B. ITS TENDENCIES AND TRENDS (continued)
3. The Trend of Religious America
In spite of the fact that the Modernist churches are controlled by a hierarchical intelligentsia, they are of, and we live in an anti-intellectual age. People do not like to think. They are anything but severely thoughtful. That which cannot be grasped immediately does not get much of a hearing. We not only must have “instant” coffee, “instant” cereals and cake mixes, but “instant” housing, “instant” marriage. People are too impatient, too restless, too excitable, so must have instant results, or they cannot be interested. The least mental effort is quite unpopular. Even the news of the day must be taken in by not merely radio, but via the ready-made media of television; while the newspaper is for this purpose ill-equipped, unless it is emblazoned with huge headlines – something that may be seen at a glance. Everyone is in a hurry. The fast pace of the twentieth century civilization leaves no time to think. Actual study quickly ends in dozing. That which required reading over and over a dozen times in order to comprehend and master is bypassed with a sophisticated yawn. No wonder there is such a devastating wide-spread lack of interest in spiritual things in general, and Calvinism, the queen of sciences, in particular!
This spirit is further seen in the attitude of young people, who, to take their place in the work-a-day world, would begin at the top. Their motto is “Excelsior!”, still higher, caring little for the lower rungs of conditioning, preparation and accomplishment. They are young pragmatists who care nothing for the past, think nothing of the future, are concerned only for today. That gets through to them which presents any movement in which the masses may participate, carrying the rally cries, “forward” or “better!” Thus young America moves light-years, even parsecs, away from their Creator and His revelation. But “if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). How then is it possible that they live and die happily in the comfort their parents never understood, and they never had!
These newest generations will be easily swept along with the converging streams of humanity which are forming the merger between the Modernist church and the atomic age. This will mean that the establishment calling itself “church” will so radically modify its doctrines and standards as to become completely satisfactory to the world. Already Christ and His Cross have been expunged from the hymnals of many churches. We know what judgment the world shall render against the true church – nothing different from that pronounced against Him when He was on earth (Luke 19:14): “We will not have this man to reign over us!”
With this writing (1-8-51) we are led to expect that when Romanist Mr. Kennedy is inaugurated into the presidency, he will undoubtedly have the papal church and the popish priest very much in evidence, but he will also have a Jewish rabbi and a Modernist minister present to offer prayer in honor of the occasion. This will raise the hue and cry more than ever, that in the recent election, “Bigotry did not win!” and that “Bigotry is at least almost, and soon to be entirely, unknown!” Such triumphs of the spirit of “democracy” (?) are calculated to shut the mouths of Protestants, generally, and true Christians, particularly, (as the term “bigot” is intended to be especially applied to them), so compromising them that they will not make any protest, lest the magic wand “Bigotry” be waved at them. In keeping with this long awaited millennium of unbiased Americanism, Mr. Kennedy appointed his brother to the position of attorney general (thus head of the FBI), some Protestants, a Mormon and an outstanding Republican to cabinet posts, and a Negro to headship of the Federal Housing Administration. What a stroke of genius against the hydra-headed monster of religious bigotry! And it took a papist (a democrat at that) to do it! Next we shall have a Jesuit priest from Alaska in the House of Representatives. Then soon after assuming office, we may expect President Kennedy to apologize to Mr. Khrushchev (for the so-called U-2 incident). One would think all this sufficient to arouse pained, bellowing protests from all over the country! Most likely not. The naughty dragon is dead.
As “time marches on”, hatred toward Christ and His people will be more democratically expressed, perhaps, but not any less evident.
- The Trend of the World
This direction has been made plain from the beginning of time in Cain’s murder of Abel: the first inherent contradiction to the humanistic philosophy of the universal brotherhood of man; and at the very center of history in the crucifixion of Christ. Especially in that murder of God’s Son we see the world’s real attitude toward Christianity. Pretending to be thoroughly democratic, we hear the laudation of the majority rule as the means to promote individual freedom. But the voice of the majority now is principally the same as it was then. Then it was, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then the vote with respect to the Son of God was, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” The ballots against Him were marked “Away with! Away with!” Here is expressed in the most classic form ever before or since, the will of “we the people,” the will of the majority, the legislature of the masses, whereby both the Person of Christ and the doctrine of Christ were repudiated by popular repeal. The world must remember that the will of the people was nowhere better established than at the Cross. What we imply here is that democracy can lead to slavery unless it protects the right of minorities to think, believe, teach, write, assemble, work and live free of coercion from the government, labor unions or influential individuals, to live free according to their conception of true religion. As Reformed we are not concerned with what has major acceptance, primarily, nor with what is popular, but with, what is the truth.
Are we affirming that the world has not changed greatly since the death of Christ? Certainly our age must be much less barbaric, and more enlightened! “Yet, it has not changed in the least with regard to its hatred of Jesus Christ and all who determinedly follow Him. To avoid the world’s displeasure, ostracism, boycott, the church must produce a “Christ” who is no more than the paragon of human culture, and a religion which claims no authority, submits no account of its origin, and offers no proof in its support. To such a church the world would gladly extend its patronage and protection. For the religion fast moving to world prominence is that of a coalition of modern philosophy, modern ethics, and modern business.
How does Scripture present this trend of the world in relation to Modernism? In one respect, by the symbolism of the ten kings who represent a complete aggregation of the governments of the world. The ruling heads of these powers shall amalgamate into one great united nations government, and, according to the sovereign will and power of God, shall place this confederation of states under the sway of a single, central political and religious head – that of the Beast (Rev. 17:12, 13, 17). Indications of this are to be noted in the fact that competition, private initiative and free enterprise are on the way out, and monopolies and combines are coming in. Great corporations are busy buying up theaters, gambling houses, together with radio stations to form one great syndicate of amusement operations. Paper producers, wood pulp plants and notions manufacturers merge to destroy competition and secure many industries at once under one control. In 1959 the Anti-trust Division of the Department of Justice dealt with ten merger suits. Last year the number of merger suits was at least doubled. This brings us nearer to that predicted confederation. What of Modernism in this connection? Its policy has always been to effectuate as many church mergers as possible, until all churches are consolidated, forming one world church and standing for one world religion. Recently, the Modernist National Council of Churches proposed a mammoth merger of the huge Protestant Episcopal Church, the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Itself a corrupt merger of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and the United Presbyterian Church), the Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ (another compounded group). Then Modernism will be able to accomplish its real aim, that of merging the one would church with the world itself. The ecclesiastical Modernists and the “steel-jacketed, battle-plated world” have invited us to the wedlock of religion and industrialism. So that the formal form of the (false) church in this world will be the Church of Man, and the final form of religion will be the worship of science and industry as personified in the Man of Sin.
C. ITS RELIGIOUS VIEWS
1. Summary of Higher Criticism
The (Modernist) Interpreter’s Bible itself informs us that Astrue’s dual-authorship theory of Genesis led to the document theory of Eivhhorn, which gave place to the fragments theory of Vater, and which in turn was superceded by the supplement theory of Tuch, Stahelin, and De Wette. Then improvement was supposed to have been made over all these in the theories on Eward and Hupfield. But soon Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen worked out a hypothesis which for years influenced the Continental, British and American critics. A French critic, M. Vernes, contributed toward the throwing of the Wellhausenian theory into disfavor. All these schools of Modernism have been ably refuted in the works of Robert Dick Wilson, Ph.D., D.D. of old Princeton Seminary. A Professor C. M. Mead wrote an 87 page treatise with tongue-in-check, that the Epistle to the Romans was written by four different authors, on the basis of the appearance of the names “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” and “Christ.” The German critics took this work seriously, and their reviews gave it a warm recommendation, believing it to be further confirmation of the old destructive criticism. Professor Mead than had to undeceive them, and wrote them that the treatise was an expose of their theory. He signed his explanatory letter, F. D. McRealsham!
Next time, D.V., Modernism’s characteristic principles.