By Larry Ray Hafley
A good fight for the faith has been waged in stemming and stunting the cancerous growth of a new unity movement. The efforts of many faithful brethren have, for the moment at least, successfully stifled the progress of Calvinism and denominationalism among Christians. All the faithful should be thankful for the public and private efforts of those who have fought so vigorously and valiantly against a compromising denominationalizing spirit that would disown and dethrone the doctrine of the Lord. Ketchersidian conclusions and Fudgian philosophies would have made greater havoc if they had gone unchecked and unopposed. But they were, thank God, checked and opposed. Carl Ketcherside has embraced alien, Baalian brethren. He still loves those who earnestly contend for the faith once delivered, he avers, but those same contenders are the only ones he makes unloving faces at in his writings and rantings. Otherwise, it is smile and pass the sugar, my dear brother. Mournfully, Brother Edward Fudge courts and curries the favor of sectism with his and Calvin’s imputed righteousness of Christ doctrine. We have been counseled thusly: (1) That if one’s convictions lead him into corruptions of the work, worship, and organization of the church, he is not severed from Christ; so, he should not be shunned by those who remain in the New Testament mold; (2) That societies to do the work of the church and instrumental music do not stand in the way of fellowship with God; no, rather, it is our opposition to such things that has kept us apart from the Christian Church and other “evangelicals.” If we will but cease to condemn such items, we can then seek a “re-approachment.” At least, that is how we were advised, but the advice was not taken. As a result, many have been saved from death in error (Jas. 5:19; 2 Pet, 3:17). Many more doubtless would have been overcome if numerous, nameless brethren had not taken a stand for the truth as it is in Jesus.
Is It Time To Relax?
So, what next? Where to now? Do not think those who advocate and propagate softness and false teaching are through. They are not. Certain events have forced a revisement and retrenchment of their efforts, but they are not wiped out. Where will they launch their next attack? What means and methods under the general guise of good words and fair speeches will they employ to destroy fundamentals of the faith? I do not know. This one thing I do know, however, and that is they will return. This is not the time for glorying and gloating as if all the grapples for truth had been won. The enemy is temporarily regrouping. He is not vanquished. Watch, therefore, for we know not the day nor the hour of his return.
The very spirit and disposition of the new unity movement is too much in tune with the times to be killed so easily and quickly. Signal sentiments tell those who are aware that the peace at any price doctrine is too soothing and serene to be ignored. Among those who stand for the truth, a weariness of battle is a potential danger. Let no one be found drunk on the wine of seeming victory. Eternal vigilance is, as Jefferson correctly observed, the price of liberty, but it is also the cost of truth. Thus, there should be no moans, no hand-wringing complaints about “another preacher fuss” when the soldiers of denominational gospelism renew their campaign for peace in and with error. Expect them, for they will appear on the horizon. They will not have on the same uniforms, but their end, their ultimate goal, will remain essentially unchanged. That end is the end of speaking as the oracles of God.
Let us hear no griping, groaning, and grumbling. Gravely pick up your scabbard, draw your sword, the word of God, attach your shield of faith, put on the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shoes of the gospel, and the girdle of truth. Then, and only then, stand, and having done all, stand.
Truth Magazine XX: 50, p. 795
December 16, 1976