Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1960
NUMBER 31, PAGE 5,13b

Beyond The Horizons

By Wm. E. Wallace, Box 407, Poteau, Oklahoma

Humbuggery In Akron, Ohio

After intense planning and begging, an unusual building has been erected in Akron, Ohio by a semi-holiness healing group pastored by Rex Humbard. The building is called the "Cathedral of Tomorrow" and the promotional publicity during the planning and building of the edifice would have you believe that the "Cathedral of Tomorrow" is unequalled in excellence. But it does not compare favorably with many other modern religious structures across the country. It is hardly a comparison to Bill Alexander's "Church of Tomorrow" in Oklahoma City. But the Akron structure is impressive in size and in unusual construction. Its unusual design reflects the unorthodox nature of the group.

Recently I toured the "Cathedral of Tomorrow." I picked up a program for forthcoming services and noted the following sermon topics: "From Hog-calling to the Pulpit," "Who will use the Missile with the 'H' Bomb Warhead First — U. S. or Russia?" Another bulletin advertises the coming of Chief Charging Bear with a truckload of musical instruments. Every boy and girl who brings a visitor to Sunday School gets to sit on a horse with the chief's Indian war bonnet on their head. All visitors have the same privilege.

The activities of this religious group reflect religious humbuggery at its worse. Can you imagine Jesus employing such burlesque to further his cause? In clothing the apostles with the Holy Spirit did Jesus endue them with vaudeville power?

The sacred character of New Testament Christianity and the divine nature of the Son of God are impugned and perverted by such religio-secular promotional schemes. Coupled with false doctrine this theatrical approach is an affront to the cause of Christ. Those who are identified with or who participate in such religious humbuggery, while professing to be followers of Christ, shame and disgrace the holy name of Christ and profane his noble cause. It is sad enough for religious groups to transgress the authority of Christ in doctrine, worship and organization. When they attribute to the cause of Christ theatrical appearances in their promotional shams it is worse than sad — it is disgraceful.

* * * * * * The Modern Israel

In 1956, when the army of Israel moved toward Suez, the world was electrified. War seemed at hand and the excitement of the time was matched by much speculation as to "signs of the times." During the time of this Middle East crisis I was visiting in the offices of a radio station. The teletype machine worked rapidly and continually in spelling out the news. A radio announcer emerged from an office and in an excited voice asserted that Bible prophecies were being fulfilled in the Middle East events and that the end of something, or the beginning of events prophesied in the Bible, might be at hand.

The Middle East crisis ended almost as abruptly as it began. The alleged fulfillment of supposed Bible prophecies turned out false. But interest in modern Israel does not subside. Look magazine, October 11, 1960, carries a good article about the little country. The article points out that "This miniature nation has become important to the United States because it is a refuge for persecuted peoples, because it sides with the West as Russia arms its enemies, because it is an irritating thorn in the flesh of Arab nationalism and because its welfare interests so many Americans — both Jews and Christians."

Involved in the interests of Americans are the many modern voices of prophecy which see fulfillment of Biblical prophecies in modern Israel's affairs. But the modern Israel is not the Israel of the Bible. The Old Testament Israel was God's nation, built upon God's purposes, governed by God's law, and ruled by those who sat on God's throne.

Old Testament Israel came to an end when New Testament times began. The purposes of God for Israel were fulfilled. God's law governing Israel was abrogated and the throne of old Israel was given to Christ who reigns over the true Israel — the church.

For the modern Israel of modern Palestine to be identified with the old Israel of the Old Testament times, there would have to be a divine purpose involved, with the original Mosaic law re-established, and the throne returned to earth. But the divine purpose was accomplished in the person of Christ, the Mosaic law was nailed to the cross, and Christ occupies the throne in heaven. There is no Bible teaching which provides for a change from these circumstances back to the Old Testament set-up.

There is no connection between modern Israel of the Middle East and the Palestinian Israel of the Old Testament. Old Testament Israel was utterly destroyed and it is impossible that it ever be revived. Bible prophecies are not concerned with the Israel of the modern Middle East. The colonization of modern Jews in Palestine has no connection with the chosen people of God of the Old Testament times.

It is interesting to note that only a handful of the five and a quarter million American Jews have gone to Israel to live. The Look magazine article points out that there "is resentment that more American Jews have not emigrated to Israel. Ben-Gurion has repeatedly said, 'We should like to see American Jews come and take part in our effort.' He has urged American mothers to send some of their children to live in Israel, especially youths 'who are not satisfied with television and Cadillac's.' "

The problems of ancient Israel concerned its maintaining identity as God's people. It was endangered by its own apostasies, and by the nations about it. Protected by God's own purposes it looked forward to divine intervention in its behalf.

New Israel's problems involves not only the Arab nations around it. New Israel is faced with, "how to teach its two million Europeans, Orientals and Africans to live together; how to settle the quarrel between the Orthodox minority and the startingly secular majority; how to stand on its own economic feet so it need no longer lean on reparations from Germany and charity from the United States."

The events surrounding the new Israel give opportunity for sensational speculations and misuse of Bible prophecy by sectarian enthusiasts. But as time passes and modern prophecies fail, modern Israel will still be just that — modern Israel, not the ancient one.

* * * * * *

The Amish Vote I note where Amish people left their scruples against voting and cast their ballots against a Catholic for president. The Amish people, kin to the Mennonites, are hard pressed to maintain their extreme "plain living" in this modern society. Some of them still travel with the horse and buggy, holding scruples against the modern automobile. Others have relaxed restraints and drive modern automobiles. Modern society offers many short-cuts in going places and creates time-savers in getting things done. The Amish will have to work hard to keep their on-coming generation from utilizing modern conveniences.

Now that the Amish have participated in "carnal" and "worldly" politics by casting votes, they will have an increasing interest in the affairs of the nation in which they exercised citizen's rights.

I suspect that old David Lipscomb himself would have cast a vote in this election in spite of his scruples against voting. Lipscomb considered civil government to be of the devil, but I believe he would have fought hard against the idea of putting a Roman Catholic "devil" at the head of the "devil's kingdom."

A lot of our brethren who have considered civil government as being of the devil per se, have taken quite an active interest in the affairs of the "devil's kingdom" in the year 1960. Perhaps these brethren, like the Amish, have been led by the pressure of the occasion to re-evaluate their position on this matter.