The following are "current events" that happened in 1914, recorded in the book, "Current Events In Light Of The Bible" by Arno C. Gaebelein. It reads as today's newspaper. You will see the beginning roots of the apostasy that is present with us today.
Surely, men have always been going against the Faith and Dr. Gaebelein makes note of those within Christianity who had "itching ears" and the preachers who abandoned the Gospel. You will read about the prosperity preacher, the silly women, the blind guides, etc. The Bible tells us to earnestly contend for the Faith. Things will only get worse in our lifetime, not better. Apostasy is here to stay...the news of yesterday is the news of tomorrow.
After reading some of these 1914 headlines, you will see that Christians have been conditioned over the years to accept blasphemies as the "norm". These headlines read like the headlines of today BUT...Dr. Gaebelein's reaction/response to such things were FAR different than the attitudes of most Christians today. You will read his outrage of a new thing called "The Passion Play". You will read his reaction to dancing in the churches. This is a must-read. Many Christians today have become as Lot in Sodom-- seeing absolutely nothing wrong with the ways of the world-- not recognizing the compromise within the Church. May God wake us all up!
**Optimistic Visions A few years before the nineteenth century closed the late Dr. Talmage preached a sermon on "a revival in Washington." He predicted that before the year 1900 would begin, a great revival would start in Washington and sweep over the entire world. We came recently across a quotation from that sermon.
The Senators of the United States will announce to the State Legislatures that sent them here, and members of the House of Representatives will report to the congressional districts that elected them, and the many thousands of men and women now and here engaged in the many departments of national service will write home, telling all sections of the country that the Lord is here, and that he is on the march for the redemption of America. Hallelujah! The Lord is coming! I hear the rumbling of His chariot wheels. I feel on my cheeks the breath of the white horses that draw the victor! I see the flash of His lanterns through the whole night of the world's sin and sorrow! ... Lord God of Joshua! Let the sun of this century stand still above Gibeon and the moon above the valley of Ajalon until we can whip out the five kings of hell, tumbling them down the precipices as the other five kings went over the rocks of Bethhoran. Ha! Ha! It will so surely be done that I cannot restrain the laugh of triumph. . These are indeed "great swelling words." The year 1900 came, but the revival in Washington did not show up. Since then we have heard similar predictions of sweeping revivals, the soon coming conversion of the world, the redemption of the masses, and what not. But all these things have not materialized and the spiritual condition of Christendom today is far more desperate that it was ten years ago.
Apostasy Ripening. Numerous clippings from different parts of the country have reached us, which give reports of men and institutions opposing the Bible and the Truth of God. Many of our readers tell us in letters of preachers who deny the Bible and sneer at the Gospel. Everywhere good people are perplexed, and those who know the truth and love their Bibles are greatly burdened and ask-What is to be done? The conditions of apostasy are upon us. They cannot be changed. The tares will be in the field till the harvest comes, which is the end of this age. God expects of His people to be loyal to His Word and loyal to His blessed Son. This loyalty must be expressed in separation from evil. May He help us in His Grace to stand boldly for His Truth! The Reward is in sight.
**Sound Doctrine Abandoned & the Itching Ears. We have little to say on the spiritual conditions of many of the churches in this land. If we were to make use of all we see and hear, as well as the many newspaper clippings and personal incidents sent to us by our friends, we fear we would have to devote many pages of this book to this subject. This we cannot do nor do we like to do it. Yet it is necessary to call attention to it. Many of the modern "churches" are nothing else than clubs and societies for social, musical and intellectual entertain-ment. The men who pose as leaders and preachers are at best self-seeking men, who were perhaps never born again, blind leaders of the blind. No wonder Rome laughs and with a sneer points to Protestantism as "Babylon (confusion) the Great."
Before us is a newspaper advertisement from Los Angeles. The pastor of the Temple Auditorium announces himself as "the brilliant, fearless, earnest preacher, who makes you think." His topic on a certain evening was, "The Man of the House; Is He the Head of the House?" The third in a series, "How to be Happy Though Married." A special solo is promised entitled "Daddy." Another preacher declared to be "one of the most brilliant and scholarly pulpit orators" was to speak that same evening on "Doctor S. of Denver." What scholarship is needed to preach on Doctor S. of Denver (what it means we do not know) we fail to see. The advertisement has a full-sized portrait of the preacher. The entire thing is nauseating. But 1 John iv:5 applies to such men, "They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world and the world hears them."
While in Boston a few weeks ago we were told that Dr. Johnson, another great "divine" (as they call them) announced that he would speak on "the hobble skirt." Of course he had a big crowd of silly women and men as well as curiosity seekers and cranks of every description for which Boston has such a great reputation. According to the Boston Globe, this is what he said:
"There is no more potent influence for good in the modern community to-day than feminine fashion. Not only are the ever changing fashions of women one of the chief delights of civilized communities, but it is a safe statement to make that we have to-day no more conclusive key to a woman's mental and moral development than the clothes she wears. The man or woman who dresses the best, whose personal habits are the most irreproachable, is, in all the countries of the earth, the man or woman whose mental and moral development is the highest advanced. A girl or a woman who is self-respecting will always dress fashionably and well. The hobble skirt, the peach basket hat, high-heeled shoes, and all the thousand and one foibles of the feminine sex are entertaining and products of good. A girl who, on the other hand, does not care about dress and the latest fashions is not a normal girl. The young man who contemplates marriage nowadays may fight shy of the girl of fashion, but he makes a mistake. He may be a gainer at first financially, but in the end he pays a terrible price for his shortsightedness. The girl who is lax about her personal appearance is lax mentally and morally. She is not made of the stuff that turns out self-respecting children. She is either a visionary, and as such an unreliable element in the community, or she is downright lax and shiftless. In either race she is not a safe proposition for the ordinary young man."
We asked our informant if this man has anyone to hear him and were told that "his" church is packed. What a testimony this is to the spiritual conditions of the present day. These men make of the unsaved masses who come to hear them "twofold more the child of hell." The Lord's Word is meant for such "Woe unto you, ye blind guides" (Matthew 13:16). Poor man! Does he not know that the very luxuries he mentions have been the snare and are the snare into which thousands of girls fall every year to the destruction of their bodies and souls.
From Detroit, Mich., we learn that a moving picture show and theatre is to be conducted by some churches. They have not yet decided whether to keep open on Sunday or not. The Central M. E. Church of that city is giving occasionally moving picture shows for their young folk.
But this will suffice. One dislikes to hold up those sad things to the light. Others we might mention we gladly cover up. Still God's people everywhere should be reminded that the time has come of which the Holy Spirit speaks in 2 Tim. iv:3: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears." That time is here.
The "New Christianity" again. The pleas for a new religion, a new Christianity are becoming more numerous, more outspoken and they are finding the willing ears of the great mass of the people. During the past weeks and months the so-called "Divinity School" of the Chicago University has come to the front with some very bold infidel utterances.
The following appeared in hundreds of newspapers all over the land:
Members of the University of Chicago Divinity school faculty have defined and formulated the characteristics of a "new Christianity." The professors note the arrival of a new type of religion in an official editorial in the current of the Biblical World, just issued by the university press. In the anonymous editorial, responsibility for which is accepted by the thirteen editors, the university authorities point to the coming of the "new Christianity" as a type of faith which shall result in the releasing of man's minds from the bonds of tradition and creed, accept the results of the scientific and deal in every day works more than in theological subtleties. The religion is described as "scientific, ethical, practical and altruistic."
After stating the necessity of scientific study the author of the editorial proceeds:
"If there be a controversy between Genesis and geology the new Christianity will stand with geology. The record left in the strata of the earth cannot be impugned by the poet of the pre-scientific age, even though that poet be also a prophet of a higher conception of God than had before his day prevailed. In conformity to the same principle the new Christianity will accept the assured result of historical readers into the records of ancient times. Religion has its rights, but so also has history, and one of these is that it be studied by historical methods."
Such language is more than shocking. It is Satanic! It is Anti-christ coming to the front and wishing to be heard. The new Christianity, that child of the pit which rejects both an infallible Word of God and an infallible Christ is bound to come. A little while longer and it will sweep everything till divine judgment sweeps it from the earth forever.
**Church Life up to Date. Our attention is called from time to time to the "churches" all over this land, which are turning their edifices into playhouses and tolerate almost everything there, but the preaching of the Gospel. We rarely pay attention to these things. They are only outward symptoms. But a Brooklyn Congregational "church" outdoes a good many of those modern "churches." They have formed classes in "Eugenics," to instruct young men and young women whom to marry and then, how to have children, which are "well-born."
A progressive program providing for classes in eugenics was outlined by the Rev. Lewis T. Reed, pastor of the Flatbush Congregational Church, and adopted at a church meeting Monday night by a majority of the 250 members present, but not without considerable discussion and opposition on the part of the more conservative.
Two classes are planned, one for young men and one for the women, with well known physicians as instructors.
There are to be weekly dancing classes besides, and provisions for billiards and pool, bowling alleys and other recreations for the young people of the church. It is planned to erect a $10,000 extension to the parish house and to remodel the present hall. The church will also organize a political club, and twenty clubs of five men each will be formed to compete in a race for new male membership.
"Congregational Church"? No, it ought to be "Congregational Club." Many of these "churches" could not exist if it were not for these attractions, catering to the tastes of the natural man.
**Church of England Nearing a Crisis. The Dean of Canterbury has recently raised in an impassioned manner the cry that the English Church is in great danger. He told a great convocation in Westminster that the present was the most critical period in the Church of England since the Reformation. The deepest controversies that ever divided the church are now in progress.
The Dean declared that there is an active, earnest and powerful body among the clergy which is avowedly aiming to bring the ceremonial and doctrine of the church in harmony with those of the Church of Rome. They have advocated, he said, the reintroduction of the invocation of the saints and the worship of the Virgin. Those on his (the Evangelical) side of the Church would exert every power they possessed, parliamentary or otherwise, to prevent such changes, one effect of which would be to preclude forever the possibility of the reunion of Christians in England, as even the most orthodox Nonconformists would have nothing to do with a Romanizing of the Church.
The Dean said he did not know whether or not it was too late to secure peace, but a continuance of the present line was certain to bring civil war within the Church and this would entail its national ruin.
**The Bible Hated Postmaster-General Mr. Burleson, has announced that the Post-office department received a petition from a body of citizens, urging that the Bible be excluded from the United States mail, on the ground that it contained immoral and obscene matter. We do not know who the petitioners are. They may be Romanists, Destructive Critics or Atheists. But we know the men who made the request are the instruments of Satan.
"Progressive Theology" "Progress" is a word that is held in high esteem at the present time. To call a man "progressive" is to pay him a high compliment; and when people speak of this era as a "progressive age," they have bestowed upon it the highest possible 'praise. In nothing has there been more decided progress in recent years than in theology, and we often read in the secular Press items of news with reference to "progressive theology."
**APOSTASY There are at the present time so many departures, new theologies, forward movements, and other religious novelties, that not many people suspect that a common spirit is actuating them all, and that, however different on the surface, they are at heart the same. The common principle actuating all these "advanced" and "new" theologies is the doctrine that man is really divine, that humanity and divinity are identical; or as Mr. R. J. Campbell expresses it, "all men are 'of one substance with the Father.''' This religion is "Humanism," and when fully established on the earth (as it will be when true believers have been caught away "to meet the Lord in the air") it will be headed by Anti-christ, and enforced by all the political power of the revived Roman Empire (the ten-horned beast) and by all the spiritual power of the Dragon (Rev. xiii). Those who pay attention to the signs of the times should carefully note the progress of "Humanism" in its many existing forms.
A London paper, under heading "Progressive Theology" speaks of "an interesting announcement regarding the progressive movement in theology made by the 'Christian Commonwealth' a weekly newspaper closely identified with the teachings of the City Temple." This is the apostate church presided over by Mr. R. J. Campbell, the well known exponent of the "New Theology."
This is the announcement: "What has now been done is to form an editorial board under the chairmanship of Mr. Campbell, with the object of giving expression as far as possible to all phases of the movement which, though many-sided, it is claimed, is fundamentally one. 'Modernism in the Church of Rome, the Liberal Movement in the Church of England, the New Theology in Non-conformity, the New Spirit in Unitarianism, the Reform Movement in Judaism, the Spirit of Modem Scientific Enquiry as represented by Sir Oliver Lodge, are' says the announcement 'all more or less akin.' The new editorial board is to demonstrate the essential unity of the movement."
Then follows a long list of the names of prominent men, leading lights of various denominations, Oxford professors, men of science, etc., who compose this editorial board. This announcement speaks volumes regarding the progress of theology and shows that the "Spirit who now works in the children of disobedience" is beginning to consolidate his numerous followers into one compact body. Surely these are indeed "the last days," and on anyone of them that other body, now being formed by the Spirit of God,-the body of Christ-may be caught away to meet its already glorified Head.
**Dancing in Churches Our readers supplied us during the past few weeks with newspaper clippings about dancing classes in churches and dances which were held among the young people of several denominations. In Episcopal, Congregational and Presbyterian churches in different States the dance as the means to keep the young people "in the church" has been resorted to.
A Presbyterian preacher in Wheaton, Ill., is reported having said in justification of dancing in the church-basement the following:
"Yes, it is true part of the evening was spent in dancing. A little more than a year ago members of the church provided a 'social room' in the basement. This was done at a cost of about $1,800. It was fitted up with a small stage and a large stone fireplace.
"One of the first entertainments given in it was a play by the young people of the congregation, which was repeated later. A second entertainment of the same general nature was 'Alice in Wonderland' by the older children.
"It was understood before the money was raised for the 'social room' that it would be used for dancing under certain careful restrictions, and there has been no serious protest, though not all, of course, are in sympathy with it.
"The department was introduced because of the belief of the pastor and the people that one of the most pressing problems of this community is that of amusement for the young people. And on last Wednesday evening there was a splendid patriotic program, lasting till nearly 10 o'clock, and then about an hour was spent in dancing; and a thing that is frequently seen is a father dancing with his daughter."
What else can be expected in the days of apostasy! This worldliness and craze for amusement is only a symptom of the wicked heart which has never received the love of truth. They are "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." It will get worse and worse and ere long the professing "church" sowing the wind will reap the whirlwind. But what is the dance, the popular waltz? How and where did it originate?
The waltz was invented about a hundred years ago. As might have been guessed or prophesied beforehand, it was born of the licentious stage, and is twin sister of the ballet. This amorous and gyratory hugging was first seen in a Vienna theatre, December 20, 1787, and for a time was thought to be too indecent to be tolerated anywhere else. After a time, however, it was introduced into houses of doubtful repute, and finally into German society. For a long time even Paris resisted the licentious libertinism of the thing, and it was not until the nineteenth century that it became fashionable. It then went everywhere with a whirl, of course, for Paris set the fashions for the world. The French women of compromising conscience went into it with an abandon which was hit off by a clever writer by saying before the waltz "they danced with their" soles," after it "they danced with their souls"; aye, and soiled and wore out the latter as effectually as the former.
**More Mockery of Solemn Truths Halloween night is often made the occasion of all kinds of sports in churches. From a perfectly reliable source we hear that in connection with the Haywood Street Church of a Southern City, with lights turned low, a "chamber of horrors" had been fixed up for the entertainment of the young people.
Amongst the "horrors" the pastor of the Central Methodist Church (having a membership of a thousand) lay in a coffin representing himself dead, while the pastor of the Haywood Street Church delivered a spook address. In due time the devil put in his appearance, a church member dressed up in the shape and costume of Satan as caricatured by the world. Horrible, is it not!
But these wicked mockeries of Death and the awful author of sin are but the outward results of the inward departure from God and from His Word. The pastor of the above Central M. E. Church in a sermon a few Sundays before he "played dead" and mocked death, asserted that the Lord did not tell Abraham to slay his son Isaac, but, living in an idolatrous age, when his neighbors were sacri-ficing their children to Moloch had the suggestion made to his mind to do as those around him!
We marvel at two things: First, how real Christians, men and women, who know the Lord Jesus Christ; can tolerate such things and secondly, we marvel at the patience of God. But wrath and judgment are gathering fast. God grant that some of these men may repent and be converted before it is too late and they become "the wandering stars for whom is reserve~ the blackness and darkness forever."
**The Passion Play Once More That miserable travesty known as the Oberammergau Passion play is now preached about and talked about by those who attended the show.
A certain Evangelist who was there writes to the Christian Standard, published in Cincinnati: "I am thrilled completely with the Passion Play. Eight hours of the most intense moments of my life. AU the lectures on it never do it justice, and it is almost folly to attempt it. Even Stoddard s weak on it. We are the guests of Anton Lang and he is a wonder. I have met all the apostles and principal characters and my whole being pulsates with the story of the cross as never before."
A woman gave an account of it in the New York Christian Advocate (Methodist).
Anton Lang plays his most difficult role with dignity and reverence and tremendous reserve. He never offends the most sensitive, He does not simulate the agony of the Saviour, but he shows forth the lamb led to the slaughter, patient, silent, innocent, amid a wild storm of abuse. It is heart-breaking but not shocking. The scourging is being finished as the curtains are drawn back, so that only the last flourish of the cords is seen. The blindfolded, half naked, fainting victim, enduring without a cry or a "remonstrance opens the fountain of tears. Most pitiful is the bowed form falling by the way beneath the heavy cross; amid the infuriated mob; more pitiful still, Mary the mother waiting beside the way to know the cause of the commotion; most lovely the dear Master's recognition of her as He slowly moves on with Simon of Cyrene bearing the cross. When the curtains part for the crucifixion scene, the two thieves are already hanging from their crosses, but Jesus is stretched on His, still on the ground. We had heard the sound of the hammer. Slowly the cross is lifted with its precious weight."
Again we say what a blasphemy it is to depict in such a way the suffering of the holy Son of God! That no protest is heard against this Romish playhouse and some of those who should protest, known by the name (and in name only) of Protestants, laud the wicked travesty to the sky. No heart which loves and adores the Lord Jesus Christ can have any sympathy whatever with this passion play. We understand the show is to be given some time by the actors in this country and the management rests with an infidel concern.
**The Religious Conditions in the United States. The religious conditions on this continent, according to the recent census, is a veritable Babylon, a confusion of tongues. The census brings out the fact that this so-called "Christian nation" has now a steadily increasing number of adherents of heathen religions. There are now seventy-four temples of Buddhism in the United States. These recognize and worship three idols, the god Kuan, the goddess of Fortune and the goddess of Mercy. And here and there apostate "Christians" join in this idolatry. Then there are the Vedanta Societies of the Hindu religions. This movement is one of the cursed results of the wicked congress of religions held during the world's fair in Chicago in 1893.
Then certain Hindu teachers had their eyes opened not to the Gospel, but to the fact that this "great, Christian nation" is a good missionary field for Hindu demonism. They started then the Vedanta Society. It means "the end of all wisdom." It is non-sectarian and tries to harmonize all religions. It succeeds in the larger cities by gathering in the Gospel-rejecting apostates. Another Oriental demonized system, which steadily increases, is Theosophy. Then there is Bahaism, which increases at a still greater rate. This is a Persian delusion and its head claims to be a kind of Christ, another false Messiah.
The division among Christian believers, according to the census, to be issued in a volume, is the saddest feature of all. Over two hundred sects and parties are enumerated.
"The volume will tell of the various Christian sects which are considered more purely American, and will show the various branches thereof. It will show that while there are only fifty-seven main bodies there are 215 church organizations, many of them professing a faith only a shade different from others.
For instance, there are seventeen Baptist bodies, twenty-four Lutheran, fifteen Methodist, and twelve Presbyterian. The same is true of less known organizations. There are fifteen Mennonite, seven Adventist, four Dunker or Dunkard, and four Quaker or Friend bodies.
There appears no division in either the Roman Catholic or Protestant Episcopal churches, although it is shown that efforts to modify their creeds have resulted in the establishment of independent bodies. They are designated as the Reformed Catholic and the Reformed Episcopal churches respectively. The Reformed Catholics number only 1,250 communicants, while of the Reformed Episcopalian there are about 9,683.
The cause of origin of some of the branches is indicated by the name. For instance, there are General Baptists, Separate Baptists, United Baptists, Free Baptists, Freewill Baptists, United American Freewill Baptists, Primitive Baptists, General Six-Principles Baptists, Seventh Day Baptists, Duck River Baptists, and Two-Seed-in the-Spirit Predestination Baptists.
The civil war caused splits, giving rise to Southern Methodist and Southern Baptist bodies. In these churches there is also color division. Two or three churches came into existence just after the close of the war as a protest against political preaching. Many of the branches of the Lutheran church are due to difference in nationality.
Of other branches, besides the Duck River Baptists, owing their names to localities, are the River Brethren and the Yorkers, both branches of the Brethren denomination. The former began existence on the Susquehanna River; the latter in York County, Penn. The Brinsers, also Brethren, are called after their first Bishop, as also the Schweckenfelders.
Three of the newest churches mentioned are composed largely of colored communicants. One of these, the Church of God and Saints of Christ, accepts the Ten Commandments as a positive guide to salvation, and uses only scriptural names for its members. The "Church of the Living God" began business in 1899, and already has three branches. The Free Christian Zion Church of Christ, founded in 1905, protests against all attempts to tax members for the support of churches.
There are about seven hundred organizations in the main branch of the Salvation Army, with a member- ship of about 23,000. There were 455 organizations of Spiritualists with over 35,000 members. The report records the rapid disappearance of communistic societies, showing that of eight organizations mentioned in the census of 1890 only two are left, the survivors being remnants of the Shakers and of the Amana Society.
That this condition is beyond remedy must be apparent to every intelligent Christian. This confusion of tongues will grow worse. The different "Pentecostal movements" claiming a restoration of the apostolic gifts are not mentioned in the above. There are a number of these errorist movements, which prove clearly by dividing Christians into sects and parties, that it is the work of the flesh and not of the Holy Spirit. But while all this cannot be changed and these conditions will keep on till the harvest comes, every child of God can walk individually according to the Word of God, worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
**The "Soul" Hospital in London Our friend, Mr. Philip Mauro, sent us recently an interesting communication to our "Current Events" on the Soul Hospital in London. Mr. Mauro writes:
Among the significant events of the day a prominent place must be assigned to a group of movements whereof the so-called "Emmanuel Movement" is the best known. The words "Psychic" and "Psycho"-are becoming very common in current literature and conversation. The expression also occurs in the Bible, but is disguised in our common versions because it is there generally rendered "natural" It is particularly pertinent in these days to notice the unqualified statement of 1 Cor. ii:14. "The psychical man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." But this psychical man is now being specially stimulated, encouraged, and trained to get into communication with the world of spirits, that is of demons who are in the service of "the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience" (Eph. ii:2).
To this end two great objects are being presented in the most attractive way, first, communication with the departed, sound, physical healing. And from two directions is this terrible danger advancing upon ignorant, credulous and superstitious humanity, from the churches, and from "Science." Who can be surprised if millions are deceived and swept headlong into the delusions fostered by "seducing spirits"?
Of all the healing systems which have been brought forward as substitutes for simple faith in God, that known as "Psychotherapy" (hideous name!) is perhaps the most dangerous, for the reason that it is accredited both by clergy and by doctors. The inadequacy of medical treatment on the one hand, and the decadence of the churches on the other, create a situation wherein the latter are ready to seize upon anything which promises to aid them in regaining their lost ground. The spread of this movement is indicated by the establishment of a "soul hospital" in London, where patients are treated by psycho-therapeutic" methods. Among those who administer the treatment is a lady whose name is in the peerage. The diseases are diagnosed by a physician who goes into a sort of trance, during which, by the aid of "spirit guides" he is able to see what is the matter with the patient.
Here is a new and most serious danger, to which people untaught in the word of truth, are now exposed in these increasingly "perilous times." Who would have dreamed, a few years ago, of this ominous alliance of medical science, clerisy and spiritism? But there has been recently consummated a yet more ominous alliance of spiritism with physical science in the attempt to communicate with the human spirits of the dead. Of this we will speak at another time "if God permit."
**A Few Words on Russellism How does "Pastor Russell" win the crowd and get the money? He is literally drawing the crowd and he is also getting the money in vast sums, for his advertising schemes are world-wide, and entail expenditures that stagger the minds of those who know the cost of such efforts.
Now for the how and why. The world, is full of superficial people, who want a sleasy (lacking firmness of texture or substance; thin, flimsy) religion. That Millennial Dawnism is about the flimsiest that has ever been unloaded on a gullible humanity is hardly a question for debate. It is a clever reproduction of all the heresies of past ages, put on the modern market under a brand new label, that fairly shines.
______________The End _________________
The above headlines are from 1914 but they read like the headlines of today within the Christian and secular world. One can see "how far" we have come as a society. The apostasy was present then and how much more is it present with us today!
As Gaebelein mentioned "Russell", one cannot help but think of charlatans such as Robert Tilton...who prey on the poor with fancy lies. How the New Age Movement is taking over the world with their claims of "metaphysical healing".
One cannot help but notice today that the churches are still separated into "their own kind." How there are African Jesus pictures on the walls of black churches and Hispanic Jesus pictures on the walls of Hispanic churches. And white "Jesus" pictures within white churches...everyone has their own bible...designed for a specific ethnic group so that everyone can "feel good" about their ethnicity. Such is completely ridiculous in the Light of the Scriptures.
God made all races and the Body of Christ is composed of every nation, tribe and tongue. We should worship the Lord together in spirit and in truth! What a shock it will be for some Saints when they finally find out that Jesus is Jewish and that their past (including ethnic heritage) died with Him at the cross and that they are citizens of Zion, with a new heritage...that of the Saints. We are to forget the past. Just because our ancestors were "this or that" does not apply to the Children of the King. We are raised and seated with Christ Jesus! We have a new life in Him. We were all sinners before we received Christ. We were all in bondage but Jesus has set us free. Why then do we separate ourselves into ethnic groups? Do we love our "heritage" or do we love the Lord? Something to think about. The worldly man will be a racist and the media is fueling racism by constantly pointing out the "differences" between the races. One thing all races have in common....NO ONE wants to live in a neighborhood where there is crime except the hoodlums.
The Saints of God should have love, compassion and understanding toward one another and towards the poor. A true Believer is color-blind and should welcome all Believers into his church, regardless of race or status. A person will find cruelty in the world...they will encounter racism or injustice but it should not be present within the Church. The Lord sees one color when He looks at us, it is the blood that Jesus shed for us at Calvary.
Now let's discuss the "Passion Play". One can't help but notice the outrage of Dr. Gaebelein regarding the play. Yet Christians today do not view a re-enactment of the blessed Savior's death as blasphemy. BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. Many churches around the country put on a "Passion Play" every year.
The Evangelical world heralded the Passion Movie as being a great landmark in Hollywood ... a "great witnessing tool" and "enhancement for our faith". How many millions have seen the 1979 "Jesus" movie! How many churches give copies of it to their communities? How many people see nothing wrong with a mortal man portraying the righteous Son of God? Christians are asleep ... they have been so conditioned by the Church "norm" that they do not see the dangerous road before them. They cannot see the apostasy for they are asleep...being lulled to sleep by their "dreamy" shepherds who have not a clue!
The devil is subtle and has introduced one thing after another into the Church world...it is a slow process. His tactics are like turning the gas stove on, in the house, without lighting the pilot. The harmful gas is odorless and creeps into the room minute by minute...one cannot detect it until alas the person is asleep and dies.
Octavius Winslow said, "I am solemnly convinced that the world, in its relation to the religion of the day, is the giant snare and the crying evil of our times! It is not the world in one form only, but the world in its many shapes, its numerous forms of fascination and power, which gives it so amazing and subtle an influence over the Christian Church."
A.W. Tozer said, "A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to 'accept' Christ without forsaking the world."
The Lord Jesus told the church of Laodicea, in Revelation 3:15: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.