Modernism in "Church of Christ Colleges" (IV)
It must be remembered that these schools are human institutions pure and simple and for this reason it is necessary to keep them separated from the church. If not, then truly as goes the college, so goes the church. What a tragedy that brethren have come to the place where they actually feel it necessary that the schools play an important role in the development and function of the church!
But one may object, Is not the church liable to listen to false teachers within her ranks? To this I readily admit. But why ask for more trouble than the church already faces? Why INVITE the "wolf" to destroy the flock? Why add more danger to it by allowing a human institution to impose its false teachers and false doctrines upon it?
We are well aware of the "checks and balances" God had given the church to oppose false teachers. Elders, who are to "feed the flock", are to "convict the gainsayer" (opposer of truth). Elders are able to oversee the teaching in "the flock of God which is among you" (I Pet. 5:2). THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE COLLEGE! Elders have no oversight "among colleges." This is not the "flock." They cannot decide for the school WHO IS TO TEACH AND WHAT is to be taught, for they have no jurisdiction or control over the policies and laws of the schools.
But this brings up another point. What group of elders would endorse and support a preacher teaching theories of evolution in the frame-work of the church--either in the pulpit, in the classroom, or "from house to house?"- How long would that church support the teacher should they learn he is an evolutionist? If they would, then would not the elders and the church be "partakers of his evil deeds" (2 John 11)? Then by what principle of reason or logic could churches, out of their treasuries, send money to these schools to support such unsound teachers? Why would it be wrong to support a preacher in the pulpit and right to support him in a classroom of one of these schools? And even more, if these very same schools that employ such a teacher, are an AID TO THE CHURCH in training and developing its elders and preachers. What kind of elders and preachers will these schools develop for the church? Does any church want to depend upon any school to train its leaders by teachers of such quality?
To demonstrate this serious problem existing in some of these schools, I would like to draw an interesting but striking parallel between this and another case. Several years ago, Redbook Magazine (and others also) came out with a survey conducted among some leading theological seminaries. Those who were questioned were the clergy and theology students. It was amazing to learn that a large percentage of them did not believe in the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ and His miracles, His resurrection; many did not believe in heaven and hell; many did not believe in the Genesis account of creation.
Now I am certain that many of us commented or heard comments made that it is little wonder that many churches are filled with infidelity, skepticism and all other forms of MODERNISM. Why? Because these very' same students were turned loose in their denominations to fill various pulpits and spread their modernistic views. So, as went these seminaries that produced these "clergy," so went the churches where they later taught and preached.
Now the parallel:
In view of Baxter's statement that the church depends on these schools to develop and train its preachers and elders, we can readily see the danger threatening the church due to the influence they hold over it. These young, unsuspecting men enter "our colleges" and are then fed with atheistic theories of evolution and then turned loose to fill the pulpits among these churches that support these schools in order to support "Christian education." Thus they teach in these churches that "actually depended on the schools" what they learned in them.
Then we must say it will come as no surprise that these churches will be filled with modernism. Why? Because these students will teach only in the light of the "training" they received in such schools. So as go the colleges upon which churches depend to train their elders and preachers, so go the churches that employ them after they leave these schools. We are not too startled when we learn that the Disciples or Christian Church is rapidly taken over with modernism because of the environment in which such matters are bred. Yet many brethren, following the same pattern, witnessing the same symptoms, simply will not open their eyes to the real dangers confronting them.
Can we not see the danger in what these college-in-the-budget promoters are creating? They beg for money from churches to train the preachers that will later be sent back to destroy the faith of the members of the church. And we worry about the threat of communism that seeks to undermine our faith in God and His word, but sadly fail to realize that same danger, the undermining of our faith in God, existing in some of our schools. In view of this present situation, it will not be long before many churches will be swept into modernism. In verity, this modernism has already taken a firm hold on a number of them.
My brethren, this threat is real! It is present! When we consider the great influence and power these schools exert over the church, when we see the school more and more actively engaged in the work of the church, should we not be concerned with the fact, that in view of this the church is becoming directly involved in this alarming situation created by such liberal teachers? Such teachers will no longer teach and maintain the unique distinction of the Lord's church for they reject the very pattern by which it exits. They will no longer maintain an undenominational quality of the New Testament church for their acts would even frighten some of the fundamental religious groups. What brass to ask churches to support the schools under the pretense they are doing a "good work" for the church while in reality that "good work" is a great evil to the churches that support them.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 8, pp. 10-11
January 1, 1970