The Prophetic Word in Crisis Days
because, they say, in many passages the meaning is jar more clearly expressed to the modern mind than are the archaic phrases found in the King James Version. The modern versions are praised in spite of the fact that, as has been pointed out by many able scholars, from all indica tions the translators have made a conscious effort to downgrade the per son and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. But when one dares to speak out against one of these late translations, he himself is criticized and con demned by the very ones who should be his friends and allies in the great conflict between historic Christianity and various modern shades of un belief. Still others high in ecclesiastical circles say, as has been expressed by one such theologian, “ To the best of my knowledge and understand ing, we are forced to admit that Jesus was designating Peter as the Rock on which He was beginning the building of His Church. The subsequent work of Peter in Acts will substantiate this statement.” Again, “He, Peter, is the Rock with which Jesus began the building of His church. He deserves careful study." The author of these statements is widely ac cepted in fundamental churches and circles and if anyone dares to cri ticize him, that one is labelled as a “ heresy hunter” and utterly “ un- Christ-like.” But such statements fit right into the idea of the ecumenical movement which is so popular in so many places today. Indeed, that movement itself is becoming quite acceptable in the minds of many other wise Bible-believing Christians who say “Why fight such an idea ——it does not mean that we are giving up anything vital to our faith; it simply means that we are co-operating with others though they may differ with us on some of the so-called minor points of Scriptural interpretation.” And so it goes. The whole foundation of our most holy Christian faith is being chopped away, first in one place, and then in another. If this continues, there can be but one result so far as the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned. All too many Christians are all too prone to refuse to stand for their convictions on these vital matters. And, by failing to do so, they are allow ing the detractors of the faith to win without any opposition. This is known, in athletic contests, as defaulting. Unless ministers of churches and lay leaders alike are willing to stand up and denounce these individ uals who are hacking away at the foundations of our faith, within the very near future there is only one inevitable end to the whole business. That is tragic defeat by inexcusable default. No, indeed, it is not the out spoken modernist who is doing the most damage to the Church of Jesus Christ today; it is the erstwhile Bible-believing ecclesiastical leader who has his own pet grievance with a certain portion of the Word of God and who loudly proclaims that grievance as though he were a great scholar having discovered some new truth. But all an honest inquirer has to do is to gather together these various objections put out by these doctrinal doubters and he will discover that in the aggregate they have destroyed the whole foundation of our Christian faith. This is not a day for mollycoddling these meddlers, regardless of who they are or how mild their criticism of the Word of God may be. It stands or falls together. If a person is “ soft” on any one portion of God’s Holy Word, sooner or later he is going to become “ soft” on other portions un til, finally, it is all cast into the discard. This is a day when individuals regardless of who they are or what position they hold should be questioned regarding every statement of doubt which they express. No one should be considered so sacrosanct that he may not be criticized. Let it be said again that, unfortunately, this is not a day of clear-cut black and white in theological thinking. It is a day of the muggy grays, and unless we are alert to the real situation, we will find ourselves moving around in the fog of theological indecision and uncertainty which can lead to com plete spiritual impotence and uselessness in the Christian life.
Forsberg McGee Woodbridge
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