Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 30, 1967

Burn The Books

Warren Rainwater

It goes without saying that we need to clean up the filth which has found its way into our books, newspapers, magazines, and the printed page in general. It is a shame and disgrace to our fair country to see its citizens being taken in by such trash as is presently paraded before us in the name of free expression. The end of course is not yet in sight. It will get worse, if possible, before it gets better unless there is a great effort put forth by God's people to put a curb on some of the wreckless publications which grace our newstands.

How can we clean up our literature? Not by laws alone! Surely good laws rightly enforced would help but the main force to clean up undesirable conditions is the Gospel of the Son of God. In Acts 19:19 we learn of the power of the Gospel in the hearts of those people which caused them to burn the books of curious arts. Surely there are books of curious arts among us today that need to be burned.

The burden of this article, however, will be to point out some "books" among us which need to be burned. By "us" I mean the church. What are some of the books that need to be burned? BOOKS OF DIVISION. The Corinthians were guilty of man following instead of following the Lord. Some were of Cephas, some of Paul, some of Apollos, and some of Christ. Such division was wrong. We need to burn such books and to all speak the same thing. A return to the Bible will burn books such as these. There are some preachers and educators among us who have more power over other preachers and members also than the Word of the Lord. What a shame!!! Let us put our confidence in the Word of God.

Creeds, unwritten of course, but certainly in effect among us ought to be put on the top of the fire. The pressure to line up with this movement or that one has become so great that it is hardly possible for a person to be just a plain Christian and attend to the commands of the Gospel. Some sections are worse than others of course. Churches are marked as "faithful" or "unfaithful" by "clergy groups" within the brotherhood with a pontifical air of finality. These "clergy groups" could better be called "college cadres" in some sections. The daddy of the whole thing coming from the "ole alma mater." May the day come soon when churches will wise up to the movements among us and become free under God as the Bible demands. Let us make a huge bon-fire of this evil thing and return to pure Christianity.

BOOKS OF IMMATURITY should be cast into the fire. Paul found such a great hindrance to the spiritual growth of the church in Corinth. He says, "And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." (I Cor. 3:1,2) The immaturity of many members of the church has caused the growth of congregations to be stunted. Elders find themselves unable to assign tasks of work and be sure it will be done without on the spot assistance. Some are so immature that they think nothing of leaving services without telling anyone. I have known of Bible class teachers who just wouldn't show up to teach their class. They never considered notifying the elders that they were going to be absent. Surely we need to grow up and stop such baby actions as that. Then if elders in their wisdom for the sake of the cause of Christ see fit to replace such a one, he goes about with a chip on his shoulder crying how he was mistreated. We need to grow up, act like men and burn the books of immaturity.

BOOKS OF DOUBT would make a huge fire also. Only the Lord knows how many of us have little faith. Our faith is so weak that many of us fall and loose out completely. The Hebrews were warned of such. The writer shows clearly why they did not enter into the rest of God. "...the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." (Heb. 4:2b) There is the need of absolute faith in the word of the Lord. Yet, so many of us have doubts and we are carried away with every wind of doctrine. A good looking, smooth talking preacher has more influence sometimes than the Word. Little by little we go down the road of error until we have doubts which overcome our faith. We cannot justify our actions by the Bible so we stay with our actions and lose faith in the Word.

Lord, hasten the day when we will return to the proper attitude toward your divine authority, believe your blessed word, and rely upon your holy promises.

— 1639 Stafford Ave. Louisville, Ky. 40216