Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 2, 1964

Man Made Memorials

Henry A. Kirkland

At a prayer breakfast, the current "rage" among religious unionists on Wednesday, February 5th, President Johnson proposed that all religious "faiths" erect in Washington, D. C., "a fitting memorial to the God who made us all." He had in mind the UPI said, "a center of prayer open to all men of all faiths at all times." In the words of the President such a memorial would show that the true image of America reflected in its capital is that of a "good and God-fearing people." We now examine the President's proposal,

"A fitting memorial to the God who made us all." The idea that some physical structure could be "a fitting memorial" to the God of all creation is idolatrous! David said, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork." (Psalms 19:1) How can men improve upon that which demonstrates God's eternal power and Godhead? How could weak, fallible man make anything to bring God grandeur and glory above that which He has by the visible creation? (Romans 1:20) It appears that men have become enamored with their inventions. In Athens 1900 years ago those considered the enlightened of their day thought it would be possible to make such an image to the "Unknown God." Concerning Him Paul said, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything?' (Acts 17:24, 25a) Men's hands includes the products of men's hands. There is nothing man could build as a "memorial" that would be acceptable to God, except His Church. This is that in which he is to be glorified throughout all ages. (Ephesians 3:21) He is pleased by those who worship Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) Men may profess with their lips and build with their hands, in vain, simply because their hearts are not in reality serving God. (Matt. 15:8,9) Thus a "fitting memorial" to the God who made us all is a heart that enthrones Christ as Lord, has a faith that works according to knowledge and produces fruit to His glory as He has directed.

"A center of prayer open to all men of all faiths at all times." The Bible knows of only one faith. (Eph. 4:4) The Bible teaches unity in all things and condemns division. (1 Cor. 1:10f1) Division is carnal and those who practice it or promote it are worldly-minded. (1 Cor. 3:3) Men speak of "faiths" but the Bible speaks of "the faith once delivered." (Jude 3) Division comes as a result of men elevating their opinions and ideas, or their unwillingness to accept all the Bible teaches. The idea of a center where men should congregate to pray is born of ritualism, and is behind this proposal and the "prayer breakfasts" of current activities. Too often the prayer to God in the morning gives way to the "cup of the devil" in the evening among these politicians and businessmen.

God no longer respects the physical place of prayer but the condition of the person. If he is not acting in spirit and truth the prayer is an abomination to God. (John 4:21-24) Obedience must accompany the prayer for, "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination." (Prov. 28:9) The former blind man put it this way: "Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God and doeth His will him He heareth." (John 9:31) Prayer centers around the individual, his heart, and actions, not some physical building.

"A good and God-fearing people." A man-made memorial, whether building or golden calf, does not prove its makers are "good" or "God-fearing." Fearing God and keeping His commandments make up the duty of man. (Eccl. 12:13b) One is not "good" or "God-fearing" unless he keeps God's commandments in all things. No amount of bricks, mortar, feigned piousness, prayers of confusion or any other work of man will prove to the world that we are a "good" and "God-fearing" people.

Such piousness is shown to be false when these "good" and "God-fearing" people support Godless atheistic teachings with tax money, yet they will not allow, legally, the book of God to be read without comment in the same institutions! Many similar contradictions could be cited but consider only the "millions" spent on alcoholic beverages for "entertainment" of foreign visitors and the government practice of deliberately lying and deceiving the people, both of which stand condemned by God's word. (Rev. 21:8; Gal. 5:21)

Perhaps, in the final analysis, a "memorial" in Washington to the "God who made us all" is in order. Such Washington Memorials are to those who were in times past a part of this great nation and its deliberations. In view of events, practices, and tendencies both nationally and internationally, "the God who made us all" may possibly become part of the past, if modern man has his way.

— Box 275, Dillard, Oregon