to get involved in solving the problems of mankind, there is a way. Most human problems are the result of cause and effect. There are reasons why we have difficulties. Things don't just happen.
   And if human problems are to be eliminated, we must begin to recognize causes and isolate reasons. Why do we have war? Why sickness? Why financial difficulties? Why broken marriages? There are reasons for crime, causes for delinquent children. And the solutions are not to be found in treating the effects! Taking an aspirin doesn't get rid of the cause of a headache; it just makes it seem like it isn't there any more. But whatever caused the headache is probably still present. And when the effects of the aspirin wear off, the headache often returns.
   It's the same way with the big problems that confront humanity. Penalties imposed by courts don't stop crimes from being committed. Crime continues no matter how many jails bulge with incarcerated criminals. No matter how much legislation is passed, no matter how many programs are embarked upon, we seem to find the problems still with us.
   Think of the volumes of words that have been written about pollution — yet we continue to have lung-strangling air pollution in many of our major cities. We still find much water that is unfit to drink. We still find beer cans along the sides of our highways. Then there's noise pollution, solid pollution and even mind pollution.

The Bible — Foundation of Knowledge

   The root cause of all human problems is revealed in the Bible. The Bible is a book of supernatural origin and consists of revealed knowledge. It contains information man could not otherwise obtain. It supplies the missing dimension in knowledge. As the ancient Prophet Hosea said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). But not technical knowledge. Not scientific knowledge.
   The kind of knowledge man lacks is spiritual in nature. It is divine knowledge communicated through the human instruments who wrote the book we call "the Bible." It is the Maker's instruction book. It is the instruction manual for the human "machine." Without it things go wrong. Apart from God's revelation, mankind is certainly doomed to extinction.
   But most people are not aware of that revelation. Oh, they may own Bibles — but they don't understand them. They don't really grasp the message contained within its covers. "How can they hear without a preacher?" said the prophet.
   So we are left with two factors: 1) mankind with his myriad problems which threaten to destroy him and 2) God and His Word which can prevent that from happening.
   How can the two be brought together?
   "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw
Some of the very real problems which governments must face: poverty, war, labor strife and economic difficulties, pollution, crime.
him," stated Jesus Christ in John 6:44. The Apostle Paul pointed out that the things of God are foolishness to the average human mind (I Cor. 2:14).
   Yet God is drawing many. Thousands of lives have been changed by the worldwide ministry of the Church of God. God has raised up in this time a Work which is preaching a message that could help man solve his problems — if he would only listen.

False Prophets Abound

   But the world is full of false prophets too. The market is flooded with counterfeits. The real thing is hard to find in the maze of religious confusion. It's bewildering.
   Where is God working today? Is He in all the churches which claim to be Christian? Does God sanction the many conflicting messages of disorganized Christianity?
   Not at all! There is only one way of life of which God approves. There is only one true gospel message. There is a single plan of salvation. There is only one set of solutions that will really solve man's problems once and for all (Eph. 4:4-6).
   This Work represents that one true way. You have come in contact with the very Work being done by the Creator of the universe. (Granted, He's doing it through human instruments who have many problems of their own — but He is doing it.)
   Many good fruits are evident and available for all to see. Lives have been changed. Many have overcome problems as individuals that have plagued them all their lives.
   Ex-drunks can now drink without getting drunk. Ex-smokers are still "ex." Many who have been adulterers are now faithful to their mates. A number of former dope addicts no longer have "monkeys" on their backs. People who once wallowed in deep financial waters are now in the black.
   Thousands have been given new goals and purposes for living. They know where they are going and how to get there.
   Why? Because they have been granted understanding from the very Word of the living God. They have been led by the Holy Spirit — the mind and power of God — to grasp the profound spiritual truths contained in the Maker's instruction book. Now they have new direction. New objectives in life. They know how to control their drives and emotions.

You Can Have a Part

   You too may share in this understanding. You may have apart in making others aware of what God is doing in this day and age through His human instruments.
   The Worldwide Church of God is on a crusade for sanity in a world gone mad. It is a voice crying in the wilderness of spiritual confusion. It is an oasis in the desert of human folly.
   God has made available to mankind the way to solve his problems. Those answers are contained in the Book of books. You can understand them. You may effect these solutions in your own life. You will then know they work. God's way is known by the fruit it bears.
   Once you have partaken of that good fruit of God's way of life, you'll want to share it with others. You will want to help bring others to this same precious truth. In short — you will want to become involved in this great Work of God. You will feel a sense of responsibility to see that others share in the joy of real conversion. You will want others to have the peace of mind of knowing why they exist, where they are going in life and just how to get there. And there is a way you can do just that.

Your Responsibility

   But you must first set your own life in order. The great King David of Israel came to recognize that he was indeed a sinner. He had committed a serious combination of sins — murder, adultery, lying and other related transgressions.
   But he later realized the magnitude of his sins and repented bitterly and deeply before the throne of God in prayer. He asked God to once again make him know joy and gladness. His moving words are recorded in Psalm 51:10-12: "Create a pure heart in me, O God, and give me a new and steadfast spirit; do not drive me from thy presence or take thy holy spirit from me; revive me in the joy of thy deliverance and grant me a willing spirit to uphold me."
   But why did David want to have his own life straightened out? Why did he want to have a pure heart and steadfast spirit? The answer is found in the very next verses: "I will teach transgressors the ways that lead to thee, and sinners shall return to thee again, O Lord, that my mouth may proclaim thy praise" (verses 13-15, The New English Bible).
   King David was responsible to a whole nation. Since he knew God's way, it was his job to see that the nation he led also received God's message in that day. But he realized that his own life had to be cleaned up before he would be a fit vessel to carry God's way to the nation of Israel.
   David did change; he did repent and seek God. So much, in fact, that he became known as "a man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22). Ultimately, he was inspired to write a major portion of the Bible — most of the Psalms. His life and attitude became a model for those who came later.
   And this is essentially what all of us must do before God can really use us. We, too, must come to recognize our own sins for what they are. We must then go before the throne of the God of mercy and seek forgiveness. We must seek God's help, strength and the power to rectify our lives in accordance with His way.
   God will then add you to the spiritual body of Christ and allow you to share in the Work that He is doing through that body.
   There is no greater privilege a human being can have than to be part of the body Christ is using to do His Work. It is indeed a high calling. And it can be your calling. Are you responsible?

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Good News MagazineJanuary 1974Vol XXIII, No. 1
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