Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 26, 1961
NUMBER 25, PAGE 1,12a

Modernism On The March

Robert C. Welch, Nacogdoches, Texas

Modernism has just about completely poisoned the vestiges of faith in the protestant denominations. It is not only rearing its ugly head but is striking at the body of Christ and the vemon is already infiltrating the blood stream. Recent developments and statements are proving indisputably that this is the case. If the things stated in the inspired Scriptures are really not correct, then the Bible is untrue; and if the Bible is not to be relied upon, there is no reliable evidence that there is a God. The Bible is the only source of revelation of God. There may be corroborative evidence, as in the things of nature; but all the rest is man's imagination. And if it depends upon imagination we might just as well accept the atheist's viewpoint. Thanks be unto God, he has not left us without revelation; he has given us the Bible; and upon it we can stand when all the puny efforts of atheists and religious modernists have been forgotten.

In Outer Circles

The Episcoplian Bishop Pike of California recently declared with all boldness that he does not believe in the scriptural account of the virgin bith of Christ. Following this lead, Redbook magazine published the results of a poll which was taken of about a hundred divinity students in theological schools. The article can be found in the August, 1961, issue. The poll is said to include Methodist, Baptist. Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Lutheran denominations. There were other groups included in the poll but were said to be of such small number as to deserve no special mention. Could it be that students in "our Christian Education Schools" were included? And if they were, would the report be the same as with the others on the questions asked? It could easily be, if the students take seriously what some of the teachers and writers of "on the march" papers have to say.

"Only 44 per cent believe in the virgin birth of Christ," says the report. "Only 29 per cent believe that Jesus ascended physically into heaven after his crucifixion," it continues. From this it is easy to see that the coming generation of preachers and their congregations will have nothing more than social and literary clubs. They are denying the divinity of Jesus. They have nothing to fear but extinction and nothing to gain in the future, with no heaven or hell in their religion. They believe that the resurrection and ascention of Christ is all a myth and hoax. So, what is left? Nothing, but that they are intellectual animals; living for the material gain here. In their vain imagination they are no better than the ox that lives for his grain night and morning with a comfortable stall. The Lord describes such men in these words: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools....And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind." (Rom. 1:22-28)

Advocate — A.C.C. Model

The Gospel Advocate journal and Abilene Christian College are only a few steps behind the rest. The journal has been featuring a number of articles written by J. D. Thomas, a staff member of the college. His articles are under the general heading, Reason for Hope. The paper presumes him to be qualified to write on Evidences, not because of his knowledge of the Bible, but because of his scholarly attainments in schools which teach modernism. When this occurs with anyone there is always room for caution in accepting what such a man says. As many others have done, he also may imbibe some of their spirit without even recognizing it. Look at this gem of brilliant modernism which he has produced:

"Actually, we do not have all of the written New Testament today in order to learn how to become and be good Christians! However, the entire Scripture was given to make us complete unto every good work, and there is a valid place for the entire twenty-seven books of the New Testament." (Gospel Advocate, July 6, 1961)

What sectarian or what modernist can beat that? The sectarian can as easily cut out the passages on baptism as brother Thomas can cut out that which is not acceptable to him. The avowed modernist can cut out the part about the virgin birth as easily as brother Thomas, in his avowed modernism, can call some of it non-essential. Of course, he says there is a valid place for all of it, but he has already said "we do not have all of the written New Testament today...." Which part is not necessary in becoming and being good Christians? This is the kind of skepticism which characterized the class room literature published by that company a few years ago. When they were exposed, there was a noticeable change in it. But when that kind of men are doing the writing, the same element of modernism can be expected in their publications when the furor has subsided — and it is now coming through again.

Firm Foundation Style

Another man on the same school faculty, J. W. Roberts, has taken his turn in defending the modernist's interpretation of Acts 20:7 in the New English Bible. This effort is found in the Firm Foundation, July 25, 1961. The English version says that they assembled for breaking bread on Saturday night. The Greek texts and ancient manuscripts literally say it was the first day of the week. These men have decided that the assembling occurred at night and that it must have been on Saturday night. That is their addition to the literal wording and not a translation at all. Brother Roberts shows in his article that he knows this; yet he is willing to let it pass with mild approval. A man who is that unconcerned and reckless about the Greek text of the Bible and its translation should not be trusted to teach the Greek language to college students. Notice his words of approval of the modernist version:

"The reason evidently is that from knowledge of the customs and from the context of Acts 20:7 it is clear that the meeting at Troas took place on a Saturday night....The meeting at Troas gathered at night Thus we can see the reason for the translators' rendering. As we have already said the principle under which this all occurs seems a good one.... In making the time of the day plain, the fact is obscured that the meeting to take the Lord's supper is tied up with the first day of the week...."

It is all supposition that they assembled at night. There is nothing in the context to indicate it. Nor is there anything in the Bible at all to suggest it. It is nothing but addition to the text to say that they did assemble at night. And then to say that it was a Saturday night is but a double addition. Oh yes, I am aware of J. W. McGarvey's reasoning that it must have been on what we now call Saturday night. But these modernists among us will have to look a long time more and then will not find where he was willing for such an interpretation to be substituted for the wording of the text.

Nearly all of the sectarian denominations and a number of the sectarian members of the churches of Christ are trying to find a loop hole for omitting the assembling on the first day of the week to break bread. They know the example is there, in Acts 20:7, and they know that as long as it stands it is binding. They have started the process of evasion by observing the supper on other days; and now they have their authority in the New English Bible, a professor at Abilene Christian College, and the Firm Foundation, for omitting the day. They started arguing that an example is not exclusive, that breaking bread can be done other days as well as on the first day of the week. And now they are willing, perhaps desirous, to argue that it is not inclusively binding either. Modernism marches on; and brethren "on the march" are getting in step.