Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 3, 1966
NUMBER 26, PAGE 4-5a

Special Issue - Nov. 17


The "preacher shortage" among faithful disciples is not only critical; it is becoming desperate. Floyd Thompson, who has preached thirty years in Santa Ana, California, has given a keen analysis of ONE cause for this alarming condition and suggests a remedy. We deem his treatment so significant that we are devoting almost the entire issue of November 17 to Brother Thompson's article. We are appreciably increasing our press run of this issue and we urge congregations to purchase them in quantity lots for distribution among the members. Quantity prices on this "Special Issue" are 100 for $5.00; fifty for $3.00; twenty-five for $2.00. Order a supply TODAY. This article will be an "eye-opener" for many!

F. Y. T.

"Voices Of Concern" And Philosophy Robert H. Farish

Most of the voices heard in "Voices of Concern" are voices of highly educated men. There are enough doctorates among them to provide departmental heads for a fair sized college and masters degrees are so abundant as to be commonplace in this group. These men all have superior educations. The question arises, "Has higher education contributed to their present spiritual state? If so, how, or in what way? If higher education is a factor, what is to be done about it? Do we have to choose between the church of the New Testament and education? Is there anything inherently evil about secular education. If nothing inherently wrong with learning, and there would be very few who would so regard it, is thereat improper attitude toward education that brings one to grief?

It would be the grossest sort of loose generalization to reason that the two facts - education and apostasy - existing in this case, are related as cause to effect. In fact, the possibility of many subjective conditions, in many cases unrealized even by the subjects, suggests the impossibility of reaching any exact and firm conclusions about these cases. No attempt will be made to diagnose these cases. However, we can study with profit what God has said about our calling and the wisdom of the world.

"For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. For the Word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God. For it is written I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning will I bring to naught. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe. Seeing that Jews ask for signs and Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumbling block, and unto Gentiles foolishness but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

"For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong that no flesh should glory before God according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (1 Cor. 1:17-31).

This is God's discussion of "higher education" and the gospel. Here is the explanation of the lack of appeal of the gospel to those who are trusting in human wisdom to guide them in all areas of their being. The gospel does not compliment man; it does not regard him as "sufficient unto himself". Rather, the gospel presents a picture of man as lost and undone in the really significant sense. Man by his human might is unable to correct soul defects. He cannot by a mastery of natural law raise himself spiritually. The rapid decline in spiritual areas, right alongside the rapid advance in material areas, is amazing and is inexplicable on any other grounds than the utter inability of the wisdom of the world making any contribution to soul culture. Achievements in the various areas mentioned by the apostle tend to pride; pride grows by being indulged and soon will have reached such great dimensions as to dominate the field to the extent that no place is left for "glory(ing) in the Lord".

Intellectual snobbery is quite as dangerous as self-righteousness and just as hard to recognize in one's self. We are amazed that the Pharisees were so blind to their self-righteousness and at the same time, we are just as blind to our own personal defects which cause us to "turn away from the truth and turn aside unto fables". The need of every person, to consciously follow Paul's admonition, "try your own-selves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves", is very real.

"Higher learning", like riches, must be kept in subordination to the person. Conscious effort needs to be directed toward avoiding idolatry in either case; neither should be enthroned as God. Neither can properly be worshipped. Yet the idolatrous infatuation with the wisdom of the world can hardly be identified as anything but idolatry. They that trust in learning, like "them that trust in riches", by their misplaced trust bar themselves from heaven.

It is highly significant that the teachers who were under the direct guidance of God were concerned that their preaching should be such that the faith of those who heard "should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:5).

These "Voices" do not reflect concern for the requirement to "trust in Jehovah with all thy heart and lean not upon thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear Jehovah and depart from evil" (Prov. 4:5-7). This is not the attitude of those whose voices speak in "Voices of Concern". These peoples' attitudes and convictions were formed from their human experience - they drew heavily on their personal experience in determining what would please the Lord. Very few references to the Bible are found in the book and the attitude reflected in the way the references are used does not demonstrate confidence in the gospel as the power of God unto salvation.

The sad situation reflected in "Voices of Concern" could have been avoided. The Holy Spirit specifically warns, "Take heed lest there shall be anyone that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8).

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