Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 17, 1961

And Then It Is Too Late

Ardie P. Brown, Jr., Houston, Texas

As we look on the scene of religion relative to the Lord's church all across the land, we see vast numbers of brethren digressing into liberalism. Some are so steeped in modernism we cannot help but wonder why. Those who stand firmly for the truth of God's word on every issue realize that the whole problem stems from a lack of respect for God's word and the failure to advance a "Thus saith the Lord" for everything believed, taught, and practiced. Knowing this, we yet wonder how men of such knowledge and long years of experience battling Satan's devices could adopt and endorse the unscriptural innovations which are plaguing the Lord's church today.

Let us go back a few years and take a look at the over all problem or situation and see if we cannot better determine the "why:"

During the years shortly after World War II the church experienced a rather rapid growth, you might say in some respects a repeat of the Restoration Movement of the early 1800's. The reason for this was the zeal and determination with which Gospel preachers proclaimed God's word and the desire of the people at that time for truth. The preaching and teaching done was primarily along the lines of the first principles, (faith, repentance, and baptism) which was greatly needed, but (luring this period of thriving growth the further teaching of these converts was neglected. The preaching and teaching continued somewhat in the same vein which to these new born babes in Christ would be all milk and no meat. A large number of these converts came out of sectarian institutions of religion and some of the characteristics of sectarianism which were not eliminated later began to influence the church and her activities. Recognizing the trend which the Lord's church had fallen into, many capable men began to teach in opposition to a number of the practices which good, honest, yet unlearned, brethren were involved in. At this a considerable portion of these newly converted brethren balked and declared that any who spoke against what they were doing was preaching a "new" doctrine; and they immediately launched off into all manner of "logic" and "sophistry" to attempt to justify their position relative to the unscriptural, unauthorized practices. As the heat of battle became more intense and certain "broad-minded" brethren groped further into absurdity, the brethren who were encouraging a return to scriptural authority pressed harder for the reasoning behind these unscriptural practices. Under pressure these brethren resorted to all manner of foolish reasoning; and for every step backward they made an attempt at justification. The harder brethren pressed, the further the digressives went, until bloated with pride and arrogance they have been devoured by their own devices. As it has been said, "tell a lie long enough and loud enough and you will believe it yourself." And so stands the case. When brethren reach a point where they harden their hearts and close their eyes, prejudice takes the place of reason. Then all the teaching and preaching that can he done will be of little value. When pride will not allow these brethren to come back and face reality and openly admit their error, then it is too late!

My heart's desire and prayer to God is that it be not too late, not too late for my brethren in Christ to see their error and give up their pet theories and projects which demand more of their time and attention than does the Lord's church. May God grant them the time and promote the love of the truth in their hearts.