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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

How Modernism Gets a Start

Roy Mason

From the Plains Baptist Challenger, February 2012

Modernism is something that is often spoken of, but few church members realize how insidiously it has crept into denominations and churches. Few realize how wicked and ruinous Modernism is. Many church members constantly furnish money which is used to promote Modernism and thus tear down belief in the very faith which they hold dear. Many sit under the ministry of modernist preachers, who while talking piously, are at the same time, insidiously undermining the very foundations of the Christian faith.


It started of course with the devil, who prompted the serpent to say to Eve, “Yea, hath God said?” Then a bit later, he said, “Ye shall not surely die.” First the doubt – then the open attack on God’s Word. The revival of Modernism came as a result of German Higher Criticism of the Bible. German scholars, in their universities, began to tear the Bible apart. All sorts of theories arose, designed to undermine faith in the Bible as inspired, or even true.

It became the fashion for theological teachers of this country to finish their schooling at German universities. Thus German rationalism, which was at bottom anti-supernaturalism, spread over Europe and into America. German rationalism probably was in large part responsible for the First World War German militarism was discredited, but rationalism has continued to spread. Its influence is at an all-time high right now in America.


It works from the top on down to the bottom. Men who imbibe modernistic infidelity in the half-infidel schools, often become denominational leaders, and teachers, and writers. First, the educational institutions, including the theological schools are captured. Then the press of the denomination is dominated, then the machinery of the denomination is gotten hold of, and from there the infidelity seeps on down through the churches, until the poisonous leaven of the devil permeates the whole (Matthew 13:33).

So thoroughly has modernism worked that there is scarcely a theological seminary but has been taken captive. We have examined the writings of professors in many of the seminaries, and have found them full of infidelity. We have known many of the men who have gone out from such seminaries, and have found them part infidel. They laugh at the idea of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, and they repudiate some of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible.

The divinity departments of such schools as Harvard, Yale, and Chicago Universities are really Unitarian. Such Baptist schools as Colgate, Rochester, Newton, have long since gone over to modernism. There is little chance that a young man will graduate from any of these institutions able to do more than go forth as a disseminator of poison.


It hides under the Mother-Hubbard garment of modern denominationalism. Denominations own the presses, hence there is no airing of the situation in the schools and elsewhere. Denominational leaders hang together. Their jobs depend on it. The ministry gets all “sewed up” by the denomination until they must tolerate conditions or else lose their jobs and be unable to re-locate. Their work and very livelihood depends on their “playing ball” with the denominationalism leadership.

Many know about the rotten situation that exists in schools and elsewhere, but they lack the courage to do or say anything about it. Moreover many will help crucify the man who has the courage to speak out in an attempt to remedy the situation. Such men need to go back and read the story of Micaiah, as given in 1 Kings 22:3-28.

The biggest question that confronts every young man in the ministry today is this: “Will I be a stooge of my denomination, or will I be a prophet of God to speak forth His true Word?” We doubt if there was ever a time when real prophets were needed any worse than right now. If a man has not the courage to stand for the Bible, and for God, and for right, he has no business in the ministry today. The great “Falling Away” is upon us (II Thessalonians 2:3). It should be ours to stand for the old Book and the old faith, no matter what the cost.