By Connie W. Adams
Tempus Fugit Right Smart
In the interest of multi-culturalism I thought I would mix a little Latin with Kentuckian. For those not versed in either language that simply means time flies, considerably. All through my adult life I have wondered if I would live to see the year 2000. Now, here it is January 3 of that year. I was just certain that I was all ready for it. (I believe the term is Y2K compliant.) And wouldn’t you know that the first letter I wrote today, I dated January 3, 1999. I don’t really want to live 1999 over. I couldn’t stand to go through all the hype about that magical moment when the stroke of midnight plunged us into the year 2000.
Have you ever heard anything like all the fearmongering we had about this? People were frightened into stocking up on extra supplies. Pilgrims to Israel were shown on television solemnly saying that “all the signs of Biblical prophesy are right” for the rapture of the church. One lady said we had storms, earthquakes, droughts, wars and rumors of wars and that these surely meant the end is near. She looked to be as old as I am and I wondered if she had been living in a cave somewhere for the last six or seven decades. In this century we have had two world wars plus numerous lesser conflicts. All of these events have been interspersed with passing generations. The references to Matthew 24 are anachronistic — the wrong dates are assigned events described. In preparation for his prophesy against Jerusalem Jesus said, “I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation” (Matt. 23:36). Concerning Jerusalem Jesus said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (23:38). Then in the time text of chapter 24 he said, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (24:34). In Matthew 24 our Lord gave definite signs for the coming judgment of God upon Jerusalem for rejecting the Lord. Those signs all came upon that generation and the prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was seized and destroyed by the Roman army.
We have been warned of impending Armageddon. In the last part of the nineteenth century, Adam Clark, the great Methodist commentator paid his respects to the speculations that were rife in his day about Armageddon. In comments on Revelation 16:16 he said:
But what is the battle of Armageddon? How ridiculous have been the conjectures of men relative to this point! Within the last twenty years this battle has been fought at various places, according to our purblind seers and self-inspired prophets! At one time it was Austerlitz, at another Moscow, at another Leipsic, and now Waterloo! And thus they have gone on confounding and being confounded.
Time flies all right, but false prophets yet abound, from Hal Lindsey to Billy Graham. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have braced the world for Armageddon numerous times, in their history. They go from door to door scaring people half to death with their solemn warnings that the signs of the times all point to the end. Well, the end of the world will come in God’s own appointed time. But Peter said, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night” (2 Pet. 3:10) and the Lord gave no signal as to when that momentous day would come. The lesson for all is preparation and watchfulness.
A Great Loss
The passing of Clinton D. Hamilton a few weeks ago has left a great void in the ranks of expositors of the word. I had the privilege of sitting in several of his Bible classes at Florida College when he first began to teach there. He was then only in his mid-twenties but already a learned and able instructor in the Scriptures. His writings in the early years of the Preceptor were major contributions to the literature of the brethren. I had the privilege of working with him in a gospel meeting in Lake City, Florida in 1950. Viewed by some as overly serious, he had a fun-loving side as well and was a master story teller. We both laughed many times over the episode when our fishing boat sank and we had to wade out.
Over the years he wrote articles in the Preceptor, Gospel Guardian and for sometime wrote the question and answer column in Truth Magazine. He also wrote some for With All Boldness. His crowning work was the writing of three commentaries in the Truth Commentaries series. His commentaries on 1 Peter, 2 Peter and Jude, and Romans are outstanding works which will benefit Bible students for generations to come. He will be missed. Our best wishes are extended to Margaret and the children.
We have recently reprinted an old work which is indeed a classic: Conversion by B.F. Manire (the B.F. stands for Benjamin Franklin). This work was originally published in 1880. It is a collection of sermons preached numerous times by the author. The material is thorough and presented in a straightforward but interesting manner. The first time I saw this work was in the late 1960s when I worked with Cecil Willis at Brown Street in Akron, Ohio. He had found a copy of this out-of-print book and loaned it to me. I prepared some material for meeting sermons from it and have used some of that material many times. Once I was asked to preach a meeting on conversions at Hueytown, Alabama. Much of the material used in that meeting followed the arrangement of Manire’s book. I am so pleased to have it in print now and to have my own copy of it. I would take exception to a few positions he takes, but with those exceptions I would heartily recommend the book to all gospel preachers. Young men would be well advised to secure a copy and digest it. You can order a copy from Truth Bookstore (1-800-428-0121).
Humanist Manifesto 2000
Paul Kurtz, former editor of the Humanist and also of Humanist Manifesto II has now issued Humanist Manifesto 2000: A Call for a New Planetary Humanism. The work takes shots at religion which it describes as “magical thinking and myth-making.” It advocates international law with a global court with “sufficient power to enforce its rulings” with an international “police force” with such grand intentions to be financed by a system of international taxation. It calls for sex education for children, the absolute right to abortion, the abolition of capital punishment, the granting to homosexuals all rights presently enjoyed by heterosexuals, including the right of marriage, multi-cultural studies and other gems of human wisdom arrayed against the teaching of the Bible. Among their edicts you will find this: “Although parental moral guidance is vital, parents should not simply impose their own religious outlook or moral values on their children or indoctrinate them.” Folks, we had better wake up and get ready.
Box 69, Brooks, Kentucky 40109
Truth Magazine Vol. XLIV: 5 p3 March 2, 2000