Having concluded another year in the providence of God, we must acknowledge that the longsuffering and mercy of God are the only reasons the earth has not self-destructed. The falling away is deepening within the institutional church, sin is violently escalating, and terrorism is daily manufacturing fear in most people.
One of the evidences apostasy continues to permeate the world is found in the changes that have now taken control of man's thinking and understanding. The logic of absolutes is being exchanged for the "crazy," the "bizarre," and the "insane." In decades past such insanity was abhorred by society. For example, the killing spree of the Charles Manson clan was a rare incident that rocked our nation's conscience for weeks. Now the violence depicted in such criminally bizarre cases seems so common an event that only one- or two-days' news coverage is the norm before another notorious crime takes its place.
Likewise, the religious world is reflecting a similar insanity concerning its thoughts about spirituality and Christianity. When I was in my third year of seminary training and working at a K-Mart on a Saturday night, a somewhat wretchedly dressed man came into my department and began talking to me about miracles and healings. As I simply listened, his conversation turned to his daughter. He told me that she had left home and had come back some months later expecting an illegitimate child. He proceeded to say that a "prophetess" came into his home that very week and prophesied that the child in his daughter's womb was supernatural and would be another John the Baptist. He went on to declare that the previous night in a church service other women gathered around his daughter and gave similar prophecies. About this time the man's wife and his daughter approached us dressed in a similar slovenly appearance as the man. After introducing me to them, he made a quick purchase and left.
As they made their exit from my department, I thought in my youthful mind how "crazy" it was for that man to turn the fruit of sin into a holy thing. Yet years later we witnessed Jimmy Swaggart, after being caught the second time with a prostitute, claim that his escapade in sin was of God, so that by knowing this sin better he could help the Body of Christ.
Though these lines of reasoning seem utterly absurd to the conservative heart, the powers of neutrality and compromise have reached epidemic proportion in the Fundamental world of professing Christianity, explained away as needed changes or the evidence of "spiritual" maturity. Policy has taken the place of principle and "for the sake of evangelism" has become the cloak to hide overt compromises with the world, the cults, and Romanism.
The days we face are insane in thought, and yet if we did not have a Bible we would wonder if we were not the insane ones. The world, contemporary Christianity, and the sympathetic feelings of society have literally readjusted the mind-set of the Church, sending all running in an opposite direction to that of Scripture. Every professing Christian will have to make a decision of whether to follow the norm of Christian society or keep the heart and mind on the only infallible authority on the planet, the written Word of God.
As we conclude this year of 2007 for Straightway, we commend to this edition two articles from our Founder, Dr. O. Talmadge Spence, trusting that the voice of the past will clearly indicate that Truth does not change and that insight is the same among the remnant in any generation. May the Lord richly bless these year-end articles to our hearts as the "age of spiritual insanity" deepens in the coming year in contemporary Christianity.