The March Continues
The evidences that the social gospel of modernism has all but taken over many churches of Christ continue to come in. Along with institutionalism and a watered-down preaching, the social and recreation craze is taking the day - and these things all go hand in hand! Here are some quotations from CHURCH bulletins to further prove this change.
"YOUTH AND RECREATION Circle Saturday, May 9, 1959 date for attending the youth meeting at Burkburnett, Texas. They plan to have the biggest and best youth meeting ever. The theme 'Youth and Recreation' is a topic we all are concerned with. In general they plan to have lessons, songs, prayers, refreshments, entertainment, fun, and fellowship. Plan now to attend."-Bulletin, 28th & Cornell church, Lawton, Oklahoma.
The following three quotations are taken from the bulletin of the Northwest church in Lawton, Oklahoma. These churches are real gone, man, real gone!
"ANNUAL YOUTH BANQUETAPRIL 18: Young people! (9th grade and up). You will not want to miss this year's banquet! Look what is in store for you. At 8:15 p.m. you will be served a delicious meal in the oriental environment with BEAUTIFUL decorations at the Home Demonstration building. After the meal there will be a full hour of professional entertainment to be followed by a first-run movie selected by . . ._ A theater will be reserved especially for you. All of this for only $2! Make your plans now and turn in your name and $2 to . . . by Monday . . ."
"CITY-WIDE FELLOWSHIP DINNER -APRIL 19: It has been a long time since all of the churches met together for a fellowship dinner. Immediately after the Sunday a.m. services. Let's all meet with the other churches at the Home Demonstration building. The banquet room will still be beautifully decorated from the youth banquet. So let's bring plenty of food and enjoy a wonderful time of Christian fellowship."
"WILL YOU HELP finance the Youth Banquet? The expense will be $2 per person more than will be charged, so we as parents and friends will need to help. Hand your $2 to the elders Sunday if possible."
Now all the above appeared in just one issue of this church bulletin! More and more the bulletins are being filled with such stuff. They are getting to be more and more of a social calendar-listing all the banquets, so. called "Fellowship Dinners," skating parties, so-called Bible camps, refreshment periods, and other plans for fun, frolic and foolishness! While these events in this instance were not to be held in the recreational or rumpus room provided bv the church, in many other cases they are. Just give these brethren time and they will have all such events in a place provided by church funds and pay for such out of the church treasury. They are well on their way toward rearing a generation with whom there will be no stopping place. The "signs of the times" which point up another digression are in abundance but too many people are caught up in the whirl of the "on the march" progressive and digressive spirit to really be concerned about where they are headed!
Another evidence of modernism is the many instances of churches turning aside to other things in courses of study and in activitv. For example, from the Portales (N. M.) News-Tribune I lift the following:
"The Ladies' Bible class of the Fourth St. Church of Christ is meeting today at El Portal Motel, where Jay Morgan will be their speaker. He will talk on the necessity of wills and the legal processes involved in drawing a will."
Now this is supposed to be a Ladies BIBLE (?) class! Such sectarian folly is becoming more and more prevalent with these "on the march," promotin', institutional churches. More emphasis is being given to worldy things and social affairs; and less and less attention to spiritual matters and preparing people for the "other world."
Some churches are engaged in business of one kind or another. Some operate motels, apartment houses, some have oil leases, and a number own and operate farms. Perhaps the leader in turning the churches into such worldly pursuits has been the Broadway church in Lubbock, Texas. That church has its "finger" in many such activities. The following is taken from The Children's Home of Lubbock bulletin (this home is but another business enterprise of the Broadway church) and shows but one instance of their being engaged in a profitable business.
"This new farm was given to the Broadway church of Christ for the use of the home ... regular income from use of the land. Additional land is now assured uear the Home for profitable farming activities."
Now if a church can own and operate a farm and secure "regular income" therefrom, then why cannot a church own and operate any other kind of business they please for the same purpose? Here is a classic example of a church engaged in "profitable farming activities." And this is not the only business enterprise of that church! How in the name of reason call we any longer condemn (assuming that such churches still do such) the sects for their pie suppers, carnivals, rummage sales and other projects to raise money for the church? Such churches are only a step behind (or, in some cases they may even be in front!) the denominations in such affairs.
What will it take to shock some of the members into reality concerning the hold-that modernism, digression and apostasy have upon the churches? By continuing to call attention to such matters it has been our hope that those who still have any regard for the teachings of Christ and believe in following it as the pattern for the church in all things and for all times, will be made to 'Wake up, speak out and take their stand with those who are striving to stem the tide of innovations, departures and modernism within our ranks. YOU are needed in the fight and God expects YOU to do YOUR part in opposing such whenever and wherever found. May God grant to all the courage to do so and the prudence to see that the time for such is NOW!
(Reprinted from THE CONTENDER)
Truth Magazine III:10, 22-23