Dark Clouds

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois

A good friend and brother in Christ with whom we have exchanged extensive correspondence concerning the work of the church recently remarked about the "Dark clouds (which) hang over the church in" - - the large Tennessee city where he resides. Our brother sides with those who would endorse and support benevolent organizations and Herald of Truth, but he condemns rather than condones the apostasy of extreme liberalism. Some of our readers do not believe it when we tell them of the shameful shenanigans in which some brethren are engaged. Maybe they will accept the word of one who agrees with them on the "orphan home" and sponsoring church issues. Said our brother, "Hand-holding, humming instead of singing, dimly lit assemblies and in some cases lights out at special 'spiritual services' in private homes seems to be catching on."

False religions have been using these sideshow gimmicks for years. It was unsavory and unscriptural with them and is no less so among fallen brethren. There are two ugly facts about all this.

First, it is the wave of the future. Upon the shores of "where there is no pattern" the thundering tide of ultra-liberalism will crash. All who have lived on the waterfront of human societies and inter-congregational elderships (sponsoring churches), are going to find their basements flooded and their houses in havoc with the debris of denominational concepts and Protestant precepts. As our brother said, it "seems to be catching on." It affords me no pleasure to so speak, but "the powers that be" in the liberal camp are not through. "Spiritual wickedness in high places" will continue to darken the clouds over the horizon of heavenly places.

The second sad fact is that this digression has a quicksand grip on many. Some who are in it, fear it, and want to fight it, but they will be engulfed and enveloped because they have enjoyed the surf for so long that they cannot tarn their back on the surging tide -- ten years ago, maybe, but not now. Their backbone has been softened by Billy Graham styled "On the march" salesmanship. They lack the frontier fervor of faith that once called for the unconditional surrender or error and ungodliness.

Their hearts are anxious because they see the pathway of the faith strewn with the litter of "church camps" and "fellowship halls." "Something is wrong. It is not like it used to be." These are the typical laments. It is pitiful to see once strong men quiver before the innovations they embraced. A spiritual Frankenstein has turned on them, and they are powerless before it. We weep for them. We do not gloat, but neither do we sit idly by. Our resolve remains and having done all, we shall stand in "the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein" (Jer. 6:16).

September 23, 1971