By Arthur Vess
The many expressions of appreciation and the increasing demand for the message of this booklet calls for a Third Edition. The effect and reactions to the Former Editions were about as expected, except in a few exceptions, which were very interesting and revealing. Those who believe in the old fashioned Bible standards of true holiness have been very pronounced in their endorsement and appreciation.
As the name of this booklet suggests, the writer has also made every effort to stop up the leaks and "loopholes" through which holiness people are so rapidly leaking out and drifting back into the world, and becoming a part of those who hate, deride and condemn the holy standards of truth. Those acquainted with Church History know that the Church has always drifted gradually back into the world, here a little and there a little, until the lines of demarcation between the Church and the world have become extinct.
As the spirit and wisdom of the world press in, they brand holy principles and standards as "narrow," "nonessential," "radical," "foolish," "legalistic," etc. Just as "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God," just so the wisdom of God is foolishness with unholy and earth-minded men and women. There is still a radical difference between God and the devil, sin and holiness, the Church and the world, time and eternity, heaven and hell. The devil is wise and knows how to select the most plausible arguments to win his case and souls. In order to make room for all kinds of worldly adornment and vanity, he begins with the Wedding Ring, by making it a kind of domestic and marital charm or symbol. He knows very well that if our wives and mothers wear the wedding rings, that they cannot oppose vanity in their children or fellow church members. Satan knows that if our ministers do not oppose the wedding ring, that they will not preach against other forms of worldliness and pride. At least, the writer has never known of a preacher who permitted the wedding rings to come out against kindred forms of worldliness. How can he?
In this book the writer hopes to furnish a handbook for pastors, evangelists, teachers, and other Christian workers who have to deal with the jewelry problem; and to give information and courage to those who are faced with the problem in their own lives or homes. "This book should be in every home and church library."
The writer of these lines admits that some good mothers and wives wear the wedding ring, but that their goodness is not increased by such; neither is their wrong example decreased but increased by their morality. The nice respectable dram drinker sends more people to the ditch and more souls to hell than all the gutter snipes. All we ask of those who read this booklet is that they be humble and honest with themselves, and willing to conform their lives to God's holy standards, whatever the cost. Let us pray and obey while we read.
Those of us who see the direction of the tide before the tidal waves roll in on us, and dare to take our stand against jewelry and other forms of worldliness, are branded as "narrow-minded" and are pushed aside.
When a man who is loved and appreciated by the masses of our good people is pushed out of our schools, campmeetings, ministerial conventions, and other places of usefulness by a few officials who hold the power over our people, what is wrong with them? Are they "narrow-minded" or "narrow-souled"? Is this persecution, or just an imaginary "persecution complex"?
It would not be quite so bad if worldly-minded men and women were not being put into more and more places of influence in our schools and churches. We first become modern, then modernistic. All forms of compromise are the seeds of modernism.
One of the great men in our largest so-called holiness denomination said to us in a letter, "I feel like a stranger in my own church." What next? Read Church History.
Why do we not do something about it? Why do a man's own friends (?) forsake him when he tries to do something about it? Are we all on the way to the Judgment? Read 2 Tim. 4:1-8, now.
Rev. Wilson Douglas and a number of his old-fashioned Nazarene Brethren have been responsible for the publication of the Third and present Edition of The Loophole. May God bless and reward both him and them for this vision of the great need of "True Holiness" in these drifting times. May God give us more who are willing to come right out into the open and scatter "Scriptural Holiness over these lands, before the Atomic explosions end our earthly habitation. People will not be so anxious about their reputation then. Why should we now? We shall soon be in eternity.