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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
From the Plains Baptist Challenger, December 2009 - Part 1
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”(I Timothy 6:12)
History has shown that the Nations of the World cannot always live in peace. As much as they might desire peace, the time comes when they must fight to keep it. Pacifist nations become slaves and lose their liberty and freedom. No one should ever want war, but war has always come to every peaceful nation.
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
The faith has been delivered unto God’s people once for all. That should be enough for us all, but there is one problem and that is the presence of evil in the world. No sooner had God placed mankind in a perfect environment and then up jumped the devil. Here on this earth began the war between good and evil. (It had previously begun in heaven, but we are talking about mankind.) Good and evil involved Satan and a host of angels against God and His Creation.
That battle that began in the Garden of Eden continues to this very hour, and will continue until God throws Satan and all his followers into the lake of fire. Those Christians, who desire to live without fighting, will ultimately be the devil’s helpers.
The Christian life would be far easier if all we had to do was preach the saving gospel of Christ and declare God’s wonderful plan for mankind. But that is a pipe dream that will lead to ruin if followed. For proof of this, simply look at Adam and Eve and see what they lost by not fighting evil. Not only did they lose Eden and its glory, but look at the effect it had on the whole human race!
So it is with the Christian faith that was once delivered — “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3) As Christians, we can either fight for the faith, or stand by and watch the evil one destroy all that we have built. The spiritual destruction we see today is a direct result of Christians not defending the faith!
THE FIGHT IN SPURGEON’S DAY
Spurgeon’s Church in London, England was for many years affiliated with the Baptist Union of Great Britain. For a number of years he struggled over the drift towards liberalism in the Baptist Union. He boldly preached against it and wrote extensively about this evil of compromise. Many of his writings were published in “The Sword and Trowel”. Finally he came to the point where he could do nothing other than withdraw from the Baptist Union. He was disappointed that many of his friends, who believed as he did, stayed in the Union and broke fellowship with him. Some historians have written that this heart break led to his early death. Of course no one really knows, but one thing is clear that Spurgeon never gave in to the liberals.
THE FIGHT IN THE 20TH CENTURY
In the early 1900’s, a flood of modernism/liberalism swept into this country from England and Germany. They worked deceptively to undermine the doctrines of the Christian faith by questioning the integrity of the Bible and by suggesting there were two accounts of creation in the book of Genesis. That meant that Moses didn’t write the book of Genesis and after all it was just a bunch of stories handed down from generation to generation. They also denied that the book of Isaiah was written by Isaiah, saying that there were a least two Isaiahs.
The miracles of the Bible could not be believed and the prophecies of the Bible were written after the fact. The Bible was not inspired but a fallible book. Of course they did not teach this all at once, but little by little they destroyed the faith of their listeners. (Note: Most of the modern Seminaries and Colleges of today are still teaching the same junk.)
I admire the early fundamentalists that stood up against the modernism that was overcoming the denominations and churches. I could name many of the prominent ones who had large churches and a greater capacity to make their voices heard, but I would leave out a host of others. They were fighters and attracted a large number of followers, but they could not stem the tide of error.
Denominations, one after another, fell into the trap of compromise. The most effective voices came from the Baptists. I am glad they stood in the gap and at least tried. During this same period of time, there were many Baptist churches that never belonged to the organized denominations. There were some that held tightly to the doctrines of the Bible.
The Baptist fundamentalists contained some effective preachers who did great things for the Lord, but they had some fatal flaws that doomed their long time effectiveness. Here are a few of those flaws.
I recently read a statement in the Sword of the Lord that I had even forgot making.
“E. L. Bynum aptly delineated this weakness when he wrote in the May 2008 issue of the Plains Baptist Challenger. ‘We hear of pastors who are tired of fighting and are trying to be more positive and successful. They simply want to be a part of a kinder and gentler religious movement’”
I am reluctant to quote from Augustine and the other Catholic quotable writers, because they wrote far more heretical quotes than truth. The same goes for the great Greek and Roman philosophers. Never the less I will quote from a Jewish philosopher who hit the nail on the head in this particular quote. “Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.” –Maimonides (1135-1204)