Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 4, 1967
NUMBER 1, PAGE 7b-8a

The Modern Procruster

Floyd D. Chappelear

"Procrustes (Gr. Prokroustes, "the Stretcher"), in Greek legend, the surname of a celebrated robber, named Damastes or Polypomon. He lived near Eleusis in Attica and tortured his victims by placing them on a bed and, if they were too short for the bed, hammered or stretched them to fit, or, if too long, cut them down to the proper length. He was captured and slain by the hero Theseus..

-Funk and Wagnall's, Encyclopedia Above is a brief description of one Procrustes. From reading of him one conjures up a picture of a terrible man. Such a man surely must be confined to the ancient past. Modern man is far too civilized to behave in such a manner. Or is he?

The modern Procrustes is a far more dangerous, yet sophisticated, man than was the Polypomon of ancient Greece. Damastes, or Polypomon, stretched or mutilated only human beings, while his modern counterpart carries out his foul deeds on the Word of God. The modern Proscrustes being, of course, the teachers of neoteric theology. Any, and all, preachers or teachers who add to, or, take away from the Word of God are behaving in the way of Polypomon.

Let us notice some of the practices of the modern Proscrustes. The Word of God says, (8) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, that no man should glory. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:8-10) That passage of scripture, however, is too long for the present-day Procrutes so he must place the Word of God on his torture rack of human creeds and chop off verse ten. Otherwise, it would not fit his preconceived doctrine of "faith only". No, he will not abandon his doctrine of "faith only", that would be asking too much. After all, would Polypomon have freed his hapless victims? The contemporary Procrustes is content to mutilate the Word of God.

As another example, the Word of God (God inspired, of course) authorizes singing as the kind of music which God desires. In no way does the Law of God presently justify the use of instruments of music in worship to Jehovah. What does the modern preacher do? Does he quit using the instrument, or, does he drag the Word of God to his torture rack? In this instance, he conveniently stretches the word to fit his doctrines and practices.

Oh, but if a modern counterpart to Theseus would arise. Such, however, is unlikely to take place. Unless, and this is a big unless, we would encourage every member of the body of Christ to actively engage the Procrustes' of this generation in mortal combat. In this way, and only in this way, can we arise victorious over the enemies of God. Let us now "take up the whole armor of God" and get on with the fight of conquering the present day Procrustes. (Eph. 6:13- 20) (Also read; Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18,19)