Vol.II No.VI Pg.5
July 1965

A Horrible Thing

Robert F. Turner

"A wonderful and horrible thing is come to pass in the land--." (Jer.5: 30-31) ("astonishing and horrible" or "awful and appalling"- see foot-note)

(1) "The prophets prophesy falsely". They say "peace" where there is no peace. (6:14) This "preach positive " "on the march" philosophy is not new. Unwilling to face realities (oftimes brought on by their own ambitions) preachers ignore issues, belittle the opposition, and forbid others to read PLAIN TALK or its equivalent. Verily, they have their reward!

(2) "The priests bear rule by their (false prophets) means," (Literally, "at their hands"- meaning, at their wave or nod.) In Judaism the prophets taught; the priests functioned at the altar. Today this may loosely correspond to elders who function only as pawns of the preachers. Policies are often determined at "luncheons" "lectures" or in popular journals; and, with a wave of the hand, elders jump to carry out this "advice".

But the thing that compounded the horror in Jeremiah's day, and ours: (3) "My people love to have it so." We shirk our responsibilities, and so sanction the ungodly works.

Some years ago, following trouble in a local church, a young preacher asked, "How can a few men run a whole church, casting out those who offer resistance?" My answer -- "The people love to have it so." To this my visitor objected, saying that many knew the truth, and did not agree to the actions taken. CORRECTION, PLEASE!! They may not have agreed WITH what was done, but they agreed TO it, or it could never have taken place. When the Corinthian church was divided (1 Cor.3:) Paul placed responsibility upon members who followed men. "Let no man deceive himself. Let no man glory in men." (3:18, 21) This does not free a false leader of guilt, but leaders must have followers, by action or submissive agreement.

As Paul foresaw trouble in Ephesus he warned not only the elders, but "everyone, night and day with tears." (Acts 20:31) Writing to Timothy, who was in Ephesus, he said, "Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits-- etc." 1Tim.4:1-) The false teachers were at fault, but so were those who gave heed to them.

In 2 Tim.3: Paul describes the proud, boasting, trucebreakers who would "lead captive silly women."(v 6). In the Greek this refers to "little" women -- little in character -- something less than the mature character Christian women should have. It is "little" "silly" women -- and men - who are led astray. They have not the courage to say "NO!" Their "little" minds grasp for "peace, where there is no peace" for they have not the fiber to stand for the right, regardless of cost. May God have mercy on their poor withered souls!

The church, home, nation -- our society suffers because of oft-called "good" little people -- who sit meekly by and allow evil to dominate. But God's word holds these spiritual cowards to account. Maybe this will stir some -- TO THE SAVING OF THEIR SOULS.