View from HereJan 26th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Special Features (click on Article name)
View from Here
“WHERE are we?” is the significant question now troubling the thinking portion of Christendom, and occasionally propounded through the religious and secular press. The question has been suggested by the manifest absurdities of the old creeds and the clash of new speculative philosophies, producing such confusion that it is impossible for many to determine just where they stand.
The perplexity of the situation is very manifest from the following remarks which appeared over one hundred years ago in the New York Sun:–
“And so the drift goes on, until little by little the question: ‘Where are we?’ becomes a pregnant religious one. Professors sit in the chairs of seminaries teaching doctrines far enough removed from the originals to make the ancient benefactors turn in their graves; clergymen sign pledges on ordination which they probably know the administrator does not believe himself; the standards are in many cases only the buoys which show how far the ships of the churches have got away from the mapped-out channels. It is the age of go as you please, of every man for himself, and all that. Nobody knows where it is all to end, and those who are interested most seem to care least.”
This may be regarded by some as merely a pessimistic view of the case; but it is not. The writer has not expressed it nearly so strong as the facts would warrant. And what would the author think in this so called day of enlightenment? Today the tendency toward open infidelity has been amazingly on the increase in both the pulpits and pews of Christendom; and now the boldest strike is made, not only against the doctrines of the Bible, and against the doctrines set forth in the various creeds, but against the Bible itself as a divinely inspired revelation.
Failing to see in it God’s plan of the ages and all its varied corroborative testimony as one harmonious whole, and seeing its inharmony on every other line of interpretation, the conclusion is rapidly being reached, and that by “eminent” clergymen, too, that the Bible is not a divinely inspired book; and with great boldness they are so openly declaring it that thinking people in amazement are inquiring, Whither are we drifting?
Thus the authority of the Scriptures is assailed in high places, and the question, Whither are we drifting? is indeed a pregnant one in Christendom. The drift is unmistakable. The rapids of skepticism are fast hurrying on toward the final plunge into open infidelity; and “who shall be able to stand?” This is the day when “the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is;” and it behooves every child of God to fortify his faith with all the evidences which the Lord has graciously supplied to enable us to stand in this evil day.
And if, as we have previously shown, the writings of the Apostles were divinely inspired, then the New Testament Scriptures are not the product of the “Church” as some say. But consecrated human agencies were used in both cases as God’s honored instruments. The word of the Lord through the Apostles is not the product of any Church, but of divine revelation. And never, since those inspired apostles fell asleep, has the church been able to add one iota to the heavenly wisdom revealed through them; and to whatever extent she has wandered from their teachings, she has manifested her folly by vain philosophies which expose her ignorance and egotism.
The Word of God, therefore, is the only real authority of divine truth; and neither the Church collectively, nor church councils, nor the individual members of it, except the twelve divinely inspired ones, are any authorities.
The Old Testament Scriptures were all carefully and religiously preserved by the Jews down to the inauguration of the Christian dispensation, and then their testimony was carefully interwoven by Christ and his inspired apostles with the further developments of divine truth due in the new dispensation of the Gospel age. And they are freely quoted and referred to by them as of divine authority, while the New Testament writings are presented as supplemental to them and of equal authority and divine inspiration; and all bear the one harmonious testimony.