"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.III No.X Pg.6
May 1941

Shall History Repeat Itself?

Homer Hailey

History is replete with accounts of valorous and heroic— deeds; with stories of mighty wars waged and battles— fought; of victories glorious and wonderful. But these same histories also tell of periods of relapse and weakness, stagnation and decay, which so often followed. This is not simply the history of civil and secular affairs, but of religious as well. Under the leadership of Joshua, Israel possessed the land of Canaan by a succession of, brilliant and heated campaigns. In these God was with them, because they were trusting in Him; they were fighting as He directed. But tragedy followed success. "And the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Jehovah that he had wrought for Israel. . . And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel," (Judges 2:7, 10)

Here was the tragedy, "there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah." Then began the decline, the worship of the Baalim, which ended in degeneration and apostasy.

This has been the history of religious movements from that time onward. The apostles waged mighty battles against heathenism and Judaism in their day, planting the church in all sections of the known world only to be followed by a generation, or generations, who forgot or knew not God and His truth. This ignorance opened the way for innovations and errors which culminated in the Roman Catholic apostasy.

Then came Savanarola; Martin Luther, Zwingli, John Knox, and others, who dared lift their voice against the corruptions of Catholicism and its papal hierarchy. We cannot but admire the valor of these men, although we agree not with their doctrinal positions. They, too, were followed, by a generation who knew not the fight they had made, and the object they had had in view, only to end in new sects closely akin to that which they had fought, and from which they had sprung.

These men were followed by Joshuas and Jeremiahs of a new reformatory movement, who sought restoration, not mere reformation. Wonderful and mighty battles were waged by Campbell, Stone, the Sewells, Lipscombs, and hundreds of others. Sectarianism and denominationalism bowed beneath the mighty onslaughts of truth. That generation, converted under such preaching and debating served Jehovah faithfully. But now "another generation" is arising, unfamiliar with heated debates, brush-arbor preaching, and stirring discussions of Bible themes. Shall history repeat itself? Or are we sufficiently acquainted with the cause of Christ Jesus and the fundamentals of Christianity to stem a tide of digression and apostasy in this day?

Standing beside a tree, one can easily determine the way the wind is blowing by the direction the leaves are falling. We are rather anxiously watching a few leaves here and there today, seeking an answer to our question. A rather thorough discussion is at present being conducted among us regarding the so-called "pastor system." I shall leave that for others to discuss; but I frankly admit I would find it hard to defend the present setup with a New Testament before me. And if it can't be defended from it, it can't be defended. Is our present system an indication of the direction of the spiritual breeze?

Recently an article appeared in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, with the following announcement: "Grapevine, Feb. 27. Grapevine churches will unite in a day of prayer for the world at 10 a. m. Friday at the Methodist Church, with Rev. A. W. Franklin as host pastor.

"The sermon, 'The Kingdom Is Coming,' will be given by Rev. E. A. Zund, Baptist minister, and Rev. Willard Morrow of the Church of Christ and Rev. J. Eldridge of the Pentecostal Church also will take part in the program.

"The Church of Christ will furnish a program consisting of a solo by Mrs. John Hemley and a poem read by Mrs. Loyd Fuller. . ."

A latter issue of the paper stated that Brother Morrow did not participate in the affair. In this I rejoice. We all had more confidence in brother Morrow than to imagine him in such a meeting. But some of us wondered if the sisters participated in it? If these two did not "render a solo" and "read a poem," we can take courage. Yet, we cannot but wonder how their names appeared on the program in the first place. Was it without their knowledge? Against their will? Let us trust that it was. Still, where a truly militant and aggressive church exists such reports seldom if ever get circulated concerning the church.

The complete apostasy of the digressive church in such a short time cannot but warn of the rapidity with which "another generation" that "knows not Jehovah" can arise, and be led into idolatry. I say "idolatry," for that is about where the digression has led the Christian Church. The March 2nd issue of the Star-Telegram carried an entire colored page of scenes from the "Varsity Show" being put on by the T. C. U., featuring next to nude costumes, and vaudeville dances of various kinds. What a disgrace to the name "Christian"!

The present day pre-millennial departure from the truth, and the general aversion to strong uncompromising preaching as a fruit of the movement, along with the appearance of women of the church on sectarian programs, and the tendency of preachers to join about everything in a community, rather suggests the direction of the present day breeze.