Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 25, 1968
NUMBER 12, PAGE 4-5a

The Tide Is Turning


From many directions and from many sources we are receiving clear and unmistakable signs of an awakening on the part of sincere and honest brethren who have tended to "go along" with the prevailing trend in the churches these past few years. There are a great host of humble Christians who have been largely silent during these turbulent days of chaos and crisis. They have been troubled and bewildered, and have determined in their hearts that they will not "take sides" in the bitter controversy which has torn the church apart. Their attitude has been perhaps in the same tradition as the course the beloved T. B. Larimore attempted to follow when the instrumental music and society questions broke the peace a hundred years ago. Brother Larimore for years preached for both groups, and refused to "take sides". The sheer force of developments, however, forced him to declare himself — and when he did he came out on the side of truth.

We would surmise that the same struggle which took place in the heart of the great Larimore is being repeated over and over again in the hearts of countless Christians in our day. And we do not exclude from this category a great many good brethren in positions of considerable influence among us — college presidents and faculties, editors, preachers and business men. The flood of "liberalism" and "social gospel" emphasis on "this worldliness" has reached such alarming proportions as to bring second thoughts to a great many who had seen no harm at all in a simple little orphan home or a "co-operative" radio program under a sponsoring eldership.

Following is a letter we received the other day from a fine gospel preacher in New Mexico.

Dear Brother Tant:

I wish to subscribe for the Gospel Guardian magazine. I do not know what the subscription price is, so if you will just put my name on the list and send me the bill, I will mail you the money.

I have been doing some very serious thinking here of late; and close observing of what is going on in the brotherhood has made me realize that I had better get my eyes open and do some very serious study on the matters that are bothering our brotherhood today.

If the church is not drifting into digression, I must be losing my conception of what is right and wrong. Things are now going on in some of our congregations that I would never have dreamed of a decade ago.

I have been preaching for this congregation here since the first of last October. This past week we had a Vacation Bible School. The brethren invited a young man (who had been preaching here before I came) to come and direct the V. B. S. When he appeared before the assembly which we had before dividing and going to the class rooms, he came dressed like a clown. He proceeded to work the young folks up to a high pitch, having them to yell at the top of their voices like they do at ball games. On his head he had a silly cap with big red polka dots on it, and he kept the cap on throughout the school, even when singing and praying. He would lead the prayer and have the young folks to repeat after him, all speaking at the same time.

Some of the brethren here asked me what I thought about it. I replied, "I am amazed; I have never seen the like of this except at a holy roller meeting or a 'sanctified' negro meeting." They said they had used a college professor from Lubbock last year to direct the school, and he 'put on the big dog' even more than the young man did this year. If this is scriptural and right, I must be slipping in no uncertain way!

Well, anyhow, send me the Gospel Guardian, and bill me for it.

Yours in the faith, This preacher signed his name. His letter reflects the misgivings of a score, or a hundred, or maybe even a thousand good men who are being sickened by the same things that have aroused him. It may be slow and imperceptible to many, if not most of us; many of us may be sleeping beneath the grasses before it really comes to full tide, but we sense a growing alarm with the course the church has been going these last few years. And when that alarm turns to consternation and panic — THEN the turning tide will swell into a mighty wave, the wave of the future!

We are saddened to think that so many will be lost before the full evil course of liberalism will be revealed for what it is. But we are heartened by the certain assurance that God's word will yet triumph in the hearts of the humble. And even though for a time the floods of liberalism may bear them far from shore, the same God who rules the tides of the ocean will also rule the tides in the affairs of men. And the simple truth of his word and his way will yet hold sway in the hearts of men. We believe it; we expect it. And letters such as the above strengthen our confidence that time is on the side of those who fight for truth. Let us then "not be weary in well doing," knowing that our labor "is not in vain in the Lord."

— F. Y. T.