By Aude McKee
It has often been pointed out that writing is a dangerous thing to do. Too many times what is written will return to haunt you. But the purpose of this article is to give added exposure to some things written by Arthur W. Pink at least forty years ago. The quote that follows is taken from the book An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (112, 113). We think he hit the nail on the head!
Let us point out what we are firmly convinced are the causes of the moral laxity and the immoral sentimentality which now so widely prevails. We unhesitantly blame the pulpit for the present sad state of affairs. The unfaithfulness of preachers is very largely responsible for the lawlessness which is now so rife throughout the whole of Christendom. During the last two or three generations thousands of pulpits have jettisoned the Divine Law, stating that it has no place in this dispensation of grace. And thus the most powerful of all restraints had been removed and license given to the lusts of the flesh.
Not only has the Divine Law been repudiated, but the Divine character has been grossly misrepresented. The attributes of God have been perverted by a one-sided presentation thereof. The justice, the holiness, and the wrath of God have been pushed into the background and a God that loves everybody thrust into the foreground. In consequence, the masses of church-goers no longer fear God. For the past fifty years the vast majority of pulpits have maintained a guilty silence on Eternal Punishment so that few now have any dread of the wrath to come. This logically follows from the former, for no one needs to stand in any terror of One who loves him. The repercussions have been unmistakable, drastic, and tragic. Sickly sentimentality regulated the pulpit until it dominated the pew, and this evil leaven has so spread that it now permeates the whole nation.
Conscience has been comatose: the requirements of justice are stifled: maudlin concepts now prevail. As eternal punishment was repudiated – either tacitly or in many cases openly – ecclesiastical punishments were shelved. Churches refused to enforce sanctions, and winked at flagrant offences. The inevitable outcome has been the breakdown of discipline in the home and the creation of “public opinion” which is mawkish and spineless. School teachers are intimidated by foolish parents, so that the rising generations are more and more allowed to have their own way without fear of consequences. If some judge has the courage of his convictions and sentences a brute to the “cat” for maiming an old woman, there is an outcry raised against him. But enough. Most of our readers are painfully aware of all this without our enlarging any further: but few of them realize the causes which have led up to it – an unfaithful pulpit, the denial of eternal punishment, the misrepresentation of God’s character, the rejection of His law, the failure of the churches to enforce a scriptural discipline, the breakdown of parental authority.
All that can be added is our “Amen.”
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 7, p. 199
April 4, 1991