Because of the depth of man’s falling away from God’s original intent, his very thinking has been affected. Globally today, mankind has fully entered the dark, cold, foreboding caverns of the death of reason. Mankind now dwells on the other side of reason, the side of existentialism and postmodernism. The political and demonic powers that lead the world today have created an abounding of angst (fear) and hopelessness, spreading perplexities so complicated that man lives simply to get by from day to day with an aimless existence.
Articles 1–20 of 299 for All Records
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In all the great movements in God’s providence (though some have been of greater influence and magnitude), none has arisen at a more crucial hour in Church history than the Fundamentalist movement. We must remember that Fundamentalism was not a denomination but a trans-denominational movement in its influence. We must also keep in mind that the beginning of any historical movement is very fluid; only its future will determine where it will flow and how it will end—in greatness of truth or in tragedy of spiritual demise. Fundamentalism began not as an organization but rather as an organism.
When God gave man the Bible, He gave him the most wonderful treasure that could ever be received through the medium of language. The miracle of language or speech (the utterance of articulate sounds or voices) was appointed by God for mankind to express and communicate thoughts. It is evident in the creation of man that God furnished both the faculty of speech and speech itself (the knowledge and use of words as vocal sounds or ideas). This gift of language existed even before the formation of woman, at which time we read of the first uttered words of Adam.
Our first article unfolded the principle of present history rejecting Truth and coming to believe in the Lie. Often in history powers have intentionally created their own truth (which was a lie) and have successfully convinced great numbers to embrace their lie as the truth. Roman Catholicism was able to hide its pervading and deceptive leaven in Church doctrine thereby destroying truth. What remained was a created myth for the world to believe. Such a powerful deception necessitated the Protestant Reformation to boldly and aggressively bring the truth of God’s Word back to the public arena, dispelling the doctrinal myths of Rome.
Man since his fall has known multitudes of defections from the truth. But Paul reveals in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “a [Gr., ‘the’] falling away first.” Apostasies eventually bring man to the final apostasy to arise globally in the End Time of the last days. A season in world history is approaching when defection from truth will be known in every compartment of life. It will be a time when the whole world will believe the Lie.
Forty-five years ago, an unpretentious meeting took place on the outskirts of Dunn, North Carolina, in the home of Dr. O. Talmadge Spence. This meeting proved to have far-reaching importance for Dr. Spence, his family, and a remnant of individuals. The birth of the “Christian Purities Fellowship” was Dr. Spence’s last major attempt to call his fallen, spiritual-mother denomination back to her legacy of the Fundamentals and separatist living.
Back in 1973 my dear father, Dr. O. Talmadge Spence (who went to be with the Lord in July 2000), began a publication entitled Straightway. He took this word from Mark 1:18 that reads, “And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.” In this context Mark’s commentary on two of the Lord’s disciples depicts the tonal quality of his book as a part of the harmonious quartet of the Gospels.
In recent weeks the American Bible Society has stated that the growing number of English Bible versions on the market today has reached over five hundred. When both Higher and Lower Biblical Criticism arose over 150 years ago in the Liberal and Modernist camps, no one would have imagined the rise of hundreds of English translations vying for the popular market. Who would have thought that the discovery of a manuscript in a wastebasket of a monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai would have caused the Protestant world to clamor over a text that has become the womb of the new English-translation movement throughout the English-speaking world?
Today (on February 21, 2018) we heard of the passing away of Dr. Billy Graham at the age of 99. He will go down in world history as a “Christian” gentleman who for sixty years was a world evangelist, a spiritual advisor to presidents of the United States, and the official spokesman for twentieth-century “evangelical” Christianity. His accolades will be numerous; memorial services around the world will be attended by prominent leaders, both governmental and religious. He was a man who became a friend to all, including to other prominent religions of the world. Even the liberals will be kind in their words of commendation of him and his memory.
The journey of the wise men to Bethlehem marks one of the precious events surrounding the historical story of the birth of Christ. Matthew 2:1 declares, “Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Who these wise men were and what they believed have been the conjecture of various writers over the past two millennia. Although difficult to accurately resolve, some information about these men and the star that guided them is more reliable than other.
Luke 2:7 states, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Ancient tradition places the birthplace of our Lord in a cave, for caves were used as stables in most countries with rocky terrain. The Greek word for inn is kataluma, denoting the simplest of inns. It is similar to a Syrian khan—a refuge from thieves, a shelter from the heat and dust, a place where a man and his beasts may lodge, where a trader may sell his wares, and a pilgrim may slake his thirst. However, in such inns the visitor had to do everything for himself.
Seventeen years ago I wrote this article in my father’s home as he was in the final throes of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Since the writing of this article, the Foundations Ministry has broken off its identification with the Fundamentalist movement, though we still strongly identify ourselves with the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith and its historic identification with ecclesiastical separation from the apostasy. As a movement, historic Fundamentalism is now dead, finding itself flowing into the mainstream of “Neo-Evangelicalism” in the transitional cloak of “Neo-Fundamentalism.” Fundamentalism left its historic legacy and distinct declaration of biblical Christianity and now has been assimilated into the polluted river of Neo-Christianity.
The term cultural revolution identifies one of the greatest controlling influences upon humanity over the past one hundred years. Over the past fifty years this manipulative revolution throughout the fabric of society has accelerated. We must take a moment at the outset of this article to unfold the breadth and far-reaching magnitude of this term, for increasingly in our contemporary it has become all-encompassing as far as man’s hopes for the future.
In God’s providence, the Protestant Reformation was the movement that brought the public message of the church back to the soundness and absoluteness of the Scriptures. This important belief reestablished that the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith are based upon supremacy of the Word of God alone. Through the centuries leading up to the Reformation, Roman Catholicism’s apostasy had destroyed the Scriptures’ public effectualness.
Coming to the end of the nineteenth century, mankind began to anticipate that the twentieth century would be the century of hope for which man for thousands of years had been looking. In fact, the 1800s eagerly predicted that the twentieth century was almost guaranteed to be the century to usher in peace; it was prophetically called the “Christian Century.” This optimism was soon shattered by the ominous tensions that led to World War I. This bloodbath event brought a rude awakening to the continued reality of the true sinful nature of humanity.
In these days of the demise of principles in every compartment of humanity as well as the abounding of iniquity (lawlessness) in every precinct of life, how should a Christian live? In this dark hour in history, we believe this most important and crucial question demands an answer. Ezekiel 33:10 has asked this question, “How should we then live?” These next two issues of Straightway will consider how we should live concerning six specific contexts that control the End Time in which we live.
One crucial key in the burden of the demise of sound thinking is realizing the world has a different mindset today from all previous centuries of thought. For nearly two thousand years, Western civilization has embraced linear logic and reason, advocating absolutes of thesis and antithesis and rejecting the blending together of opposites. The Greek metaphysical philosophers did much to establish this approach. This logic was built upon the premise of law, order, design, purpose, and beauty and the reality of right and wrong, truth and error, as well as both the distinction and the separation of such thesis and antithesis.
Christ warned us that the time of His coming would be as the days of Noah and Lot—both their generations abounded in immorality. Although the days of Noah abounded with immorality between male and female, the days of Lot were noted for the rise of immoralities between male and male. Particularly, Christ called attention to the sodomite cities with which Lot had become identified. Paul deals strongly with this great sin in Romans 1 and in 1 Corinthians 6; the epistle by Jude calls this sin “strange flesh.” In the demise of morals of the End Time, how will these powerful sins of the flesh affect the consciousness of our young men becoming true men of God?
For Christians whose lives are exclusively based on the Scriptures, the days in which we live have become increasingly difficult to face because practically everything is being forcibly redefined. The world’s philosophy, its perspective of life, has been redefined even amidst a terminology of so-called political conservatism. Postmodernism has become an intellectual disease that virally plagues Western civilization. The past perspectives of conservatism in contrast with socialism have no viability for these times. So-called conservatism has become increasingly sympathetic and compromising with liberalism; socialism has been cosmetically redefined as the next natural step in democracy. Our nation’s foundational Republic government and its Constitution have been carefully and selectively discarded to reposition our country toward a redefined post-America existence.
How clear the message of Christianity was in its beginning, both in power and purity! The Book of Acts commences revealing that on the Day of Pentecost Peter stood with the Apostles and was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach with clarity the Gospel. This clear Gospel brought heart conviction to three thousand souls, leading them to repentance and to the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. The Book of Acts also reveals how Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin Court to witness to the power of God in healing a lame man.