Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Bad Fruit of Biblical Critics

This week's installment from "The Fundamentals"

by Dr. F. Bettex, D.D.
Professor Emeritus, Stuttgart, Germany

Now, if these people were of the truth, and if they would only believe Him who says, "I am the way, the truth and the life," they would not be under the necessity of tediously working their way through the numerous publications (statistics show that there appear in Europe and America annually some 800 of these works); but they would find in His teaching a simple and sure means for testing the character of these critical doctrines. "Ye shall know them by their fruits," is what Christ says of the false teachers who came in His name. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Matthew 7:16). Are the fruits of modern criticism good?

Where are the grapes or figs that grow on this thorn-bush?" Has not this criticism already robbed, and perhaps forever, thousands of people of their first love, their undoubting faith, and their joyous hope? Has it now sowed dissension, fostered pride and self-conceit, and injured before all the world the authority of both the church and its ministers? Has it not offended Christ's "little ones?" (Matthew 18:6-7) And does it not furnish the enemies of God with opportunities for deriding and scorning the truth?

Where are the souls that it has led to God—comforting, strengthening, purifying and sanctifying them? Where are the individuals who even in the hour of death have continued to rejoice in the benefits of this criticism?

In the study room it ensnares, in lecture halls it makes great pretenses, for mere popular lectures it is still serviceable, but when the thunders of God's power break in upon the soul, when despair at the loss of all one has loved takes possession of the mind, when remembrance of a miserable lost life or of past misdeeds is felt and realized, when one is on a sick-bed and death approaches, and the soul, appreciating that it is now on the brink of eternity, calls for a Savior— just at this time when help is most needed, this modern religion utterly fails.

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