The Rev. P. S. Moxom, D. D., of Springfield, Mass., preached last night in Appleton Chapel, taking as his subject the relations of Christ's followers to the rest of the world. He said in part: Those who consider themselves Christians call Jesus master and lord, but few fully realize what following his teaching and leadership really involves. The average Christian is both in the world and out of it. He is generally as much interested in outside matters as any one else, so that there is often no external difference between a church member and a nonchurch member. This fact does not necessarily lower the church, but it shows churchmen that if they wish to live as such they must thoroughly understand Christ's teachings. His commandments deal primarily with man's conduct both toward God and toward man. Christ has given to the world examples of how these commandments should be fulfilled. His teachings are generally interpreted too literally. Too often men treat his words as a kind of charm or fetish instead of getting at their real meaning.
At every point in our every day existence, where men come in contact with one another, there is an opportunity for service to God just as much as in going to church and in doing missionary work Jesus did not mean that those who follow him must necessarily renounce their every day pursuits and cease to come in contact with others. It often puzzles one who tries to understand what He mant by saying, that one who became a disciple of his had to forsake all possessions and follow Him. It is true that the slow, stupid populace with which he had to deal needed some goad to arouse them to a consideration of their spiritual condition; but that does not solve the riddle entirely. He did not seek to take away worldly possessions and objects of love from his followers; he rather wished to put them in a position to know the true relations between earthly possessions and spiritual life. As Copernicus was the first to consider the sun the centre of the universe, so Christ put God in the centre of the great universe of human life.
The surrender of a selfish point of view neither changes the outside world nor takes it away; it merely changes a man's relations with that outside world. A new sense of the value of opportunities comes to the man who sees his duty to the world in its true light. Jesus does not really ask men to abandon their possessions; he rather wishes them to abandon themselves to God so that God may give himselt to them.