The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
Available in Tract Form. Contact the Editor
This last Monday, March 30, 1981, the United States almost lost another president by assassination. Only inches saved President Reagan from a sudden death that would have certainly upset our nation and plunged many into despair.
We firmly believe that this awful catastrophe, his death, did not take place because of the mercy and providence of God. There is no guarantee what the future holds for our nation in respect to the safety of our leaders. In fact, there is a continuing atmosphere of fear in our land, for many people fear for their very lives because of the marauding criminals that populate the streets of our cities.
Almost immediately, many people began to try to figure out what was the problem in our land, and who was responsible. Some, like Senator Kennedy, search for an easy solution through gun control and registration. To many, this is the easy and plausible solution to the problem. We heard Senator Kennedy on the news this week and it was printed in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (hereafter LAJ), "Whether the victim is Ronald Reagan or someone whose name the nation will never know, it is time for us to disarm the violent criminals, the killers and the psychopaths of their . . . cheap handguns." (LAJ, 4-2-81).
Frankly, we would feel a lot more comfortable if we could hear the good Senator say something about doing something with the criminals themselves, instead of just their guns. Of course, we sympathize with Kennedy, because after all he has had two famous brothers shot down while engaged in politics. (We also have sympathy for the parents whose daughter drowned in the Senator's car under mysterious circumstances that have never been satisfactorily explained. Would Betty Jo have been any worse off, if she had been shot?)
Of course, it is the very nature of man to try to find an easy solution to a complex problem. And it is also a fact that man also seeks some way to pass the buck, so that the blame falls on others. We see this in church constantly where many people have become pitchfork listeners. They just catch the message on their fork and pitch it over to someone else. Such listeners seldom apply the message to self, but always pass it on to others.
However, we do believe it is time for Christians and all thoughtful people to take a long hard look at our nation and its society. While we shall make no claim that we have touched all bases, nevertheless, this article will try to reveal some of the real and horrible problems that are set to ruin and destroy this great nation. Unless God's people wake up and a merciful God intervenes, our nation is doomed.
"Students Cheer Shooting Of President"
A four column front page headline in the LAJ of April 1, 1981 said, "Students Cheer Shooting Of President." According to this (AP) dispatch the teachers were "stunned" and "shocked" by this reaction.
"Tulsa, Okla. (AP) — English was the last class of the day of 16 seventh-graders at Tulsa Central Academy. Just before dismissal, the principal came on the intercom and told them President Reagan had been shot. About 10 of the students cheered. 'I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to do,' said John Zannini, their teacher. 'Here were these kids cheering that the president had been shot. I didn't know what to say.' He checked around and found that some students in the eighth grade had reacted the same way.
"Teacher Lynn Morris was out of her room when the announcement was made, but returned to find her eighth-graders discussing it. 'Three or four were laughing about it. They asked me if he (President Reagan) was dead. When I said no, that he was doing well, they snapped their fingers and said ‘shucks,'’ she said. 'I was stunned, shocked.' Mrs. Morris said the students responded to her reaction and made sarcastic comments such as, 'Oh, she really thinks we're cold-hearted, doesn't she?' They didn't seem to care at all that someone could be dying,' she said. 'It was like TV to them. It didn't seem real.'
“Principle Tom Hayes said, "The teachers told me, and I agree, that they felt it came from an insensitivity to violence that has built up over a long exposure to television."
They Cheered In Other Cities Also
The shocking incident in Tulsa is not an isolated case, for we have reason to believe that many such incidents took place across the nation. If this is the case, this is even more serious than the shooting of the president. A similar incident took place here in Lubbock, as you can see from the following letter written to the LAJ by a mother who is a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church.
April 1, 1981
"The shooting of President Reagan Monday was very tragic, but what happened in my son's sixth grade class when the announcement was made to the students was even more alarming. Some of the students began to clap and say, 'Hey! All right!'
"Could it be we are beginning to reap what we have sown? Could this be the result of the Pledge of Allegiance not being said at all, or only occasionally, in our local schools? In the classroom, prayers and Bible reading are not allowed, and students are told they ascended out of the mire from lower life forms. Could it be that books being used in our classrooms depicting sadism and a low regard for life promotes this attitude?
"Perhaps we need to heed the words of Jeremiah 6:16, 'Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein…’"
Mrs. Wes Mitchell
Information has also come to us concerning an incident of the same kind in at least one class at Coronado High School here in Lubbock. I am afraid that we would be terribly shocked if we knew how many times this did happen in schools across our land. Some of you parents might get a shock if you ask your son or daughter what happened in their school.
Our Nation Has Left God To Follow T.H.E.M.M.
America has come to a sad day in her history that is well described in Jeremiah 2:8-13:
"The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children's children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
Here is a text that goes to the very heart of the matter. It is not the children of our nation that are responsible, but it is the adults. The reason for the problem is not to be found in Washington, or any other narrow segment of our nation. It cannot be blamed on the politicians, the labor unions, big business, or even on the communists.
The problem is deep and it is basic. The solution may not be easy, but there is a solution. Though the problem can be identified and the remedy prescribed, in all honesty I feel that remedy will not be applied. In all likelihood, our nation will be destroyed by this ugly cancer-like growth that is spreading at an alarming rate.
The problem is simple. Our nation has forsaken God and has followed T. H. E. M . M. "T.H.E.M.M." is an abbreviation for five terrible things that plague our land, namely, television, home, education, music, and modernism. There are indeed other things, but these five get to the very heart of the matter.
I. Forsaking God For T-ELEVISION
Television is being used to destroy our nation more than anything ever invented by man. Man has used the accumulated knowledge of the past to bring many wonderful inventions into the society of mankind. Many of these things have been used for good, but many have been used for evil.
There is not a shadow of a doubt but what television is the most destructive, vile, and wicked machine that has ever come into being. No other invention even comes close. This is not to say that the television set is evil and sinful within itself, but we are talking about how it is being used by the devil and other wicked beings to destroy a whole generation of people.
The theatre and old-time movie houses were evil, but nothing to be compared with modern television. For most people it has only been on the scene for about 30 years, but in those 30 years it has just about demolished our nation. In the 50's, television showed many of the old movies, which were not good, but nothing to be compared with modern shows. They had restrictions on what could be said and done on TV, and the industry itself to some extent. There were many programs on travel and industry that were to some extent educational and considered by most to be harmless.
The language of this article will be strong, and will prove to be offensive to some, but we feel compelled to state the case as pointedly as possible. None of us would think of taking a crawling tour though the sewer lines of our city. It would offend our nose, our eyes, our touch, and it would of course be deadly to our physical health. Yet, night after night, millions of Americans sit glued in front of their television sets while the sewer of the world of entertainment is dumped into their home via TV. The garbage of filth dredged up from the putrid prolific minds of perverted men is poured into eyes and ears night after night. It is no longer offensive to most people, but it is deadly to their moral and spiritual health.
During the 50's, TV was not nearly so bad, though it was too bad to say the least. But gradually during the 50's, 60's, and 70's, the dosage of evil was increased until we have arrived in the 80's with very little good left. Most drunkards started out drinking small amounts of alcohol, but increased the amount until they became drunkards. Most dope addicts started out with small dosages of weaker drugs, then increased until they worked up to the hard stuff. In the same way, the television industry has taken the American people from programs with small amounts of evil to programs that are almost 100% evil, and America is hooked on it today!
Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, prostitution, killing, drinking, taking dope, and every sordid sin is now portrayed on the screen in a favorable way. Endless numbers of programs have showed prostitutes as heroines and pimps as heroes. Homosexuals are made heroes or portrayed in such a way as to drum up sympathy for them. Murder and stealing are often portrayed in a favorable light. Guns, knives, and other weapons are used illegally, and break-ins and assault are demonstrated for inquiring young minds to learn the techniques. The detectives and policemen who seemingly, in the programs, seek to catch the crooks, are themselves usually portrayed as committing adultery or fornication.
"Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" and "Soap" were bad enough, but they were only the forerunners of a full schedule of such depraved entertainment. The worst programs are generally the most popular programs. What can we say about such filthy programs as "Flamingo Road," "Knots Landing," and "Dallas." Every single character on Dallas is sooner or later portrayed in lying, cheating, divorce, or adultery and fornication. Yet, it is one of the most popular programs on television.
In one episode, which was to reveal who shot J.R., more people watched that one program than any other program in the history of TV. None of the really popular programs are fit for a Christian or a child to watch. Even the so-called "best" of the programs are filled with falsehoods, lies, and questionable things.
What about, "The Last of The Wild," and other similar programs that show some of the rare and exotic creatures of the earth? Which episode of any of these does not manage to get in several good licks for evolution? The comics and the cartoons are filled with violence, cruelty, and outright sadism. Most of the cartoons promote violence and implant bad ideas into pliable eager minds that will bear a terrible harvest in the lives of many in the future.
But preacher, the SPORTS are good!! Yes, tell us about the sports. Multitudes of professing Christians sit at home on Sunday and watch Christian (?) athletes play ball, when all of them should be in the house of God. All of America is hooked on the ball games and the season never ends. They bounce it for part of the year, they kick it for part of the year, and they hit it with a stick for the rest of the year.
For 365 days, no holidays, patriotic day, or holy day is sacred anymore. Brutality, poor sportsmanship, fighting, and vile language is all a part of the game. And more than likely, the whole program will come your way sponsored and paid for by some rot-gut brewery that is out to instill the habit of drink in the minds of you and your children.
Television has destroyed family life. There is no time for the family to read the Bible and pray together. There is no time for meaningful conversation and it has destroyed communication between parents, and between parents and children. It is the great time waster, and it helps to keep people from reading helpful books and materials.
Television has become the baby-sitter in the average home and is used to keep the children quiet and entertained. Those who ought to know say that by the time a child reaches the age of 17 they have, on the average, watched 17,000 hours of television. All who have so done will be affected in a bad way, some will be deeply scarred, and many will be completely destroyed by this monster. If a child went to Sunday School every time for 17 years, that would only be about 737 hours. It would be our guess that the average child will spend much less than 400 hours in Sunday School in 17 years. No wonder we have children who cheer when a president is shot.
Educational TV is a vast wasteland, where tax dollars and private grants pay for programs that are evil, bad educationally, or so dull that most people do not watch them.
Now via cable TV, we have HBO or other subscriber movie programs. They openly boast that the movies are uncut and uncensored. The little that we, have seen contains unbelievable filth. Many are subscribing to this service and multitudes of children watch it on a regular basis.
Many people are getting their church each week by watching Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, the 700 Club, or PTL. The importance of the local church is played down, false doctrine mixed with truth, and outright heresy is promoted by the charismatics and others. There may be and surely are some local programs produced by sound churches with godly pastors, but their audience is small when compared to the others.
The news broadcasts select the wrong stories to broadcast and then badly pervert and twist the news. Any person who depends on TV for almost 100% of the national and local news they receive, will be badly misinformed and over a long period of time be subject to brainwashing!
The Would-Be Assassin Controlled By Television And The Movies
According to the LAJ 4-2-81, a young actress by the name of Jodie Foster played the part of a 12-year-old prostitute in the movie "Taxi Driver." In that film, Travis Bickle writes a letter to the prostitute just before leaving home with the intention of shooting a political candidate. He doesn't succeed.
In real life, John W. Hinckley, Jr. wrote a love letter to actress Jodie Foster who played the 12-year-old prostitute in the film. That letter was found in his hotel room and was dated the same day he shot President Reagan and three other people.
In the letter Hinckley said, "There is a definite possibility that I will be killed in my attempt to get Reagan." After expressing his love to her, he said in closing, "Jody, I'm asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance with this historic deed to gain your respect and love."
Yet, Hinckley had never met her personally. Where did he get the idea for what he did? He got it from the movie, of course. And frankly, we fear that this is only the tiny tip of the iceberg. One Texas Tech law student who grew up with Hinckley in Dallas said, "He didn't like to play baseball. All he did was sit inside in the air-conditioning watching TV."
Where Are The Churches In This Battle?
Long ago, the true New Testament Bible believing churches should have declared war on the rotten television and movie industry. Now, the Mississippi based organization and Moral Majority have launched a campaign to clean-up television. Any good that they can do will surely be helpful, but in our estimation, even though they will win some battles, the war has already been lost. Cleaning up the television and movie industry may be likened to cleaning up a pig, while it can be done, it is difficult to make it last.
II. H-OMES Have Forsaken God
The home is one of the basic bulwarks in any strong society. Marriage, home, and family were instituted by God long before nation or church were begun. God used Christian homes to make this nation great, and the fact that most homes have forsaken God now spell the doom of our nation. Men no longer want to take their place as head of the home and to be the spiritual leader of the family.
Women no longer are willing to fill the God ordained role of helpmeet, homemaker, and child trainer. During World War II, mothers and daughters left the home to go into the offices and factories and they have never returned. Now multitudes of women dress like men, talk like men, curse like men, drink like men, and smoke like men. They have chosen to accept Satan's way and reject God's way for their lives.
Discipline is at an all-time low in the home. Children are allowed to sass mom and dad, and are free to do pretty much as they please. Spiritual training is sadly neglected and all but entirely absent even in the homes of so-called Christians. The overwhelming majority do not take their children to a Bible teaching church and Sunday School. Father and mother both work and the children are left with a baby-sitter. Then as they get old enough to barely get by, they are left to fend for themselves until the parents get home from work.
No wonder that so many kids are taking dope and smoking pot, even before they get into their teens. According to recent polls, the majority of high school students drink, and a large percentage of these are heavy drinkers. Venereal disease and pregnancy is spreading like a flame among the teens of our nation. Now they can get birth control devices, treatment for venereal disease, and even abortions with the promise that their parents will not be notified. Many parents wouldn't care anyway.
Parents get rid of their guilt feelings by buying the children things, and furnish them with money. With the money they can buy the pot, dope, and liquor that the world offers them. John W. Hinckley, Jr., the 25-year-old would-be assassin of President Reagan, attended Texas Tech University off and on from 1973 to 1980. There has no evidence been given that he ever had a steady job, even on a part-time basis.
For almost 8 years he simply attended college for a very few semesters, and the rest of the time roamed around over the country, flying in planes and staying in hotels. Apparently, this was all paid for by his wealthy, well to do, but busy parents. According to the Bible, those who will not work should not be allowed to eat. Of course, an idle mind is the devil's work shop. The future attorney quoted above added that, "Hinckley's parents were never there (at home during childhood visits) you never saw them." (LAJ, 4-5-81)
III. Forsaking God For E-DUCATION
The "E" in T.H.E.M.M. stands for education. Of course, there is nothing wrong in sound, good, and truthful education, but humanistic education has just about destroyed America. Not long ago, I read the testimony of a man who lived in China when the communists took over after World War II. The communists moved swiftly to reorganize the schools. Some thought that the first emphasis in the communized schools would be to install the teachings of Marx; Lenin, and Mao. This was not the case. Instead, they set out to thoroughly indoctrinate the pupils in the teaching of evolution. Why? Because evolution is basic in the process of learning the awful doctrine of communism. Not every evolutionist is a communist, but all true communists are evolutionists.
For over a generation, the public school system of the U.S. has taught evolution from the first grade through the twelfth grade. The colleges and universities have given the postgraduate course in evolution to all who attend. Thereby they have furnished a fertile seedbed for the recruiting of communists and countless other radical causes. Prayer and Bible reading has been thrown out, and permissive behavior has been encouraged. Co-ed dormitories have been furnished and immoral behavior promoted. Godly teachers and professors have quit by the hundreds, because they could see what was happening and were powerless to change it.
The progressive system of education fathered by John Dewey has decimated the minds of America's youth for over a generation. The Bible is scoffed at, and pliable minds are made to believe that their ancestors were animals. No wonder that over 20 little Negro boys have been slain in Atlanta and the murderer has not been found. No wonder John W. Hinckley, Jr. admired the Nazis and espoused Nazi causes. (Nazis and communists are first cousins, both born in the fetid left-wing socialist household, and slated for the same hell.)
Patriotism is played down in the schools and religion and prayer is out, but evolution and sinful behavior are in. Children are required to read filthy and sadistic books. In San Francisco and perhaps in other places, homosexuals are brought to the schools to lecture to the children on alternate life styles. They are there to recruit homosexuals and they will succeed. Eighth graders in Lubbock have been required to read a sadistic book which tells of a future age when firemen will no longer fight fires, but will go forth to burn books and people. Another book has been required which tells of a baby who is born with mysterious powers. The baby uses that power to kill its parents and the rest of the family. Nice story don't you think!! Others are required to read, "Catcher in the Rye," and other filthy books which would pollute even a garbage dump.
I can hear the cry even now, "We don't believe in censorship!!" I have heard it till I am sick of it. We already have censorship, and have had it for a generation. The librarian, and library committees are censors. Those who select the textbooks for our schools, and those who select the books for required reading in our schools are censors. They have pushed out, censored out, the great literature of the ages, and at the same time they have put in the filth, the ugly, the sadistic, and the unpatriotic. Yet, when concerned parents and citizens want to do something about it, then they are accused of censorship.
We would never allow a mixture of filth and germs to be added to the public water supply, nor poisonous deadly gases to be added to the gas lines going to our homes. But we have sat down at ease, while the pipelines that feed the minds of our precious children have been loaded with that which will destroy them morally and spiritually.
Humanism has invaded and conquered the public education system of our nation. Humanism is anti-God, anti-moral, and anti-Christ. It places human wisdom, values, and desire above anything that God teaches in His Word. Space and time does not permit a full disclosure of this evil, but it is here and it is strong! Sex education is freely taught. The mechanics and mystery is taught, but moral restraint and Biblical teaching would not be permitted. Then they worry about teen pregnancies. Anyway the abortion clinic can mop up the bad results, no matter if it brings the curse of God upon our nation because of this senseless wholesale murder of infants.
IV. Forsaking God For M-USIC
Modern day rock music and other related types have ushered in a new age for the youth of our nation. What needs to be said about this awful music curse would fill a book. The advent of John Lennon and the Beatles ushered in a new era, and the world has never recovered from it. (Incidentally did anyone hear any cheering when John Lennon was shot?)
We read in "A Christian View Of The News" (hereafter ACVN) a report that was published in the Atlanta Constitution, December 16, 1981. Dr. Irving Goldaber of Miami is a sociologist who is an expert in crowd behavior and the field of social conflict and violence. He taught 22 years at City University in N.Y. and is a consultant to the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He said, "To the unskilled eye, kids seem to be at rock concerts to see the group and hear the music." But the real reason "is to enter another world; another nation; an enclosed nation where the volume of sound surrounds them like a bubble. Within this bubble is a style of life free and apart from the outside world. Kids run this nation. Here they can vent the pulsating psychic, social and sexual power that is percolating in them that they can't release in the controlled outside world."
Dr. Goldaber also said, "Drugs are the doorway through which kids go to get into the spell of the music. Drugs and rock music are closely related. Lyrics of rock songs legitimatize drug usage. And drug usage puts people in the spell of the music. Drugs and rock music mix very well. They support each other.”
Rock Concert: A 'Zoo' Ruled By Youth
Another issue of ACVN quotes from the Atlanta Constitution of the above date. The Omni Coliseum of Atlanta is the largest house in town for rock concerts. The report says:
"School children as young as 11 or 12 can with impunity smoke marijuana and drink alcoholic beverages at the 'free zone' created during some rock concerts at the downtown coliseum, according to police officers, parents, Omni employees, medical technicians, a city judge and observations by Constitution reporters. These same sources estimate that as many as half the audience at certain concerts here are using alcohol or drugs. And one Omni official says, 'The harder the rock the rougher the crowd.' 'You get 4,000 or 5,000 kids who are drunk or high and that crowd is like a 10-ton elephant—it does whatever it wants to,' said one police officer.
"Ray Vinsik, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Atlanta office recently took his teen-age daughter and seven of her friends to a rock concert at the Omni coliseum. Vinsik, who spent 20 years with DEA working the streets of Chicago before taking over the Atlanta office a year ago, saw things at the Omni he had never seen before. 'That place was a zoo,' he said in amazement. 'Fights were going on and nothing was done to stop them. More than half the kids I saw were drinking or high on drugs. They were selling booze to minors. There were kids that looked no more than 12 years old falling down on the floor. You couldn't walk without your feet sticking to the floor because it was covered with beer. Those kids were in their own private world. I never would have believed that went on there,' Vinsik said.
"Drug paraphernalia is visible among young concert goers. Bottles of whiskey are seen being passed back and forth among youngsters. So much sexual activity is said to take place in the balcony during a few rock concerts that some Omni employees have running jokes about babies born nine months after a concert.
“'You have 13 and 14-year-olds stoned and drunk at concerts. People are throwing bottles. They are fighting. Grass smoking is so widespread that if you want to enforce the law you'd have to arrest everybody there,' one police officer said. 'Kids get blasted out of their skulls down there. I've seen children as young as 13 and 14 who are dangerously disoriented from drugs and alcohol,' says Arthur Kaplan, a city judge and medical rescue officer who has won national recognition for his rescue work with Atlanta police. He often works the rock concerts. 'The average age of the drunks here tonight is 13,' said an emergency medical technician at a recent concert."
I am sure that some of you are thinking, "I'm glad we don't have that in Lubbock." Oh, but we do. Perhaps not on the same scale, because of the size of the cities, but it is here nevertheless. I have talked to police officers in Lubbock who have worked rock concerts in Lubbock, and they were literally sick because of what they saw, but were powerless to change.
Revolution And Rebellion Taught By Rock Stars
Those who know, realize that the Beatles and many other rock stars were leaders against morality and decency. In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone magazine John Lennon said, "I am wearing a Chairman Mao badge. I'm just beginning to think he is doing a good job." In a 1964 interview with Saturday Evening Post, Derek Taylor, press officer for the Beatles said, "They're anti-Christ. I mean, I am anti-Christ as well, but they're so anti-Christ, they shock me, which isn't an easy thing." In a 1966 interview with the London Evening Standard, Lennon said, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that: I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now." Many of Lennon's songs promoted the use of drugs. We deplore his murder, but it came from the culture that he helped produce.
The Bible Believers' Bulletin for April 1981 quotes some of the rock stars concerning their beliefs. They took their quotes from "Satan's Music Exposed" by Lowell Hart. Here are the quotes. The Beatles: Our music is capable of causing emotional instability, disorganized behavior, rebellion and even revolution. Spencer Dryden: Get them while they're young. Bend their minds. Donnie Brewer of Grand Funk: We take the kids away from their parents and their environment to where the only reality is the rhythm and the beat. John Denver (folk and country-western singer): Rock music is a greater influence on the souls of men than primitive Christianity.
"Imagine" was one of the songs by John Lennon. Listen to the words:
"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Living for today.
Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion too,
Imagine all the people,
Living life in peace.
Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people,
Sharing all the world.
You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world all be as one."
No wonder that after his death, he was mourned in the Soviet press as a "fighter for peace."
Yet, John Lennon died a multi-millionaire, and he gained it all from the rock culture.
How sad that some modern Christians have introduced the rock rhythm in the churches. This is a bad setback for the cause of truth. It would be just as easy to convert the devil as to convert rock music to real spiritual use. Rock is the beat of the jungle, of witchcraft, of sensual feelings, and of illicit sex. It has no place in any sound church, and it should have no place in the hearts and minds of God's people. Any close look at the Christian (?) rock artists, their songs, and their performances, should reveal the spiritual bankruptcy of that movement to any thoughtful and spiritual Bible believer.
V. Forsaking God For M-ODERNISM
The last "M" in T.H.E.M.M. stands for modernism in Christianity. There is not a doubt but what those who call themselves Christian are more responsible for the sad conditions that exist in our nation than any other group. Those who have access to the truth are the most responsible in the sight of God. The Saviour expressed this in saying, " . . . For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required . . . ." Luke 12:48. Much has been committed unto us, and much is going to be required.
Invariably, the decay of a nation can be traced to the religious leaders and their followers. It was so in the days of Jeremiah who lived on the eve of the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah. He delivered a stinging rebuke to the priests, pastors, and prophets of his day. "The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit." Jer. 2:8.
How sad that priests did not seek the Lord, and those who handled His Word did not even know God. How deplorable that the pastors literally refused allegiance to God and rebelled and transgressed against Him. The prophets who were to deliver God's message to the people, literally delivered a message from the false god Baal. Yet, it is even so today in the religious world.
This wholesale departure from God on the part of the religious leaders resulted in the nation changing from God to gods. Even the heathen had not forsaken their gods, but Israel had forsaken the one true God. " . . . They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Jer. 2:13. Here is where religious America is standing today, at the broken cistern that can hold no water.
The true prophet further tells us, "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" Jer. 5:30, 31. In chapter 6, he tells us that the prophets and priests were dealing falsely. They had cried, " . .. Peace, peace: when there is no peace ......Jer. 6:13, 14.
The New Testament clearly declares and predicts the apostasy of our day. " . . . In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." I Tim. 4:1. Paul by the Spirit clearly describes the "perilous times" which we are seeing when "silly women" would be led into great prominence in religion, and that people would be, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." A time when, "…All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." See II Tim. 3:1-14.
Without a doubt we are living in that time " .. . when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." II Tim. 4:3,4.
Modernism has proven to be a curse to 20th Century Christianity in America. It crossed the ocean to us as German rationalism and infiltrated almost every segment of religion in America. Under the guise of higher criticism it has attacked every fundamental doctrine of the Word of God. Nothing is sacred to these wolves in sheep's clothing. They have worked with insidious persistency in attacking the verbal inspiration of the Bible.
The Genesis account of creation, the miracles of the O.T., and the prophecies have been attacked. Its history, dates, and writers have been denied. Modernism should have been driven back into the Atlantic Ocean, but instead it has conquered most of the old line denominations, captured their publishing houses and schools, until millions of American Christians (?) are standing at the broken fountain of modernism that cannot and does not hold the water of life. The plan of modernism is to produce a one-world church.
The modern charismatic tongues movement has arisen in the 20th Century, and is helping to bring in the one-world church in areas where modernism has failed in its plan. This movement is growing by leaps and bounds as people continue to depart from the truth. The charismatic movement now has a considerable number of followers in the Roman Catholic Church, all the major Protestant denominations, and unfortunately multitudes of Baptists have been deceived by it. It is almost devoid of all Bible doctrine, but places heavy emphasis on love, tongues, visions, and dreams.
They are opposed to the Bible doctrine of separation, and urge their charismatic followers to stay in the church they are in, and it matters not whether it is Catholic, modernist, or some other false system. This is totally unscriptural and is doing more than anything else to bring in the church of the anti-Christ. When people who pray to Mary, modernists who deny the Bible, ritualists who believe in salvation by baptism, and others who believe in falling from grace, can all get together and speak in tongues and have fellowship together, you may know that the whole thing is false religion!!
The new evangelical movement is currently responsible for leading many to a broken cistern that can hold no water. The new evangelicals claim to believe the same thing as the fundamentalists, but without the fighting. Their view of love and their reluctance to separate and fight for the truth has led them into all kinds of compromise. They have sought to maintain good relations with the modernists, and have steadfastly refused to separate from them.
Their dialogue with liberals has become the vehicle of compromise and confusion. No doubt many of the new evangelicals are saved, but like Jehoshaphat they have not learned to separate from the Ahabs.
The father of the new evangelical movement was Dr. Harold John Ockenga in the 1950's. He came up with the idea of infiltrating the liberal denominations which has led to disaster. Without a doubt, the ministry of Dr. Billy Graham has done more to advance this movement than any other ministry. Multitudes of undiscerning people have been led into this confusion and the end is not yet.
The modern fundamentalist movement has drifted a long way from the anchor held by the fundamentalists of yesterday. The writer of this article is a fundamentalist and will die a fundamentalist, but he does not agree with much of the compromise going on in the fundamentalist camp. Many who call themselves fundamentalists are not, but are really new evangelicals. They are changing the course of fundamentalism and drawing many closer and closer to the new evangelicals.
Certain Southern Baptists such as Dr. W. A. Criswell, James Robison, Adrian Rodgers, and Bailey Smith claim to be fundamentalists. While they no doubt believe the fundamentals, they are not fundamentalists. They do not believe in separation from apostasy, and while they talk about the fundamentals they continue to support the modernists and liberals in the SBC through the co-operative program. Dr. Bailey Smith recently said that his church was going to increase their support of the co-operative program by 300% and be the largest supporting church from Oklahoma. That is deplorable. These men are openly fellowshipping with modernists of the worst kind.
Others, such as Dr. Jerry Falwell, claim to be fundamentalists, but their compromise says otherwise. Dr. Falwell and others of his kind continue to fellowship with these compromising Southern Baptists and with others who are new evangelical. They are not changing the new evangelicals, but they are changing the fundamentalists. The house of fundamentalism has been stretched to the breaking point to enable those with variant beliefs to be ushered in.
Many fundamentalists have been deceived into believing that gain in numbers is godliness. The body count mania has almost destroyed a large segment of this group. They are going to have numerical increase, no matter what it takes to get them. The crowds must be gathered at any cost, even if the Sunday School and church service must be turned into a side show, with karate, wrestlers, weight lifters, midgets, giants and you name it. The world's largest banana split, or Popsicle, is what some of these churches are best known for. This all leads to a watering down of the message to suit the crowd. More and more, man is elevated and God is lowered so that repentance can be de-emphasized and the new birth reduced to a decision or a prayer.
Modern Independent Baptists have in many instances shown growing symptoms of the same sort of compromise. They have become infatuated by the success of Jerry Falwell and they have gone off to his and similar meetings and they have come back with new ideas. They are going to the same Bill Gothard meetings being attended by fundamentalists, new evangelicals, modernists, and Roman Catholics. All who expose such practices are declared to be devoid of love and to have no concern for souls.
Not only is there a growing disregard for separation from apostasy, there is also a lack of personal separation. Holy living is seldom emphasized as in yesteryears. The Christian's habits, dress, and deportment has rapidly deteriorated. Bible believers (?) are at peace with TV, movies, dancing, mixed swimming, and indecent dress.
Is There Any Hope?
It is not our desire to produce pessimists. There is hope, for God still lives. In spite of the widespread compromise there are yet 7,000 that have not bowed the knee to Baal. All across this land there are preachers and churches that are doing their best to stand for the faith once delivered to the saints. None of these are perfect, and we all need to examine our lives and our practices in the light of God's Word. There are fundamentalists and independents who are ready to die for the truth, and how we pray that their number will increase.
There is hope because the promises of God are still true. America's basic problems are not political, economic, or social, but the problem is spiritual. The need of 3,000 years ago is still the need of today. "If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." II Chron. 7:14.
Not only is the need the same, but the remedy is still the same, and we serve the same God. May we be driven to the point that we shall give up all hope, except that hope and faith that is in Him. None of us should be so satisfied with what we are and what we are doing, that we would fail to see our sins and confess them to Him who is able to forgive and restore.
The options are simple, it is either repent or perish. God will not long put up with what modern day Christians are doing. The handwriting is on the wall, the enemy is at the gates, and only God can save us!