Unity and the Gospel
In this age of progress, religious opinions move at breakneck speed. While some of the most perverted endeavour to appear orthodox, others of a braver nature come out in their true colours and astonish us with the glaring hue of their heterodoxy. Key among their demands is a reinterpretation of the ‘Old, old story’ in the light of modern thought and human discovery, until it bears little or no resemblance to the original. Yet after the Gospel has been found effectual in the eternal salvation of untold multitudes, it seems rather late in the day to alter it, and since it is the revelation of the all–wise and unchanging God, it seems audacious to attempt its improvement!
Do men really believe that there is a gospel for each century? Will there be saints in heaven saved according to different sorts of gospel? Will these agree together to sing the same song? And what will that song be? Saved on different footings, and believing different doctrines, will they enjoy eternal concord or will heaven itself be only a new arena for disputes between varieties of faiths?
With an ever–developing theology we shall owe a great deal to the wisdom of men. God may provide the marble but it is man who will carve the statue. It will no longer be true that God has hidden these things from the “wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes” (Luke 10: 21). Instead of the Holy Spirit guiding the humble in heart we shall see the enthronement of the spirit of the age. Paul said that “the world by wisdom has not known God” (1 Cor. 1: 21), but the contrary is to be our experience from now on! Sad delusion!
To protest against the mad spirit which is now loose in almost every quarter of Christendom is to be dismissed as a bigot and a Bible–fanatic. Universal indifference is rising like the tide everywhere, and nothing appears able to hinder it. We are all to be as one (we are told), even though we agree in next to nothing! To denounce error is a breach of brotherly love. Black is white and white is black. Let us join hands and never again mention those old–fashioned doctrines about which we are sure to differ! In order to maintain an open union, let us fight for dear life against any form of “sound words” (2 Tim. 2: 13) since it might restrain our liberty to deny the doctrines of the Word of God.
Oh my friend, this is truly where we are at! How needful are those words that echo down the centuries: “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude v3). Once delivered! “If even we or an angel out of heaven announce as glad tidings to you [anything] besides what we have announced as glad tidings to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1: 8). Strong words, but words written by inspiration of God Himself.