And History Repeats Itself!
James L. Denison
Solomon, in his God-given wisdom said, "There is nothing new under the sun." (Eccl. 1: 9). This has certainly been true in regard to the history of religion and its problems.
During the first century the church had its greatest growth and success; spreading all over the world (Col. 1:23). But, by the end of the first one hundred years of the churchs existence, the "seeds" of its destruction, through false doctrine and religious error, had already been sown. Eventually such "seeds" led to the establishing of the Roman Catholic Church and a virtual extinguishing of the true church of the New Testament.
However, through the labors of various individuals, and the aid of Gods providence, the New Testament church was established in the early nineteenth century in America. But history repeated itself.
The "seeds" of dissolution were, sown. In 1849, The American Christian Missionary Society -- an organization unknown to the New Testament -- was established and fastened tightly upon the churches. In its wake came mechanical instruments of music in 1859. Many other errors followed fast and furious. Soon, there was little difference left between that large segment of the church which had chosen the path of "institutional apostasy" and the denominations around about them (I Sam.
Nevertheless, God had preserved for himself a remnant" (2 Kings 19:31) "who had not bowed their knees to Baal" (I Kings 19:18). These few became known as the present-day "churches of Christ."
Between 1900 and 1950, though they struggled and fought for each "inch of ground" they gained, they enjoyed a growth far greater than the "institutional group" that became known as the "Christian Church" and/or "Disciples of Christ."
Still, Once Again, History Repeated Itself!
About the close of World War II all kinds of "institutions" were established in the fields of evangelism, benevolence, and edification, and fastened securely, upon the churches. Again, "a few" remained true to r the "old paths" and called for their brethren to return and "walk in the old ways" (Jer. 6:16). However, those who bad become, bent with the institutional craze said, "We will not walk therein" (Ibid).
When we pointed out that instrumental music, theological modernism and liberalism, along with the denominationalizing of the church, followed fast upon the trail of institutionalism in the century just passed, they said, "Itll never happen to w," and were vehement in saying that mechanical instruments of music would never trouble us!
But, History Has Repeated Itself, Again!!!
Not only do the institutional brethren now find themselves struggling to extricate themselves from wine in their ranks, who in recent years have embraced classical liberalism and modernism, aid who are trying as quieted and thoroughly as possible to denominationalize the church, but the liberals also are fighting the introduction of mechanical instruments of music into worship!
It has recently been reported that in Bloomington, Illinois, a church of Christ and a Christian Church have merged. They agreed that beginning from the first Sunday of the merger, to use mechanical instruments of music in their worship! This was done, it was reported, since the members of the church of Christ there had agreed that they no longer held any scriptural objections to it!!!
Es, "the thing that hath been, it is that which, shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun!" (Eccl. 1:9). Or, history hath repeated itself! Our institutional brethren "hath sown to the wind" and are now "reaping the whirlwind"! (Hos. 8:7)
Brethren, you cannot have "a little bit" of apostasy without eventually taking it all! When you open the door to let "one thing" in, So-tan will push it all in. It is either "all" or "none at all"! (Mt. 6:24, Mt. 12:30)
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 47, pp. 11-12