By Wallace H. Little
I subscribe to a number of publications put out by liberal and modernistic brethren on the theory, “If your enemy writes a book, buy it; he’ll tell you what he is going to try to do to you.” The reading is sometimes more than merely amusing; it is startling. In one recently I read a letter to the editor from one of the “brilliant,” young, wild, woolly, way-out-types trying to destroy God’s church like termites destroy a house. He said that after many years of listening to Church of Christ preachers (yep, we got some of ’em) who learned their doctrine from the collective positions of the Church of Christ newspapers (we have some of these, also), he finally discovered the “truth” on a particular passage of Scripture. Where did he learn this “truth?” From a denominational commentary, that’s where’!’ Q. E. D.
The “absurdity” part of my title is the following: (a) supposing Church-of-Christ newspapers, plural, have a common “position” on anything; and (b) even the writers for a single paper agree on all things they write about; and (c) Church-of-Christ preachers (I am glad he didn’t say “gospel preachers”) would be governed by “the position” of one or all the various papers on any subject; and (d) all, or even a majority of Church-of Christ preachers subscribe to enough Church-of-Christ papers to be sure of what the “official position” is; and finally, and most important (e) if (and let me stress this “if” because his point of “truth” was on one of the relatively few doctrinal issues on which nearly all of the preachers I know agree)-if the “Church-of-Christ position” causes one to drink from a spiritually muddy stream, how can he expect to get purer water from the polluted wells of denominationalism.
Now all this is bad enough. This man stands to lose his soul and lead all he can influence to hell, and that is a catastrophe. Twenty years ago, in disgust over the rigid legalism of God’s church, he would have left and found a religious home more suited to his rebellious temperament. Today, however, things are different. In January 1971, along with Hayse Reneau and 20 other “anti” preachers, I attended the First Annual Preachers’ Workshop at ACC, in Abilene, Texas. With hundreds of liberal preachers, we were treated to an enlightening program sparked by one-third of the speakers who, by Webster’s definition, were out-and-out modernists. Twenty years ago, they too would have left God’s people for that particular brand of Satan’s religious organization which pleased them best. Again, today it is different, with a vengeance!
Commenting to Hayse, I said something to the effect the modernists did not even have to fight to take over the liberal portion of the church. All they have to do is wait. In time, lock, stock and barrel would fall to them. The reason is simple, and it takes no prophet to see it. For decades, liberal brethren preached their “nopattern” philosophy, training their young people in this, though stopping short of its full application. They accepted only what they wanted-congregational support of the Herald of Truth, orphans’ homes and sometimes colleges. But they raised a generation of heretics who took the “no-pattern” nonsense a good deal further than their teachers intended. Now here is the rub: our so-called middle-of-the-road liberal brethren have no intention of going to the “anti’s” for sound men to fill their editorships, college positions, and “big, important pulpits.” But the only other resource they have is the modernists they nurtured, and who are set to destroy them!
The “idiocy” of the title is that the trip which the liberals are taking is one from which very few return. Some, as this young letter writer, are leading them. Study carefully 2 Thess. 2:10-12.
Truth Magazine, XX, 1, p. 10-11
January 1, 1976