Let Thy Gods Deliver Thee

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois

Judges 10: 6-16 reveals a recurring theme of the children of Israel as they fled to false gods "and forsook the Lord, and served not him." For this cause God allowed their enemies to vex and oppress them "so that Israel was sore distressed. And the children of
Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, we have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim." The Lord decided to let them boil in their own broth, so he said, "Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation."

Of course, their gods were "nothing in the world," (I Cor. 8:4) and could not deliver them. Their only recourse was to turn back to the true God who had secured and succored them from slavery to Sinai.

We find a parallel position today involving those who have espoused human organizations and societies and appended them to the church and who have promoted inter-congregational programs overseen by the eldership of a local church. They find themselves ensnared and entangled in the hands of enemies whose gods they have gone "a whoring after." We view their vexation and listen to their lament against a generation they have forgotten. The fruit of their Gods was sweet as honey in their mouths, but it has soured in their stomachs. Now, therefore, they cry aloud and ask, "What are we going to do to stop liberalism and modernism?"

Some suggest that it is time to turn to these who are writhing in travail, and offer them "the right hands of fellowship." "I trow not." When they have cut down their groves and ground their idols to dust, we shall be cohesively united instead of adhesively stuck together. Until them, my advice is, "Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation." (Jud. 10:14)

Yes, call a conference in Nashville! Appoint Batsell Barret Baxter as chairman-moderator of a panel which consists of an assortment of academic associates from Lipscomb and Abilene, plus Ira Y. Rice Jr., B. C. Goodpasture, Reuel Lemmons, Bill Banowsky, Ira North, and Gayle Oler. Call in Brother Pat Boone to lead a song and help focus attention on the endeavor and have Jimmie Lovell give the invocation and the benediction. The complete program is to be under the oversight and direction of the Highland elders in Abilene in conjunction with the Whites Ferry Road church in West Monroe, Louisiana. Certainly, this "Operation", entitled "Looking Into Liberalism Among Us" would produce results if the Campus Evangelism agency could arrange a day of prayer in its behalf on the beach.

"It surely is obvious that Brother Harley isn't seeking unity by writing like that" is the response of those who will dismiss and disdain the point. I am not "anti-unity," nor am I opposed to working together with those with whom I disagree, but in searching for unity I found it good to heed the advice my mother gave me when I was looking for a wife, "Not all girls are ladies, therefore, you must be careful who you hold hands with."


May 14, 1970