In the past several years we have seen modernism raising its ugly head in the churches of Christ. Several elderships and many preachers have taught regarding the perils of modernism. These saw the effects of it in various congregations as well as in many denominations. We raised our voices and some heard while others did not care. Those who a few years ago had the “I don’t care” attitudes are today given over to modernism and its trends.
We submit that modernism is not a new thing at all. In fact, the tempter was the first modernist. When Satan said, “yea hath God said,” he began the slippery slope down the dark road of modernism.
Modernism promised in the temptation something that is impossible for man to be—“as God.” We must understand that modernism denies the reality of sin. Modernism waters sin down to the point that it no longer exists regardless of what the Scriptures teach. For instance, look what Adam said after the fall, “the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12).
Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed God, and from then until now man has not been prone to shoulder his own personal responsibilities for the most part.
Very few in the Scriptures admitted that they had sinned. We want to shift responsibility to someone or something else because we must “white- wash” our own faults and set out thinking toward a more modern view of the Word in order to justify ourselves. Why? Because modernism is man’s effort to make the Bible conform in varying degrees to what man wants all the way to re-constructing the Gospel to the restructuring of the church.
Ah, now we see why so much liberalism and compromise permeates us today. Many do not want to do what the Bible says so we will get us a new Bible that will suit our own style of living or we will ignore plain passages not thinking of judgment (cf. John 12:48). The modernist goes on with these thoughts and teaches that “everything dwells in varying degrees and can be measured.” Measured by what? Of course, by the instrument or thing that the modernist creates!
This would require some method, and the way to determine method is very important. For instance, you cannot smell, taste, or see the modernist. An x-ray machine will not find them out. However, their words do and will betray them. Subjectivity led to this malady in a large way. The conduct of some Christians makes others resign from the thought of pure Christianity, and this is hypocrisy. Division has been created among us as well as the religious world in general.
This, in my judgment, is one of the things that has led many toward agnosticism. And, why not! The modernist already rejects the Bible especially every miracle that is given therein. There is no study among them except trying to find a defense of the very selfish doctrine they hold dear. They can, all day long, tell one what the Bible does not say, while ignoring what it does say. All of us need to study the Bible more than we do because this is the only thing that will lead us to a wholesome Christianity. We need to ask for evidence. We need to state (live) our faith instead of showing a lack of faith. We need to teach the Scriptures to our children. As long as we feed them with intellectualism, modernism will flourish. Modernism will starve to death if we will feed ourselves and the people we teach the pure Word of God.