There is an idea among civilized nations that Christianity must fit itself into civilization or humanity will not feel attracted to it. This opinion seems firmly rooted in many people's minds, for habits and customs simply abound in our every-day life where this belief is in evidence. One thing is certain,—it is becoming more evident that the progress of both Christianity and civilization has suffered from this pernicious and absurd idea, and a consideration of where the right place of each should be, is as necessary for the appearing of the one as it is for the other.
Particularly is this so today, when religious thought has become cleaner and clearer than it has been for centuries. Today men and women are awakening to see, in part at least, that to be a genuine Christian one must live up to and live out, in every department of every-day life, the teachings of Christ Jesus, for he showed humanity, as no one else ever did, how to get rid of everything that would hinder the kingdom of God from becoming apparent "in earth, as it is in heaven."
Civilization has defined itself as the result of being instructed in "refinement and the arts," and it is, of course, from its very nature a relative term. Yet along the line of the highest human thought today, there is evidence that no civilization will be deemed worthy of even that name, if it does not include reformation in the working out of the four departments of economics, namely, production, distribution, capital, and consumption. These will have to be worked out upon an equitable basis. When this is done, and only then, will what St. John calls "the mark of the beast," in the buying and selling process of the world, be conspicuous by its absence. Along this line of action is to be found much hope, for in it there are today signs of an earnest turning to genuine Christianity for necessary light in this gigantic but quite possible task.