Albert Einstein spoke to the faculty at Cal Tech early in World War II. He concluded his long complicated talk about mathematics and physics and then decared, "The deeper I delve into the sciences of this universe, the more firmly do I believe that one God or force or influence has orgainized it for our discovery." Five young students listening just outside the auditorium were so moved by that statement of belief that their liver would never again be the same. These students name were: Eston, Dunbar, Williams, Stonebreaker and Glassey.
Back in their rooms the five friends discussed Einstein's statement. They had come from a variety of Christian backgrounds: Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and atheist. They reasoned nevertheless, that if a true church of Jesus Christ existed, they could find it by approaching the problem analytically, just as they would approach any scientific problem. Accordingly, they began their analysis by studying the Bible. They searched for the specific characteristics or teachings found in the Church of Jesus Christ and taught by Him so long ago. They rolled a huge chalkboard into their room and on it they listed each characteristic or teaching as they found it. After about two months their list included many Scriptural references and 17 teachings or characteristics.
Next, they hired a secretary to type these 17 points and references on 5" x 7" file cards, one card for each student. During the next few months they systematically visited their own churches and also other churches in the area, looking for a church that matched their list. They found none that even came close. Once they knew what they sought, moreover, the contrast between their list and what they found left them deeply disturbed.
Because of the war, they were soon divided and separated by military service. But each held onto his 5 x 7 file card and continued to search for the church. Glassey, unfortunately, was soon killed when his plane was shot down over North Africa. When Dunbar learned of that misfortune, he sent postcards to his three surviving friends to inform them. Other than those postcards, none of them saw each other or corresponded until each had a remarkably similar experience.
Weston, while instructing paratroopers in Georgia, met several paratroopers who were members of a unique church. At first he was intrigued by their behaver and by their character. Later he was intrigued by some of their beliefs, even though these beliefs were not among his 17 points. But they sounded reasonable and they struck a responsive cord in him. They, as he learned more about their church, he made an amazing discovery: it agreed completely with the 17 points on his 5 by 7 file card. He, therefore, investigated the church further and eventually came to believe that it was truly the Church of Jesus Christ. The more he investigated, the more strongly he believed. Eventually he said be "knew". The growing knowledge in turn increased his faith in Jesus Christ and in God. And it infinitely enriched his life in many ways.
At one of the first church meetings Weston attended after joining the church, who did he run into but Dunbar. Independently, Dunbar had also found and joined the same church while in the military. Soon they found that Williams and Stonebreaker, acting independently but with the aid of their 5 by 7 cards, had also joined the same church. As I write this in 1983, and to the best of my knowledge, all four of them continue faithful in the church they found. They continue to testify that God lives, and that Jesus Christ was His Son, and that His Church is here to bless each of our lives.
Jesus Promises, "Ask, and it shall be given unto you." "Seek, and ye shall find." "Knock and it shall be spened unto you." These four men declare, "The promise is true."
Let me read to you the 17 points they came up with.
1. Christ organized the Church Ephesians 4:11-14 2. Must bear the name of Jesus Christ Ephesians 5:23 3. Must have a Foundation of Apostles and Prophets Ephesians 2:19-20 4. Must have the same organization as Christ's Church Ephesians 4:11-14 5. Must claim divine authority Hebrews 5:4-10 6. Must have no paid ministry Isaiah 45:13 1 Peter 5:2 7. Must baptize by immersion . . . Matthew 3:13-16 8. Must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the Laying on of hands Acts 8:14-17 9. Must have divine healing Mark 3:14-15 10. Must teach that God and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct beings John 17:11 11. Must teach that God and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bone. Acts 1:9-11 12. Officers must be called of God Hebrews 5:4 Exodus 28:1 Exodus 40:13-16 13. Must claim revelation from God Amos 3:7 14. Must be a missionary church Matthew 28:19-20 15. Must be a restored Church Acts 3:19-20 16. Must practice Baptism for the dead Corinthians 15:16,29 17. By their fruits ye shall know them Matthew 7:20
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