A Word of Warning

extracted from

The History of the Church
by
Howard A. White


|The Early Church| |Apostasy in the Early Church| |Development of Papal Power| |Reformation Movement| |Rise of Denominations| |Spread of Denominations| |Restoration Movement| |A Warning|

As has ever been true in the history of the church, it is true today that "the purity of the churches, unity among brethren, and ultimate victory over the world" rests upon the attitude of the members toward the word of God and the pattern of the church revealed therein. The author is one of those who believes that the New Testament reveals a fixed pattern for the church of all time and that loyalty to Christ demands that we hold to that pattern. The church must not adapt itself to the changing conditions of the times if it means a departure from the divine pattern.

The cry that the church is not doing its duty along some lines is no justification for man-made schemes for the work of the church. The church of the Lord was in existence for more than sixty years before the New Testament was completed. It operated in all phases of its mission on full scale. This can be done today. Those who detect failure on the part of the church in any phase of its work should not attempt to "reform" conditions as they are but they should get about to restore the pristine purity of the church in practice as well as doctrine.

In all of our thoughts of united effort and congregational co-operation, let us keep the church of the Lord free from institutionalism. Let it be overshadowed by nothing; let nothing be tied to it, nor suffer it to be tied to man-made organisations of any kind for any purpose. In short, let us keep our eyes on the New Testament pattern.

THE NEED TODAY

The author wishes to close this series of studies in Church History with an appeal to all who read it to remember that the Bible is the only authority needed in religion. The word of God is unchangeable.1 Much is being heard in this age about the need for a new religion. Religious leaders are known to encourage this notion. The plea is made that a new age needs a new religion. A new religion for a new age? Who said so? Not the man who believes that the word of God shall stand forever. But such is the foolish babbling of a blatant! A new religion for a new age? How could it be? When God made the sun, the air, and the water, he made them to meet the physical needs of his creature man. Man’s physical needs are the same today as they were in the beginning. When God made Christianity, he made it to meet the spiritual needs of his creature man. Man’s spiritual needs are the same today as they were two thousand years ago when Christianity was born in the cradle of Palestine. To talk of needing a new religion is as senseless as to talk of needing a new sun to shine upon us, or a new air to fill our lungs, or a new kind of water to slake our thirst! A new religion for a new age? No! A thousand times, No! What this old world needs is not a new religion to meet the whims and notions of a new generation. But, what it needs is to hear the old time religion, the gospel of Christ, as it issues fresh from the breath of God through the pages of His eternal truth. This world needs to have the Bible and the Bible alone preached until the new generation forsakes its many unstable ideas that are born of fleshly lusts and worldly wisdom and falls upon its knees in humble recognition of the supreme authority of the word of God. Let us learn from the New Testament church the great lesson of depending upon the gospel of Christ alone as the power of God unto salvation.

|The Early Church| |Apostasy in the Early Church| |Development of Papal Power| |Reformation Movement| |Rise of Denominations| |Spread of Denominations| |Restoration Movement| |A Warning|

Reference

  1. Matt. 24:32; 1 Pet. 1:23.

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